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Can you believe it is almost summer?! This mama is so excited. I am looking forward to sitting outside, by the pool, at the airport, etc. with a good book in my ears or hands. My to-read list is growing every day, thanks in part to goodreads.com and to the What Should I Read Next Podcast.
So, I’ve compiled a list of books I plan to read this summer and a few books I’ve read but highly recommend. For some reason, I thought people liked to just read fluffy summer reads, but I have found that people want to read all kinds of books during the summer. I heard someone say “any book you read on the beach is a beachy read.” So, I guess that’s true for summer reads too.
My Summer Reading List
- Snobs by Julian Fellows: is described as a satirical and snippy read that takes you through the courtship and wedding of a middle class, social climbing British young woman, and an aristocratic gentleman. This book is described as a light, fun, and delectable portrait of class and people who are polar opposites. As if you needed another reason to put this on your to read shelf, Fellowes was a writer on the popular show Downton Abbey.
- Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han: I’ve read the other two in this series and I need to finish it. I’ve loved both of the previous books. (You can read my review of the first book here.) Always and Forever Lara Jean is all about the senior year and how perfect her life is…But then things start to change, how will Lara Jean cope with the change? I can’t wait to find out!
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. Mcmanus: This book had me at the synopsis… “The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars.” Five strangers walk into detention but only four leave detention alive. A book where everyone is a suspect and everyone is hiding something is right up my alley. If you look at my Goodreads profile you will see I love a good mystery/suspenseful novel.
- White Houses by Amy Bloom: I can usually take or leave historical fiction, but this is one I am dying to read. FDR is my favorite president, I think he did some AMAZING things during his time (hello, elected 3 terms). White Houses is all about his wife Elenor, Lorena Hickok and the forbidden affair between two women.
- Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk: This is a middle-grade novel that was recommended by The Read-Aloud Revival podcast. I haven’t given much stock to middle-grade novels, but this one sounds like a good, quick read about identity and belonging.
- Geekerella by Ashley Poston: The synopsis and the cover of this book make me want to just pick it up and devour it. A geeky retelling of Cinderella, Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie (she is obsessed with the original Starfield) and the prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball where the winner gets to meet the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle saves up money from the Magic Pumpkin food truck and takes her dad’s old costume determined to win. This book is described as “part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.” Which I totally believe in the magic of fandom…Huge Potter Head here.
- Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker: I love books that help us normal people feel like we aren’t alone. Jen Hatmaker uses her own triumphs and tragedies to remind us that we too are fierce women, and even the most put together people have pitfalls and normal lives. But the thing I am excited most in this book is she reminds us that we do have moxie and we can get back up and get back out there, we can choose to live in the moment.
- Into The Water by Paula Hawkins: You didn’t know me when I read The Girl on the Train, but I seriously LOVED that book. I’ve read it twice, so I must read this book! I’ve been wanting to read it for a little while but it always has such a long hold list at the library, I might have to buy it. It sounds like a great suspenseful mystery/thriller, my favorite.
- I Shall Be Near You by Erin Lindsay Mccabe: Another What Should I Read Next recommendation. Like I said before, I am not a huge lover of historical fiction, but I am really excited to pick this up. I Shall Be Near You is about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man so she can fight beside her husband in the Civil War. I love this premise so much, especially because it is inspired by a real female soldier’s letters home. Something I was surprised to learn, happened a lot more than we thought during that time.
- The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin: If you don’t listen to the What Should I Read Next podcast, you really should because this is another recommendation. Anne had me at if you like Grey’s Anatomy you will love this book, plus it has this mystery element to it too. Sign me up!
- Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell: Surprise, this was not recommended by the What Should I Read Next podcast. But it was recommended by a fellow blogger. She shared that she was just wandering the shelves and found it. She described it as a modern take on Wuthering Heights and Gilmore Girls with some magical realism thrown in. Dear Reader is about a high school senior who is looking for her missing English teacher when she meets Heathcliff reincarnate.
- The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert: This has been described to be as a YA horror/fantasy novel. I love a good thriller so hopefully, this will not be too scary for me to enjoy. Alice and her mother are always on the move, trying to stay a step ahead of their bad luck. Her grandmother, the author of a cult-classic book of dark fairy tales suddenly dies and her mother is stolen. In order to find her mother, Alice must travel to the world her mother always told her to stay away from.
- The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan: This book is going to be one of those stories that will stay with you for a long time, or at least I think it will. The Weight of Him is a novel about loss and resilience, taking a look at what can be achieved when we take a stand in our lives. The story of Billy Brennan who undergoes an unforgettable journey as a way to bring his family back together and reignite everyone’s hearts after a tragedy.
My Summer Reading Recommendations
- The Royal We by Heather Cocks: This is the epitome of a summer read. You have a true royal love story here. The characters are funny and witty, which makes this a hard book to put down. You can see my full review of The Royal We here.
- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: This is another great book for summer. When I think about people reading this book I picture them by the pool, I don’t know why. It is just such a cute, wholesome book about a quirky teenager who finds herself in the middle of the unique teen drama. You can read my full review here.
- PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han: This is book two in the Lara Jean trilogy. This was a cute follow up to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Lara Jean suddenly finds herself in a real relationship. But a boy from her past suddenly shows up and Lara Jean wonders if she can be in love with two boys at once. This book reminds us that love is never easy, but maybe that is part of what makes it so amazing.
- The Bookshop On the Corner by Jenny Colgan: is such a sweet, lighthearted book for summer. Nina Redmond is a librarian who loves being a literary matchmaker, the only problem is… She just lost her job. Instead of giving up she is determined to make a new life for herself. She moves to a small village MANY miles away and buys a van, transforming it into a bookmobile/mobile bookshop. There is love, adventure, magic and a feeling of being home.
- Faithful by Alice Hoffman: Looking for something with a little more grit? Try Faithful. Shelby Richmond was just an ordinary girl until a tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed and Shelby walks away with heavy guilt. I loved Faithful because it is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion and suffering all the way to true happiness. Shelby is such a believable, real, and endearing character that you can’t help but fall in love with her. Faithful does a fantastic job of capturing the ache of loneliness and the joy of finally finding yourself. It is a great snapshot of a young woman finding herself and her way in the world.
- The Restorer by Amanda Stevens: This is an oldie that I don’t think got a lot of hype, but I love it for summer. Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer who also sees ghosts. She is sent to Charleston to restore an old grave and happens upon a recent murder. The clues to the killer and his other victims are found in the headstone symbolism. Her love interest Devlin needs her help to solve the crime, but he is followed by a ghost who is feeding off his warmth to sustain their presence with his energy. This is the first part in the Graveyard Queen series.
- The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter: I debated putting this on my summer reading recommendations list because it definitely is not for everyone. This is a thriller and it does have some graphic parts, but for people who are looking for a real cold-case thriller and psychological suspense, this book is for you. The Good Daughter is packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart.
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: I LOVE THIS SERIES! This is book one in The All Souls Trilogy and it starts with a spellbound witch, a centuries-old vampire, and a mysterious manuscript that draws them together. Discovery of Witches is a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. I love the characters so much, Diana is such a strong heroine and Matthew Clairmont is a great match for her. This smart, sophisticated story is a great cross between Anne Rice novels and the Twilight series, but with a nice dose of historical realism.
- My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman: This was a cute read for book club a few months ago that we all liked. Elsa is seven years old and a little different from others. Her grandmother is seventy-seven and crazy, she and her grandmother share stories and a language from the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everyone is different and that’s ok. When Elsa’s grandmother dies she leaves a series of letters for Elsa to deliver, apologizing to people she’s wronged. It leads Elsa on a great adventure.
- The Curious Charms of Arther Pepper by Phaedra Patrick: Such a cute story of a loveable 69-year-old man embarks on a life-changing adventure a year after his wife dies. He finds a beautiful charm bracelet he’s never seen before and decides to find out what it means. He ends up traveling around the world to find out the truth about his wife and her secret life. But really he finds out about himself and life’s infinite possibilities.
- Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen: I just finished this book and it was a good one. Guess who recommended it to me… What Should I Read Next, you’re right. This is a historical fiction set to the backdrop of WWII at a Nazi boarding school. The main character is a Jewish girl turned spy who infiltrates the boarding school in order to get some information to save the world. The story is a really quick read, and just like today’s high school, there are all kinds of drama.
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple: I read this book a few years ago, but it is one of those books that when you hear it mentioned you think, “Oh yeah, I liked that book.” The characters are well developed and the book actually had me laughing out loud in a few spots. It’s a cute story about the mother-daughter relationship in an absurd world.
I would love to know if you’ve read any of these books or if you think you’ll pick on up this summer. I am also always looking for book recommendations so if you have any please let me know!