Whether you’re spending the part of the summer on your honeymoon on a tropical beach somewhere or hanging by the pool, these are some of my favorite summer reads! Enjoy!
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. This book might be five years old, but it’s still at the top of the list when I’m asked for summer reading suggestions. It’s delightfully funny while still speaking to greater narratives such as family dynamics. It will make you fall in love with the quirky characters and have you looking at flights to Antarctica.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. This is one of my most beloved books, and if I ever see it at a used bookstore, I immediately purchase it to pass along to friends. Written with warmth and humor as a series of letter, this is a touching story about the power of community in a seemingly dark season. After finishing this novel, I searched high and low for one as endearing as this one to no avail.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. If you’re a fan of thrillers, this is the book for you! This novel is intense and full of twists and turns that will leave you as the reader wondering what happens next. Not to pat myself on the back, but I’m normally pretty good at predicting plot lines, and this one caught me by surprise in the best possible way!
Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life by Lara Casey. Our wonderful founder’s second book release at the end this month, and our team had the privilege of reading the final draft a few months ago. If you’re looking for encouragement and practical ways to embrace the season you’re in, look no further than Lara’s heartfelt words.
A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner. This is the only book on the list that I haven’t read, but Amber just finished it on her vacation couldn’t stop singing its praises. She’s dropped it in the mail for me, and I’m already anticipating its arrival!
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. If you’re looking for a testament to how enthralling Hannah’s novel is, look no further than the fact that I experienced a pretty intense sunburn last summer after spending an entire afternoon with my nose in this book by the pool. The Nightingale is a beautifully written account of two French sisters–one in Paris, one in the countryside–during WWII and their account of surviving the Nazi occupation in their own ways.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I admittedly had a hard time getting into this novel because of its post-apocalyptic nature, but I’m so grateful I pushed through. The story shifts between a fragile post-apocalyptic world and decades earlier, before the virus hits. The description does the most justice to St. John Mandel’s work: “At once terrible and tender, dark and hopeful, Station Eleven is a tragically beautiful novel that both mourns and mocks the things we cherish.” Find a friend to read this alongside because you will want to discuss it with someone when you’re finished!
Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. This novel might be categorized as young adult, but the storyline is about being an outsider, coping with loss in the midst of a horrible tragedy, and redefining what family looks like. It’s a quick read, even if you aren’t a fast reader, but even more importantly, it’s a powerful story about family, community and the power of love.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. This book is immediately engrossing, which is quite surprising given that it is driven by character development and not based on twists and turns in the plot. This novel reminded me that all families have their own stories–some that are worth sharing and others that are better left unsaid. It’s a powerful story about love and family, death and heartbreak.
If you’re more of a magazine reader in the summer (and no judgment if you are!), look no further than some of our past issues of Southern Weddings from the SW Shop. Use the code SUMMERREADING through Friday, June 9th for 40% off Volume 5, Volume 6, and Volume 7.
Call me biased but these are some of the best magazines around! They’ll have you ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the beautiful images and stories in these pages while soaking up the sunshine! :)
I’d love to hear from you! Have you read any of the books I mentioned above, or do you have other recommendations to add to this list?