It’s time to get the Summer reading list ready! Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner and it’s the official start of summer. Here on the Jersey Shore, we’re gearing up for sunshine, BBQ’s with friends and family and plenty of time for reading.
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Making time for yourself
Is there anything more relaxing than summer reading? Sitting on a beach, by a pool, or a nice comfy chair in your backyard or porch, it doesn’t matter where you are when you dive into that first summer read of the season. The feeling is the same.
For one thing, I’ve lived at the Jersey Shore most of my life, summer reading means grabbing my beach chair and heading to our local beach on my bike.
Of course, enjoying a full day at the beach is my first choice, but an early evening visit to enjoy the cool night while reading a book is incredible. The crowds have left, the sun has set, and there’s a peacefulness that’s hard to describe.
Just enjoying the sounds of the ocean releases any stress I accumulated over the course of the day.
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”~Frederick douglass
My Top 10 Summer Reading List
This was a tough list to compile considering all the wonderful new books by some of my favorite authors. However, after doing a lot of research and trying to narrow down the list to ten books, I decided to go with my favorite authors and a then sprinkle in a few new ones.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Because I loved the book Eat, Live, Pray which Gilbert wrote years ago, I was curious to see if City of Girls would be just as good. I enjoyed her writing style, and this new book received a lot of buzz from several different sources.
From the Publisher: Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2019 by Oprah.com, Real,Simple, Buzzfeed,Cosmopolitan, GoodReads, PureWow, Vulture, The Millions and more.
Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
Jean Kwok’s debut novel Girl in Translation was a moving coming of age story about the immigration experience of a young girl. Consequently, I want to give this author another try with Searching for Sylvie Lee. Once again, the author addresses the struggles with immigration but adds mystery and family drama into the mix. It looks promising.
From the Publisher: Already one of 2019’s MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS according to: Marie Claire, Publishers Weekly, Good Housekeeping, Huffington Post, Book Riot, Nylon,BookBub, Crime Reads, She Reads, Society19, The Everygirl, and more
Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand
I’ve read several of Elin Hilderbrand books in years past, and they’re the perfect summer read! For one thing, Summer of ’69 takes place in Nantucket where the author lives, so if this book is similar to her other books, I expect to feel as if I’m vacationing there! This is her first Historical Fiction novel.
From the Publisher: “Superb…Hilderbrand hits all the right notes about life in a tightly knit family, and this crowd-pleaser is sure to satisfy both her fans and newcomers alike.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
The Friends We Keep by Jane Green
The Friends We Keep received high praise as one of summer’s hot book about friendships and disappointments. The question is, can there be redemption? For this reason, I’m looking forward to throwing this book in my beach bag, because it seems to have all the components for the perfect light summer read.
From the Publisher: “Love, grief, and forgiveness illuminate this compelling summer read.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Green writes with a clear, unfettered voice, filling this page-turner with plot twists and hinting at the power of forgiveness.”—Publishers Weekly
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
I have high expectations for The Most Fun We Ever Had as one of my favorite summer reads. This debut novel garnered a lot of buzz plus it has family drama and humor. It sounds entertaining and I can’t wait to start reading.
From the Publisher: “A sharp, sly family story of feminine guile and guilt…A fun and brimming tale…Divine.”
“Lombardo’s impressive debut is a gripping and poignant ode to a messy, loving family in all its glory. She juggles a huge cast of characters with seeming effortlessness, bringing each to life with humor, vividness and acute psychological insight.”
—Madeline Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Circe
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Not only do I like to diversify my summer reading list with a few different genres, but I like them to be thought-provoking. For this reason, The Nickel Boys was an obvious choice with topics such as the Civil Right and Jim Crow laws. This looks super interesting.
From the Publisher: “Whitehead’s brilliant examination of America’s history of violence is a stunning novel of impeccable language and startling insight.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Whitehead’s magnetic characters exemplify stoicism and courage, and each supremely crafted scene smolders and flares with injustice and resistance, building to a staggering revelation. Inspired by an actual school, Whitehead’s potently concentrated drama pinpoints the brutality and insidiousness of Jim Crow racism with compassion and protest. . . . A scorching work.” —Booklist, starred review
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
What can I say, I loved The Handmaid’s Tale and I’m obsessed with the television series so I have to read The Testaments this summer – period.
From the Publisher: “Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” —Margaret Atwood
The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr
Billed as a sexy and satisfying read, who doesn’t like that for a summer read? It’s going in my beach bag. But seriously, The Unbreakables is getting a lot of positive reviews and highlights strong women which I always enjoy reading about.
From the Publisher: “Artful, feminist, and emotionally gripping. The Unbreakables is a remarkable tribute to a woman’s strength in the face of heartbreak and adversity.” — Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient
“Sit back and enjoy this sexy and satisfying read about a woman who has no choice but to start over after a massive betrayal. The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr is an empowering read about love, sex, friendship, and everything in between.”- — Brenda Janowitz, Popsugar
The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
Kristin Harmel is a new author for me, but I couldn’t resist adding The Winemaker’s Wife to my list because of the praise it received and the comparison to The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. It takes place during WWII which I find fascinating. I have high hopes for this book.
From the Publisher: “Love and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption combine in a heady tale of the ever-present past…fantastic!” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris
“This book of historical fiction is also a surprising story of love, courage, and the resiliency of the human spirit….[Harmel] manages to draw her audience in, even to the point of unexpected tears at the story’s end..” (Jewish Book Council)
The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth
I just can’t resist a good psychological thriller any time of the year, so The Mother-in-law is a must read for me this summer. It’s gotten fantastic press from several book sites, check out the praise from the publisher. It looks to be quite entertaining.
From the Publisher: “Deliciously entertaining!” —People Magazine’s “People Pick”
• Entertainment Weekly’s “MUST List”
• O Magazine’s “15 Best Beach Books of the Year So Far”
• Bustle “Best Book of April”
• Refinery29 “Best Book of April”
• Cosmopolitan “Best Book of April”
• Woman’s Day’s “27 Fiction Books of 2019 to Add to Your Reading List ASAP”
• BookBub’s “Biggest Books of April”
• PopSugar’s “30 Must-Read Books of 2019”
Provided that we have good weather this summer, I plan on spending most of reading time outdoors. Leave a comment and let me know what books are on your reading list or any suggestions you have for mine!
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