S U M M E R is here! I’ve been living that summer life for a while now, because it was one of the biggest things I missed when I was living in Monterey. But officially now, we can say it’s SUMMER!
In all four seasons I can find reasons to read, and for summer, it’s sitting by the pool with an easy read, maybe with a frozen adult beverage in your hand. Or taking that summer road trip, and since I’m always the passenger, reading is what I’m up to almost the entire time we’re in the car. There is nothing quiet as relaxing as sitting outside, watching the sun set and reading a good book. I know I can’t be the only one! So I’ve rounded up nine books to read this summer. That’s three books a month, I know you can do it!!
SAME BEACH, NEXT YEAR by Dorothea Benton Frank
Not just because the word beach is in the title, but this is a good beach read. It’s interesting and fun, and I loved how everything wrapped up in the end. Here’s the synopsis:
While at the beach, two couples begin a friendship that lasts more than twenty years. After a chance meeting on the Isle of Palms brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again, their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy flaring from their imagined rekindling of old flames. As Adam and Eve get caught up on their lives, their partners strike up a deep friendship—and flirt with an unexpected attraction—of their own.
Year after year, Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl eagerly await their reunion at Wild Dunes, a condominium complex at the island’s tip end, where they grow closer with each passing day, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak. The devotion and love they share will help them weather the vagaries of time and enrich their lives as circumstances change, their children grow up and leave home, and their twilight years approach.
GIRL, WASH YOUR FACE by Rachel Hollis (NONFICTION)
This is one of the two nonfiction books I added. Generally, for easy reads I don’t want nonfiction. But I love Hollis’s upbeat encouragement, and she doesn’t make it hard to follow along. Plus, anytime I get to read books by people I follow on Instagram, it feels like I’m getting a little sneak peak into their lives. Looking for some gentle motivation – read this! You won’t regret it!!
THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah
I’m waiting for this one to show up in my e-library cart. I’m like 300th on the list, because apparently it’s just that good! Here’s what Modern Mrs. Darcy says about it:
This riveting coming of age story features a fabulous setting, amazing female leads, and ultimate redemption. But wow, is it tense in the meantime.
A PLACE FOR US by Fatima Farheen Mirza
This is on my ‘to read’ list. I’ve always loved multicultural books (Jhumpa Lahiri is still one of my favorite in that world, even though her best stuff is nonfiction) so I’m excited to read this story. Here’s Modern Mrs. Darcy again to tell you about the book: If you loved The Devil Wears Prada, you’ll love this spin off book by the same author. This book centres around Emily, the character played in the movie by Emily Blunt. She’s now in her thirties, no longer working as Miranda’s first assistant at Runway Magazine and she’s now an image consultant in LA. But she ends up going to visit her old friend in Conneticut after getting fired by a famous client, and finds a whole other client of her own there. This book centers around her, her new client and her old friend, all such different and unique characters, and has everything you want in a beach read: Infidelity, romance, strong women who remake themselves and who bond over their mutual goal to bring down the bastard that wronged them. I’m already ready for the movie version of this.
I adored Mirza’s slow-burning debut about an Indian-American Muslim family, which skillfully probes themes of identity, culture, family, and generational change. “I am to see to it that I do not lose you,” reads the epigraph (Whitman), and the story wonders if, despite our best intentions, one might nevertheless wound someone they love deeply enough to lose them, forever. The story opens with the oldest daughter’s wedding: the bride scans the crowd for her beloved yet rebellious brother, hoping he’ll appear despite being estranged from the family for years. Through a series of flashbacks, and in rotating points of view, Mirza examines the series of small betrayals that splintered the family, skillfully imbuing quotidian events—a chance meeting at a party, a dinner conversation about a spelling test—with deep significance, showing how despite their smallness, they irrevocably alter the course of the family’s life. The last section, told from the father’s perspective, is a stunner—but grab the tissues first.
AT HOME IN THE WORLD by Tsh Oxenreider (NONFICTION)
I actually started this book several months ago, but was a little bit deterred by a less-than-glowing review. What I remember about the review was that they didn’t love the book because they said that Tsh just recounted her family’s trip around the world. I read about twenty percent of the book and lost interest. But, last weekend I opened it back up and read the rest of the book in less than twenty-four hours. Guys, I kinda loved it!! I LOVE the conclusion she draws at the end – I feel like I’m so on the same page. And I loved reading about all of her families travels. If you have the wanderlust bug at all, I think this book is worth pushing through (and I only had to push through the first quarter of the book!).
THE PERFECT COUPLE by Elin Hilderbrand
Something about summer makes me think of New England and Nantucket… even though I’ve never summered up there. Maybe it’s my longtime love of J.Crew that makes me think of seersucker and the northern coastline. Either way, when I read this book was set in Nantucket, I was sold. Also, I have a sweet friend named Celeste, so there’s that too.
From Modern Mrs. Darcy: Well this is new: a murder mystery from Nantucket novelist Hilderbrand that brings back beloved past characters. Celeste and Benji’s wedding is supposed to the big event of the season … until Celeste finds her maid of honor’s body floating in the bay on her wedding day. She was up before dawn because she was sneaking away from the scene of the festivities with a packed bag. Everyone thought Celeste and Benji were the perfect couple, so what is going on? As the Nantucket police open their investigation, the timeline moves back and forth between the wedding weekend and the start of the couple’s relationship, allowing the reader to slowly put the pieces together. This easy-reading mystery features well-developed characters, a solid plot, plus the food and style readers expect from Hilderbrand.
WHEN LIFE GIVE YOU LULULEMONS by Lauren Weisberger
One, love the title. Two, I can’t wait to read this book because as Gracie from Edit Seven says,
If you loved The Devil Wears Prada, you’ll love this spin off book by the same author. This book centres around Emily, the character played in the movie by Emily Blunt. She’s now in her thirties, no longer working as Miranda’s first assistant at Runway Magazine and she’s now an image consultant in LA. But she ends up going to visit her old friend in Conneticut after getting fired by a famous client, and finds a whole other client of her own there. This book centers around her, her new client and her old friend, all such different and unique characters, and has everything you want in a beach read: Infidelity, romance, strong women who remake themselves and who bond over their mutual goal to bring down the bastard that wronged them. I’m already ready for the movie version of this.
AFTER YOU by Jojo Meyers
I didn’t read the first book – Me Before You – but I did watch the movie and wasn’t a fan, much like a lot of people, at the storyline. But, I saw that she continued the story in After You, and to be honest, I liked it! I’m even planning on reading the one after this, Still Me. My biggest frustration with the story line in Me Before You, as most people’s, was (spoiler alert) that Will takes his own life. But in After You, everyone is left to deal with what that feels like, and she does a great job of not promoting it. I think it’s the moral dilemma that makes these books so interesting. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.
THE SECRET TO SOUTHERN CHARM by Kristy Woodson Harvey
This book is on my list, as is her first book, Slightly South of Simple. But The Secret to Southern Charm peeked my interest just because there’s a story line around military. I haven’t read the book yet, so I can’t review it yet, but the Magnolia Mamas said this about the book: Sloane just learned her military husband is missing in action. Luckily her mother Ansley, and her two sisters are there two help pick up the pieces and they are surrounded by a community of supportive characters.
There’s nine summer books! Which ones are you going to read? Or are you going to be like me and read them all??