Coming off Mother’s Day weekend I thought it was fitting to feature a fabulous female author who also is a mom. Michelle Gable captured me as a fan with her 2016 release I’ll See You in Paris (just releases in paperback!). I loved her rich, intricate stories and ability to take me away through her writing. Fast forward to today and her latest release, The Book of Summer. Can we say beach reading at it’s finest? This is sure to be a hit and I can’t wait to jump in and enjoy with the sand between my toes and the smell of sweet, salt air. I was so thrilled Michelle wanted to join in on the books and beauty and share her bag with me.
The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate.
For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. It’s not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities.
In the midst of packing Bess rediscovers the forgotten family guest book. Bess’s grandmother and primary keeper of the book, Ruby, always said Cliff House was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never imagined.
I’m a purse girl, but my favorite is the Longchamp “Le Pliage” nylon tote in navy, because when in doubt, navy blue. What I love about this bag, other than its size, is that it’s not too fancy for the softball fields (my daughters play year-round), but it’s still appropriate if I don’t have time to swap it out before meeting my tennis buddies at The Wine Loft.
In my tote is a spiral notebook (I write all my first drafts in pencil) and whatever book I’m reading at the time, which is currently All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg. Right now I’m trying to finish my fourth novel and whenever I’m deep in a draft, I’m a very distracted, impatient, and critical reader. Attenberg’s latest is the perfect antidote to my frazzled mind. It’s hilarious, fast, smartly written, and brimming with heart. As I’ve said to my girls a hundred times: “always bring a book with you.”
Almost important as reading and writing material are my sunglasses and hat (or visor) to protect against the San Diego sun. The current version is red, to match my girls’ team color and also because I had to burn all of my Chargers gear when they betrayed me by moving to Los Angeles. I also must carry snacks (personal favorite: RX Bars) because I’m always hungry.
Inside my tote is a fun, black and gold pouch—a Target find—which holds the rest of my essentials, including pencils for writing, sharpies for book signing, a Tide To Go pen, earbuds, and aspirin for air travel, a necessity due to my history with blood clots. My Shiseido sun protection stick and Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Zinnia or Red Dahlia are all the makeup I need on hectic days, or while traveling.
My skin gets oily by the end of the day so I’m a fan of blotting papers, but a toilet seat cover works just as well (seriously!) Pro tip: blot while still in the stall otherwise a coworker might find you standing at the sink, rubbing a seat cover all over your face. She will in no way believe this is a legitimate “beauty hack.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking and I’m also curious as to why a long-haired writer who plays tennis, works out daily, and attends multiple sporting events per week has exactly no brush or hair ties in her bag. Apparently, in addition to being softball and volleyball players, my daughters are also thieves.
❤ Thanks Michelle for sharing your bag with us and taking the time to chat!