A Complete Collection of Summer Beach Reads

I love to read. I must confess though, with the distraction of my smart phone, I tend to read more articles and less books. Though with the longer summer days and vacations planned, I do like to have a list of books that I know that I will love. You know, sometimes you take a risk on a book and it pans out, other times, not so much. I wanted this complete list to be the kinds of books that you would ask your girlfriends to give you on Facebook and then devour because they were just that good.  Are you ready for it? Get ready to make your own list! I promise you, these are some good ones!

book recommendations, books to read

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

I read The Paris Wife {another good one to add to your list. It's a love story about Ernest Hemingway} and devoured this one. I'm pretty enamored by any book set in Africa and this one didn't disappoint. The strong willed independent lead character Beryl Markham was a record-setting pilot caught in a love triangle. 

Circling the Sun Paula McLain

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes a commuter train on the same route every day and one day she sees something shocking. She gets thrown into not only the investigation, but she also gets thrown into the lives of everyone involved.

After You by Jojo Moyes

This series of books by Jojo Moyes are the quintessential beach reads. They are easy to devour and have you hooked on the characters and invested in their lives from the very beginning. If you didn't read Me Before You, start there.  This book is the sequel to what happens as Lou finds herself moving on after the death of someone she loved.  I also loved this other book by Jojo Moyes, One Plus One. It's another easy read about a single mom that's been dealt a hard hand and how she is doing her best to make the most of it.

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Fourteen year old Joan is unhappy at home doing all of the work for her father and her brothers instead of being able to go to school like she would want. Her father punishes her by burning her books and she runs away in search of a better life. She thinks that she can find it by becoming a hired girl who actually gets paid for all of her cooking and cleaning. 

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

Like The Hired Girl, this is another young adult book that I really enjoyed. It's about a young girl that has been orphaned trying to find the courage to move to Montana on her own to prove up on her late uncle's homestead claim. It's a race against time and bad weather to try to finish the tasks needed and get the money to stake her claim to own the land. I look forward to reading the sequal Hattie Ever After.

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Kate gets the call at work to come pick up her teenage daughter Amelia at school only to find that when she gets there, that it's too late. It looks as though Amelia has jumped from the building committing suicide. But Kate doesn't believe it and this is a story of a mother who goes to great lengths to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she couldn't save. If you liked Gone Girl, you will love this one.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I loved the other books by Liane Moriarty {Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret} so I knew that I would like this one too. It's a story about a mom who wakes up with amnesia realizing that she's lost a decade of her memories. This book follows her as she reconstructs those events and does her best to remember why she thought she was happily married but now she's currently in the middle of a divorce.

I just read this book on vacation and could not put it down. In the middle of the Great Depression, 15 year old Thea Atwood is cast out of her home under mysterious circumstances. She's sent to an equestrian boarding school and has to come to grips with the events that made her parents see no other way but to send her away and break up what seemed like the classic all-American family.

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

A young widower is doing his best to keep his beloved bookstore afloat. He's cranky and cynical and depressed but his life changes when he gets an unexpected package.  There is unexpected hope and redemption for AJ and I think you will be rooting for him from the very beginning.

The following are a few that I always recommend. These are those books that if people ask me what my favorites are, they rise to the top. If you haven't read them, you should.

Where the Wind Leads by Vinh Chung

This is the real story of a family forced out of Vietnam in the aftermath of the war.  It's a story of a refugee family and the miraculous events that led them to a small town in Arkansas.

A young couple takes on the position of lighthouse keeper on an isolated island. A boat washes onto the shore with a dead man and a living baby and Isabele, having suffered several losses, longs to have a child of her own and against her husbands better judgement begins to raise the child as her own. 

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

I became invested in the characters lives and don't often find myself in tears as I read a book but I was sobbing by the end. It's the story of an unlikely friendship and second chances.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This is the memoir of a girl growing up with an alcoholic father and a mentally ill mother in a coal mining town in West Virginia. It's a fascinating read. 

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

In early 19th century Charleston, Sarah is give a handmaid named Handful for her eleventh birthday. This book follows their journey over the next 35 years as they strive for a life of their own.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

A young girl who spent her childhood in foster homes has a hard time forming connections to those people around her. She can however, use the Victorian language of flowers to speak and communicate to others in the most unique way. 

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

A brilliant man goes on a hunt for a partner but it's not easy when you are socially challenged. As the wife of an engineer, some of these characteristics are quite familiar to me as traits that my husband shares.  It's a hilarious book that is full of heart and may just hit sort of close to home, just like it did for me.  There is a follow up book called The Rosie Effect, I need to get my hands on.

A few books that have been recommended to me and I have on my list are:

The Fixer by Joseph Finder
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
11-22-63 by Stephen King
The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepety {actually, this author has a few books I have on my list}
Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I always love adding books to my list. Do you have any that you would recommend?

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LES is More said...

The Pale Blue Eye is a mystery set at West Point with Edgar Allen Poe helping to solve the murder. Great ending. By Louis Ballard.

Rachel Teodoro said...

I will add it to my list! Thank you!

Whitney Kippes said...

Another great summer read - Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins. It's one of my favorites to pick up whenever summer hits!

Debbie Peysen said...

Thanks for all the great books to add to my list.

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