Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Page Turning Books to Take on Summer Vacations

I'm always looking for great books to read over summer vacation.  I love the kinds of books that are quick to read but well written, light without being dumb, substantial without making my brain hurt from thinking - a book that if I had to put it down to play with my kids in the pool that I could pick right back up and get right back into it.  If you are looking for a great book to read over summer vacation that fits those criteria, here are some suggestions from the books I've read over the past few years.

Fun Fiction:
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty - I really enjoyed the premise of this book.  It made me think about the last 10 years of my life.  Am I who I want to be?  How did I get to this place in my life?  Is there anything I would change about the last 10 years? Liane Moriarty's books are all pretty fun and fast paced, but this one is my favorite.

The Martian by Andy Weir - It's odd for me to include a Sci-Fi book on my list, but this one, although outside of my reading comfort zone, made me cheer and race to the finish.  It does have a bunch of technical stuff in it, but the determination of the American hero in this book is fun to follow.

Best Romantic Reads With Substance:
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - I loved the non-traditional romance set up in this book.  I raced through this one at the very beginning of fall.  Cheesy to say it, but I fell in love with the story which follows Don and his intriguing "Wife Project" and how he accidentally falls in love with Rosie.

One Plus One OR Me Before You by Jojo Moyes- I'm embarrassed to say that I had never heard of Jojo Moyes before I picked up her book One Plus One in the "Hot Picks" section of my library.  At first I thought I wouldn't enjoy it, but Moyes has a way of pulling you into her novels, making you stay there and emoting all over the place.

Best WWII Historical Fiction: 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer - Ummm.... this book was pretty much amazing.  The short chapters which alternate story lines will keep you reading even with the lyrical writing style.  The craft that Doer shows astounded me, and so did the characters, the plot and the complexities of another side of WWII that I didn't know existed.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - I didn't think I needed to read yet another WWII historical fiction novel, but Kristin Hannah proved me wrong.  I was breathless most of the time I read this book and I actually threw the book across the room because I got so upset while reading it.  It's fast paced, epic, romantic, and totally worth it.

Best Memoirs:

Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan - I gobbled this down in one day and just couldn't believe what I was reading at certain times.  It's crazy how much about the brain we really don't understand and seeing what can happen to a relatively healthy 20something was terrifying and fascinating all at once.

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett - This book stressed me out so much that I got a headache reading it . . . because it's that amazing and that good.  I didn't want to talk to anyone or do anything but read my book.  It is a story of hope, to say the least, and survival and the will and determination that human beings have.

Best YA: 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - If you love any of the John Hughes movies you are bound to love this touching first love / coming of age story.  You can almost hear the soundtrack as you are reading the book which only makes it better.

We Were Liars by e. lockhart - It took me one day to finish this one, and after I finished it, I'm pretty sure my mouth was still hanging open in disbelief.  I picked my daughters up from school and they asked, "Are you okay, Mommy?" because I was still thinking about this book.


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins- I did not love this book, but you will turn pages quickly and it's a great book for the beach.  If you've been looking for something to read and you loved Gone Girl, you will most likely enjoy this thriller, too which has more than it's fair share of crazy women.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison - I thought this thriller, while way less appreciated and touted than The Girl on the Train, was a way better read.  It has more psychological depth to it, and it will make your heart race often.

Happy summer reading everyone! If you have a book that you think should be on this list, pass it along.  I am always looking for great recommendations.


  1. Have you read "Finding Audrey" by Sophie Kinsella? It's her first YA novel and it was amazing!!

  2. I know you are a huge Sophie Kinsella fan, but I must admit, I've never read one of her books. I will check out "Finding Audrey" AND I highly suggest that you read a book by Jandy Nelson who is my new favorite YA author.