Now that I have some new Bluetooth earbuds for audio books (thanks Sudio!) my summer reading goals have moved to the next level. Years and years ago I LOVED to read but to be completely honest I haven’t been able to actually read for such a long time. I can’t concentrate with the kids all running around and when it’s quiet at night I can barely keep my eyes open.
Having the books read to me is a total game changer! I use these Niva earbuds. They’re comfy and stay put at the gym and come in their own self charging case which I LOVE. Use code SWEETERSIDEMOM for 15% off any pair. And if you haven’t signed up for Audible I swear you won’t be disappointed. I’ve heard a lot of people hesitate to sign up because they’re worried the narrators voices will annoy them but you can RETURN audio books!
Have you seen my really fun book log coloring page printable!
Anyway, here are 20 books for summer reading from my personal list. If I get through all of these I’ll share more. I’ll put a little blurb with each book link and star the ones I’ve read with my own review.
My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry
This sounds like a tale of discovery as a little girl learns about her beloved grandmothers stories in their real life origins through a series of apology letters.
Reviews of this book remind me of Hamptons level drama with a somewhat Cinderella undertone- step sisters, working class amidst high society and what happens when they “mix”. Beach read alert!
A high school murder mystery… three people connected in some way to the victim. Hoping this thriller is a page turner and good for a long drive!
An English mansion + an off kilter beautiful couple + a woman desperate for friendship and a crime destined to mark their lives forever. Sounds like a psychological tale of tangled lives.
Holocaust historical fiction books will forever captivated me. This story tells the tale of a real life holocaust survivor, a Jew forced to tattoo the arms of his fellow prisoners. These books are the kind I refer to in my head as “the important kind” and the reviews promise it will not disappoint.
Boarding school, suspense, girl-cliques and a tangle of spiritual world excitement. Sounds like something my Harry Potter/Gossip Girl loving side will love. I swear this has been on my list for a decade. My sister in law recommended it as well as a friend I knew back in art school.
I can’t imagine stepping into a classroom for the first time at 17 years old. Can you? I also can’t imagine being as isolated as this author who sought an educated life without much help as you and I would know it. Memoirs are one of my favorite genres and Tara Westover’s has been literally everywhere I turn lately. Definitely a must read this summer.
Claude is five and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves dresses and wants to be a princess. What happens when families keep secrets? What happens when they don’t? Change is always hard for families and especially hard for parents. But change quite literally changes the world.
Critics say this trilogy has undertones of Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Enders Game and Lord of Flies- they needn’t say any more honestly. I’m in already! My sis-in-law highly recommended this one too.
I wasn’t sure what to make of this book at first. What would you do if you knew the exact date you would die? Four siblings find out exactly that and the book takes you through each of their experiences after learning their date. I could’ve done without the graphic sex descriptions but you can skip over them and not lose anything from the story. This was such a fast listen for me because I really wanted to know what happened to each sibling!
Oh man, how I loved this book! It was a hauntingly beautiful story of loneliness, heartache and love with just a thread of murder mystery running right through the middle of it. I totally fell in love with the marsh girl and rooted for her until the last word. So hoping this becomes an amazing movie!
I’m in the middle of this one right now on audible and like it so far. It’s an adventure tale of two college friends who head out on a canoe trip in the wilderness. A forest fire and an attempted murder threaten the whole trip. Tip: the narrator is sloooooow so speed it up to 1.5!
I don’t know much about this one to be honest. It comes highly recommended and promises a story full of mythology and wonder. That’s enough to sell me.
I told you I can’t resist historical fiction! This story brings us back to Nazi Germany times then pulls us out into modern times. The Huntress is an elusive Nazi murderess who threatens past present and future. I love when books come at you from different time periods and perspectives with different characters that get intertwined whether they realize it or not. Can’t wait to get into this one!
My friend Kacia recommended this one on her instagram stories and I downloaded it right away. It’s queued up next for me. Who doesn’t have habits they want to change or habits they want to make?
I know I’m late to the game on this one but I totally loved it. I can relate so much to a big family and the setting of the Richardson world. But what happens secrets come out and boundaries are crossed? Misunderstanding and misinformation can destroy all in its path. I didn’t want this one to end and wish the story had continued! Reese Witherspoon is turning this one into a mini series on HBO I think.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine*
So I almost scrapped this book. In the beginning I just could not understand why so many people loved this book. Eleanor was AWFUL, there was nothing redeeming about her at all. But a few IG friends urged me to push through and keep going and I’m SO glad I did. I totally fell in love with Eleanor and her story and with Raymond and Sammy. You’ll fall in love with them all too if you give it a fair chance. Don’t give up on this one no matter how dull you find the beginning! Dreaming of who the movie cast for this one will be. Oh the possibilities!
I’m not going to summarize this one because all the descriptions are lengthy and complicated but they all tell of a compelling and devastating story of strong women overcoming so much in the wake of the end of WWII. The lengths they’ll go to remain loyal to loved ones and keep promises. Historical fiction at its best.
Thin Air is described as an edge of your seat thriller. Enough to hook me honestly but then it has the undertones of a Face On The Milk Carton story as Jessica recognizes herself as a three year old kidnapping victim. Hoping this reads like a favorite crime show series!
Sophie Kinsella used to be one of my favorite authors in my college days. I loved her beach read style books. This story by Maddie Dawson seems to have a similar style and I’m hoping for a romantic comedy-esque plot line in the pages. A failed marriage, unexpected love and oddball friends made alone the way. What’s not to love?!
Maureen OConnor says
I love your list. Thank you for putting it together. I also love historical fiction and holocaust books (weird to say love about holocaust but you know what I mean) I can read bec my kids are grown but I am not doing as much as I would like. I love the process of reading but it might be time for me to try Audible. I am really ready for a beach read (and a beach!). Elin Hildebrand is my current favorite beach read author. I am trying to finish The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton. He spent 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit because he was poor and black. He spoke at my sons college graduation last weekend. I feel it is important to read but so intense. Before that I read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It is about several death row cases that he took on in Alabama – Anthony’s was one of them. I NEED some LIGHT fiction!
My favorite authors are Mary Kay Andrews, NNcy Thayer and Elin Hildebrand. I like books that don’t preach messages and that are light entertainment. Easy reads to take you away! You should check these authors out!
Nancy Thayer ugg I hate typos!!!