Book Lists Book Reviews Books for Adults Tell Me What to Read

Tell Me What to Read: Summer 2017 Edition

It’s been too long since I did one of these!

Which might be because I got so stalled on Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, the book I was supposed to finish in. . . September . . . from the last round of Tell Me What to Read.

I finally just gave up.

So now, it’s clearly time for a new 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 May, June, and July!

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 July (hopefully). 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!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Betsy April 17, 2017 at 4:12 am

    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

    • Reply Brooke April 18, 2017 at 12:53 am

      I second the Station Eleven recommendation.

      • Reply Erikka April 19, 2017 at 5:54 pm

        I third or … fourth it! (more below) As a heavy reader of dystopian fiction (adult and YA) this book was still fun and brought something new to the genre. Fast read too – exciting!

  • Reply Christine April 17, 2017 at 5:10 am

    I love that you’re doing this again!

    I highly recommend A Thousand Miles to Freedom: My Escape from North Korea by Eunsun Kim. You won’t believe this young girl’s story, and reading it made me feel grateful for so many things that I barely think about. Happy reading! 🙂

  • Reply Diane Olson April 17, 2017 at 5:18 am

    John Grogan, The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir ( same author as Marley and Me)

  • Reply Rebecca April 17, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Defending Jacob by William Landay

  • Reply Allison April 17, 2017 at 6:21 am

    My favorite book recently is The Girl Who Drank the Moon. I adored it from cover to cover!

  • Reply Maria Delaney April 17, 2017 at 7:03 am

    My sister gifted me The Boy Made of Blocks for Christmas and I could not put it down. It’s about a dad, whose marriage is falling apart because he’s lost touch how to communicate with his wife and his eight year old son who has autism. He’s determined to fix his relationship with his son first which he does with the help of the gamer Minecraft. I’m not a gaming person at all but this novel was beautiful. It’s set in the Uk 🇬🇧. Totally worth a read.

  • Reply Kristin April 17, 2017 at 7:18 am

    A Hundred Summers – Beatriz Williams
    Cancel the Wedding – Carolyn Dingman
    It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover (warning of some R rated content, if you can get past that, it’s a good book)

    • Reply Diana April 17, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      LOVE A Hundred Summers. I tend to reread it every year!

  • Reply Rachel Kerfonta April 17, 2017 at 7:33 am

    The Shack by William P. Young! I just finished it and it opens your eyes to our pre-conceived notions of God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit! It’s emotional to read, especially if you are a parent but definitely worth the time!

  • Reply Katie Mitchell April 17, 2017 at 8:18 am

    I recently read (ahem, listened) to Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls by Lauren Graham. I really enjoyed it! I liked listening to Lauren as the narrator.

  • Reply Jenny April 17, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I just read This is How It Always Is. Very realistic book about a family with a transgender child. I couldn’t put it down. I also love, love, loved The Forgetting Time. It’s about a boy who has been reincarnated. I’m not sure that I believe in this, but boy was it a great book!

  • Reply chaun April 17, 2017 at 10:18 am

    The Cenote by Chelsea Dyreng! I really loved this book. The opening page is from the author stating that there’s a clarion call sounded in the world, and this is her spear. It’s in defense of marriage, but told from the perspective of an islander couple put together in an arranged marriage and the elements they face that threaten to break their marriage. Humorous, surprising, and romantic. And heartbreak, of course. Anyway, I loved this one. Highly recommended. 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie April 17, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, a little mystery/fantasy combo that’s not easy to put down!

  • Reply Ally April 17, 2017 at 11:07 am

    My Mrs. Brown by William Norwich would be a wonderful summer read–a contemporary novel in the coming-of-old-age category that was solidly four starts in my book. Also Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool, ugh, amazing!!!

  • Reply Cindy Alberts April 17, 2017 at 11:37 am

    All fall down Jenifer Weiner
    I loved this book. Managing a household, children, a blog, husband etc the stress became to much for Allison and she becomes addicted to pain killers. Its a fun book and totally relatable(minus her pill addiction)

  • Reply Melanie April 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I, Juan de Pareja – an older YA book that won the Newbery. It’s told from the point of view of a slave/assistant to the painter Diego Velasquez, based on true characters.

    To the Bright Edge of the World – absolutely the best book I read in 2016.

  • Reply Paige April 17, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    My friend Kelsey McMurtrey just wrote a book called, “One Day At A Time: 100 Days in the Life of a Mother” (here: and I haven’t read it yet, but am super excited to!

  • Reply Ella April 17, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is interesting – would love to hear your thoughts on it

  • Reply JoLee April 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Have you read My Lady Jane yet? I thought it was really fun. It’s definitely on the silly side, and I’d highly recommend you listen to the audiobook. The narrator makes the story even more hilarious.

    My other suggestion is not fun. It’s rather serious and weighty. I highly recommend Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad. Read it while listening to Shostakovich’s music. Very powerful and a great book club pick too.

    (Also, loved Bone Gap, one of the other suggestions in the comments.)

  • Reply Jenny April 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Things I’ve read/re-read recently:
    Fiction: In this House of Brede and Peacock Spring (YA) by Rumer Godden, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit series (Judith Kerr – her when the tiger came to tea illustrated books are great).

    Non-fiction: The Almost Nearly Perfect People (Michael Booth) about living in Denmark, Behind the Black Door (Sarah Brown) an account of living in Number 10 by a former UK Prime Minister’s wife, also Every Secret Thing by Gillian Slovo and Jerusalem: A Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore (long but worth it)

  • Reply Chelsea April 17, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I’m going to second It Ends with Us. So good, if (like Kristin mentioned) you are ok with a bit of rated R material.

    I’ll also second This is How it Always Is!

  • Reply Mikayla Fuge April 17, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I’m just going to speak in support of some of the previously mentioned books: The Girl Who Drank the Moon (although I’m sure it’s already on your radar since it won the Newbery Medal. It 100% deserved it! I devoured it in less than three days), Talking As Fast As I Can on audio, and Navigating Early. All excellent!

  • Reply Andria April 17, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    The Year of Living Danishly (Helen Russell) soo funny and insightful.
    Also I’m so excited to read At Home in the World (Tsh Oxenreider) a memoir about a family of five and their trip around the world.

  • Reply Dawn April 17, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn. I’m seeing it all over Instagram and excited to read it.

  • Reply Lori April 17, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Ditto Ally’s recommendation of My Mrs Brown. It was fantastic. I also just finished Love Anthony by Lisa Genova. I really enjoyed it too.

  • Reply Joy Malacara April 17, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I am almost finished with Hillbilly Elegy, which I started based on a recommendation from one of your previous posts. Another great memoir is Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. I highly recommend the audiobook. Listening to Trevor Noah retell his childhood growing up in South Africa is by turns eye-opening and hilarious.

  • Reply Jennifer Curran April 17, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    You may have read these already but I just read Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and they were both incredible books.

    • Reply Erikka April 19, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      I’m not a sports player, or watcher. This book still inspired and moved me to tears. It was well written and a captivating story. Even while knowing the ending, I couldn’t stop reading.

  • Reply New April 17, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I suggested a ” Hillbilly Elegy”.You won’t believe this young boy’s story, and reading it made me feel happy for so many things that I barely think about. Love it!!!

  • Reply Rachel April 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    How not to hate your husband after kids – very enlightening! Ha! Also, I reread The Help – gah! So good.!

  • Reply Heather April 17, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    I enjoyed This is How it Always Is sooo much. The writing is fantastic as is the family. It is so much better than it sounds and I think you will fall in love with the characters. For YA, I highly recommend either of Nicola Yoon’s books if you haven’t read them yet. And non-fiction/ memoir : Year of Yes or Anna Kendrick’s book if you are a fan. Happy reading! Can’t wait to see what you pick. I can’t recommend the first book enough.

  • Reply Erin April 17, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
    Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin
    Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

  • Reply Lynde Tibbitts April 17, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Trevor Noah: Born a Crime is an amazing memoir. It’s sad, funny, and alarming, I loved it! Ready Player One was one of the most exciting creative books I’ve read. It’s a sci-fi, dystopian novel about people living in an alternate reality where their lives are basically video games. I don’t even like video games but this was so fun and a great page turner!

  • Reply Diana April 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    I’ll third (I think?) Station Eleven, I just finished yesterday and it was so different from anything else I’ve read (although, to be fair, I don’t read much sci-fi).
    Loving my Actual Life by Alexandra Kuykendall, similar to The Happiness Project or Happier at Home, but less scientific
    Sugar by Kimberly Stuart – just a nice, foodie-ish contemporary novel
    The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawton – based on a real unsolved disappearance in the 1930s (I think?), it was a lot harder to put down than I expected!
    The Futures by Anna Pitoniak – contemporary fiction (2008-ish) set in NYC, following a couple as they go through their early career and lives together.

    I love reading other comments when you do these! Always gives me some more ideas!

  • Reply Sherry April 17, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Per my usual M.O. I’m going to recommend a really long one about American history – The Hemingses of Monticello by by Annette Gordon-Reed. It’s super long (like 35 hours on audio), but it is so detailed and thorough. I have loved listening to it. It provides so much context, and it’s just incredibly well-done.

  • Reply Amy April 17, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. Young adult fiction, published awhile ago so maybe you’ve already read it? A tale of adventure and intrigue on the high seas with a strong female protagonist.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw April 19, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Yes! I read that one when I was in middle school and it’s always been one of my favorites.

  • Reply Liz April 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Its the first book in the YA series. Just finished the third book in the series. Loved all of them.

    • Reply Erikka April 19, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      I wanted to like this one more than I did…tell me something awesome that will make reading the next two books a must for me…I’m so in the middle right now on reading the second one!

  • Reply Kristin April 17, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    I finished A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold not long ago. This is the memoir of one of the mothers of the Columbine shooters. I listened to the audiobook, which Klebold reads herself. While this is a heavy book, I could not stop listening and am still thinking about many of the issues she raises about mental health and parenting teenagers.

  • Reply Lori April 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Where the Light Gets in: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again by Kimberly Williams-Paisley. This book was my favorite read from last year. Absolutely beautiful.

    • Reply Sara Millett April 18, 2017 at 6:43 am

      I loved “Where the Light Gets In” too. My dad has Alzheimer’s and I could totally relate…but I think that even if you didn’t have that connection you would enjoy it.

  • Reply Katherine April 17, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    I recently read The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill and thought it was excellent!

  • Reply Amy Kendall April 17, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning, Best fake dating story I’ve read. Also would recommend Unsticky by Manning (it’s like Pretty Woman meets The Devil Wears Prada, with a dash of Confessions of a Shopaholic)

    The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. Newbery winner, and the first in a series. The second and third books are two of my absolute favorites (I own them in both paperbook and ebook versions). Don’t read the back cover copy for the second book if you want to remain unspoiled for a major plot point.

    The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Armin. I love this book so much. The first time I read it, I was on tenterhooks near the end, wanting things to work out happily for all the characters

  • Reply Betsy April 18, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. This is my favorite read of 2017 so far.

  • Reply Meg April 18, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Another vote for The Girl Who Drank The Moon – totally deserving of the Newberry, and the perfect mix of magic and complexity. Loved every bit of it!

    • Reply Erikka April 19, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      I see this book says it is for 4th-6th gaders, but many women on here loved it. I tend to read YA books for high schoolers mostly, would I like this book? The description sounds fascinating, I guess I’m worried it will be waaaaay too fast/easy reading…?? YA lit (for high schoolers) usually is already…so just wondering!

  • Reply Karen April 18, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    I really liked the one-in-a-million boy by my Monica Wood. Its about a mostly absentee father whose young son dies unexpectedly and he decides to finish his boy scout project of helping an elderly lady. Along the way he becomes friends with the old lady and tries to help her break a world record, something else his kid was obsessed with.

    I also loved The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. The cover compares it to girl on the train and gone girl. I was neutral to negative on those books and loved thus one. It is a really well done mystery that isn’t predictable at all. It is loosely based on the old Hitchcock movie strangers on a train.

  • Reply Sara April 18, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Golden Legacy by Leonard S. Marcus (nonfiction-the history of Little Golden Books).
    The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho (on audio).
    Dragons at Crumbling Castle and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett (on audio).
    The Murder of Napoleon by Ben Weider (nonfiction, not gory at all).
    Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury (essays).

  • Reply Cheryl Blinston April 18, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan is my favorite read so far this year. One of my other all time favorites is Pope Joan by Donna Wollfolk Cross. And one I love to reread every once in a while is There Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

  • Reply Sarah April 18, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    I just finished The Sun is Also a Star by Nichola Moon and it got a solid four stars from me on Goodreads. I also read Anne of Green Gables last week (um I somehow missed this my whole life) and loved it. Apparently I am on a YA kick 🙂 On a non-YA note, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne I loved an embarrassing amount for “chick lit” and earned 5 stars from me.

  • Reply Enikő Reisz April 19, 2017 at 5:39 am

    I do not know whether you enjoy historical fiction (especially Regency ones), but I recently started to broaden my horizon (no longer limiting my reading to fantasy/urban fantasy or historical romances set in the regency period). This is how I started Murder in Time by Julie McElwain. Definitely one of my best decisions this year! 🙂

  • Reply Karla April 19, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas- great YA read on current events.
    Stef Soto, Taco McQueen by Jennifer Torres- a sweet coming of age story

  • Reply Erikka April 19, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Moonglow by Michael Chabon

    I wanted to hate it…I think I’m jealous of him as a writer, and I’m not sure why. But the story was sweet, racy, gripping, and showed yet another dimension of WWII. Lately, or … is it always…the books I pick up, 1 out of 3, are about WWII, it’s weird. All the Light We Cannot See is another one, but you’ve prob read it by now…. (I’m a librarian, I read a lot!)

  • Reply Tell Me What To Read: Summer 2017 Reading Picks – Everyday Reading April 20, 2017 at 3:20 am

    […] I think the recommendations on Monday’s post were the best they’ve ever been in all the years I’ve been doing this series (since […]

  • Reply Laura H April 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    The Orphan Keeper by Cameron Wright. Fascinating read

  • Leave a Reply