4th of July Reading List

Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone is enjoying the day celebrating our nation’s birthday with friends and family.

Since I’ve been reading a lot lately (and finally updating Goodreads) I got to thinking about the various books I’ve read that talk about the early days of our country. I have always enjoyed American history and having gone to The University of Virginia for grad school, where Thomas Jefferson is pretty much a part of everything, I have a pretty good reading list.

It isn’t always light reading, but the stories can’t get much better. Here are a few of my favorites and a couple still on my list.

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis


His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph Ellis


The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff

Glorious Cause

John Adams by David McCullough

John Adams

1776 by David McCullough


And, this one’s on TV, but leave it to Disney to tell the story of the Declaration of Independence from a unique point of view: Ben and Me

Ben and ME


Ann Taylor Friends & Family

It seems to be that time of year again when Friends & Family sale notifications pop up in my email and mailbox by the dozen. Ann Taylor recently sent me a very tempting offer of 40% off between March 9th – March 14th. The card also included and extra 10% off for me and a friend. If I remember my fractions right, this does not mean I am getting 50% off, but it’s still a very nice discount.

Ann Taylor is one of my go-tos when it comes to clothes for work. The quality is superb and I have many pieces in my closet that I have been wearing for years. Typically, I buy separates because I can put together a number of outfits, maximizing any purchase. But I also have found that the dresses fit me well and are worth the investment.  Many can be dressed up or dressed down, making them very versatile and not something that you can only get away with wearing once a month to the office.

This season, I seem to be drawn toward blush/pinkish hues and there are quite a few pieces I’m going to have to try on during the sale. Here are some of my favorites:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Not surprisingly, some blue snuck in there too! 


Curling Up With A Good Book

One of my (recurring) New Year’s resolutions is to read more. I definitely don’t make as much time for reading as I’d like to but I love getting lost in a good book on a Sunday afternoon or just before bed — depending on the material. There are usually between three and five books on my nightstand and any number in my bookshelf that I’ve started and just haven’t gotten through.

To keep myself accountable to my resolution, I thought I’d share what I’m currently reading each month. I also have a pretty current list on Goodreads, which is a great site for keeping track of what you are currently reading, what you want to read,and finding something new. I’ve gotten sucked into the site a few times and added a lot to my reading list.

Here’s what I’m reading now:


Make MeA Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child.  Since this is the twentieth book in the Jack Reacher series, it is fair to say that I like the character of Jack Reacher.


When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein. This isn’t the easiest book to get through, but ever since business school, I’ve been interested in this type of book.  And to be honest, the true life drama that plays out in this book is far crazier than most fiction!


The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I’d had this book forever but never read it until last weekend a friend of mine brought it up in conversation. I got through it in a weekend and there are some great lessons in here.


Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. This year I also started asking my friends for recommendations. If they could only tell me to read one book, what would it be? I think it will be interesting to see what people pick.

Have you read any of these? What’s on your list to read?