Summer Reading List

by Kimba on July 22, 2011

in Reading

I’ve always been a book lover. As a kid, I could lose myself in a good book for an entire afternoon or longer. As a mom, it’s become harder and harder to find the time to read. And if I’m totally honest, there’s one big thing that gets in the way of my love of books. Blogs.

Yes, it’s reading, but it’s different. As much as I adore reading blogs (and trust me, I ADORE reading blogs), it’s not the same as getting caught up in the pages of a good book. So, this summer, I’ve recommitted myself to regular book reading and it’s been wonderful. I signed the kids up for the library summer reading program and we’ve all been burning up our library cards.

Here are a few of the books that are on my summer reading list.

The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum



Mudbound
by Hillary Jordan

Room by Emma Donoghue



Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
by Jamie Ford

What’s on your summer reading list? Do you have any great recommendations?

Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, thank you! But don’t forget to take advantage of your local library. Love FREE books!

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{ 42 comments }

1 Jennifer Juniper July 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

You will love Room! Especially as a mother. The Big Guy didn’t see it he same way I did. Email me your address and I’ll send it to you if you haven’t already bought it.

I also just read “Before I Go To Sleep” and also loved it – add it to your list!
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2 Amy@TulipandTurnip July 22, 2011 at 9:14 am

I read ROOM, and thought it was great! A little odd, and scary, but a great read.

I just picked up Moloka’i. I’ve heard GREAT things about it!

3 Kimba July 22, 2011 at 9:29 am

Thanks for the tip about Moloka’i, Amy! I just read the reviews on Amazon and added it to my reading list!

4 Dianne July 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

I find that reading blogs also hampers my reading time! I was able to read 4 books on my week of vacation this year (without kiddos!) and I forgot how much I loved reading! Enjoy your books…they all look intriguing.

5 Southern Gal July 22, 2011 at 9:49 am

I’m reading The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to my son. Sure he could read them himself, but he loves being read to and besides I’ve never read them before. I know. I’m reading Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series when I can. I am on the hold list for The Help at our library, too. It’s been a fun reading summer so far. I’ll have to write your recommendations on my list. Thanks.
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6 Kimba July 22, 2011 at 10:44 am

LOVE The Chronicles of Narnia. We read the first two aloud in the spring.

7 Ange July 22, 2011 at 9:55 am

I love to read as well but have a hard time finding books that aren’t full of bad language or sex on every page. I did just read Water for Elephants and enjoyed it. Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll have to check them out.
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8 Kimba July 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

Same here, Ange. I’m not a prude (or maybe I am?), but too much is too much.

9 Deborah July 22, 2011 at 9:56 am

Hi Kimba!
I love reading too, but find it hard to find time to do as much as Id like to.
Those books look good!
Happy reading!!

Deborah xoxo

10 Heidi July 22, 2011 at 9:58 am

A counselor once told me that during a troubled childhood, books were my drug of choice. I am so grateful for that! Now as a 42 yo mom of 4 I still choose reading as R&R. Just finished Shelter Me by Juliette Fay that I picked up at a used book store for $1. LOVE IT! Perfect summer read. Thanks for sharing your list.

11 Kimba July 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

Thanks for the tip about Shelter Me. I’ll check it out.

12 Kirstin July 22, 2011 at 10:10 am

You’ll like Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I recommend Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It’s inspiring and excellent.

13 Kimba July 22, 2011 at 10:47 am

I just read the reviews on Unbroken. Thanks for the tip! I’m adding it to my list.

14 Brandy E. July 22, 2011 at 10:20 am

I go through a crazy amount of books (as my Nook library shows) but one of my favorite has been The Irresistable Henry House. It is based on the practice baby program that several colleges had back in the 50s and 60s and it was really good.

15 The Working Home Keeper July 22, 2011 at 10:24 am

I tend to read mostly non-fiction books. I’m currently reading The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle.

Mary Ellen
The Working Home Keeper
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16 marie July 22, 2011 at 10:37 am

i read room and LOVED it!! hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet is on my book club list for january. the only way i seem to finish a book these days is for my book club…and i love the book club meetings so much i force myself to finish even if it’s in the wee hours of the night.

17 bekah July 22, 2011 at 10:44 am

Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet.. awesome story. love love love.
cheers and happy friday.
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18 katie@Impatientlyprayingforpatience July 22, 2011 at 10:59 am

I just read the book ‘Heaven is for Real’ it is a true story and it is now my favorite book!

19 Jennifer in VA July 22, 2011 at 11:00 am

Read “The Zookeeper’s Wife” and enjoyed it, learned a lot! non-fiction history of WWII about a husband and wife who were zookeepers in Warsaw. After Germany bombed their zoo and then took/stole any animals they wanted the “empty” zoo was used by the Underground to hide Jews who were being rescued from the Ghetto.

Also just read “Sarah’s Key” and then learned it’s now a movie releasing today! It was GREAT! My fav book category is historical fiction.

Happy reading!

20 Jennifer Juniper July 28, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Loved Sarah’s Key! I forgot that I even read it until I saw this! I read that whole dang book in about 6 hours :)
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21 Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures July 22, 2011 at 11:38 am

This summer I have read Heaven is for Real and Water for Elephants. Both were excellent. I am currently reading The Help and I am loving this book. The movie comes out in August. I also have the book Unbroken which is a true story about a man who fought in WWII. I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds great and I so respect those that fought for us.

22 meghan July 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

I read “Room.”
It’s not the most uplifting feel good book BUT it is excellent!
Excellent I tell you :>)
I was captured by it from the first sentence. I did a review of it on my blog.
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23 Niki Blake July 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I read “room” and “heaven is for real” and “WEIRD” by Craig Goeschel…..all were so good but SSOOO different! Love to read…my favorite thing to do to relax. Thanks for your choices…I am adding some of them to my list! :) I want to read “The Winter of Disconnect” too. As a mom of three boys, two of whom are teenagers, I think this book will serve us well! :) Love your blog!

24 Sara Tetreault July 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I just finished reading “Faith.” It’s a great summer read. Now I’m reading “The Genius in All of Us” because I like to mix it up with some non-fiction.

25 Laree @ Ever Heard of Eulss July 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I LOVE hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet.

My favorite books to read are fantasy. Not always wizards or dripping non-reality fantasy, but just the idea of a little bit of a diffrent world. If you like fantasy, one of my absoulte favorites is “Summers at Castle Auburn” by Sharon Shinn.

I also LOVED “Princess for hire”, which is a YA modern fantasy about a girl that becomes a subsitute princess so the real princesses can go on vacation from real life. It was awesome!

26 Vicky July 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I am a voracious reader, as well! I am glad to hear some new recommendations! One I will make: “The Blind Contessa’s New Machine” by Carey Wallace. It is loosely based on the real story of the invention of the typewriter. Beautifully written, engaging, deep characters.

If you are not familiar with librarything.com, check it out! (No pun intended!) You input books you’ve read into your “Library”, and it then makes suggestions for you based on your favorites. This is where I have found many of the books I love that I would not have found otherwise.

27 Meg July 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm

The last one my book club read before we disbanded (I moved — boo) was Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours. We liked it so much that we’ve been waiting to try to get our hands on her The Forgotten Garden and discuss it online, but we can’t seem to get ahold of free copies. We may break down & buy it.

This summer I’ve been on a classics kick. I finished up Dickens’ Great Expectations (for the 3rd time) and it was amazing, as always. That one never gets old. Now I’m reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved. I love books that have stood the test of time.
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28 Gretchen July 22, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I LOVED Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

As far as recommendations, I really liked The Hunger Games series.

29 SoCalLynn July 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I was going to recommend both of these books, too. Loved them both and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Read them all back to back.

30 Destrey August 19, 2011 at 8:24 am

Grade A stuff. I’m unuqtesioanbly in your debt.

31 qxmnyjsefw August 20, 2011 at 4:16 am

liII9B qqkkkskbwrpo

32 Nan Tee July 23, 2011 at 9:58 am

Thank you so much for giving props to libraries!
As a library worker, you have no idea what this means to me.
Thanks again!

33 Karen July 23, 2011 at 11:33 am

I just came from my local bookstore and saw the book ‘Room’ but didn’t pick it up though I thought it was pretty interesting. Hah, I might just return to the bookstore!
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34 kelly July 23, 2011 at 11:47 pm

i would like to read room too. post your thoughts or favorites when your done.
i am reading forgotten garden which is highly recommended. i have had a little bit of a hard time getting into it, it is in a few different time periods which gets confusing sometimes but i will finish it.
my last few favorites have been, still alice, the help, the glass castle, safe haven and half broke horses!

35 franz July 24, 2011 at 4:34 am

Great list! i would love to read it and i bet these are really good… my sister is also looking for something new to read and i would love to share this list with her…
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36 Caro July 24, 2011 at 6:40 am

My daughter got me hooked on the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Each book is about 900 pages. I’m on number seven in the series having read all of them since the end of April.

37 Jeanne Winters July 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Hi! I read your first one this winter. The Ministry of Motherhood. Wonderful, but need to re-read SLOWLY. :-) I also recently read Drive by Daniel Pink. Interesting perspective on school and parenting. I wish I could have a summer reading list as long as yours, but alas, now is my season for little ones. :-)
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38 Cheryl July 24, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Loving all the book ideas. My last two “5 Star” reads were “Still Alice” and “The Help’. I’ve also gotten addicted to paperbackswap.com. It’s a great way to find good books for the price of mailing them. Also – been astounded by the great reads I’ve found at Goodwill. Can’t beat 99 cents a book!

39 Cheryl July 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm

And…OOPS….how I could I forget Sally Clarkson. Her books are just AWESOME! (And she’s just as wonderful in person – since she’s a dear friend of mine!) Have you seen the new “Educating the Whole Hearted Child”? It’s a great one whether you homeschool or not – it’s my best parental inspiration guide…..

40 Christy July 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Molokai is an absolute MUST read! Still Alice was wonderful also. Currently reading Faith….good so far.

41 Jamie Ford July 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Wow, what great company–thanks for including me on your list!

A few books I’d recommend would be:

UP FROM THE BLUE by Susan Henderson
THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM by Kyung-sook Shin

Have a great summer!

42 Carol N. July 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

Jamie, I read “The Language of Flowers” as an advanced reader copy and loved it! I finished it less than 24 hours after I got the book in the mail.
And if you have not read them yet, I recommend “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” and “The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”. Both were wonderful reads and quick too.

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