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Red, White, and Book: Essential Summer Reads for July by Bedside Reading

Discover the Perfect Books to Enjoy this 4th of July With Bedside Reading's Top July 2024 Picks Found in Luxurious Retreats
Bedside Reading's Top July 2024 Picks
Bedside Reading's Top July 2024 PicksPhoto Courtesy Bedside Reading

As we celebrate the 4th of July and the joys of summer, there's no better time to indulge in some captivating summer reading. Bedside Reading's July 2024 recommendations are here to provide the perfect literary companions for your holiday relaxation. From the thrilling mystery in Christina Dodd's A Daughter of Fair Verona at Mill House Inn to the inspiring resilience in Francesca Miracola's I Got It From Here at The Maidstone Hotel, these selections promise to transport you to fascinating worlds. Dive into these compelling stories and make your Independence Day even more memorable with a great book by your side.

June Ubell-Meyer, Founder, Bedside Reading
June Ubell-Meyer, Founder, Bedside Reading - photo at Conrad New York Downtown.Photo Courtesy Bedside Reading

Here’s what they’re reading at Mill House Inn…

A Daughter of Fair Verona by Christina Dodd

A Daughter of Fair Verona by Christina Dodd
A Daughter of Fair Verona by Christina DoddPhoto Courtesy Bedside Reading

Once upon a time a young couple met and fell in love. You probably know that story, and how it ended (hint: badly). Only here’s the thing: That’s not how it ended at all.

Romeo and Juliet are alive and well and the parents of seven kids. I’m the oldest, with the emphasis on ‘old’—a certified spinster at twenty, and happy to stay that way. It’s not easy to keep your taste for romance with parents like mine. Picture it—constant monologues, passionate declarations, fighting, making up, making out . . . it’s exhausting.

Each time they’ve presented me with a betrothal, I’ve set out to find the groom-to-be a more suitable bride. After all, someone sensible needs to stay home and manage this household. But their latest match, Duke Stephano, isn’t so easy to palm off on anyone else. The debaucher has had three previous wives—all of whom met unfortunate ends. Conscience forbids me from consigning another woman to that fate. As it turns out, I don’t have to...

At our betrothal ball—where, quite by accident, I meet a beautiful young man who makes me wonder if perhaps there is something to love at first sight—I stumble upon Duke Stephano with a dagger in his chest. But who killed him? His late wives’ families, his relatives, his mistress, his servants—half of Verona had motive. And when everyone around the Duke begins dying, disappearing, or descending into madness, I know I must uncover the killer . . . before death lies on me like an untimely frost.

Here’s what they’re reading at The Maidstone Hotel…

I Got It From Here by Francesca Miracola

I Got It From Here by Francesca Miracola
I Got It From Here by Francesca MiracolaPhoto Courtesy Bedside Reading

Growing up in an Italian American family in Queens, New York, in the ’70s, Francesca Miracola was trained from an early age to keep up appearances at all costs—but behind closed doors, her parents’ toxic marriage served as a blueprint for dysfunction. So when she met Jason Axcel at a bar as a twentysomething, she ignored all the red flags—and there were plenty of them—and dove right in, normalizing his emotional and physical abuse just like she’d learned to do. She even married and had two children with him. But something in her clicked one night when Jason strolled out the door after a vicious fight that left her degraded on the floor, and she decided she was done.

Except Jason wouldn’t let her go.

Even after they finally divorced and Francesca fell in love with someone else, her ex-husband was keen enough to recognize that she was the same broken girl he’d met a decade earlier, and he exploited that fact at every turn. He called the cops to her home with bogus claims; he bombarded her with provoking emails and texts; he stalked her every move; and, worst of all, he used their little boys as pawns in his campaign. Then he went for the jugular and sued her for custody. But Francesca was stronger than he’d given her credit for.

Here’s what they’re reading at Beachcomber Montauk…

Blue by Rachel LaBella

Blue by Rachel LaBella
Blue by Rachel LaBellaPhoto Courtesy Bedside Reading

This touching picture book follows young Tommy's journey as he grapples with understanding the true meaning behind "feeling blue" - perfect for young children who are just beginning to comprehend the intricacies of mental health, "Blue" offers a tender exploration of emotions and empathy.

Tommy has grown increasingly confused by his mom's sleepiness. She loves sleeping in late, which sometimes makes Tommy late for school. Sometimes she even sleeps through dinner, but these times are fun because Tommy gets to have cereal when it's dark out! With the help of his grandma, Tommy's journey of understanding leads him to the shocking discovery that he has a superpower of his very own.

Here’s what they’re reading at Southampton Inn…

A Pair of Oars by Kerrina Kuhns

A Pair of Oars by Kerrina Kuhns
A Pair of Oars by Kerrina KuhnsPhoto Courtesy Bedside Reading

A Pair of Oars is a story of a woman who heads out on the ferry for inspiration to write her first book. In a small seaside town, she meets some unlikely friends, spirits from long ago. The two spirits watch over the lighthouse. Watching over the dead as they pass by. These strong women experience adventures, murder all while trying to figure out what keeps them stuck at the local lighthouse all these years. Set by the sea, this story will take you back and forth in time.

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Here’s what they’re reading at Capri Southampton…

Daughter of a Thousand Stars by Hajah Kandeh

Daughter of a Thousand Stars by Hajah Kandeh
Daughter of a Thousand Stars by Hajah KandehPhoto Courtesy Bedside Reading

At twenty-three, Hajah Kandeh flees Sierra Leone carrying the trauma of abandonment, the shame of a dark family secret, and a deep desire to reconnect with her mother. Her journey takes her from the lush plains of Africa to the “promised land” of San Francisco, where she tries to make sense of the disparity between the two cultures and faces personal challenges that go beyond what she left behind.

Daughter of a Thousand Stars is the true account of one woman’s unyielding will to survive-a story that shows us the strength of the human spirit even when stretched to the breaking point. Hajah dares us to believe in our capacity to overcome adversity and be a force for good in this world.

Here’s what they’re reading at The Morrow Washington, D.C…

Have You Seen These Children? By Veronica Slaughter

Have You Seen These Children? By Veronica Slaughter
Have You Seen These Children? By Veronica SlaughterPhoto Courtesy Bedside Reading

Four young children caught between love and hate―hostages to the cruelty of revenge. A deceitful American father and a naïve decision by a Filipino mother transformed their lives forever.

Valorie, Veronica, Vance, and Vincent’s perfect world turned into a nightmare one hot afternoon in 1959 in Cebu, Philippines. What was to be a quick lunch with their father turned into a flight to America, where four dreadfully long years of running from state to state, hiding, and vanishing into the night followed. Kidnapped from the only world they knew, confusion quickly set in. At nine, Valorie, the eldest, liked seeing their father after his absence for over a year. Vance, a timid six-year-old, went along with whatever Valorie did. Vincent, the baby at three, cried for his mother while clinging to Veronica for comfort. Veronica, eight, was the only one who was truly panicked by what was happening around them―and she recognized instantly that she and her siblings would have to stick together in order to survive. In that moment, her childhood ended and the warrior within her emerged.

Here’s what they’re reading at The 1708 House…

Long Time Gone by Charlie Donlea

Long Time Gone by Charlie Donlea
Long Time Gone by Charlie DonleaPhoto Courtesy Bedside Reading

On the first day of an elite two-year fellowship under the renowned Chief Medical Officer Dr. Livia Cutty, Sloan Hastings receives a research assignment in the emerging field of forensic genealogy. It’s the exciting, rapidly evolving science behind the recent breaks in high-profile cold cases from the Golden State Killer to the Cameron Young murder, and Sloan enthusiastically begins her research by submitting her own DNA to an online genealogy site. Her goal is to better understand the treasure trove of genetic information contained on ancestry websites, but the results she receives are shocking.

Raised by loving, supportive parents, Sloan has always known she was adopted. But her DNA profile suggests her true identity is that of Charlotte Margolis, aka “Baby Charlotte,” who captured the nation’s attention when she and her affluent parents mysteriously vanished in July 1995. Despite a large-scale investigation and months of broad media coverage, there were never any suspects in the family’s disappearance and the case has been cold for decades.

Racing to stay ahead of the media and true crime junkies ravenous to know what really happened to Baby Charlotte, Sloan’s search for answers leads her to Cedar Creek, Nevada, a small town north of Lake Tahoe. There, the Margolis family’s power and influence permeate every corner of the county, and while Sloan’s birth relatives are initially welcoming, they’re also mysterious and tight-lipped. Not everyone seems happy about Sloan’s return, or the questions she’s asking.

The more she learns, the more apparent it becomes that the answers Sloan seeks are buried in a graveyard of Margolis family secrets. And someone will do anything to keep them hidden . . .

Here’s what they’re reading at Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs…

Take Back Your Brain by Kara Loewentheil

Take Back Your Brain by Kara Loewentheil
Take Back Your Brain by Kara LoewentheilPhoto Courtesy Bedside Reading

What if every time you had a self-critical thought, you heard it in a man’s voice? The truth is not far off. Living in a patriarchy, women absorb a lifetime of messages that say your worth is defined by your looks, your accomplishments, and how well you take care of everyone around you. In fact, these messages are so pervasive that, even knowing they exist, they still manage to program themselves into our brains. The result is that women end up feeling anxious, guilty, and vaguely ashamed of themselves no matter how much they do for others or achieve for themselves.

So how do we deprogram our thoughts from patriarchy’s corrosive influence? And once we do, how can we create new, self-empowering beliefs?

Master Certified Life Coach and host of the UnF*ck Your Brain podcast Kara Loewentheil knows how. Despite graduating from Harvard Law School and getting her dream job, Kara spent her twenties and thirties feeling insecure and anxious, until she learned how to change her thoughts—which led her to become a coach. In Take Back Your Brain, she draws on cognitive psychology, feminist theory, and years of experience as a neuroplasticity-focused coach to break down how the patriarchy hijacks women’s brains, and how women can get free. To bridge the gap between your inner voice and your true potential, she says, you must begin with your thoughts. By using the skills in this book to literally rewire your brain, you can create new thought patterns that will directly transform outcomes in your life.

Ultimately, Take Back Your Brain invites you to replace the thoughts that no longer serve you and make room for a kind of confidence you never thought possible. Because when women unleash their true power, they awaken new possibilities for the world.

Here’s what they’re reading at Baker House 1650…

Vincent’s Women by Donna Russo

Vincent’s Women by Donna Russo
Vincent’s Women by Donna RussoPhoto Courtesy Bedside Reading

Donna Russo's 'Vincent's Women' is the untold story of Vincent's loves: how they shaped his life, his art, and his death. It writes against the ‘myths,’ exploring the possibility that none of them are true. It is the only novel to bring into question his sexuality, how he lost his ear, who he lost it for, and how he might have died, all through the eyes of a woman. We learn of Her; we learn all of it through Her.

The story is guided by Johanna van Gogh Bonger, Vincent's sister-in-law, as she decides to reveal the truth about Vincent to her son. We are then taken on a journey through Vincent's life, each section bringing a pivotal moment of Vincent's life alive while showing us the part she played in bringing it about. Between each woman, our guide, Johanna, gives us the transitional periods, right up to his death, which is now in question.

Hundreds of the nearly thousand letters between Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo, now considered one of the greatest documents of the human experience, were used to help construct this novel, its narrative, and dialogue, especially the dialogue of Vincent himself.

Vincent van Gogh is one of the most well-known artists of all time. The world knows of his madness, traumas, and suicide. But what if all that we know isn’t true? What if this knowledge is based on rumors and nothing more? What if his true story is vastly different when based on factual material and forensic information? What if the truth of Vincent’s life—his madness and his genius—is defined by his never-ending search for love?


In conclusion, Bedside Reading's July 2024 book recommendations offer an array of engaging stories perfect for your 4th of July celebrations. Whether you're seeking mystery, inspiration, or heartfelt narratives, each book provides a unique escape that complements the festive spirit of the season. These titles invite you to relax, unwind, and get lost in captivating tales. So, pick up one of these recommended reads and let your imagination soar as you enjoy the holiday festivities.

Bedside Reading's Top July 2024 Picks
Early Summer Reading with Jane Ubell-Meyer, founder of Bedside Reading®

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