15 Must-Read Summer Books
I’m sure your kids have a summer reading list a mile long. And I’m sure you are signed up for all the Free Summer Reading Programs available. But summer reading isn’t just for kids! There’s nothing better than relaxing by the pool with a good book or sitting on the porch on a warm summer night with a page turner.
If you are looking for ways to fill your lazy summer days, here are some of my favorite books and a few on my own summer reading list!
1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This might be the best book I’ve read so far this year. It’s a beautiful, sweeping love story set in France during WWII. It’s one of those books that you just don’t want it to end because you’ve fallen in love with the characters. I also learned things that happened during WWII that I had never heard before. It was fascinating, heart-wrenching and beautiful all at the same time. If you only read one book this summer, make it this one.
2. Big Little Lies by Liana Moriarty
This is another book by Liane Moriarty, the author of The Husbands Secret. Someone ends up dead and you spend the entire book figuring out who and how. And while the subject of death seems dark and heavy, the antics of the school moms will have you laughing and remind you of your own kids’ elementary school dynamics. And by the end of the book you might just start saying, “oh calamity” anytime something goes wrong.
3. Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
I actually read this book last summer. It’s wacky and hysterical. The things Bernadette does will leave you shaking your head. She’s agoraphobic, is a disgrace as a private-school mom, feuds with neighbors and attempts to outsource as many of her day-to-day activities to a vitural assistant as possible. It’s completely zany. It’s an easy read and perfect for your beach vacation.
4. The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins
I really enjoyed this one. It was a page turner and I was really pulling for the heroine to pull herself together. It tells the story of Rachel who commutes back and forth to London each day and watches a seemingly happy couple whose house she passes each day. It’s kinda like Rear Window but on a train. It will leave you guessing to the end.
5. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I’m in the middle of this one right now. It’s beautiful and intricate and I’m really enjoying it. It’s set in WWII. I seem to be drawn to these lately. It’s about a blind French girl and a orphaned German boy whose paths collide in occupied France. The chapters alternate between the two characters which gives the book such a wonderful perspective.
6. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
This story juxtaposes two characters and bounces between present day and the early 1900s. Most of the book tells the story of Vivian who at 9 was placed on a train out west when her family died in a fire. While a fictional account, the situation is historically accurate. There was no foster care at this time so charitable organizations would put children on a train to more rural areas and give them to anyone who wanted a child. As you can image, many of the children ended up in unfortunate situations but many children, like Vivian persevered.
7. Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
This is a romantic comedy which follows a socially awkward man who is trying to find love through a scientific study of his creation. He encounters all kinds of bumps in his plan and his route to love is less than scientific. It’s cute and fun and another perfect beach read.
8. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
This book is by the same author as The Secret Life of Bees. I loved that book so I was anxious to read this one. It didn’t disappoint. It’s set in the South in the early 1830s and tells the story of two women who form an unlikely friendship and try to free themselves. Sarah, a white girl, trying to escape the bonds of patriarchy and Handful, a slave girl, trying to escape the bonds of slavery. It’s beautifully done.
9. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
This one is on my personal summer reading list. It tells the story of Verity, a British Spy whose plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. It sounds really interesting and obviously I’m drawn to WWII fiction since I’ve already mentioned 2 others above! It’s young adult so it should read pretty quickly.
10. At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
This is another one on my personal summer reading list. I loved Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and this is her latest. It tells the story of a young Philadelphia socialite who reluctantly follows her husband to a remote town in Scotland in search of the Loch Ness Monster.
Then here are 5 more in my Kindle queue for this summer:
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
- A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
- What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman
- The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
And don’t forget about my list of Best Selling Kindle Books under $4. There are some great titles on the list and a great way to fill up your Kindle inexpensively!
If you have any books you’ve read and loved recently, please leave a comment. I’m always on the hunt for new things to read!