I don’t know about you, but reading has been my saving grace this past year. There are just so many negative headlines in the news to digest each morning, and John and I have been working our way through some pretty sad moments in our personal lives, too. Life is hard, but reading acts as the perfect escape from reality. I’ve been stealing moments practically every single day with a good book this past year, and especially so this summer. Keep scrolling for my list of top reads lately.
My Summer Reading List:
1. The Hotel Nantucket, Elin Hilderbrand: This book was a little over-the-top with its current day references to things like Instagram and blogging, but I read it from cover to cover in just a couple of days (I’m a slow reader, so that’s fast). It was lighthearted, focused a lot on the hotel industry, which I found fascinating, and there was a ghost mixed in, too! I also really loved the Nantucket setting. It’s the perfect summer beach or pool read.
2. Daisy Jones & The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid: So, I started reading this book last year, but just couldn’t get into it. Then, I randomly started the Amazon TV series, and it reignited my interest in the book. This book is written in a script-like format based on documentary style filming, which was hard to follow—that is, until I watched the show and had visuals to reference. I loved it after I had more context, and devoured the book quickly after that. Very cool rocker vibes, and I think it will definitely be a hit with you if you’re into 1960s/’70s décor, fashion, and music. The book, of course, is so much better than the show, though.
3. Where The Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens: Wow. This one was so unexpectedly captivating. I waited and waited to read it because I wanted to get past all of the crazy hype around the trending title, and it was worth it. Such a good summer read when temperatures are raging because you can really experience that sweltering southern heat described in the book. I loved the complex relationships in this story, and also thought it was interesting to try fathoming what it would be like to be completely on your own as a kid.
4. Love & Other Words, Christina Lauren: This one was a little more salacious than I felt like it needed to be, but it’s worth getting through those scenes to revel in this teenage friendship-turned-romance. The twist was unexpected (for me, anyway), and felt like a much deeper version of People We Meet On Vacation, if you liked that book.
5. Remarkably Bright Creatures, Shelby Van Pelt: I admit I was a little hesitant when I found out that much of the book is narrated by an octopus, but it was so brilliantly and creatively written that it felt natural. It wasn’t awkward for even one moment being able to read the thoughts of an animal in an aquarium. I hope they turn this one into a movie or television series.
6. The Simple Wild, K.A. Tucker: I knew going into this one that it was going to be pretty light and a “fast read,” if you will. It was, but I also was really surprised by the depth of it. I ended up breaking down into sobs at one completely unexpected moment toward the end of the book, and can’t wait to dive into the follow-up, which I’ve already ordered. The most striking thing about this book is the perspective you get of living in Alaska where there’s so little access to the kinds of everyday amenities and resources that most of us are used to. I don’t think I could do what Calla did.
7. A Gentleman In Moscow, Amor Towles: My sister has been recommending this book to me for more than a year, and I finally picked it up on a whim from a local bookstore when I was at the beach on vacation. It’s a little more “intellectual” compared to the rest of the books on this list since it deals with pretty heavy political issues, but it’s probably my favorite book I’ve read in years. You can’t help but root so hard for the main character and the friends he meets along the way while under house arrest in a hotel.
8. The Celebrants, Steven Rowley: I’m actually right in the middle of reading this book, and I bought it without knowing much about it beyond the Internet synopsis, but it’s really incredible so far. It deals almost exclusively with death and how our relationships evolve around the subject, which sounds depressing, but it’s actually the complete opposite. It’s hopeful and empowering, and really makes you see the good in living life to the fullest.
9. The Identicals, Elin Hilderbrand: I grabbed this book after loving the first book on this list, and it did not disappoint. Again, I loved the beach setting, and the fact that it focused on twin sisters. Reading this one helped me get through a pretty tough week in my life, so I think I’ll forever be grateful for the distraction it offered.
What’s on your summer reading list? I’ve got several unread books on my shelf right now, including Happy Place by Emily Henry, and Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano. I don’t really know anything about either book, but that’s not going to stop me from diving in head first. So far, everything I’ve read lately has felt like a breath of fresh air, even if the subject matter is a little tough to stomach. I think because it’s just something new and not my own reality, you know? Anyway, please do tell us about your favorite books in the comments below so we can keep adding to our bookshelves this summer (and beyond).
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