Beauty, Books

A BIG GIANT Summer Reading List!



It’s officially summer, the kids are out of school YAY! I don’t have to get up early although I still do because I like my coffee and alone time. I love to start my day quietly and ease into it!

It’s also the time to LOAD UP ON GOOD BOOKS! Summer is the best time to catch up on reading because most TV shows are reruns and there is nothing better than getting into bed with a good book and reading late into the night especially when you don’t have to wake up early and shuffle kids to school.

I found this huge list of books from people like Elizabeth Gilbert, Rashida Jones, Bill and Melinda Gates and more smart people- go here to read all of these recommendations.  I’ll have to put some of those on my To-Read list!


Now, onto my own summer reading list and books I think you will love.


The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

I started this one recently and haven’t gotten too far into it yet but I will pick it up and finish soon! Already this is a different but intriguing novel and if its one thing I like, its an author who can weave together a story in an unusual way (see Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple!)

Here’s the 411:

Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old-line New England firm, where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are trapped behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one week, with all the big partners out of town, Sophie is stuck handling the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s most important client.
After eighteen years of marriage, Mayflower descendant Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim has just been served divorce papers in a humiliating scene at the popular local restaurant, Golightly’s. Mia is now locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Mather Medical School, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane. Mia also burns to take him down a peg. Sophie warns Mia that she’s never handled a divorce case before, but Mia can’t be put off. The way she sees it, it’s her first divorce, too. For Sophie, the whole affair will spark a hard look at her own relationships—with her parents, colleagues, friends, lovers, and, most important, herself.

The Mockingbird Next Door: My Life With Harper Lee by Marja Mills

Are you as big of a fan of To Kill A Mockingbird as I am? Loved the story, read it in  highschool and watched the movie back then and again recently.

This book takes us to Alabama where reporter Marja Mills moved into the house next door to author Harper Lee, known as Nelle, and her sister Alice.  She befriends the sisters and here is the story of what she learned about these women. Nelle was a shy woman, not much into  being in the spotlight and has lived quietly since the publication of her famous novel. In fact, she turned away many reporters and granted few interviews.

Marja writes honestly but this is certainly not a juicy tell all. Instead, its an interesting look at Alabama, a private writer and a friendship. Look for this one out on July 15, get it!

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell 

This is another one on the top of my reading pile. Due out in August, you can place an order now via Amazon. I have in on my Kindle and am ready to dig in! Here’s the scoop:

Meet the Bird family. They live in a honey-colored house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together every night. Their father is a sweet gangly man named Colin, who still looks like a teenager with floppy hair and owlish, round-framed glasses. Their mother is a beautiful hippy named Lorelei, who exists entirely in the moment. And she makes every moment sparkle in her children’s lives.

Then one Easter weekend, tragedy comes to call. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass as the children become adults, find new relationships, and develop their own separate lives. Soon it seems as though they’ve never been a family at all. But then something happens that calls them back to the house they grew up in—and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.

Currently I am reading A Sudden Light by Garth Stein. 

I just realized this one isn’t out until September! I’m really into it, I love the author’s writing style and the fact this is told from the point of view from a fourteen year old boy trying to put his parents marriage back together. This one takes place against the backdrop of a family’s stately yet crumbling and haunted mansion on Puget Sound.

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.




Last night I was going through some books on Amazon and making a list of my favorites.  I really love books that pull you in and don’t let you go until the last page and maybe not even then. Books you think about long after the cover is closed. Ones that you tell your friends, “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!”

Here’s mine:

The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Everyone who has read this book about…well, literally a train of orphans who try to become adopted throughout the midwest, has loved it. This book is probably on everyone’s top books list.

North of Normal by Cea Sunrise Person

I devoured this book about Cea’s unconventional upbringing. Raised in the middle of nowhere, living in a teepee (spelled tipi in the book) this story is about survival but also acceptance of the past. I hope to meet Cea one day as she is an amazing woman. And talented writer!

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin 

Why am I not seeing this book everywhere? It deserves to be. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story of grumpy A.J. Fikry, a book seller on a small island whose life is changed by some unconventional characters. Read it.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Speaking of unconventional, the main character of this book reminds me so much of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Very logical and perhaps socially awkward, Don Tillman has a list of attributes for his potential future wife. Except the woman he meets doesn’t fit one of them. Its heart warming, funny and everyone I recommend this to has loved it. This book will be made into a movie, I think its already in pre-production.

 Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I’ll just put this simply, its a MUST READ. Also being made into a movie. What makes a good book? Its like this one and The Rosie Project too, unforgettable characters we haven’t seen before and situations we either relate to, or are  intrigued by. Do yourself a favor and read all of Jojo Moyes’ books.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Liane is an AMAZINGLY talented author. I just chose this book because its the first I read by Liane but read any of her novels because they are all very good.

The Man Who Risked It All by Laurent Gounelle 

The book starts with Alan Greenmoor about to jump off the top of the Eiffel Tower. His entire life is in shambles and he feels like a loser. But a strange man offers Alan a deal- “don’t jump, do everything I say and see if we can change your life.” With  nothing to lose, he decides to take this man up on the challenge. Not only is this an entertaining read but offers some really neat pearls of wisdom that makes me want to re-read this.

To Marilyn, With Love by Cindy Bokma

I have to include my own book! A quick and easy read about a writer who discovers Marilyn Monroe may still be alive. I hope you read it and love it.


What’s on your summer reading list?


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