Summer Reading List Part 1

Ok, sooooooo…I haven’t shared by “recent reads” since last JUNE!! I’m going to be very concise with my descriptions and review otherwise this post will be 20 pages long! (After writing some of this, I’ve decided to break it into two parts or else it truly will be unbearably long!)


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

 This is the best book I’ve read in a LONG time. The writing is beautiful, the setting is unique (New Orleans swamp), the characters are interesting and well developed and the plot is perfect. Go get on the waiting list right now! (I was on the list for 4 months!)

 Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

You know Karin is my favorite. I get to see her in person in the fall through our local library!! I can’t wait and hope I get to meet her!! I absolutely devour her books when a new one comes out. I’ve actually had thoughts of starting over and reading them all again. We’ll see. This latest novel centers on Andrea who has recently discovered, after her mother’s death, that she didn’t know her mom at all. She decides to dive in and find out who she really was and learn everything she didn’t know about her mom. It’s fantastic!

 The Night Child by Anna Quinn

I can’t remember it. I even went and looked it up on Amazon and I still don’t remember it. I think we shall let that speak for itself.

 The Midnight Line by Lee Child

 I love Child’s Jack Reacher books. This was a little slow to start but gained steam (see the train metaphor I used there??) as Reacher departs the train in the middle of nowhere and discovers a nasty underbelly of the town. If you like Reacher books, you’ll enjoy this one too.

 Nine Perfect Strangers by Lianne Moriarty

 I just finished this. I wouldn’t recommend it. I kept waiting for it to click and, instead, it just went off the rails. Boo.

 You by Caroline Kepns

 If you’ve watched the Netflix show based on this book, you probably don’t need/want to read the book. I enjoyed the book MUCH better than the show, per usual. The story is basically about a seemingly innocent man in NYC who obsesses over his girlfriends until they’re dead. If you’re in the mood for creepy, this is a good one.

 The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

 This was ok. I enjoyed it but was disappointed. Do you ever feel like you’ve read so many books that they have to be OUTSTANDING for you to recommend them? I do. The main character is a 20-something artist returning to a summer camp where, 15 years earlier, she experienced tragedy. I think if it was shorter, it would have been more enjoyable because the story is good, it just goes on too long.

 Second Life by S.J. Watson

 I didn’t finish it…enough said?

 The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello

 A suburban mom Googles herself and finds out she has a sister that apparently died that she doesn’t remember. It was good. I’d say it’s a “if you have extra time at the beach” read.

 Dear Martin by Nic Stone

 One of my students truly educated me so much this year on racism. She was constantly telling me books to read, articles to check out, movies to watch all about racism and then we’d have great conversations as well. I joked with her that I needed a break from reading because I was really starting to hate white people. Of course, I kept reading and talking and educating myself and I won’t stop any time soon.

This centers on a 17-year-old boy who is struggling with racism and how it affects his life. He starts to write letters to Martin Luther King, Jr., to help him understand and comprehend what he and others are going through and hoping to gain wisdom simply by putting his thoughts to paper. It is upsetting, sad, scary and a book that EVERYONE should read and then find a teenager who’s in the midst of it to talk to about it.

 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 THUG (did you know that’s what it stood for?) is another book that centers around an African-American girl, Starr, who sees her best friend murdered for no reason and encounters racism in her own life as well. Again, it’s upsetting, sad, scary and a book that EVERYONE should read and discuss.

 Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Scmidt

 Another one of my girls recommended this one. It’s so good. It’s a heartbreaker. It’s short and sweet and sad. A 14-year-old boy lost his first love in childbirth and he’s determined to find his baby and at least see her face. You’ll love it.

 The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

 I hope I don’t have to tell you what this is about…if I do, where have you been the last 25 years?!?! I have been obsessed with this story since my 17-year-old self and friends went to see it on the opening weekend our senior year in high school. I’ve watched the movie countless times but had never read the book. The book, of course, WAS SOOOOO MUCH BETTER AND SCARIER!!! I absolutely loved it and want to read the sequels as well.

 The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

 If you’re not a true crime addict like me, you probably won’t enjoy this book. It is set during the time of the World Fair in Chicago and alternates chapters between the architects’ stories of getting the city ready for the fair and stories about how H.H. Holmes was murdering fair goers right under everyone’s noses. It’s nonfiction and fascinating if you’re into this sort of thing. Which I am.

 Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

 Again, I think you probably know the basics of this story, right? I had heard of it and new the basic premise (devil baby) but thought it might be a good read. It was awesome. So scary and creepy and everything that will keep you up at night! Matt and I then watched the original movie with Mia Farrow and that was great too. I just wanted everything in her apartment and her whole wardrobe.

 Intensity by Dean Koontz

 I’m not normally a Koontz fan but when I saw this on a list of super scary books, I figure I better give it a try. I absolutely loved it! Basically, a teenage girl survives a serial killer (who is one of the scariest characters ever) and finds out who is next intended victim is and does everything she can to save them.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

 If you’re not obsessed with Michelle (and Barack, honestly), I’m not sure we can be friends. Just kidding. Sort of. This was a fascinating read about her childhood, college years, meeting Barack and the White House. I learned a lot about our former first lady and her family. It’s a great read!

Year One by Nora Roberts

 My Mom recommended this one and it was very good. It’s the first in the series but I’ve only read the first one. It’s post-apocalyptic with good versus evil. It was a fast read and very entertaining.

Memory Man

The Last Mile

The Fix by David Baldacci

 These are the first three in the series. I enjoyed them immensely and will definitely read the rest. The main character, Amos Decker, a former football star whose career was cut short by a head injury, has a disorder that causes him to remember everything. I mean everything. He experiences an awful tragedy that causes him to go down a road he wasn’t expecting. Baldacci creates interesting characters, awesome plot points, and an all-around enjoyable read.

The Dependents by Katherin Dion

 I love Oprah to pieces but I rarely like her book club books. I didn’t like this one either. Sorry, Oprah! This is a widow’s look back on whether his marriage was as great as he thought it was. Snooze.

It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

 A fun and easy beach read. If you liked “Big Little Lies”, you’ll like this one too. Basically, a husband is dead…who did it? J

 Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

 This is the true story of a young lawyer who founded the Equal Justice Initiative and helps a man who has been wrongly accused of murder. It’s a tough, gripping look at our justice system.

The Dry by Jane Harper

 This was SO good. You should definitely read this one. A man heads to his small hometown after 20 years to attend his best friend’s funeral. Right before he left, the man was accused of murder and his best friend was his alibi. What if the alibi wasn’t true? Who really committed the murder? Absolutely riveting!

 The Book of Essie by Meghan Weir

 Awesome book. You should definitely read it this one too. Essie is the youngest child of a reality TV family. (Think The Duggars and you’ll get the picture.) Well, she gets pregnant and you can imagine how that goes. But is it really that simple? Such an awesome read!

 I See You by Clare Mackintosh

 It’s so fun to go back and remember these. This is one that made me say “OHHHH YEAH!!” Zoe is a divorced mom of two who takes the same route and the same train to work every day. She discovers she’s being stalked and that the stalker may also be a serial killer. The characters are interesting, the plot is crazy and twisty and the ending is fantastic. Read it!

 Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

 The premise sounds like a page-turner but I just thought it was ok. A popular boy is found dead by apparent suicide. A local “goth” girl befriends another girl and turns her over the to the dark side. The town is in the midst of “satanic panic” and the girls are right in the middle.

 Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

 Did you read “Little Fires Everywhere”? If you enjoyed it, you will enjoy this one too. A Chinese American family’s life is torn apart by tragedy. It’s a beautiful portrait of a family searching for answers.

 Educated by Tara Westover

 This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Ever. It might be in my top 5 now. When you read this book, you won’t believe it’s a true story. I took a deep dive after into Westover’s life and it is, in fact, all true. It’s the story of Westover, the youngest in a family of four, raised in Idaho by survivalists. So many unbelievable things happen that will amaze you when you discover what Westover has survived.

 A Spark of Light by Jodi Piccoult

 Jodi’s my girl. Her books never disappoint me. They always make me think about an issue in a new way and leave feeling enlightened. This centers around a murder at an abortion clinic and the intersection of all of the lives affected that day. So good.

Final Girls by Riley Sager

 Another “OH YEAH THIS ONE WAS SO GOOD” from my mental archives. Quincy is the only survivor of a brutal murder that took place in a cabin years ago. She has managed to build a life with a boyfriend, an apartment and a baking blog. She is one of “the final girls” which is a group of women who survived horrible tragedies. When one of the final girls is found dead by suicide, Quincy starts to question whether or not someone is after her.

 Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

 Three sisters have to leave their home after a huge fight. They have car trouble in a small town and are kidnapped and forced to endure awful things. This was a riveting and unique book that you should read.

 Only the Lucky by Linda Castillo

 Castillo writes books set in Amish country in Ohio. They are all murder mysteries and they are all awesome. Are they as fascinating if you’re not from around here? I’m not sure…let me know! J This one is a short story. An Amish girl is killed at a “rager” by being hit in the head repeatedly with a hammer. Who did it? Very good.

 A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo

 An Amish family’s barn is burned to the ground and the body of a teenage boy is found locked inside. Thrilling read!

 Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

A woman is in a coma. When she wakes up, she doesn’t remember anything except that she lies. I don’t remember this one very well so I’m guessing it wasn’t very good.

 Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

A friend of mine asked me to read this in honor of her dear friend who passed away. It was a wonderful book. A little girl, Rose, who has autism and is neglected finds a dog, Rain, and falls in love. One day, her dad lets the dog out in a rainstorm and the dog goes missing. She heads out to find her beloved dog. This one is a heartbreaker. You’ve been warned.

 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I don’t really remember it even after reading the synopsis on Amazon. Probably you should skip it?

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

 So creepy. So good. A girl is accused of killing a baby. Did she actually do it on her own or did her mother make her do it?

 I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

 A mother loses her son to a terrible car accident. She feels terribly guilty and flees to the English countryside. The police are also investigating a hit and run and somehow end up needing to talk to the mother. How is this all connected? Definitely keeps you guessing and wanting to see how it all ties together!

 Looking for Alaska by John Green

 Gabe had to read this for school so, since I love Green, I decided to read it too. It was ok. Teenagers probably love it. It’s basically the story of a boy searching for a girl that he’s secretly in love with. Snooze for me but maybe you or your teenager would like it!

Please share what you’ve been reading!!


3 responses to “Summer Reading List Part 1

  1. So agree on Looking for Alaska and Nine Erdect Strangers! Blah and I love both of those authors. Can’t wait to check out the others you liked!

  2. Looking for a next read, and thought to come back here – just reserved several titles based on your recommendations! I recently enjoyed The Essay – which I think you’d like too. by Robin Yocum, about the power of a good teacher 😉

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