Summer is a-coming! Not to make you jealous, but I am FINALLY in the “sit by the pool/beach and read a book” stage of motherhood. Trust me, it is glorious. Yes, sometimes I’m interrupted by requests for snacks (so.many.snacks.) and sometimes my books get splashed by cannonballs, but, still. Glorious. You may not be there yet, but summer is still a great time to dive into a good book. And whether you are looking for a poolside read, a beach read, a road-trip read, or a lunch-break read, I’m hoping I’ve got you covered!
First up is Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. This sci-fi novel sucked me in from the prologue. It begins with a young girl who falls through a sinkhole and lands in a giant metal hand. It then follows this girl as an adult as she and an eclectic cast of characters attempt to find the other body pieces and assemble them into…I can’t tell you! The structure is a little different. The story is told mostly through interviews, but the author manages to do a wonderful job conveying the different characters and moving the plot along. When I finished it, I immediately put the next book in the series, Waking Gods, on hold at the library! (For fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Station Eleven)
Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford is my pick to inspire your mama heart this summer. I finished this a couple of weeks ago and it is still sticking with me- helping me be more conscious of how I interact with those closest to me. I love Stafford’s approach because she doesn’t preach or prescribe, she just encourages through her own stories and poems. Her “habits” aren’t complicated, either. They are simple things like seeing the good around us and changing someone’s story in the way we treat them. I am thankful for her words and how they are daily reminding me to focus on what truly matters in my life. (For fans of The Happiness Project)
When people tell me they want to read more but can’t seem to get started, I often recommend young adult or middle grades novels. They are usually shorter and easier to read while still being fun and thoughtful. For this list, I give you two absolutely fantastic and completely different middle grades books. First, The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker. This is a World War II novel that tells the story of Ada and her brother Jamie, who run to the English countryside not only to escape the coming war but also their abusive mother. It’s a beautiful story of learning to love and be loved. (For fans of Number the Stars and Sharon Creech’s middle grades books)
My second middle grades pick is The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnill. If you love wonderful fantasy novels, you should definitely pick this one up! It is gorgeous prose that moves along a nuanced and fascinating story. There’s a witch, a swamp monster, and a dragon. Sounds fun, right? I highly recommend listening to it on audio if you can. You might even find your kids listening in with you! (for fans of Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia)
Last but not least, one of my FAVORITE authors, Joshilynn Jackson, has a new book coming out in July- The Almost Sisters. If you’re familiar with Jackson’s writing, you are probably as excited as I am about this. If not, we need to remedy that quickly! Jackson writes thought-provoking, suspenseful, distinctly southern page-turners. They literally keep you guessing until the final pages AND she crafts interesting and realistic characters. You can’t go wrong with anything by Jackson, but my personal favorites are gods in Alabama and Someone Else’s Love Story. (For fans of Liane Moriarty and Alice Hoffman)
So, what books are you hoping to read this summer?