Blog Book Marks

July 2021 Book Marks

Up here in the Adirondacks the caterpillars have denuded the trees, the heat is unseasonable, the mountain nights are warm and thunderstorms light up the night sky.  In case anyone needed reminding, Mother Nature is the boss and we’d better pay some respect.

Each year I tell myself that summer will be my time to slow down and each summer feels different, the rhythm, the coming and going, the cadence of the weather.  One constant remains, though, there is always a book in my bag.  In case you’re looking for one of your own, here are a few July suggestions.


Summertime Guests by Wendy Francis

Things are humming at the glamorous Seafarer Hotel in Boston, that is until a woman tragically falls to her death from a balcony. Or did someone push her?  The story is told through the eyes of four different hotel guests over a three-day period in June, as we learn more about their love, connection and why they’re there.  But how will this event allow them to turn their own lives around? 


Fox & I – An Uncommon friendship by Catherine Raven

In the same vein as “H is for Hawk,” this true story is a remarkable tale of friendship between a loner woman and a wild fox.  At 15, Raven left an abusive father and negligent mother and found a job as a national park ranger, earning a college degree while living off the grid in Montana.  One day at 4:15, a fox emerges on the edge of her woods and then returns every day.  One day, Raven brings a chair outside and begins to read to him from The Little Prince.  Beautifully written and resonant after a year of isolation and a global pandemic, this book will restore your faith in nature.


The Cult of We – We Work, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion by Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell

In the gold rush of start-ups and delusional dreamers, Adam Neumann might take the cake.  These two Wall Street Journal reporters covered the story for years and go in-depth on the epic unraveling of a company that, at its essence, was a real estate company cloaked in tech terms with micro-kitchens and kegs that promised to revolutionize everything from work and housing to education. Neumann even dreamed that he could help colonize Mars.  Why did so many intelligent people, including SoftBank, venture capitalists and Wall Street elite, fall for the hype?  This book colorfully dissects how one long-haired, six-foot-five Israeli transplant bamboozled the world with his messianic truth-telling.


The Stranger Behind You by Carol Goodman

Set in the #metoo era, Joan, a young New York Globe reporter, publishes an investigative piece on a predatorial editor.  The story takes another turn when the man commits suicide and his family is ruined.  In the process of writing a book on the story, Joan is attacked in her apartment and dark forces are set in motion.  Between a weird old lady in the apartment building, a creepy doorman and the investigations of the editor’s ex-wife, some very important facts and a motive for revenge come to light. This NYT-best selling author keeps dropping great breadcrumbs all the way though the book until you can’t wait to uncover the truth.


Island Queen by Vanessa Riley

“Doll” was born into slavery on a tiny Caribbean island and blazes a life for herself that defies her expected destiny.  She buys her freedom, and that of her sister and mother, from her Irish planter father.  By working the system and leveraging the attentions of the men in her life, she rises to power against all odds.  She builds a legacy of wealth and power as a female entrepreneur, merchant and planter.  This engaging novel moves from the islands to the drawing rooms of England and then to South America.   

*These are books I genuinely love and am thrilled to recommend to my friends. These are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Alternately, if you prefer to rent books at your local library or buy from your local bookstore, I very much support that!


Lee Woodruff     Speaker-Author-Executive Media Trainer