2019 Summer Reading List

May 21, 2019 Book Lists 25

2019 Summer Reading List


Summer reading means something a bit different to everyone. Some of you like to put their brains completely on vacation with fun, easy reads. Some of you like an action-packed page turner. Some of you want something with a bit more substance. And some of you might like to head off the beaten path.

Personally, I like books you can fly through, books you don’t have to work too hard on, and books you can get easily immersed in. I avoid books that demand to be read in perfect peace and quiet (last time I checked, the beach and pool generally have screaming kids around!).

I’ve read every book that appears on this list and, as always, will continue to add new selections throughout the summer. And, check out My Most Anticipated Books of  Summer 2019 (i.e. books that will be published later this summer, many of which I haven’t read yet).

Stay tuned tomorrow for Episode 20 of the Sarah’s Book Shelves Live Podcast…where Susie from Novel Visits and I count down our Top 10 All-Time Favorite Summer Reads!

A couple elements are returning from last year:

  • Printable Cheatsheet – the Summer Reading Guide in quick recommendations in PDF format for easy printing (great for taking to the bookstore or library!). Download for free below!
  • #1 Picks for Each Category – I highlighted my very favorite book in each category in the Guide (Something Fun, Something Intense / Fast-Paced, Something With A Bit More Substance, and Something Different). Stay tuned because these picks could change as I add more books to the list throughout the summer!

Previous Summer Reading Lists: 2013201420152016, 2017, 2018

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).

2019 Summer Reading List

Latest Additions (July 12, 2019)

City of GirlsCity of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Fiction – Literary (Release Date: Jun 4, 2019)
480 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Vivian Morris looks back on her unconventional life in New York City…beginning in the 1940’s when she was sent to live her with Aunt Peg above a small theater (the Lily Playhouse), kicking off a free-spirited life of pleasure, love, and friendship.

My Thoughts: I almost didn’t read this novel because I’m not much into historical fiction or the NYC theater scene…but, this is not your average historical fiction and I’m so glad I have it a shot because it was a 5 star read! I immediately loved the voice…it’s funny, readable, and reminded me a bit of a cross between Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and The Heart’s Invisible Furies (my review). The characters make this story come alive…they’re unapologetically frivolous and fun and most of them are bawdy, badass ladies in an era when ladies weren’t generally badass or bawdy. Full Review.

Girls Like Us by Cristina AlgerGirls Like Usby Cristina Alger
Fiction – Mystery / Thriller (Release Date: July 2, 2019)
288 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon
Source: Publisher (Putnam)

Plot Summary: When FBI agent Nell Flynn goes home to Long Island to close out her father’s estate, she’s pulled into a possible serial murder case that her father seems to have been heavily involved in.

My Thoughts: I loved Alger’s 2018 mystery The Banker’s Wife (my review) and I love that she writes mysteries with strong female protagonists, bucking the recent thriller trend of the women being victims. And, while I didn’t love Girls Like Us quite as much as The Banker’s Wife, it’s still a stellar mystery in an interesting setting. Girls Like Us is more police procedural than thriller and the ending isn’t outlandish at all, but did have some twists I wasn’t expecting. Full Review.

We Came Here to Forget by Andrea DunlopWe Came Here to Forgetby Andrea Dunlop
Fiction – Literary (Release Date: July 2, 2019)
320 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon
Source: Publisher (Atria Books)

Plot Summary: After devoting her life to her elite skiing career (including training with childhood best friends Luke and Blair Duncan), Katie Cleary escapes to Buenos Aires after a shocking incident involving her sister (Penny).

My Thoughts: I love a good novel featuring a female athlete protagonist and they’re fairly hard to find (ex: You Will Know MeThe Unraveling of Mercy Louis)…so, I’m thrilled I can add We Came Here to Forget to the list! The story is told in dual timelines: Katie’s childhood / the lead-up to the incident with her sister and her time hanging out with an eccentric expat group in Buenos Aires while trying to figure out what to do with her life (present day). Full Review.

Something Light

My #1 Pick

The Mother-in-Law by Sally HepworthThe Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth
Fiction – Brain Candy (Released April 23, 2019)
352 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: When Diana, Lucy’s accomplished, but distant mother-in-law is found dead in suspicious circumstances, Lucy and her family are forced to confront their feelings about Diana and each other.

My Thoughts: The Mother-in-Law opens with Diana’s mysterious death, but that’s not really what this story is about. Told in alternating perspectives (Diana’s and Lucy’s) and timelines that shift between the past and the present, this is a family drama focusing on the relationships between Lucy and Diana, Lucy and her husband Ollie, and Lucy’s sister-in-law (Nettie) and Diana. For a family drama involving death, it’s surprisingly heart-warming and thought-provoking about the complicated mother-in-law / daughter-in-law dynamic, which isn’t covered as much in literature as the mother/daughter relationship. And, it was a pleasant surprise for me given I DNF’d Hepworth’s last book (The Family Next Door).

Forever is the Worst Long Time by Camille PaganForever is the Worst Long Time by Camille Pagan
Fiction – Brain Candy (Released February 7, 2017)
284 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: James Hernandez falls in love with Lou at first sight…except she’s his best friend Rob’s fiance.

My Thoughts: This one was the perfect read for my vacation…I read it in 2 days. It’s the story of an epic love triangle and doesn’t go in the direction you think it will! It has incredible depth, but is written in a light way and actually made me cry. I think this is Camille Pagan’s best work so far!

Otherwise EngagedOtherwise Engagedby Lindsey J. Palmer
Fiction – Brain Candy (Release Date: February 26, 2019)
304 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: When Gabe publishes a novel that’s very closely based on his steamy, volatile relationship with his ex-girlfriend (Talia…or the fictional “Dahlia”), his relationship with his new fiancee (Molly) hits some speed bumps.

My Thoughts: Y’all know I’m not normally big on the rom-com style brain candy books…they can easily venture into cheesy for me, but I really liked Otherwise Engaged! The premise is totally intriguing and Palmer takes all this upheaval in Gabe and Molly’s relationship to levels I’d never considered, but that were certainly interesting to ponder (i.e. in general, how do the family and friends of any author feel when details from their actual lives appear in their family member’s / friend’s book?). Great pick if you’re looking for something light, easy, and happy! Full Review.

Southern Lady Code by Helen EllisSouthern Lady Code by Helen Ellis 
Nonfiction – Memoir / Essays (Released April 16, 2019)
224 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Ellis (an Alabama native living in New York City) shares her outrageous take on Southern etiquette and eccentricities.

My Thoughts: Ellis has an inappropriate, outrageous sense of humor (my favorite!). And, pairing it with her spot-on social commentary on the South can be magic. She covers marriage, thank-you notes, general etiquette (courtesy of her mother), and crazy stories from her childhood a la Jenny Lawson (I loved these). Some of these essays are outrageously funny, while some are still fairly outrageous (but less so for Ellis), but also poignant. Full Review.

Talk to Me by John KenneyTalk to Meby John Kenney
Fiction – Brain Candy (Release Date: January 15, 2019)
320 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: When star news anchor Ted Grayson gets caught on video berating a female make-up artist, the media (including his own journalist daughter) attacks and Ted is forced to re-evaluate his entire life.

My Thoughts: Talk to Me is a snarky story that’s ultimately about regret…taking place in today’s media world. Kenney’s commentary on today’s brand of journalism is spot-on and pokes fun at pretty much all parties involved. But, buried under all the snark is some actual heart. If you’re interested in stories about falls from grace, today’s media climate, and life regret, Talk to Me is for you. Full Review.

Tell Me Lies by Carola LoveringTell Me Lies by Carola Lovering
Fiction – Brain Candy (Released June 12, 2018)
352 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: When Lucy Albright arrives for her freshman year at Baird College in California, she falls into a toxic love affair with Stephen DeMarco, a Junior at Baird.

My Thoughts: Tell Me Lies explores sociopathic behavior and the girls that get mixed up in it from Lucy’s and Stephen’s alternating perspectives. It was a somewhat uncomfortable read, yet I was absolutely riveted. Part of me thinks this is the kind of book every high school girl should read as a cautionary tale, but it might also completely destroy her capacity to trust. And, I’m sure the many women who have experienced this type of relationship at some point in their lives will identify with Lucy (but also be totally frustrated with her).

The Editor by Steven RowleyThe Editorby Steven Rowley
Fiction – Brain Candy (Released April 2, 2019)
320 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: When debut novelist James Smale sells his semi-autobiographical novel to Doubleday (his editor turns out to be Jacqueline Onassis), he is forced to address his frayed relationship with his mother.

My Thoughts: The Editor is a marriage of a dysfunctional family novel and a publishing world / literary life novel…with some fun celebrity allure sprinkled on top. The premise of having Jackie O be Smale’s fictional book editor could have been preposterous and silly. But, Rowley didn’t have Jackie overtake the story…he worked in just the right amount of Kennedy anecdotes in a way that didn’t feel forced. The Editor is a delightful (but, not annoyingly so) book if you’re looking for a fun, light read. Full Review.

This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy PhillipsThis Will Only Hurt a Littleby Busy Phillips
Nonfiction – Memoir (Released October 16, 2018)
321 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Phillips, best known for her roles on Freaks and GeeksDawson’s Creek, and Cougartown (and as Michelle Williams’ BFF) shares her experience growing up in Arizona and breaking into the acting business.

My Thoughts: She’s raw, honest, down-to-earth, hilarious, and unafraid to share some experiences from her childhood that many people would feel uncomfortable talking about. She’s also willing to tell it like it is about Hollywood and other actors she’s worked with, not in a “who’s sleeping with who” kind of way, but more in a “that guy is a pompous prick and treated me badly” kind of way. A light, fun, juicy listen and one of the most engaging celebrity memoirs I’ve read / listened to! Full Review.

Something Intense / Fast-Paced

My #1 Pick

Miracle CreekMiracle Creekby Angie Kim
Fiction – Mystery / Thriller (Release Date: April 16, 2019)
368 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: When there is an explosion at Korean immigrant Young and Pak Yoo’s “Miracle Submarine” alternative autism treatment facility, resulting in two deaths, everyone at the facility that day becomes targets of the investigation.

My Thoughts: Miracle Creek is a courtroom drama, but it’s so much more than that. It’s highly literary and tackles multiple serious issues, yet doesn’t forego the fast-moving plot of a traditional courtroom drama. In addition to the “who caused the explosion and why” angle to the story, Miracle Creek addresses children with severe disabilities (including autism) and what life is like for those who care for them. Full Review.

An Anonymous GirlAn Anonymous Girl by Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks
Fiction – Mystery / Thriller (Release Date: January 8, 2019)
375 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Jessica Farris signs up for a supposedly anonymous study only to find that Dr. Shields (the psychiatrist conducting the study) seems to be able to get into her head in a much deeper way than she imagined.

My Thoughts: Psychological thrillers that are heavier on the psychological and lighter on the thriller tend to work for me…and An Anonymous Girl fits this bill. It’s less reliant on action and outlandish plot twists…the suspenseful question is not what will happen, but who can you trust? The beginning of the story sucked me in in a creepy, unsettling way. This book is a giant mindf*ck! Full Review.

Recursion by Blake CrouchRecursionby Blake Crouch
Sci-Fi / Thriller (Release Date: June 11, 2019)
336 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: While a new disease called False Memory Syndrome (which gives people memories of things that never happened and whole lives they never lived) is spreading throughout the country, Barry Sutton investigates the death of a woman possibly afflicted with this illness, which leads him to a neuroscientist (Helena) developing a technology involving memory that could have sinister consequences.

My Thoughts: I don’t read much Sci-Fi, but Blake Crouch is the exception (I loved his last book, Dark Matter). He writes incredibly human takes on Sci-Fi that make you consider a big life question. In Recursion‘s case, the question is “what is memory?” There’s a LOT going on in this novel (I had no idea what was going on at first)…it’s somewhat of a mind-bending and made my brain hurt at times, but in a good way. Full Review.

Better Sister by Alafair BurkeThe Better Sisterby Alafair Burke
Mystery / Thriller (Release Date: April 16, 2019)
336 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: When uber-successful Chloe Taylor’s lawyer husband (Adam) is murdered in their East Hampton home, her sister Nicky (who is Adam’s ex-wife) re-enters the picture to help Chloe navigate the investigation and support Adam and Nicky’s son (Ethan).

My Thoughts: The Better Sister is my second Alafair Burke thriller (my first was The Wife) and she’s becoming a go-to mystery / thriller author for me. She’s a former prosecutor and it shows in her thrillers. The Better Sister is actually more courtroom drama than psychological thriller, but it’s also a dysfunctional family story. It’s about marriage, divorce, keeping up appearances, sisters, and teenage angst. Full Review.

Silent Patient by Alex MichaelidesThe Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Mystery / Thriller (Released February 5, 2019)
323 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: After artist Alicia Berenson is found standing next to her beloved husband (Gabriel) in their home after he’d been shot 5 times in the face, she never speaks again.

My Thoughts: This mystery / thriller is a slow burn for most of the book until all the pieces come together in the end. It’s as much about Theo, Alicia’s psychotherapist, and his past, as it is about Alicia and how her husband ended up dead. Theo gives off a creepy vibe, which fits in with the overall creepy story. The ending rode the line between possibly brilliant and possibly ridiculous, as it did rely on a somewhat important coincidence, but the pieces did come together kind of brilliantly.

Something With A Bit More Substance

My #1 Pick

Daisy Jones and the SixDaisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Fiction – Literary (Released March 5, 2019)
368 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Daisy Jones & the Six, a hot 1970’s rock n’ roll band, mysteriously broke up after a Chicago concert. This is the story of their rise and fall, told in an oral history format.

My Thoughts: I almost didn’t read Daisy Jones & the Six because I’m not that interested in music, but I couldn’t put it down and it’s my #1 book of 2019 so far. The oral history format made the story seem incredibly fast-paced. And, it clearly illuminated how multiple people can have completely different interpretations of the same events. I thought I knew where this story was headed. There was an easy and obvious reason for the band to break up, but Reid takes the more complicated path, making for a far richer story. And, the chemistry between these fictional is so raw that you forget you’re reading fiction. If you liked the movie A Star is Born, this is the book for you. Full Review.

Ask Again Yes by Mary Beth KeaneAsk Again, Yesby Mary Beth Keane
Literary Fiction (Release Date: May 28, 2019)
400 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Two NYPD cops, Brian Stanhope and Francis Gleeson move their families next door to each other in a suburb of New York City…setting the stage for a friendship between their two children (Kate and Peter) and a tragic event that causes ripple effects years down the road.

My Thoughts: Ask Again, Yes has been slowly gaining steam over on #bookstagram and I’m thrilled to say it’s worth the hype (5 stars for me)! It’s a character-driven novel that I couldn’t put down…and these particular people struck a chord with me. It’s a coming of age story and an unconventional love story. The beginning reminded me a bit of My Sunshine Away (the neighborhood kids hijinks), while overall, it reminded me of The Female Persuasion (my review) without the feminism angle. This one will definitely be one of my favorite books of 2019! Full Review.

Normal People by Sally Rooney Normal Peopleby Sally Rooney
Fiction (Release Date: April 16, 2019)
288 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Irish teenagers Connell and Marianne are first drawn to each other in high school when Connell’s mother works as Marianne’s parents’ housekeeper…and, their relationship becomes confusing as they navigate the social dynamics of both high school and college.

My Thoughts: Normal People (which has been long-listed for the 2018 Man Booker Prize) is the kind of relationship book that is utterly riveting, but also made me feel a little uncomfortable in the best way possible (like White Fur and Tender). Connell and Marianne’s relationship is far from straightforward and is downright maddening at times, but I was rooting hard for them and completely engrossed in their story. 5 stars! PS – I should tell you this story involves a fair amount of sex and also does not use quotation marks for dialogue (neither of those things bothered me, but they might bother some people). Full Review.

Silver Sparrow by Tayari JonesSilver Sparrowby Tayari Jones 
Fiction – Literary (Released January 1, 2011)
352 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Set in 1980’s Atlanta, the story of James Witherspoon and his two families, his “legitimate” one and his secret one, and his two daughters of the same age, born to different mothers.

My Thoughts: Y’all know how much I loved Jones’ An American Marriage and I think I loved Silver Sparrow just as much! It has a very similar feel to An American Marriage and also takes place in Atlanta. The dynamic between Witherspoon’s two daughters (initially, one is aware of the other, but not vice versa) is fascinating and poignant. I ended up feeling for both of his families…much like Jones made me empathize with all three main characters in An American Marriage

Age of Light by Whitney ScharerThe Age of Light by Whitney Scharer
Fiction – Historical (Release Date: February 5, 2019)
384 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Set in 1930’s Paris and inspired by the real-life love affair between former Vogue model and photographer Lee Miller and the artist Man Ray.

My Thoughts: I don’t normally love historical fiction or love stories (and The Age of Light is both), but I loved Scharer’s take on it…mainly because it’s also a “badass lady book.” It’s the story of a woman who is defined by the man in her life trying to break out on her own…to be known for her own work. Scharer immediately immerses you in 1930’s Paris and I was engrossed in the story right from the beginning. Full Review.

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson WalkerThe Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
Fiction – Literary (Release Date: January 15, 2019)
320 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: A “sleeping sickness” (i.e. people fall asleep for long periods of time and have vivid dreams) befalls one floor of a college dorm in a small town in the California mountains (Santa Lora), but then begins to spread to the town, putting everyone on high alert.

My Thoughts: The Dreamers is like a more literary version of Megan Abbott’s The Fever (which I loved). The Dreamers is not a thriller by any means, but it still had me on the edge of my seat with incredible tension and suspense. This is a novel about fear, hysteria, isolation, and human behavior in the face of those things. The Dreamers has been compared to Station Eleven (my review) and I’d say the epidemic portion of the book is somewhat similar, but overall The Dreamers shines on its own. Full Review.

Last Romantics by Tara ConklinThe Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
Fiction – Literary (Release Date: February 5, 2019)
368 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: The story of the Skinner family – the four Skinner children, their father’s unexpectedly passing in his thirties, their mother’s years long depression (which the children call “the Pause”), and how their lives unfold into adulthood.

My Thoughts: This family drama similar to Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth (my review) with shades of My Sunshine Away (my review) was my first 5 star book of the year!  The Last Romantics‘  dysfunction is normal enough to be relatable…the type of dysfunction you see in real life all the time. It’s a novel of sibling dynamics and how parenting decisions/style impacts children in later life. It’s one of those character-driven novels I couldn’t put down! Full Review.

Something Different

My #1 Pick

I Miss You When I BlinkI Miss You When I Blinkby Mary Laura Philpott
Nonfiction – Memoir / Essays (Released April 2, 2019)
288 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Mary Laura Philpott had an enviable life by conventional standards (i.e. happy marriage, children, career, house, etc), yet she still felt unsettled and unsatisfied. These essays are about her experience trying to navigate that.

My Thoughts: I’ve been on a kick with “women who get women” memoirs over the past few years and Mary Laura Philpott is an excellent addition to my club of go-to authors (also including Anna Quindlen and Kelly Corrigan). Philpott writes about this unsettling stage of life with openness, humor, and relatability. If you enjoy “maintaining your identity through marriage and motherhood” books, I Miss You When I Blink should be next on your list! Full Review.

How to Be Married by Jo PiazzaHow to Be Married by Jo Piazza
Memoir (Released August 18, 2017)
284 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Piazza chronicles her own difficult first year of marriage as she travels to five continents learning about views on marriage in different cultures.

My Thoughts: This memoir is really part memoir and part travelogue. I’ve been drawn to books about marriage over the last few years…especially those that keep it real. And, Piazza definitely keeps it real, focusing on both the good parts and tough parts of a year of huge adjustment that often gets papered over with “newlywed bliss” expectations. Piazza comes across as independent, yet relatable. Great choice for fans of Kelly Corrigan and also great on audio! Full Review.

Inheritance by Dani ShapiroInheritanceby Dani Shapiro
Memoir (Released January 15, 2019)
252 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Shapiro’s memoir about her experience discovering her father was not her biological father through an online DNA test.

My Thoughts: This memoir was emotional and an interesting look into a new phenomenon brought on by the simple and cheap online DNA test. It went places I wasn’t expecting (good!), but did go over the top with theological and philosophical theory at times. Still, it’s 4 stars and reads easily enough for the beach.

My Sister the Serial KillerMy Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Fiction (Released November 20, 2018)
226 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Korede, the “good” sister, does everything right and always cleans up after Ayoola, the beautiful sister, who sails through life without a care in the world…yet kills her boyfriends and manages to be their mother’s favorite.

My Thoughts: The premise of this book is ridiculous in a campy way and specific parts are preposterous, but it works! It’s a story of sibling dynamics…obviously taken to the extreme…and, it’s weirdly funny…even though people keep dying. Despite the murderous title, this one is a fun, light read and would make a perfect palate cleanser! Full review.

Out East by John GlynnOut Eastby John Glynn
Nonfiction – Memoir (Release Date: May 14, 2019)
288 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: Amid an anxiety-filled time in his life, Glynn joins a Montauk share house for the summer and finds friendship and love for a man.

My Thoughts: You might expect a memoir about a Hamptons share to be 100% debauchery (think Bravo’s Summer House) and Out East certainly contained a lot of that, but it’s one of the most heartfelt and emotional memoirs I’ve ever read about friendship and love. Glynn perfectly captures that unsettled feeling you can get in your mid-twenties when your friends are at very different stages of life. By the end of the book, I was frantically turning the pages late into the night dying to find out what would happen with John and the man he fell in love with. Full Review.

Body in Question by Jill CimentThe Body in Questionby Jill Ciment
Fiction – Literary (Release Date: June 11, 2019)
192 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

Plot Summary: A courtroom drama set in Central Florida that’s focused on the jury (which is sequestered in a nearby Econolodge) for the trial of a rich, white teenage girl (who is also a twin) who is accused of murdering her toddler age brother.

My Thoughts: This slim novel is described by the publisher as a courtroom drama and it kind of is, but it’s not what you think of when you think of courtroom dramas. It’s about what goes on within a jury…personally and related to the trial and how those two pieces intersect. It’s a slightly weird book, but I was riveted the entire time and it went to places I never expected. PS – I think the publisher’s description gives away too much…go into this one blind! Full Review.

Happy Summer Reading!

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2019 Summer Reading List
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25 Responses to “2019 Summer Reading List”

  1. SueAnne Robinson

    Thanks for such a great list. I’ve read and liked many of them, most likely because I’m an avid follower of your blog and I am one of your book twins. Next up for me is Miracle Creek and then Normal People thanks to the very good BOTM club picks for April. I’m thrilled that Silver Sparrow made it to your list. It’s one of those books I find myself recommending again and again. I liked it even better than An American Marriage. I’ll have to get Ask Again Yes, it sounds great!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I think if you liked An American Marriage, you’ll like Ask Again, Yes!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Oh thank you!! I’m thrilled you’re glad to see Silver Sparrow…I LOVED it and like to throw a backlist winner or two into my Summer Reading Guide every year.

      And – I think you’ll like Ask Again if you liked Silver Sparrow 🙂

    • Sarah Dickinson

      SLC was 4 stars for me, not 5. There were some weak points I thought – those shorter essays that were essentially compilations of one sentence thoughts. But, overall really entertaining!

  2. Susie | Novel Visits

    Great list, Sarah. It truly has something for everyone and I’m seeing several that I keep meaning to try. We have some overlap, but not as much as I’d expected.

  3. Rachel @ Never Enough Novels

    I have similar criteria for my summer reads. Southern Lady Code sounds a bit like Reese Witherspoons Whiskey in a Teacup (which I loved), so I’ll have to check it out. Otherwise Engaged is another one I’m hoping to get to this summer!

  4. Susan

    Really great list Sarah you have out done yourself! Having said that I have already read 7 of your great picks we have similar taste it would seem. I found 9 more titles to try out so I have no excuse to ever be bored with my books to read this summer. Thanks again.

  5. RK

    Wonderful list! I loved My Sister, the Serial Killer, and several others are on my TBR!

  6. Hannah | The Cozy Reading Nook

    Great list! I’ve read a couple of theses (and loved them), several more are on my TBR list (that I can’t wait to get to!), and there are some I hadn’t been planning on reading. But I may rethink that – I’m going to add I Miss You When I Blink and The Age of Light.

  7. Allison | Mind Joggle

    I’ve been looking forward to this and you delivered–such a great list! Many of these have been on my radar, but the light ones are especially needed right now. I also really want to read Normal People; my library hold just came in, and I didn’t realize I had reserved the audio. Any thoughts on whether it would be better to wait for the print (I know you only do nonfiction in audio, but thought I’d ask anyway!)?

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Honestly, that’s not the kind of book I’d find easy on audio. It’s less plot-driven and more character-driven, which is always tough for me on audio. I’d go print 🙂

  8. Donelle Kilburg

    Lots of great recommendations for summer reading! Looking forward to a fun & relaxing summer!
    Thank you!!

  9. Jan

    I’ve either read or own all but 5 of the books on this list. What a terrific line-up of books! Thanks Sarah!

  10. Michelle

    The guide is wonderful, but I hope in the future that you will consider making the text size considerably larger for those of us who read the guide in paper form, not on their computer or phone. The text size is difficult to read for those of us with aging eyes. Thank you.

  11. Michelle Bernstein

    The guide is wonderful, but I hope in the future that you will consider making the text size considerably larger for those of us who read the guide in paper form, not on their computer or phone. The text size is difficult to read for those of us with aging eyes. Thank you.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Thank you! Are you referring to the printable PDF cheatsheet or the web page?

  12. Amy P

    “Personally, I like books you can fly through, books you don’t have to work too hard on, and books you can get easily immersed in.” – Same for me! I love this summer reading list – thank you!I am happy I found your blog! You have such a diverse taste in genres. I would have to say fantasy is my favorite but I tend to look for unique reads that I haven’t seen the premise 100 times. It seems like you have a lot of reading to do but I thought I would recommend “The King Who Disappeared” by Hank Quense (http://hankquense.org/wp/). This is an action-packed, super witty, fantasy novel that is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The book is filled with satire, both political, business and military but done so in a really fun way. For example, elves that act like they are a part of the mafia and run by the godmother (haha!). The story follows King Bohan who has been sealed in a cave so that the evil wizard, Jerado, can control all the kingdoms. Now 200 years later he is free and not only has to win back his kingdom but get used to all the inevitable changes that come after 200 years of being “asleep.” I hope you will check it out!

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