Wednesday, June 5, 2019

2019 Summer Reading Guide

If I were to have a massive following like Modern Mrs. Darcy or Everyday Reading, I might be on my A-game to read new releases but, as such, I still want to give out summer reading recommendations because who doesn't like a good book list?

Summer is the perfect time to read a book either set in the summer time, is a quick fun read that you want to go back to by the end of the day, or a good audiobook for a road trip. I hope you find some good ones on this list.

Most of these are older books but I enjoyed them all. 

History Comes to Life
I've realized through reading so much that I'm a huge history fan so anytime I can learn a piece of history through a memoir, nonfiction for young adults, or historical fiction, I'm all over that. 

Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin: This is Goodwin's childhood memoir in the 1950's and her love for baseball.
This was a wonderful memoir. I have yet to read Goodwin's 'Team of Rivals' (I feel like it'll be forever on my TBR list) but this was a fun snippet into her growing up years in Brooklyn. Her love for baseball mirrored my love for football and basketball growing up so I was laughing at her passion because I saw myself in her in those moments. Probably my favorite part was her first Confession with the priest and having to repent because she prayed repeatedly that several New York Giant players would be injured! haha And her description of the Dodgers winning the World Series gave me chills.

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon: On May 3rd, 1937, the Hindenburg makes its last departure in what would be a doom landing in America. What transpired in those few days leading up to the crash is weaved through several different characters and their relationships to one another and their connection to the crash. I read this in one day on a road trip. Lawhon always knows how to tell a good story and this is would be a perfect beach read without it being too fluffy. 

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix: Bonhoffer is a pastor and theologian who cannot stand the way his Germany has turned. He ends up being a double spy to bring down Hitler. This graphic novel is one not to miss. The illustrations are incredible and the author does a masterful job at keeping you engaged in the story.

Let's Hear it for the Ladies
I love inspiring stories as well as thought provoking memoirs. These three ladies are very different in their life experiences but all inspiring. 

Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson: Stephanie and her husband Christian live this idyllic life and it's all turned upside down when there are involved in a plane crash. The way they survive and hold their family and faith together is powerful to read about. Even though it's a bit simplistic in writing, I easily got swept up in their story.

Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy: Written in essay form, this perspective of their first full year at Maplehurst, their charming old home, brings fondness of what a home really means. Her writing is lyrical and it was one of my favorite reads of last year.

This Promise of Change: One Girl's Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce: A new release this year and it's a good one. Jo Ann tells her story of integrating in Clinton High, the first one to integrate in Tennessee. This one is in verse and is done very well.

Middle Grade with a Touch of Magic
There is nothing I love more than reading a good middle grade book. Two of these take place in the heat of summer and they all have a bit of magic in their own way. 

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar: Carolina would rather be spending her summer with friends than helping her parents move her grandpa to a home for dementia but she quickly is fascinated by her Grandpa's stories of healing trees and how the bees will bring back the rain. I don't read much middle grade magical realism but I really enjoyed it in this. You'll never think of bees the same. 

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan: A magical harmonica weaves through three characters spanning different countries and times. This is one that is fantastic on audio because of the music throughout. I listened to the ending twice because I loved it so much.

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand: It's about an 11 year old girl named Finley who goes and spends the summer with her grandparents who she's never met until now. Her parents need the summer to 'work things out.' Finley is dealing with a lot of emotions that she can't explain and her only way to work through them is to write about Everwood, her imaginary story about knights and queens and adventures in the woods. What goes through this novel is a lot of keeping secrets, being authentic, and how to deal with a range of emotions with yourself and others. I really enjoyed this novel for its realistic as well as fantastical elements to it. I think it would make a good book club discussion. 

Audiobooks for the Road
All three of these will help pass the time on those long road trips. Fantastic narrators and engaging stories that will be hard to put down. 

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: Ten guests are invited to a private island. They are strangers to each other but soon fall prey to murder. Who is the killer? Purposefully read this on a hot day instead of in the fall late at night like me because you won't be able to sleep.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand: Ok, I admit that I didn't do this one on audio but I really wish I did. I hear it's perfectly British and wonderful on audio. But the story is none the less fun to read. This is a bit of twist to Lady Jane Grey's story and Edward, the king of England. It has a mix of Princess Bride feel to it. An enjoyable YA book. 

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou: All about the start up of Silicon Valley's newest company, Theranos, and how it was built on lies after lies. It's crazy to think they went for so long without being caught but once the whistle blower steps into the scene and you see the whole thing unfold, it's hard to stop listening. 

Nonfiction Worth Discussing
Nonfiction books are some of my favorite reads because I learn so much and it provides an easy outlet for discussion. These will turn your thinking upside down on how you see your everyday life. 

Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes: This book shifted my perspective on homemaking and how going back to its historical roots can help me save money and find creativity in the process. 

Walkable City by Jeff Speck: Sometimes I want to hand this book to our city manager and say, I know that we can make some improvements in this area to make it more safe and accessible for others. Speck goes into to different cities where they are more walkable and why it matters. 

This is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick: I read this on our move from Idaho to Washington and I think I liked it so much because it was so timely. She goes into depth of her life experience as well as scientific research. I just found it fascinating and I still try to implement some things in my own life. 

What are you excited about reading this summer?


  1. This is a great list, especially as I've only read one of them (Echo)! I actually have Wait Till Next Year out from the library right now (though I haven't started it), and a bunch of these were on my radar, so this just gives me more of a nudge to bump them up the list :)

  2. Oh, and I've read My Lady Jane, which was so fun. I haven't read any of the others in the series though---maybe I'll do that this summer?

  3. I haven't read or even heard about many of these. I am going to check these out. Thanks for making this guide!!

  4. I love your reading guides. You always make me want to read all of them, right now! Thanks to my reading buddy. :)