I adore a juicy read in the summer. I like to dumb it down a bit as well. It’s just too hot for me to get into the heavy stuff and magazines have less and less content these days. Plus, it’s harder to digest hard words when you’ve had a few cocktails. Therefore I choose this time to delve into several biographies/autobiographies that have been gleefully gossipy page turners. Here are some good ones that I recommend for your beach or poolside reading.

No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World’s First Supermodel by Janice Dickinson

Janice Dickenson’s memoir chronicles her rise as the self-proclaimed world’s first “supermodel,” and of her Studio-54 drug and sex fueled days as a successful model in the 70’s and 80’s. She frankly discusses her affairs and interactions with some of the biggest celebrities of those times. She describes one lover as having a penis the width of an Evian bottle. Read it and see who she’s referring to.

Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner

Before Brangelina, there was Liz and Dick. Separately, they were fascinating people; together, they were scandalous! Everything about these two is melodramatic and volatile. This book certainly doesn’t skimp on the drama that you won’t stop eating up. It also gives you a full look into the movie industry at the time and the excesses it allowed from its A-listers. If you love a juicy old-time Hollywood read, pick this one up.

Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald: A Marriage by Kendall Taylor

Zelda Fitzgerald was who every aspiring flapper wanted to be in the 1920’s: witty, outgoing, glamorous. Scott Fitzgerald was of course recognized as the greatest American author of the twenties. They were the couple of the Jazz Age. But behind their glamor was torment and insanity. The book talks sympathetically yet insightfully of the fabulous to reckless to tragic life stories of the Fitzgeralds. Look for appearances from Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemmingway.

Kitchen Confidential, Insider’s Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

If you didn’t know, behind-the-scenes at restaurant kitchens can be pretty crazy. If you like to read about other’s personal offenses and excesses, then this is the book to dive into. It does get into many interesting aspects of the restaurant business and advises on eating out tips, such as never ordering Mussels in a restaurant. (I have since heeded his advice.) Bourdain tells his story in his usual snarky, yet self-deprecating way. This is a fun read, especially if you have ever worked in the business.

Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon–and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller

This book blew me away. It has all of the ingredients for a great summer read. It has mind blowing, juicy celebrity smut, yet also a thoughtful exploration into the roles three important musicians played in Second Wave Feminism. Their complete stories are woven into the roles they and their music played as women in the sixties and seventies. The story explores their dealings with illegitimate pregnancy, divorce and the early days of birth control. This is one of my favorite books ever.

Happy summer reading! So what are you going to read this summer?

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