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Tell Me What to Read: Summer 2016 Edition

I’m in a serious reading zone right now (hooray!) and I’m cruising through titles like I did back in my reading glory days of 2010 when I had no children, a 35-hour-a-week job, and a husband who traveled a lot.

Which means it is clearly time for a summer edition of Tell Me What to Read.

You know the drill – suggest something fun (although that doesn’t need to mean chick-lit – I’m up for non-fiction, memoirs, young adult, middle grade, AND chick-lit), and I’ll pick three to read in July, August, and September.

 The best summer book recommendations from real readers!

Your job: Comment with the title of a book you think I should read.

 My job: Choose three from the suggestions and announce which ones I’ll be reading.

I’ll read one a month (ish) between now and the end of September. Feel free to read along and check back every month for my reviews.

And, as always, even if I hate the book, I will not hate you.

And go!

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  1. Longevity – Cameron Diaz
    The Secrets of Happy Families – Bruce Feiller
    Bread and Wine – Shauna Niequist

  2. "Haunting Bombay" was a book that I was kind of surprised I finished, but in a good way. One of those books that's so intriguing and well-written that even though it wasn't a story I would normally be interested in (hard to describe, but kind of a ghost story set in India), I read it anyway. Not sure that's the best recommendation, but it was a really good and unique book.

  3. My very favorite thing I've read lately is A Court of Thorns and Roses and the second book which came out recently, A Court of Mist and Fury. I've rarely loved a second book in a series as much as I loved this.

  4. Lately, I've enjoyed Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick (middle readers) and A Fifty Year Silence: Love, War and a Ruined House in France by Miranda Richmond Mouillot.

  5. Kitchens of the Great Midwest by Ryan Stradal — unique perspective, fascinating read
    House Arrest by K. A. Holt — children's book, told in verse, lovely

  6. I'm currently reading The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell, and loving it. It's witty and charming, and great if you're a fan of the Brontës. A good summer book, too!

  7. Is it cheating if I pick an unreleased book? 🙂 I know you're a Liane Moriarty fan, so I'd love to see your review of Truly, Madly, Guilty when it comes out. I can't wait for it!

  8. Have you ever read the Accidental Detective Series? It would probably be considered a middle school fiction series (and I haven't read them since then) but they were one of my favorites growing up. Your girls might even be old enough to enjoy them read aloud- my mom read them aloud to us when I was only a bit older than Ella. I can't remember any specific titles but just start with the first in the series.

    1. Sigmund Brouwer came to our elementary school when I was a kid – he lives not far from my hometown in Calgary. I loved all these books!! I have a few of them signed by the author and I can't wait to share them with my kids in the coming years.

  9. I highly recommend Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series if you haven't already read it, although I'm sure you have heard of it via Modern Mrs. Darcy. They are great books. I also recently really enjoyed Eligible, although it's not for everyone – it was very fun and a great summer read, in my opinion! I also second a vote for Truly, Madly, Guilty – I can't wait to read your thoughts on it (and read it myself!!)

  10. The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes–not great literature but a fun read.
    Crossover and/or Booked by Kwame Alexander
    Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley a very sweet book about books!
    My Mrs Brown by William Norwich

  11. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
    The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
    Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
    Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

  12. Tiny Pretty Things by Sonia Charaipotra
    Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
    Cinder by Marissa Meyer
    Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen
    Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

  13. I love these posts because I get to read through all of the comments and pick out some new titles to put on my To Read list!

    Salt to the Sea – yet another WWII book but a great page turner

    Unaccustomed Earth – I don't usually like short stories, but these have really stuck with me

    Hannah Coulter – beautiful but unpretentious writing; I now view "small town people" in a completely different way

    Brideshead Revisited – When I try and summarize this book it sounds really dull but I'm obsessed with it and I want other people to read it so we can discuss the characters and themes

  14. Janssen, have you read SILENT IN THE GRAVE by Deanna Raybourn yet? It's the first in the most brilliant Victorian mystery series. First line, "To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor."

    I rest my case.

  15. The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye. Just released last month. I just read a blog post that recommended it for people who loved Harry Potter.

  16. Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas
    The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes
    Sycamore Row by John Grisham
    The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

  17. The Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring
    In my top 5. A story set in a small town in Wisconsin, 1960’s – a little girl travels to the small town with her wild older sister. She carries her mom’s ashes in an urn and a book that she uses to record all the mysteries of the life. It takes place over a summer – Winnalee (the little girl) befriends Button. I mean, Winnalee and Button? How could you not like this book? (the cover is dumb – just fyi)
    Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
    I couldn’t put it down. Narrator is a man looking back on the summer of 1961 when his family suffered tragedy. It’s a coming-of-age story and the characters are great. I read it in two days.

  18. I just finished Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier, and I feel like it's going to be one I'm going to be recommending for the rest of my life. Such a fun book.

  19. 'Maybe In Another Life' by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It's almost a year old, but I just read it and loved it! A fairly easy and fun read, but really made me think about life and all it's various possible paths and destinations!

  20. 'Maybe In Another Life' by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It's almost a year old, but I just read it and loved it! A fairly easy and fun read, but really made me think about life and all it's various possible paths and destinations!

  21. The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. Lovely, summery, English countryside goodness, plus, I think the cover is beautiful!

  22. The Residence by Kate Anderson Brower is about the staff who work at the White House. They stay between administrations trying to be non-partisan and discrete, and it was fascinating hearing from people who had worked with multiple presidents from JFK onwards. The stories generally aren't too gossipy like I feared (if anything, I think the author is a bit too deferential at times), and it often feels like a series of anecdotes rather than a coherent whole but they're such fascinating stories that it's still worthwhile if you like stories from behind the scenes. For example, every inauguration day now I am going to picture staff at the White House rushing around moving out the old President and moving in the new one.

  23. "It Ain't So Awful, Falafel." Firoozah Dumas. I LOVED her memoir "Funny in Farsi" years ago, so when I heard she had a new young adult book out I jumped at it. It wasn't spectacularly written – I'd say she was aiming for upper elementary school/early middle school reading level – but the subject matter was fascinating. It's all about growing up Iranian in the United States in the late 1970s. That in and of itself makes for some good reading, but when the Iranian hostage situation went down, everything hit the proverbial fan. I didn't know anything about it, so it was fascinating to learn so much. My kids gobbled it up too.

  24. When We Collided by Emery Lord (It's probably her best so far.)
    Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin
    My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (Funny. Listen to the audiobook. It's fabulous.)

  25. Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg. Written while the author (mother of 5, and the first woman in America to earn a glider pilot's license in 1930) was on a brief vacation by the sea. Insights on a woman's life and relationships as they change through the years. At one point I was in tears because she pin-pointed my exact feelings with such vivid and accurate analogies! She has such wise insight on the balancing act of a woman's life.

  26. Just finished The Nest on MMD's recommendation and it was great. Currently reading One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid and enjoying it immensely. Her characters are just so darn relatable! Can't wait to see what you pick!

  27. My favorites of the last two dozen books I've read:

    Still Alice by Lisa Genova
    The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
    Summerlost by Ally Condie

  28. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
    When Breath Becomes Air
    The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
    Second House from the Corner by Sadeqa Johnson
    Multiple Listings by Tracy McMillan

  29. New follower here, so I'm not sure of everything you've read in the past? I am currently reading Empty Mansions by Bill Dedmond and Paul Clark Newell, Jr. Non fiction and FASCINATING! And I'm not normally a non fiction gal!

  30. The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse: An Extraordinary Edwardian Case of Deception and Intrigue, by Piu Marie Eatwell (True story, and yes, it's quite possibly the longest title EVER!)
    One Second After, by William R. Fortschen

  31. Mudbound by Hilary Jordan
    I feel like this book expanded empathy for me in a really profound way.

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