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11 Books on My Summer Reading List

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I am SO excited for summer.

We don’t really have any huge plans (a couple of family trips to California and Utah), but I’m looking forward to a more relaxed schedule and making more time for reading on my own. I feel like I’ve been in a terrible book slump for the last couple of months, and I’m ready to jump into some new titles.

Here are the ones that are top of my to-read list while the weather is warm and our schedule is a little lighter.

Note that I haven’t read any of these, so I make no guarantees to how excellent or terrible any of them might be. If they’re good, I’ll be sure to write a full review of them later this summer.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Ever since Delicious Reads started talking about how much her whole book club LOVED this one, I knew it had to be on my list. I read a bunch of books about orphan trains back when I was a kid, so I guess it’s time to return to the topic 20 years later.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
I’m pretty sure summer will be OVER before I get off the wait list for this one, but I never can resist a good WWII novel.


Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
I’ve never actually read a Sittenfeld book, but I’m pretty intrigued by this Pride and Prejudice retelling. When I mentioned it on Instagram, I got all sorts of mixed feedback, so I’ll keep you posted.


Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson
This title has been vaguely on my radar for years, but then when Anne Bogel mentioned it in an episode of What Should I Read Next and gave a little overview of it, I suddenly finally wanted to read it.

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
This was another Modern Mrs. Darcy recommendation and I’ve actually already started this one (and then, typically, had to return it to the library unfinished and had to get back in the hold line).

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon
This was on everyone’s list last year, but I’m nothing if not slow. So 2016 it is!

Rising Strong by Brené Brown
I’ve been meaning to read this since it came out, since I loved Daring Greatly a few years ago. Time to get on it (or at least on the everlasting hold list).


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany.
You guys. Of COURSE this is on the list. Frankly, I’m a little tempted to ditch everything else I’ve just written about in this post and just lose myself in rereading the entire series before July 31.


Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
How have I STILL not read an Erik Larson book? Embarrassing.

When We Collided by Emery Lord
I loved Emery Lord’s first book, Open Road Summer, and every summer deserves at least one realistic YA novel. Crossing my fingers that this one is good.

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
At Christmas, everyone in our book club brought a favorite book and we all exchanged. Predictably, I took The Wednesday Wars, and I came home with this one (yes, that was almost six months ago).

Looking for something to pack on vacation this summer? Try one of these titles!

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21 Comments

  • Reply Brianna Soloski May 19, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    You can skip Rising Strong. It is mostly Brene Brown waxing poetic about how much stronger she is than every other person on the planet because she overcame all these fights with her husband. I think I highlighted one sentence in the introduction.

  • Reply K Fig May 19, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Some of these sound good. I was just thinking about an old blog feature you used to do called in my bookbag I think where you interviewed other bloggers about books they like and didn't like. I liked that. Any chance of reviving that?

  • Reply Lisa May 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    I foolishly agreed to read HP with Tristan- his first time, my 4th (I think?). I underestimated how quickly he'd go through them and I'm struggling to keep up. All other reading obligations have been ignored.

  • Reply Alyssa May 19, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I haven't read Dead Wake yet, but you should definitely read Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City. It's amazing!

  • Reply Kathleen Danley May 19, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Oh this is fun! I can't wait to hear what you think of all these books…I'm also trying to pull myself out of a post-heavy-lit-class-semester book slump. I just read Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Dead Wake. Posts about what you are reading are my favorite!

    Also, can I ask where you dress/cover up (?) is from? It's really cute!

    • Reply Janssen May 23, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      I bought it on ThredUp, but it's originally from Madewell!

  • Reply D and B's Mommy May 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Dead Wake was super interesting, as was In the Garden of Beasts (I'll read anything about WWII though). I just got Eligible from Book of the Month, and Orphan Train, Lilac Girls and, of course, Harry Potter are all on my list too! Can't wait for some good summer reading time!

  • Reply Mari Reads May 19, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Great list.. I can't wait for the HP book and I have Dead Wake already. Just waiting to be read.

  • Reply Saskia May 19, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Miss Pettigrew is one of my favorite books ever. I need to go hunt down my copy now and reread it.

  • Reply diana May 20, 2016 at 1:40 am

    I just added too many books to my to-read list… I love the "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" movie, watch it every year around Christmas! I reread all the Harry Potter books last fall, first time in 6 years and I LOVED them all over again, so glad I worked them into my (never ending) to-read pile!!

  • Reply Mel May 20, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Oh, I will be interested to hear what you think of Pope Joan. It's on my favorites list. I loved it (read it years ago). I listened to The Orphan Train and while I wasn't in love with the narrator, the story was fascinating.

  • Reply ramseyerramblings May 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I finished Lilac Girls last week. It was the best WWII book I've come across yet. It was heartbreaking and hopeful, it showed characters who were resilient yet broken. And it was about women who lived in Lublin Poland where I lived as a baby. It was deeply moving and I definitely gave it 5 stars on Good Reads. I highly encourage you to read this book!

  • Reply Ever Emma May 20, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    I am both looking forward to and dreading the HP book. It's been so long. What if that spark is just not there anymore?! I may wait for some reviews to roll in before I decide whether or not I'm going to read it. I've heard lots of good things about Eligible!

  • Reply Jodi May 21, 2016 at 6:12 am

    I enjoyed Orphan Train, read it for book groul. Heart wrenching for sure. I didn't know Miss Pettigrew was a book! Loved the movie. And I'm wondering how I'll like the new Harry Potter. I've heard it's quite…different.

  • Reply gabbi bump May 23, 2016 at 2:31 am

    I haven't read Eligible because it doesn't sound like my kind of book… But American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld is one of my favorite books of all time. I reread it about every other year and from your past book choices and reviews, it seems like something you would enjoy. It follows the main character from her early teens through middle age and is very well written.. It's the kind of book you can't wait to read every day so you can dive into her world again.

  • Reply Laura H May 23, 2016 at 4:36 am

    I read Open Road Summer after your review and loved it too. I didnt know Emery Lord had released a new book.

  • Reply Sarah S. May 23, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I love the movie version of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day so I'm excited to read the book. And a little disappointed in myself for not realizing it was a book sooner!

  • Reply Leslie Jerkins May 24, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    If you haven't read any Erik Larson, skip Dead Wake and just read Devil in the White City. Way more interesting IMO!

  • Reply Chantel Klassen May 25, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I always love your book recommendations so just went and requested all of these from my library, I'll be busy reading all summer! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Shanté May 25, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    I just read Pope Joan recently as well. I'm interested to read your thoughts on it.

  • Reply Betty May 27, 2016 at 3:45 am

    I recently read Miss Pettigrew lives for a Day and loved it (also on Ann Bogel's recommendation). Then I watched the movie and although I didn't like it as well as the book, Frances McDormand as Miss Pettigrew was perfect! She was just as I imagined the character when I was reading the book. Also loved The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress.

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