Have you gotten much reading done this summer? I confess, I really haven’t made much time to read. That’s not to say I don’t have books to read. Quite the opposite! My “to-read” pile is growing faster than my “read” file.
I’ve mentioned in the past my love of books runs close to an unhealthy obsession of book hoarding. If I haven’t, then consider this your 411 on my love of books.
I should also mention that even though I haven’t done much reading for pleasure, I have packed my brain full of informative, helpful content through podcasts, magazine articles and blogs so that counts for something, right?
But if you want to ink out these last months of summer with some great reads, I have just the book list for you. Each of these recommendations are on my “to-read” list and I plan on finishing them before the start of the new school year (for us, that’s mid-August).
(PS, the following are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I might earn a few pennies.)
These are in no particular order (in case you were wondering).
What happens when the world’s greatest literary icon dies before she finishes the final book in her best-selling series? And what happens when she leaves that book in the hands of her unstable, neurotic daughter, who swears she’s not a real writer?
The Audacity of Sara Grayson by Joanie Elliot. In another world, I imagine this is my daughter and me (except I’m the unstable neurotic one in this story) And since I’m telling the truth here, I’ll probably read this one first. It sounds like the perfect summer read; witty yet engaging with a great plot.
In Talk Bookish To Me by Kate Bromley, we find the main character, Kara happily living a life of love as a romance novelist. But she’s lacking inspiration and dealing with her BFF’s upcoming wedding. Throw in an old ex-flame, and hilarity will ensue.
Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan promises to be one of those books you can’t put down. At first you’re launched into the 80s of Scotland, indie music, and two young friends, ready to face the adult world and the next you’re catapulted 20 years into the future where the truest of friendships stand up against the worst life has to give. I can’t say much more than that except, grab your tissues.
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell answers the question, what is it like to be a fly on the wall and be able to listen in on private conversations? What appealed to me about this book was the unconventional way the author introduces an office romance. It’s a story about love, friendship, personal growth, and the human condition. And? Funny.
In the Quick by Kate Hope Day takes us to outer space in this part sci-fi, part romance of a story. Day gives the less glamorous side of being an astronaut that we didn’t learn about as kids; a dirty, stinky, and exhausting career. June, the main character could easily be the role model today’s young women need. The author launches us into space in search of a missing and presumed dead crew, a chance at love, and the struggle of being a nonconforming woman in a man’s world.
Pretending by Holly Bourne. Pretending is not the kind of book you think it is. Bourne takes a stab at dating post #MeToo (trigger warning) in a way that’s dark, honest, and relatable. I don’t want to give too much away but it’s going to be difficult to put this one down.
Described as a modern day version of Sense and Sensibility, Ladies of the House by Lauren Edmondson, gives us wonderfully strong female characters, wrapped in a political scandal yet full of wit, determined to stand on their own and live for themselves.
The Clover Girls by Viola Shipman is a tribute to the friends who last a lifetime. I’m excited to read this one because the description reminds me of my three besties from middle school. We were inseparable, not to mention growing up in the same time as Liz. V, Rachel, and Emily. Shipman bounces you between the 80s and present day when one of the four Clover Girls reaches out to her BFFs from long ago, hoping to rediscover the magic that made them friends.
Annie Beaton’s Year of Positive Thinking by Mink Elliot has me intrigued. For one, Amazon gives it 3 1/2 stars but the description is so relatable, I feel like I HAVE to read it. Annie finds herself on her 50th birthday being let go from her job and being let go from her marriage when her husband declares he wants a divorce. I think there are a lot of us in the world like Annie, struggling to stand on our own and staying positive through it all.
Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer has me thinking about how art imitates life in so many ways.
Alison Hammer offers a deeply moving story of family and identity. When a DNA test reveals a long-buried secret, a woman must look to the past to understand her mother and herself.
See what I mean? I know this is the kind of book that’s going to make me hate loving it. I can feel it. I’m willing to go so far as to predict this is the kind of book I’m going to throw across the room. (You know the kind, I know you do.) Little Pieces of Me is told in two stories, simultaneously and decades apart.
I know what you’re thinking, “Nikki, you have a few romance novels in here,” and you’re right, I normally don’t read fiction that has any theme of romance but I like books that make you think, laugh and cry. Each of these end of summer reads checks at least one, if not all the boxes of my “must read” requirements.
One of those such books is Goods and Effects by Al Schnupp. Goods and Effects tells the story of Hannah, a recent widow and Mennonite in the late 1950s and 60s. Hannah knows she can’t keep the farm going after the death of her sons and husband so she does what she thinks is best and sells the farm in auction and carves out a living for herself as a traveling saleswoman.
The book is a very short read (166 pages) but the author packed a lot into the book. However, I ended up giving the book 3 1/2 stars on Goodreads because I felt the author wrapped it up too quickly. I wanted this book to last another 166 pages. TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE LESBIAN LIBRARIAN AND HER GIRLFRIEND! Schnupp DID pack a lot into the book but the problem is he could’ve added a lot more depth to the main characters. It almost felt rushed by the end of the book. Still, I think it’s worth picking up as it’s an enjoyable read with a wonderful cast of characters.
Have you read any of the books on my list? If so I’d love to know what you thought in the comments below.
Don’t forget to share any books I may have missed!
(Thankfully, we fall and winter reading to cozy up under a blanket with hot cocoa…see? I’m already looking forward to it!)