All Booked | Catching Up After Maternity Leave in Santa Barbara

Parenthood Can’t Stop Bookworm Tendencies

The Travelling Companions, 1862. Artist: Augustus Leopold Egg | Credit: Birmingham Museums Trust / Unsplash

This edition of All Booked was originally emailed to subscribers on July 5, 2022. To receive our literary newsletter in your inbox, sign up at

Hello, book lovelies!

I am back! It has been a few months since my last All Booked! newsletter. My husband and I welcomed our first child in March, and I took a few months to soak in all the baby snuggles before coming back to work. Even in the whirlwind of becoming a new parent, I was able to read a few books while I was gone. In my last newsletter, I wrote about my love for fictional murder, and I must admit, since my daughter was born, those stories are a little more difficult for me to consume. I’m sure I will find my way back there eventually, but for now, I’m enjoying my time exploring some other genres. I want to highlight a few of my favorite reads from the past few months below:

I am a big believer in going into a book knowing as little as possible. I try not to read too much of the synopses or reviews, since most of them over-share. My pitches below are short and sweet just for that reason.

Credit: Courtesy

I picked up There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura because one of my favorite book podcasts, Books Unbound, buddy-read it with their listeners. It follows a woman in her thirties who has experienced extreme burnout at her last job, and she is on the search for an easy job. We join her as she cycles through several jobs and discover along with the main character (spoiler alert!) that there really is no such thing as an easy job. 

Credit: Courtesy

If you are looking for a delightful and inspiring read, then look no further than Julia Child’s My Life in France. Julia Child’s story seems to be everywhere I look nowadays, but I picked this up because I wanted to hear directly from the queen herself. Written in the last few months of her life, Julia Child recounts her experience living in France. Be warned that this book will make you want to quit your job, buy a one-way ticket to Paris, and order sole meunière as soon as you leave the airport. You will fall in love with food right alongside with Julia. Seeing these experiences through her eyes romanticizes France and food in such a way that makes you question if you really love anything quite like Julia loves French food. 

Credit: Courtesy

For those of you who have been here since the beginning of All Booked!, you know that my favorite author is Taylor Jenkins Reid. Reid is publishing a new novel this August. To celebrate her new book and to prepare myself, I decided to check off another one of her backlists. I would classify her earlier books as romance but with much more substance than you may expect, and One True Loves is no exception.

We follow Emma, whose husband went down in a helicopter crash, as she deals with her grief and moving forward. Three years later, she is engaged to another man when she gets a call from her husband that he has survived the crash and is coming home. Emma is forced to make an impossible choice. I laughed and cried, and my heart swelled up to twice its size.

Reply to this email and let me know some of the books you have been enjoying lately. I’m looking for some more fun summer reads to add to my list.

Your smitten bookworm, Emily


Below you will find a few bookish events coming up in Santa Barbara. If you are hosting a bookish event in Santa Barbara, be sure to submit the event to our online events calendar.

Braille Institute Workshop: All About Audiobooks

Tuesday, August 9, 11 a.m., virtual 

Sign up for Indy Today to receive fresh news from, in your inbox, every morning.


We at the Independent get many books sent to us by local authors, sometimes too many! It’s practically impossible for us to read and review them all, but just because we are busy bees does not mean that they aren’t worth the attention. In an attempt to not completely drop the ball, we have compiled a list of books here that have a local spin. They are all either written by a local author, feature someone in our community, or have another tie to Santa Barbara. I urge you to look through this list. Perhaps you will find your new favorite read!

Oil and Water: Stories from the Windward Shore, Terry Dressler

Birds of the Central Coast, Debra Ellen Brinkman

American as Apple Pie: An Autobiography, Rodney H. Chow

Wheels Up: A Novel of Drugs, Cartels, and Survival, Jeanine Kitchel, Jill Logan, and Jennifer Redmond

Romeo’s Breakfast, Gary Delanoeye

Alameda, David Russo

Santa Fe Psychosis, Max Talley

The Ghost and the Greyhound, Bryan Snyder

At Heaven’s Door: What Shared Journeys to the Afterlife Teach Us about Dying Well and Living Better, William Peters

Off-Script: a mom’s journey through adoption, a husband’s alcoholism and special needs parenting, Valerie Cantella

Werewolf, David Alton Hedges

The Whisper of a Distant God, David L Gersh

The Premonition, Michael Lewis


Credit: Courtesy

Indy Book Club is a monthly community book club hosted by the Santa Barbara Independent and the Santa Barbara Public Library, where we read and discuss books in a wide range of genres. Join in on the literary fun!

July’s Indy Book Club Selection:

The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Britain, the not-too-distant future.

Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test. He wants his family to belong.

Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress.

When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death. How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?

Get Your Copy: Borrow a physical copy from the Santa Barbara Public Library or listen to the audiobook on Libby or Hoopla.

If you are a local author, host book events in the Santa Barbara area, or have any other fun bookish tips for us, please send your recommendations for consideration to

Support the Santa Barbara Independent through a long-term or a single contribution.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.