Trip Prep – Swimwear, Dresses, Accessories & More

by Jen on February 18, 2013

Happy Monday! This time next week I will be in the Caribbean. I kind of can’t believe it. I have a crazy week to power through to get there but it will all be worth it when I’m planted on the beach with a drink and book in hand. I have had several requests recently to do a fashion post and while fashion will never become a focus on this blog (let me repeat that again…never…this girl lives in gym clothes 24/7), I did think it would be fun to share some of my recent purchases in preparation for my trip.

Here are the two suits I decided to go with from Victoria’s Secret. I used their bikini mixer and picked the triangle top, bandeau top and two of the ruched low-rise hipkini bottoms.

New sunglasses. I made a trip to Nordstrom Rack in the midst of our “blizzard” on Saturday on a mission to get sunglasses and a new bag. I LOVE Nordstrom Rack for sunglasses and bags. They have tons of designer brands marked down at least half price. I got these Armani Exchange sunglasses for $24.99.

I also got this Michael Kors tote to function as a purse and a carry-on bag. It’s big enough to hold my makeup, books, magazines, iPad, travel docs, etc. while still looking purse-esque. I also picked up a new pair of Havaianas¬†flip flops for $9. Love these things. My last pair has lasted me over two years.

The dresses. I love dresses for warm weather and probably won’t pack anything other than dresses for evening, cover up and hanging out. From left to right…I had a $75 credit to Shabby Apple and had a really tough time finding something I liked. I ended up ordering the Highland Light¬†dress. I’m still on the fence about it so we’ll see how it fits/looks when it arrives. I ordered a wrap cover up from Victoria’s Secret. I have pretty high hopes for this one and love the open back. And on far right, I picked up this simple jersey cotton dress from Nordstrom Rack for $9 on Saturday. Nothing too exciting but will be a good throw on/cover up.

And finally, I purchased this fun red number (sorry for the bad photo quality) from Francesca’s a few weeks ago. It’s the Pinecrest Ruffle Dress. You can’t really tell from the photo but there is a cool zipper feature with the ruffles on the front of the dress.

I debated on whether to post this but I’ll go for it. I caved in and purchased my first romper ever at Nordstrom Rack. Clearly, it’s meant for lounging around the house/PJs and not to wear out. It just looked cozy so I wanted to try it out. I’ll probably just look ridiculous but at least it will be in the safety of my own home! :)

Now I need your help. I want to order a couple of new book on Amazon tomorrow. Suggestions are needed! What have you read that you’ve loved lately? I am a voracious beach reader and hope to get through no less than 3-4 books during my trip!

Counting down the days…

{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Babs February 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm

My vote is for the Hunger Games trilogy (if you haven’t read them). I definitely didn’t think they would be my cup of tea but I was blown away by how much I enjoyed them.

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2 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:24 am

i read them! they are entertaining.

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3 Allie February 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Any of the books by Sarah Jio

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4 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:54 am

thanks! i actually haven’t read any of her books so this is a great suggestion.

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5 elizabeth February 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I liked Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter.

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6 Lily February 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Who are you going on your trip with?

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7 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:25 am

yoga retreat with a group from my studio. nothing too exciting ;)

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8 Rebecca @ Pavlova's Dog February 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Have you read Cloud Atlas? I’m reading it now because I always like to have read the book before I see the film version, and trailers for that are already out so I’ve got to be quick! It’s good so far: it’s like seven different tales, each with a different narrator and era, but they’re all connected to each other somehow. And the structure of the book is pyramidal, so it starts in the 1800s and works up to a point in the future, before slowly dismantling and coming back down again.

What else have I read and fallen for…. the Hilary Mantel novels are maybe the best books I’ve ever read, and I read them recently, but they’re not exactly beach material. Ooh! Shipping Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead! She’s such a way with words, every now and then there are such beautiful turns of phrase which pop up in the most unlikely of descriptions or dialogue.

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9 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

i have not read cloud atlas and didn’t know it was being made into a movie. sounds really interesting. i will check out the other two authors that you recommended as well. thanks for taking the time to comment!

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10 Stef February 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I would suggest reading any Barbara Kingsolver, especially Animal Dreams or The Bean Trees.

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11 brandee February 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm

On our recent holiday I wanted a few easy reads to take as well. I read Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio and The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Both are really easy reads! Have a great trip :)

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12 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:29 am

thanks for the recommendations!

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13 Dominique @ Free To Be Athlete February 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm

The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared. It’s long enough to keep you occupied, but lighthearted and funny.

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14 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:30 am

what an intriguing title!

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15 She Rocks Fitness February 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I’m currently reading “What Alice Forgot”. It’s about a woman who falls off her spin bike and hits her head and ends up forgetting 10 years of her life. It’s easy reading, funny, and perfect for vacation. A client recommended it to me and I’m hooked. Love VS’s suits. So affordable and sexy. :)

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16 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

thanks for the rec – i’ll check it out!

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17 Ang @ Nutty for Life February 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I would highly recommend Dean Koontz’s “Odd Thomas.” It’s a great story, and it goes really fast. It may seem strange at first because it’s more of a supernatural/mystery/action book (so if that’s not your thing, nevermind!), but the main character is so sarcastic and lovable. The whole series is great.

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18 Laura February 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn….it’s dark and twisty, but you won’t be able to put it down!

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19 Carlene February 19, 2013 at 9:41 am

I was going to recommend this book too, or anything else by Gillian Flynn – her books are really dark but they are definitely page turners!

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20 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:34 am

this seems to be a really popular choice. i’ll definitely add this one!

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21 Sara February 18, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Just finished Silver Linings Playbook. Quick read and I really liked it. Gone Girl is next. Happy vacation! Get some sunshine for the rest of us!

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22 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

i’ve heard the movie is fab!

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23 Emily February 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I’ve read some great books recently… I could not put down Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. If you like the Hunger Games then check out Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Have a great vacation!

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24 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:36 am

i listened to wild on audio book. it was great. definitely checking out gone girl. lots of recommendations for that one.

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25 Kaitlin February 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green–probably the best book I read in 2012! Absolutely loved it. I also recently finished Still Alice by Lisa Genova. It was FABULOUS, but, disclaimer: it will make you cry like a baby. It was a good, cleansing cry for me but I know not everyone is a lover of a good cry :-)

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26 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:38 am

girl, i am SO a lover of a good cry. i will check it out. ;)

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27 Amy @ Extracurricular Activities February 18, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I second the Sarah Jio suggestion (specifically Violets of March) and Still Alice (SO sad though). I recently finished The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton and highly recommend it if you like a little mystery. I thought The Hunger Games was good but not great – but I realize I’m in the minority here! What Alice Forgot would definitely be a good beach read and will eventually be made into a movie if you like to read the book before the movie like me. Keep us posted on what you choose!

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28 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:39 am

thanks amy! this is helpful!

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29 Sara Kulbersh February 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Make sure to use your new Image sunscreen!

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30 Bess @ Bess Be Fit February 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Love the dress you picked from Shabby Apple :) Very nautical! Also if you want just like a fun, quick, romantic comedy type of book, try The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne. Its a happy read :)

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31 Chantalle February 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Have a wonderful time! I am so jealous–I need a tan!

I would recommend Beautiful Boy, The Baker’s Daughter and The Kindness of Strangers.

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32 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:42 am

i am the palest shade of pale that i get too. looking forward to a little sun!

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33 Tara | Treble in the Kitchen February 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I’m not going to lie, I’m no help in the book department, but I love all of the new clothes that you got!! I have a romper and I actually love wearing it. It is sooo super comfortable and perfect for when you just want to feel cozy but not bundled up in sweats :) Let’s hope the week flies for you!!

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34 kat February 18, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Have to second (or third) Gone Girl and Hunger Games. Otherwise I’m no help, I haven’t read much lately. Have a great trip! Will be anxious for recap/pics!

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35 Brittany (healthy slice) February 18, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I just finished Blackberry Winter- easy read with a decent story. Great for beach!
Also, how long will you be in the Caribbean? Ill be there next Friday! :) wahoo vacation!

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36 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:42 am

i think until wednesday, considering extending til friday!

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37 Amber February 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Cutting for stone is one of the best books I’ve read in YEARS!! Amazing story about how everything happens for a reason… Also Girl in Translation. Have a great time relaxing in the sun!

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38 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:44 am

thanks! two new recommendations!

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39 Caroline February 18, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Gone Girl was awesome – I liked it so much I bought her other two books as well and devoured them! Enjoy your well deserved vacation. :)

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40 Julie February 18, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Just read Room couldn’t out it down, finished it in a day! Great read!

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41 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:45 am

i’ve heard a lot about this book. sounds intense!

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42 Tori February 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I would definitely describe it as intense, but just like Julie I think I read it in a day or two. I could NOT put it down.

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43 KP February 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Gone girl, Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, Memoirs of a Geisha

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44 Kat February 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm

You MUST read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Best story ever!

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45 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:46 am

thanks for the recommendation!

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46 Sally February 18, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I love the red dress!!

Book choice>Ape House by Sara Gruen (she also wrote Water for Elephants)

Much love,
Mom

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47 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:47 am

mom – it made me so excited that you commented on my blog. LOVE YOU!

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48 Jordan February 18, 2013 at 10:50 pm

“A Time in Between” by Maria Duenas. I just finished it and LOVED it. It’s historical fiction and focuses on a young women living through the spanish revolution. Definitely one I will continue to recommend to anyone!

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49 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

thanks jordan!

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50 Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate February 18, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Like one of the comments above, I too love anything by Barbara Kingsolver. Also, a few quick reads I just finished and enjoyed were The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March and Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand. Have a wonderful time on your vacation, you definitely deserve some relaxation!

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51 Erin February 19, 2013 at 4:49 am

Are you bringing Friday Night Knitting Club? I loved that book! Also, there’s 2 more books, so if you love it, then you’ll have more to read. I would recommend the Sookie Stackhouse series…what True Blood is based on. The books are super entertaining!

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52 tk February 19, 2013 at 7:01 am

I am not a reader. That being said, I could not put down the Hunger Games trilogy.

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53 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

read those books – they were a little addictive!

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54 Pam February 19, 2013 at 7:14 am

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a great beach read. I also just finished Gone Girl, A Thousand Gifts and Seven. Have a wonderful time. I love the romper! You will look soooo cute with your hair up in it! ENJOY!

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55 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

i saw that movie, it was cute. thanks for the other suggestions!

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56 Jonna Green February 19, 2013 at 8:43 am

Hi, I’ve read so many and have a huge list, but if you are brining The Friday Nigh Knitting Club, you should the other two called Knit Two and Knit the Season. Kate Jacobs also wrote another book called Comfort Food which is a fun and quick read also and involves a woman with a food show. This one is a stand alone so you wouldn’t have to read the Knit books to read this one. Have a great trip!

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57 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:50 am

i have already read friday night knitting club. i haven’t heard about comfort food. thanks for the suggestion!

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58 Emily February 19, 2013 at 9:09 am

If you haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” or “Dark Places” I highly, highly recommend them. Addicting!!

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59 Dana February 19, 2013 at 9:13 am

I just finished “The Night Circus” on vacation and loved it. Easy read, but not total fluff and kept me really intrigued all the way to the end. One of my all-time favorites is also “The Shadow of the Wind” another one I just couldn’t put down. I hate books I can “figure out” halfway through, but both of those surprised me in good ways.
Have a fabulous vacation!
(And thanks to everyone else’s suggestions I’ve now filled up my Kindle!)

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60 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

thanks dana! and yes, i love these book sharing posts! i’m set for months!

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61 Erica H. February 19, 2013 at 10:05 am

I always reccomend The Secret Life of Cece Wilkes. This book is soo good! And part of it takes place in NC.

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62 Jen February 19, 2013 at 11:21 am

i read that a couple years ago. love!!!

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63 Samantha February 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Have you read The Bloggess’ book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened? Soooo funny, perfect beach read!

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64 Kim February 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I second the The Night Circus!! Its so good I literally finished it and flipped to the start and re-read it immediately. Its just such a unique, beautiful story with lots of interesting characters and its very well written. Have a fun vacation!!

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65 Trish February 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I like to switch up different kinds of books on vacay – good mystery etc.. agreed with everyone Gone Girl. I also just read Sarah’s Key and the Kitchen House (amazing stories with a bit of history in them)

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66 taylor February 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Dive from Clausen’s Pier – Ann Packer
Where We Belong – Emily Giffin (really anything written by her is the perfect beach read!)

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67 Amalia February 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Some books I recently read and enjoyed: Crooked Letter Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka, Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah, and The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman.Also, if you’re a big reader, there’s a great website and corresponding app called Goodreads. You can record books you’ve read, keep track of ones you want to read. It will make recommendations based off our your book ratings as well! Enjoy your trip!

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68 Katherine February 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm
69 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers February 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm

You’re going to have such a good time! I’m crazy jealous. Warm weather would be so fabulous right now!

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70 Sarah February 19, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Hi! The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen is a great quick read and would be perfect for the beach! added bonus, the author is from Asheville and the book is based in N.C. Right now I’m reading the untethered soul, which might be a little much for a beach read, but maybe for later :)

Have a wonderful trip! I’m off to add all of these suggestions to good reads!! Thanks!

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71 cary February 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I was going to suggest the Sarah Addison Allen books, too! Loved Garden Spells. Way different than the serious stuff I usually read, but perfect for vacation.

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72 natalie@thesweetslife February 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Highly highly recommend Defending Jacob…I could NOT put it down!

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73 Marli February 19, 2013 at 11:40 pm

I suggested Wild by Cheryl Strayed on your fb post but I also suggest Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Silver Linings Playbook. Just as good as the movie but a little different twist to the story.

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74 Lauren K February 20, 2013 at 8:17 am

Love all your choices!! Summer dresses are the best. Also super cute that your Mom commented. Mine will comment on facebook or “like” my status a week later and it cracks me up! I wish I had reading suggestions but I just don’t read. SO close!

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75 Julie February 20, 2013 at 8:48 am

Have so much fun! I might be too late, but I second whoever recommended “Unbroken”, also “What Remains” by Carole Radziwill, anything by Gillian Flynn, and “The Book Thief”.

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76 Cait February 20, 2013 at 9:54 am

A voracious reader myself, I just spent a week on the beach in Tulum cranking out a couple novels. Strongly recommend Me Before You by JoJo Meyes – it starts out a little slow, but I got completely sucked in and was so worth it. Also second the recommendations for The Fault in Our Stars (get your tissues ready) and The Night Circus. Oh and you seriously need to read Gone Girl. I basically ignored my boyfriend for 48 hours when I read it over the summer. Have an amazing trip!

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77 Jodi February 20, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Blackberry Winter and Defending Jacob are great reads. Divergent and the second book, Insurgent, are AWESOME and I can’t recommend them enough. Gone Girl was great…til the ending. I wasn’t a fan of that. The Night Circus was different and good. The Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Devices series, both by Cassandra Clare. Discovery of Witches.

But NOT The Casual Vacancy. What a letdown that was!

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78 Erin February 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Anything by Tana French – so good!!! I brought one with me while in Austria last month and loaded another on my iPad as soon I finished the paperback :)

Enjoy your trip!

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79 Sophie February 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I am probably way too late on the book recommendation since I’ve been offline a few days..BUT…Language of Flowers is awesome. Beach read, page turner, but not fluff.. Can’t recommend it enough. Have a great time!
Sophie

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80 Helen February 28, 2013 at 7:09 am

Hope you had a great trip! Loving the beach dresses.

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