Monthly Archives

June 2015

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Free Printables: Kaleidoscope Eyes + A Look at My Creative Process

Every creative person has a process (or 50).

Today I want to share with you one of them.

I keep a private inspiration board on Pinterest. Right now I have 237 items pinned to this board.

This is the image that sparked today’s free printables:

Kaleidoscope Eyes Free Art Printable by Little Gold Pixel • Shared on http://www.remodelaholic.com/ • littlegoldpixel.com

The first thing I did was open up this image in Photoshop, then opened a blank file next to it. I focused on re-drawing the image in semi-abstract form. The first thing to emerge was the eye.

Free Printables Kaleidoscope Eyes + A Look at My Creative Process • littlegoldpixel.com

I added some embellishments until I had a fun interpretation of the original inspiration.

Free Printables Kaleidoscope Eyes + A Look at My Creative Process • littlegoldpixel.com

I liked it, but I can never leave well enough alone. I wanted to deconstruct it some more. If you ever hear me open up a project and say, “I’m going to play with it a little,” you should know that this means I’m going to play with it a lot.

Enter a new background pattern and two eyes instead of one, and voila! Kaleidoscope Mask.

Free Printables Kaleidoscope Eyes + A Look at My Creative Process • littlegoldpixel.com

But if two eyes are better than one, how great would a pattern of eyes be?

Free Printables: Kaleidoscope Eyes + A Look at My Creative Process • littlegoldpixel.com

Free Printables Kaleidoscope Eyes + A Look at My Creative Process • littlegoldpixel.com

Maybe a touch of brown would be cool?

Free Printables Kaleidoscope Eyes + A Look at My Creative Process • littlegoldpixel.com

And yet I kept “playing.”

Kaleidoscope Eyes Free Art Printable by Little Gold Pixel • Shared on http://www.remodelaholic.com/ • littlegoldpixel.com

The design above is my final design.

I’m sharing it over at Remodelaholic today as part of their Deck the Walls week, which is full of lots of great wall decor ideas, including other free printables, as well. Go check it out, and while you’re there you can grab my final of Kaleidoscope Eyes.

Here are PDFs of the variations I shared in this post. Art is 8.5×11 inches. For personal use only, you know the drill.

Kaleidoscope Eye #1

Kaleidoscope Mask #2

Kaleidoscope Eye Pattern #1

Kaleidoscope Eye Pattern #2

P.S. Ever think about making your own printables? Here’s a resource guide to help you get started.

Weekly Pixels #25

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

This is an update in my Weekly Pixels series, a weekly photo project for managing my family’s digital files in lieu of printed photos. At the end of the year I will create a yearbook out of my images. Here’s what the last week of June looked like for us.

So excited to wear her new dress to school.

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

Grateful for long summer evenings.

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

And vodka perks at work. Apparently one of the recommended recipes is to drink directly out of a jalapeño. File under: Things I will not be doing.

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

“This cup has a mustache just like Daddy.”

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

Working on our marriage equality special edition magazine to coincide with the Supreme Court ruling. #lovewins

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

This maxi dress is 2 inches too long but I love it anyway.

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

Let’s do lunch.

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

Saturday morning sky, on the way to see “Inside Out” with the family.

Weekly Pixels 2015 • No. 25 • littlegoldpixel.com

Working on our succulent garden. We finally got hip to the game and stopped buying water-dependent plants. Because (a) the drought and (b) we do not have green thumbs.

Weekly Pixels 2015 • No. 25 • littlegoldpixel.com

I have been reading up on how to propagate these guys, and I am a little intimidated. How much waiting is there, exactly? Weeks? Months?

Weekly Pixels 2015 • No. 25 • littlegoldpixel.com

Making pancake art today, and Alexa was quick to request diamonds and polygons. I apologized to her for the wonky heart, saying it was “abstract.” “No,” she corrected. “It’s ruined.” She’s a perfectionist.

Weekly Pixels 2015 • No. 25 • littlegoldpixel.com

Practicing with my calligraphy marker.

Weekly Pixels 2015 • No. 25 • littlegoldpixel.com

And making magazine collages like it’s 1996. Some of my high school friends might remember my epic collage folders.

Weekly_Pixels_2015_25013

Spending Sunday afternoon alone with my favorite girl. A few of our activities: Playing dolls, watching movies, making art, tossing the ball around and enjoying our refurbished patio.

Weekly_Pixels_2015_25014

P.S. Past photo projects: 2012, 2013, 2014

P.P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more photos.

Gif Me a Break

Funny Gif Posts • Little Gold Pixel • Roundup of funny Gifs to match funny situations in your everyday life!

There is a time and place for jokes. This is the right time, and certainly the right place.

Enter: Gif Me a Break, an occasional series in which I find the perfect funny Gif to sum up a situation.

It’s amazing how a two-second video clip can be a highlight of your day. Because sometimes words just do not do a situation justice. And because sometimes, if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.

For example …

When you’re working like crazy only to notice how late it’s gotten, it’s like:

When you read comments on anything to do with the Confederate flag or gay rights or any number of hot-button, pretty obvious issues, only to discover that Moron Disease is rampant in society, it’s like:

When you’re explaining something easy to your 4-year-old but they throw you a random follow-up question like “what’s nuclear fission?” it’s like:

Every single time “Pump Up the Jam” plays, it’s like:

(That song never gets old, admit it.)

When you daydream about that last summer vacation in college when you were young and fresh and still didn’t know what to do with your life, it’s like:

When you’ve been counting calories for a month and you are so hungry you could gnaw on your own hand, it’s like:

When you realize that Friday, July 3, is “Independence Day Observed,” it’s like:

When your kid tells you the meal you painstakingly prepared is “yucky” and smells like “poo-poo,” it’s like:

When you’re trying to get just a few more steps to register on your FitBit for the day, it’s like:

When you realize you’ve watched nearly every episode of Orange Is the New Black, and it isn’t as good as last season, but you have to keep watching anyway because BINGE WATCHING!, it’s like:

When the plastic flamingo designer’s death hits you irrationally hard, it’s like:

When you find an email buried in your inbox that you should’ve responded to eons ago, it’s like:

When you wake up after falling asleep on the couch, it’s like:

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

P.S. Click here to check out my past funny Gif posts. (Hilarity awaits.)

P.P.S. Funny memes I found on my husband’s phone.

Weekly Pixels #24

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

This is an update in my Weekly Pixels series, a weekly photo project for managing my family’s digital files in lieu of printed photos. At the end of the year I will create a yearbook out of my images. Here’s what the third week of June looked like for us.

Sneak peek of my spice rack project. Details coming soon to the blog.

Weekly Photo Project • Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Hint: Easiest, fastest project ever.

Weekly Photo Project • Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Standing strong.

Weekly Photo Project • Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Time to take some art off the fridge and cycle in new art. Kids are so prolific.

Weekly Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Off the bike path. Wayyy off.

Weekly Photo Project • Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

We come to this park because of its nice grass.

Weekly Photo Project • Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

She runs barefoot and looks for sticks and acorns. (It’s almost like she’s not a city kid for a minute.)

Weekly Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

She laces “flowers” through my FitBit.

Weekly Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Still getting love out of my gorgeous anniversary bouquet from last week.

Weekly Photo Project • Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Family movie night, with a chance of rain.

Weekly Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Workday essentials.

Weekly Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Tinyme has the best Father’s Day printables. Alexa and I had a good time making this book for H.

Weekly Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Bedtime tea ritual.

Weekly Photo Project • Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Finally purchased my favorite Brigette Barrager artwork. I’m obsessed with everything she does.

Weekly Photo Project • Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

I can’t look at telephone wires without hearing Robert De Niro drone on about them in “Everybody’s Fine.” What a bummer of a movie. I mean it’s “fine” … if you feel like being depressed.

Weekly Photo Project • Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

Happy Father’s Day to this guy, who was happy to celebrate by spending time with his family and eating hamburgers.

Weekly Photo Project • Pixels #24 • Little Gold Pixel

P.S. Past photo projects: 2012, 2013, 2014

P.P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more photos.

Tri-Color Cameras Free Art Printable

Tri-Color Cameras Free Art Printable • littlegoldpixel.com

It was the last day of our Hawaii vacation a few years ago. We were reluctantly packing all our belongings and cleaning the condo we rented, the door to the lanai open as we breathed in those last sweet breaths of tropical air. We were just about to head outside and wait for the airport shuttle when it happened.

“Have you seen my phone?”

H was searching the very tidy condo. I wasn’t concerned. Surely it would show up. There were very few places it could hide, after all. The countertops were clean, the bed was made, there was zero clutter.

Ten minutes later, the mild concern turned into a utter dismay. Where could it be? It definitely wasn’t in the room, even though H had just been taking farewell pics and video moments before.

We walked down the hall to search the garbage bin we had just discarded. Not there. Nor was it in the dishwasher, under the bed or in all the nooks and crannies we prodded.

Time was out. We had to catch our shuttle.

As we waited for our flight, H called and emailed the owners, telling them his predicament. Asking whether the cleaning crew would send him his phone if they found it. I considered it lost for good. I tried to prepare him for this truth when …

They found it. But the kicker is WHERE they found it: Sitting atop the white countertop in the kitchen, in plain sight.

*Cue Twilight Zone music.*

Tri-Color Cameras Free Art Printable • littlegoldpixel.com

What does this have to do with a camera printable, you might ask.

Well, when H thought his phone was missing, he wasn’t concerned about losing his private information or having to pay for a new phone or simply being phoneless for a few days. He was worried about all his vacation photos, the countless (electronic) clicks of time recorded of our good time.

He was happy to pay out a huge finders fee because, as he said, it was a small price to pay for the memories.

Tri-Color Cameras Free Art Printable

Art is a high-res 8×10 pdf.

Vintage camera stock art: Death to the Stock Photo

Tri-Color Cameras Free Art Printable • littlegoldpixel.com

Download

THE FINE PRINT: As always, play nice. For personal use only. Give credit where it’s due. Share with friends. It warms my heart to see my printables on social media, so please tag me @littlegoldpixel on Instagram so I can see the art in action.

P.S. More freebies!

P.P.S. Ever think about making your own printables? Here are some resources to get you started.

P.P.P.S. Linking up with A Simple Pantry.

What I’ve Been Reading

Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel

This is an occasional series that chronicles my quest to read 80 books in 2015. This is the fifth roundup. You can read the first here. The second here. The third here. The fourth here. Let’s see how it went, shall we?

Oh, man. Somewhere around Memorial Day I strayed from my reading pace, and I never regained it. I could blame it on the books (that would mostly be a lie), I could blame it on the man who suddenly seemed to be narrating all my audiobooks, the man with a gentlemanly British voice that does nothing but lull me to sleep with its quiet timbre (somewhat truthful).

But mostly I think I hit burnout mode. I needed to take a break and listen to music at full volume, at the top of my lungs.

I returned to reading books I have on Kindle, although that was slow-going and I only made it through one (Hausfrau). And I had to abandon a book again out of sheer boredom, and it was one I had been looking forward to on my summer reading list! Sigh. They can’t all be winners, I know.

Luckily, thanks to my speed reading at the beginning of the year, I’m still five books ahead of schedule to reach my goal.

(Do you follow me on Goodreads? You should!)

Book Reviews June 2015: 45/80

Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • Sweetness #9

Sweetness #9 / Stephan Eirik Clark
File under: Conspiracy theory, food, literature, Americana
Plot: Flavorist is fired after seeing evidence that an artificial sweetener has negative side effects. The repercussions of his silence reverberate throughout his life. Will he ever grow the balls to speak up?
Review: A thought-provoking and at times hilarious read, and I was genuinely interested in David’s life and family, but it comes unhinged somewhere in the second half, then goes on 50 pages too long with very little payoff for all the buildup. (But some might say, “That’s life.”)
Amazon Goodreads

 

Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • Vanishing Girls

Vanishing Girls / Lauren Oliver
File under: Young adult, psychological thriller, familiar twists
Plot: Teen tries to reconnect with her sister after a bad car wreck, while also searching for a local girl who has gone missing.
Review: I appreciate Lauren Oliver’s storytelling, which always feels very true to teenagers, but you can pretty much see the twist coming from the very beginning, so the reveal is a pretty big let-down.
Amazon Goodreads

 

Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • The Blue Bistro

The Blue Bistro / Elin Hilderbrand
File under: Romance, summer, beach read, chick lit, coming of age, lots and lots of fooooood
Plot: In a long line of destination jobs, Adrienne takes a job at the hottest restaurant in Nantucket, where she falls for the food, the business and one of the owners. Will she stay at the end of the summer or will she move on like she always does?
Review: Forgive my simplistic plotline. For once, there’s far more to this story than meets the eye. I was curious about this book after reading about it on Modern Mrs. Darcy, and I’m really glad I gave it a go. I laughed, I cried, I got really, really hungry.
Amazon Goodreads

 

Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • Cinder

Cinder / Marissa Meyer
File under: Y.A., Cinderella, fairytale, sci fi, supernatural, steampunk, futuristic, yes I realize some of these descriptions are kinda contradictory
Plot: Cinder is a bad-ass cyborg in New Beijing who can’t catch a freaking break.
Review: This was an unexpectedly great read. I am legitimately irritated to be on the library waiting list for the second installment.
Amazon Goodreads

 

Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • Hausfrau

Hausfrau / Jill Alexander Essbaum
File under: Literature, Switzerland, marriage, depression, heart-wrenching sadness
Plot: Ex-pat housewife struggles with depression and feelings of desolation and has a series of affairs to help lessen her pain.
Review: Exquisitely written. The last few paragraphs will haunt you.
Amazon Goodreads

 

Book Reviews June 2015 • Little Gold Pixel • The Rocks

The Rocks / Peter Nichols
File under: Summer read, literature, family secrets, WTF
Plot: Two families’ lives intermingle through several decades in Mallorca, Spain. Apparently there is drama.
Review: A true-life example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its gorgeous cover. It’s pretty on the outside, but the paint’s peeling on the inside. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Amazon Goodreads

In a Nutshell

Three to read: Cinder, The Blue Bistro, Hausfrau

One to pass: Definitely don’t waste your time on The Rocks!

So there you have it. 45 down! 35 to go!

What have you been reading lately? I’m always on the lookout for a good book … do share recommendations in the comments. Have you read any of these books? Do you agree/disagree with my assessment? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

P.S. A running list of my fave must-read books. Soooo much good stuff here.

Linking up with modernmrsdarcy.com, a great place to find good reads. Check it out.
THE SMALL PRINT: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Little Gold Pixel’s iced coffee habit.

Weekly Pixels #23

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

This is an update in my Weekly Pixels series, a weekly photo project for managing my family’s digital files in lieu of printed photos. At the end of the year I will create a yearbook out of my images. Here’s what the second week of June looked like for us.

They might’ve messed up my order, but this front door art is on point.

Weekly Photo Project • littlegoldpixel.com

 

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus.

Weekly Photo Project • littlegoldpixel.com

Guys, there’s a gem on Netflix you may have overlooked. It’s called “High School Hellcats.” An all-girl gang forces the new girl to wear slacks to school, which is a definite no-no.

Weekly Photo Project • littlegoldpixel.com

The marine layer looked like waves. It was surreal.

Weekly Photo Project • littlegoldpixel.com

I found my name! Sadly I was in the market for coffee instead.

Weekly Photo Project • littlegoldpixel.com

H spoiled me on our 17th anniversary. Chocolates for the entire office, and the most beautiful bouquet of flowers (he picked them himself). Swoon away, ladies — he’s mine, all mine!

Weekly Photo Project • littlegoldpixel.com

Time to make the doughnuts, a Saturday morning splurge.

Weekly Photo Project • littlegoldpixel.com

This guy scared the crap out of me as I walked by.

Weekly Pixels #23 • littlegoldpixel.com

Hello, hello.

Weekly Pixels #23 • littlegoldpixel.com

I don’t know why you say goodbye … I say hello.

Weekly Pixels #23 • littlegoldpixel.com

Fresh made.

Weekly Pixels #23 • littlegoldpixel.com

Surf, sand, sunglasses.
Weekly Pixels #23 • littlegoldpixel.com

Her very artistic selfie technique.

Weekly Pixels #23 • littlegoldpixel.com

Out after dark — and having a dance party in the car to 1980s pop tunes.

Weekly Pixels #23 • littlegoldpixel.com

Sunday food prep under way. MELON!!! Three exclamation marks are very necessary.

Weekly Pixels #23 • littlegoldpixel.com

P.S. Past photo projects: 2012, 2013, 2014

P.P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more photos.

Frame Game: Chic Gallery Wall for a Bold Urbanite

Chic Gallery Wall for a Bold Urbanite • littlegoldpixel.com

Frame Game is an occasional series in which I take readers’ gallery wall requests and find art that fits their personalities. Click here to see past Frame Games.

Today’s wall was inspired by Katie, who is decorating for her bedroom.

In Katie’s words:

I love quotes, cool colors (current color scheme is teal, dark purple, and dark grey with white walls), coffee shops, food adventures, exploration and the outdoors. I live in NYC so prints that reflect NYC without being too obvious (I have a love/hate relationship with the city) are great as well.

I made it my mission to find a New York centerpiece for Katie that wasn’t just your standard B&W print of major landmarks. Not that these aren’t cool, but it sounds like Katie wanted something off the beaten path. So I went back, wayyyyy back, to a vintage architectural airline poster that incorporates shades from her color scheme of dark purple and teal.

After that, the other pieces sort of found themselves. Katie mentioned being a fan of the Hilary Duff film “A Cinderella Story,” so I thought it would be fun to blow up and crop a free wallpaper of dancing feet. Free wallpapers are a good source for personal printouts if the print quality is good. Experiment with print size to make sure it doesn’t look too pixelated large.

I love the quote in the bottom right corner: “What if I fell? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” And the coffee spoons are a fun, sophisticated nod to Katie’s love of coffee shops.

My absolute favorite finds are the geode watercolor pieces. Click through to the main download page to find even MORE colors.

To download these printables, click on the links below to go to the original download pages.

Chic Gallery Wall for a Bold Urbanite • littlegoldpixel.com

Look/See Dancing Feet • Stand/Fall

Agate PurpleNew York World’s FairAgate Teal

Coffee SpoonsWhat If I Fell? • Breathe Deep


Interested in being featured on the Frame Game?

Since I’ve started rounding up free printables (the first time, the second time, the third time, the kids time, the kitchen time), I’ve received a lot of emails seeking help with various dilemmas you have in your homes.

Use this form in the comments below (or email me) to indicate what mood you’re trying to set, and look out for future installments on the blog.

  • Name (first name only is fine):
  • Website (if you have one):
  • Which room in your house do you want to decorate?
  • Tell me a little about the person this room belongs to (likes, dislikes, special requests):
  • Tell me this person’s favorite movies, books, music:
  • Any additional info:

P.S. The frames featured in this post are mockups. Check the individual download pages for details on ideal image size. Want to print something huge but the highest it goes is 8×10? Consider a larger frame with a mat. (Example here.)

Weekly Pixels #22

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

This is an update in my Weekly Pixels series, a weekly photo project for managing my family’s digital files in lieu of printed photos. At the end of the year I will create a yearbook out of my images. Here’s what the beginning of June looked like for us.

My surprise lunch dates!

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

Palm trees make the standstill commute slightly more tolerable.

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

Her new backpack is almost as big as she is.

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

Trying to change a song on Spotify, but instead, an accidental selfie.

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

I always forget that June is mostly overcast (but with no rain).

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

There’s never enough.

Weekly Pixels • Weekly Photo Project for 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

How did she get to the big-girl swings so fast?

Weekly Pixels 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

Making a campfire with gathered sticks. The flame is an acorn.

Weekly Pixels 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

Perhaps the best thing I’ve ever seen at a thrift store. I’m almost sad I didn’t bring it home with me.

Weekly Pixels 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

We were sad to have missed out on National Doughnut Day, so we made up for it this weekend.

Weekly Pixels 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

Am I the only person who actually high-fives the MailChimp monkey for real? (Do you subscribe to the newsletter? You should!)

Weekly Pixels 2015 • littlegoldpixel.com

P.S. Past photo projects: 2012, 2013, 2014

P.P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more photos.

14 Books to Read This Summer

Kite

I was thinking about summer when I realized something strange.

When you’re a kid, there is a lot of time in the summer for free reading. There is time at the beach/lake/park. There is time camping out. There is time sitting at baseball games (yes, I was that kid). There was time in between asking “Are we there yet?” on the family vacation. There was time with a flashlight under your blanket because that’s what every kid movie ever leads you to believe is a perfectly reasonable way to read.

I haven’t had the freedom of a summer like that in a long time. It’s unfair how summer vacations just stop when you’re an adult, isn’t it? But, and this is the strange part, despite all of these years with summer obligations and commuting and meetings and work, there’s still something about summer that makes me want to read like crazy. Not sure why. There aren’t any more hours in the day than normal.

And yet. My to-read list is overwhelmingly long right now. So many books that just beg to be read by a babbling brook or lying poolside. Here are some that are on my radar.

14-books-to-read-this-summer

14 Books to Read This Summer

 

14 Books to Read This Summer • So You've Been Publicly Shamed • littlegoldpixel.com

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Author: Jon Ronson

Pub: Released

Blurb: For the past three years, Jon Ronson has traveled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us, people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly or made a mistake at work. Once the transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know, they’re being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job. — Goodreads

Why it sounds good: I’m fascinated by groupthink and how terrible people can be when they think they’re anonymous. See: every comment thread on the Internet.

Buy the Book

 

14 Books to Read This Summer • Luckiest Girl Alive • littlegoldpixel.com

Luckiest Girl Alive

Author: Jessica Knoll

Pub: Released

Blurb: As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. But Ani has a secret. There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything. — Goodreads

Why it sounds good: A good Y.A. thriller is exactly what summers are for, am I right?

Buy the Book

 

14 Books to Read This Summer • The Rocks • littlegoldpixel.com

The Rocks

Author: Peter Nichols

Pub: Released

Blurb: A romantic page-turner propelled by the sixty-year secret that has shaped two families, four lovers, and one seaside resort community. Set against dramatic Mediterranean Sea views and lush olive groves, The Rocks opens with a confrontation and a secret: What was the mysterious, catastrophic event that drove two honeymooners apart so suddenly and absolutely in 1948 that they never spoke again despite living on the same island for sixty more years? And how did their history shape the Romeo and Juliet–like romance of their (unrelated) children decades later? — Goodreads

Why it sounds good: Secrets, familial drama and did you see that book cover? Could be why I’m already reading it.

Buy the Book

 

14 Books to Read This Summer • Make Something Up • littlegoldpixel.com

Make Something Up

Author: Chuck Palahniuk

Pub: May 26

Blurb: Representing work that spans several years, Make Something Up is a compilation of 21 stories and one novella (some previously published, some not) that will disturb and delight. In “Expedition,” fans will be thrilled to find to see a side of Tyler Durden never seen before in a precusor story to Fight Club. And in other stories, the absurdity of both life and death are on full display; in “Zombies,” the best and brightest of a high school prep school become tragically addicted to the latest drug craze: electric shocks from cardiac defibrillators. In “Knock, Knock,” a son hopes to tell one last off-color joke to a father in his final moments, while in “Tunnel of Love,” a massage therapist runs the curious practice of providing ‘relief’ to dying clients. — Goodreads

Why it sounds good: Palahniuk’s crude prose can be tough to swallow sometimes, but bite-sized stories sound just right. For those who are fascinated with the strange and unusual. Oh, and a Tyler Durden story? Who doesn’t want to read that?

Buy the Book

 

14 Books to Read This Summer • The Sunlit Night • littlegoldpixel.com

The Sunlit Night

Author: Rebecca Dinerstein

Pub: Released

Blurb: In the beautiful, barren landscape of the Far North, under the ever-present midnight sun, Frances and Yasha are surprised to find refuge in each other. Their lives have been upended–Frances has fled heartbreak and claustrophobic Manhattan for an isolated artist colony; Yasha arrives from Brooklyn to fulfill his beloved father’s last wish: to be buried “at the top of the world.” They have come to learn how to be alone. — Goodreads

Why it sounds good: An offbeat love story set in a bizarre environment? Count me in.

Buy the Book

 

14 Books to Read This Summer • Finding Audrey • littlegoldpixel.com

Finding Audrey

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Pub: June 9

Blurb: An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

Why it sounds good: I typically adore Kinsella’s light and snarky chick lit, and I’m curious to read her first Y.A. novel.

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14 Books to Read This Summer • The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street • littlegoldpixel.com

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

Author: Natasha Pulley

Pub: July 2

Blurb: Fans of Harry Potter will recall Hermione’s Time-Turner, the bewitched object that allows her to travel backwards — to double up on the number of classes she can take, of course! The allure of the enchanted object is the foundation for Natasha Pulley’s magical novel, about a telegraphist whose journey begins when a watch saves his life by warning him of a bomb. — Huffington Post

Why it sounds good: Magic and time travel and Harry Potter reference — sign me up.

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14 Books to Read This Summer • Speak: A Novel • littlegoldpixel.com

Speak: A Novel

Author: Louisa Hall

Pub: July 7

Blurb: Alan Turing’s infamous test to determine whether a subject is communicating with a human or computer ensured his status as an icon in the history of science and artificial intelligence. But, as Louisa Hall examines in her novel, humans have their own shortcomings when it comes to language. She follows the lives of a Puritan diarist, a present-day girl fixated on chatting with a SmarterChild-like bot, and a handful of other characters who’ve acknowledged the rift between what we feel and what we say. — Huffington Post

Why it sounds good: A brainy novel about speech and human nature? Sounds like the perfect book to read at the airport (on the way to your vacation, of course.)

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14 Books to Read This Summer • The Small Backs of Children • littlegoldpixel.com

The Small Backs of Children

Author: Lidia Yuknavitch

Pub: July 7

Blurb: In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions—and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer’s best friend, who has suffered a devastating tragedy of her own. As the writer plunges into a suicidal depression, her filmmaker husband enlists several friends, including a fearless bisexual poet and an ingenuous performance artist, to save her by rescuing the unknown girl and bringing her to the United States. And yet, as their plot unfolds, everything we know about the story comes into question: What does the writer really want? Who is controlling the action? And what will happen when these two worlds—east and west, real and virtual—collide? — Goodreads

Why it sounds good: A war novel that isn’t WWII-based. Bonus: Sounds like it has a twist of intrigue. Could be amazing.

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14 Books to Read This Summer • Go Set a Watchman • littlegoldpixel.com

Go Set a Watchman

Author: Harper Lee

Pub: July 14

Blurb: Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her. — Goodreads

Why it sounds good: To Kill a Mockingbird fans like myself need no justification for wanting to read this long-lost novel.

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14 Books to Read This Summer • Gonzo Girl • littlegoldpixel.com

Gonzo Girl

Author: Cheryl Della Pietra

Pub: July 28

Blurb: This debut novel is raucous, page-turning, head-spinning, and side-splitting as it depicts a boss and mentor who is both devil and angel, and a young heroine who finds herself tested in the chaos that surrounds him. An intense story, Della Pietra’s tale about writing, firearms, psychotropics, and the pros and cons of hot tubs will suck you in and take you on ride. Inspired by novelist’s time as Hunter S. Thompson’s assistant. — Goodreads

Why it sounds good: Psychedelic head trips and hard-partying novels are my bag, baby. Plus it sounds like it’ll be way more coherent from a different perspective.

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14 Books to Read This Summer • The Night Sister • littlegoldpixel.com

The Night Sister

Author: Jennifer McMahon

Pub: Aug. 4

Blurb: Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper’s kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel’s past, something that ruined their friendship forever. Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock’s next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.

Why it sounds good: Everything McMahon writes is pure, creepy gold.

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14 Books to Read This Summer • Beautiful Bureaucrat • littlegoldpixel.com

The Beautiful Bureaucrat

Author: Helen Phillips

Pub: Aug. 11

Blurb: If you’ve ever suffered through a mind-numbing clerical job, Phillips can sympathize; she was inspired to write her debut while laboring in data entry. The novel focuses on a woman toiling in a particularly grim data-entry job, desperate for the continuing employment but driven slowly toward insanity by the unsettling isolation of her environment and the apparent meaninglessness of her work. A little bit of Kafka, a little bit of The Yellow Wallpaper — intriguing. — Huffington Post

Why it sounds good: Office dramas always grab my attention. Plus, this one seems like it’s going to go off the rails. All aboard the crazy train!

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14 Books to Read This Summer • You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine • littlegoldpixel.com

You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

Author: Alexandra Kleeman

Pub: Aug. 25

Blurb: A woman known only by the letter A lives in an unnamed American city with her roommate, B, and boyfriend, C, who wants her to join him on a reality show. An intelligent and madly entertaining debut novel that is at once a missing-person mystery, an exorcism of modern culture, and a wholly singular vision of contemporary womanhood from a terrifying and often funny voice of a new generation. — Goodreads

Why it sounds good: Novels that are hard to define are often the best ones.

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