Summertime tends to be the time of year that I’m most prolific as a reader. True, chilly winter afternoons are a great time to snuggle up with a cup of hot tea and a good book, but I’m even more a fan of summertime beachside reading.
If you’re looking for some books to add to your beach bag this summer, I have a few recommendations I’d love to share! Some of these are titles I’ve read recently (I’ve had more time to read than I’d expected to during maternity leave, and it’s been amazing), and some are old favorites of mine. (Oh, and here are a few books I wrote about last fall, which I still highly recommend, too!)
I also invite you to follow along with me on Instagram as I add to my summer reading list, using the hashtag #booksakread2017. (Currently reading: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Up next: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.)
Okay. Book recommendation time!:
- Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I picked up this book because it was recommended by a blog post I stumbled upon, and I’m so glad I did. I totally judged it by its cover and assumed it would be a super chick lit-y, fluffy book. Instead, it was a surprisingly thoughtful exploration into how much of life is left up to chance, and how our seemingly minor choices can change the course of our lives. It’s an easy, fun read, but one that will leave you thinking, too.
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’d heard rave reviews about this book from several trusted sources, and it didn’t disappoint. Set in Sweden, this book chronicles the life of the curmudgeonly Ove who seems to be a run of the mill middle-aged grump. As we get more of a glimpse into Ove’s past, though, we gain more context about why he is who he is. It’s a lovely read — funny and joyful and painful — and a reminder of how important it is to think of a person’s experiences before passing judgment.
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. This is, hands down, my favorite book of all time. It’s a beautiful love story that’s so very human, yet with the element of time travel woven in. This was the book that taught me how relatable and, well, human sci fi can actually be. (Oh, and if you’ve seen the movie and didn’t love it, please read the book! It’s a million times better.)
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. After hearing all the buzz about the HBO mini-series based on this book (and good things about this Australian author in general), I decided to give it a go, and I’m glad I did. This was the second book of Moriarty’s I’ve read (Three Wishes, about a set of adult triplets, is great as well), and I’m definitely a fan of her writing style. The twist in this one totally caught me off guard, too, which I always love! My recommendation: Read the book, then watch the series on HBO. Both are excellent!
- Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. If you don’t read this book (and soon), you’re missing out. Vance is able to articulately share his experiences growing up the offspring of Appalachian hillbillies and how that so dramatically influenced how he saw the world and what he thought was available to him. It came out at the perfect time, given the recent presidential election, and gives readers a peek into the working class population that helped to put Trump in the White House in a way that adds critical context to this group of people.
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Eugenides is also the author of The Virgin Suicides (a great book as well as a wonderful film), and I first read his work several years ago. His novels are the kind that really stick with you, and come to mind from time to time long after you’ve read the last page. Middlesex explores the coming of age experience of an adolescent protagonist who has always felt a little different and begins to learn there might be a genetic reason why.
- Short stories (assorted authors). I shared some of my top short story picks a few years ago, but wanted to post them again here because they’re all still wonderful. I’m a big short story fan, and am always impressed with authors who can craft such compelling tales in so few pages. Here’s the link to that post!