Looking for some great summer reading suggestions? Look no further.
I am an eclectic reader. I don’t like to keep reading the same genre over and over again. I like to mix it up because the brain likes to have things mixed up. The last four books I read were in my opinion, all 5 STARS.
I am an eclectic reader; I don’t like to read the same genre over and over again. I like to mix it up because the brain likes to mix it up. I will read just about anything, except Fantasy and Futurism. Not my type. These four books are definitely different from each other and well worth the time to curl up and enjoy.
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
I have read one other book by Ann Patchett: Bel Canto and really enjoyed it so I had no reservations reading this short story compilation. By the title, I thought the short stories would all revolve around marriage advice. While there are some reflections on Ann’s marriage experiences (her first marriage was when she was younger and lasted a couple of months; her current marriage occurred when she was in her 40’s after much deliberation), is mostly about life experiences everyone can relate to: complicated relationships with parents; friendships; a dog dying; career choices; and so much more. Because Ann is also in her 50’s, her stories really connected with me and endeared Ann to me as a writer, and a human being. An added bonus: I learned that Ann got her literary start writing pieces for Seventeen Magazine, my bible in junior high and high school.
What makes it terrific summer reading? Because it is a book of short stories, it’s like reading a magazine written by one author. You can start and stop as your summer plans evolve and not lose your place. The only problem would be keeping the book safe and dry while you are at the pool or the beach.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I was first introduced to Kristin Hannah with her book, Firefly Lane, and loved it as the characters were exactly my age in real time. Their memories and feelings were so similar to what I experienced during the time-frame of the book, 1968 to the early 80’s. I felt Kristin nailed it as a writer, so I was looking forward to reading another of her books.
The Nightingale is set during the occupation of France during World War II. It is the story of a family and how each member reacted so differently to the Nazi’s taking over their country, their town, their homes. Similar to Firefly Lane in that the story spans over several decades, the characters are richly written and developed, and there are strong female leads. Then there was also the added bonus of learning about all the historical references during that time period, from pre-World War II to the 1980’s. I realized my personal knowledge of the French occupation was pretty vague. I wish I would have read this book before I visited France; I would have been so much more appreciative of all the sacrifices made by the French.
What makes it terrific summer reading? It is 438 pages of story telling at it’s best that provides an escape to a different time and place.
Being Brain Healthy by Ruth Curran
I recently reviewed this book and really wanted to mention it again because it is so superb on explaining how the brain functions and what you can do to make your brain the best it can be.
What makes it terrific summer reading? Because it is filled with activities that anyone can do any time to work on improving your brain health. To develop a good habit, you need to perform that habit a minimum of 30 days in a row. What better time than summer than to start and stay with new positive habits.
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
I am a huge Jodi Picoult fan ever since My Sister’s Keeper about 10 years ago. As with all good authors who write a lot of books, some hit the mark and some fall short. I had felt that a few of Piccoult’s last books were the “miss the mark” type and I had been waiting for another good one to come along. Well, this book was it. In typical Picoult fashion, there is a riveting story, well laid out characters, and a plot that has a million twists and turns that you are never quite sure how it is all going to end up. and when the end comes, you are totally blown away. Also, as with her other novels, there is a “cause” that the story revolves around. In the case of Leaving Time, that cause would be the care and treatment of elephants in the wild and in captivity. By the end of the book, I became an elephant supporter (that’s what good writing will do to you) and also admired Walt Disney for getting Dumbo right.
What makes it a terrific summer reading? What is summer reading without a good mystery?
I hope you consider one of these titles for your summer reading pleasure. You won’t be disappointed.
What is on your summer reading list?