Once Memorial Day ends, summer reading season officially begins. Let me first start out by saying this is nothing like your stereotypical "forced" summer reading from high school days past. To inspire others to love reading again, I've created the FIRST EVER 2020 Show Me Summer Reads List. The list feature 10 books that will take you on various reading escapades no matter where you are in the world this summer.
My 10 book choices have a little bit of something for everyone, and I cannot wait to hear what you choose to put on your summer reading list!
A Taste of Summer
Cue the song "Summer of '69" as you crack open the pages of Elin Hilderbrand's Summer of '69. A summer on Nantucket is a constant tradition for the Levin Family, but this summer is a bit different. The Vietnam War is all over the news, the Civil Rights Movement is at its height, and a man lands on the moon. Times are changing and the Levin family is in for a roller coaster of a summer with a brother overseas, three sisters who are discovering more about themselves and a mother trying to keep it all together as the summer of '69 goes by.
If you love books set by the beach meshed with a top-notch family story, this is your perfect beach read. I personally read this on the beach last summer and can contest to its greatness.
Here Comes Cupid
It's not summertime without a little romance. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is just what Cupid ordered. Stella Lane is a detail-oriented economist, who doesn't know a thing about dating, love or romance. This is partially because she has Asberger's.
So she decides the only solution to her problem is to hire a man to teach her a thing or two. This sweet, spicy novel is sure to make you swoon.
I loved this novel especially because it was very different than other romances I have read. I enjoyed how it discussed the autism spectrum and the challenges associated with it. If you end up loving this one, it's a series. Check out book 2, The Bride's Test, and stay tuned for book 3, The Heart Principle, in May 2021.
An Underrated Gem
World War I novels are all the craze, but who would have thought to pair it with Greek Mythology? The book opens with a trial of two Greek gods that turns into a world war love story that is so profound.
Two couples who meet during WWI-era France through the beauty of music. One is love at first sight; the other is more gradual in build. But, the twists and turns are just right for someone who loves a good World War novel.
I did not discover this book until it was placed into my hands by a lovely bookseller at the Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves, and thank goodness she gave it to me! If you love war novels with a little romance and a smidge of emotion...this is for you!
A Coming of Age Classic
I truly believe every school should have their students read this novel. It is one of those rare classics that maintains your attention for the entire story.
It centers around young Francie Nolan, a daughter of an Irish immigrant family in Brooklyn, NY during the early 1900s. You get to witness her grow as she lives her life with her family in the slums of Brooklyn. You become completely immersed in their family life as well as the setting of Brooklyn.
This book was transformative and it has so much detail that still keeps you wanting more.
A Magical Series
Take a trip to a secret place where one game rules all. All Scarlett Dragna has ever wanted is to be a part of the Caraval, a performance where the audience plays a part. When she and her sister, Tella, finally figure out a way to leave their horrible father and go to the Caraval, they fall into a trap where Tella is kidnapped and Scarlett has to find her.
The entire series takes you on a journey through the experiences of both sisters, and how it all comes together in a thrilling conclusion. Plus, the whole series is out so you don't have to wait.
Read the Book First
Little Fires Everywhere has been a pop culture craze since it was introduced as a pick for Reese's Book Club. Since then, it has been adapted into a Hulu series that has garnered great reviews.
However, I vote read this book first! Shaker Heights is an orderly Ohio town until Mia and her daughter, Pearl, enter the Richardson family's life. All is well between Mia and the mother of the Richardson family, Elena, until a custody battle splits them in two and more questions arise.
A story that explores secrets, the impact of identity and motherhood....this book has all the suspense and drama you need this summer.
True Crime Nonfiction
The day was April 29, 1986...and the library burned. The Los Angeles Public Library thermometers hit nearly 2,000 degrees and burned for 7 hours straight. Hundreds of books lost, artifacts ruined and a community saddened....but the arsonist has never been found.
Susan Orlean tells a masterful history of libraries and librarians while also uncovering the importance of libraries within our culture. The book explains the fire in detail, but gives us so much more in return.
All lovers of books and true crime...this book will give you your fix.
A Book Club Companion
3 weddings. 3 generations. 1 dress that unites them together. The Grace Kelly dress is the story of 3 women who are on their journey to discover themselves and find/marry the man they love.
Rose is a budding dress designer who is tasked with creating an iconic dress for a bride-to-be. When she falls in love with the bride's brother, she has to choose between duty and her heart.
Flash forward to 2020, Rocky is engaged to the love of her life, but one thing doesn't add up...the heirloom dress her mother wants her to wear. As the wedding day closes in, mother and daughter will discover how more than just a dress makes their hearts come together.
Thrilling Historical Fiction
What do you get when you put together a journalist turned Nazi hunter, a former Russian bomber pilot and an inquisitive teenage American photographer? A race to catch one of the most deadly nazi killers of WWII.
Jordan McBride has dreamed of becoming a professional photographer. When she captures a secret on film...she has no idea where one image will lead her. Meanwhile, former journalist Ian Graham is on the hunt for a deadly nazi called the Huntress. He enlists the help of Russian fighter pilot Nina Markova whose bravery and cunning kept her alive while she was in the Huntress's grasp.
Thrill seekers and history lovers, this one's for you.
A Dramatic Fictional Saga
Alaska in 1974 is about as wild and remote as you can get. When Vietnam War veteran, Ernt Allbright, gains some land and moves his family to the frontier, they had no idea what would come next.
His daughter, Leni, starts out as a thirteen year old who is just trying to find her place in the world. Alaska seems to be the answer until her dad's PTSD comes full force. Her and her mother have to survive the best way they know how...together.
A true testimony to mental illness, the Alaskan frontier and the resilience of a mother-daughter bond. This book is a doozy, but sure to keep you flipping the pages.
Buckle up for a book filled summer with these 10 reads. To find or purchase these books, visit my Book Shop page and purchase the books from a local Indie Store near you! For any St. Louis readers, my favorite shop is The Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves, MO.