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As much as I try to read for pleasure, it does not happen as often as I would like. I am gearing up for a week long vacation to Key West and am so excited to have time to indulge in a book or two. Does anyone have any suggestions? I thought I would pick something up at the Hemingway Home. I have a few suggestions for my Judys. I am not going to pretend like any of these books are new or literary masterpieces. They just happen to be the last five books that I have read and been impacted by. I hope at least one of these books makes it into your beach bag. 

1. The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Furstenberg

At 74, DVF has lived a full life. She was buying Fifth Avenue apartments at 30, bankrupt by 50, and is currently enjoying a revival of the her iconic wrap dress. She is truly an Earth element with her love of nature and spirituality. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing about her European vacations, nights at Studio 54, and owning her own cosmetic line. She has embraced the wisdom that comes with age and believes she is still evolving as a woman. Truly amazing!

Read this book poolside with a white wine spritzer.

2. Committed: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert

James and I were encouraged to read this book before we got engaged; per the advice of my girl, KC. (Thanks, boo) This book was written by the same author of Eat, Pray, Love and I swear it's not cheesy. You will find yourself on a journey exploring ideas of love and commitment with a neutral vibe. It's not life changing but it certainly offers an interesting perspective on marriage. I have since recommended it two different friends who were considering taking their relationships to the next step. It is such an essential read for anyone who is thinking about that forever commitment!

Read this book on the plane, while listening to Lana Del Rey

3. The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, The Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body by Cameron Diaz

If I could have celeb besties, Cameron Diaz would def be one of them. I love her writing style; it is relaxed and conversational, which makes me thinking we'd discuss these topics over wheatgrass shots. You can find how many grams of protein are in quinoa or what a healthy poop should look like. This book is filled with great tips for living a holistic, happy life.

Read this book in a beach chair, with a green juice. 

4. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

When I picked up this book for an extra credit assignment, I didn't realize how much it would impact my life. Nick Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn are a NY Times journalism power couple. They have spent time researching & uncovering the oppression that women face around the world, specifically in developing countries. From domestic violence to maternal mortality to human trafficking, Half the Sky reminded me that gender inequity is still rampant in developing countries. It is informational yet heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. I dare you to read this book  and not feel inspired.

Read this book on a rainy vacation day, cuddled up in a blanket . Make sure you have tissues on hand.  

5. The Paris Wife by Paula McClain 

Hadley Richardson was Ernest Hemingway's first wife; the starter wife who supported him in the early years of his career during Jazz-Age of Paris. What an epic time! Spoiler alert: Ernest was married four times, so we know how this story ends. Yet reading this, I know their love was raw and real. This historical fiction novel is a great recount of their whirlwind relationship. They went to Paris in search of opportunity and left due to a change of plans. Maybe Hadley didn't get a house in Key West but she will go down in history as Ernest Hemingway's first love. 

Read this in the park, on a bench or a blanket with an iced coffee.