Everyone is posting “end of summer” types of things – buuuut I live in San Diego and we basically have summer all year long (#humblebrag). Regardless of what the temperature is outside, post Labor Day means one thing to me: summer book list time!
I really don’t know why I started creating summer book lists after summer – probably something to do with the fact that I’m no longer in school and summers aren’t tormented with lists of what I have to read. I love reading basically anything, but if someone makes me read it I automatically dread it. (I don’t have problems with authority. It’s fine.)
This summer I rediscovered the magic that is a good novel in the sunshine. I think I was reminded of a time when summer vacation meant 3 months of no responsibilities (except those dreaded required reading lists!) and I would inhale books just as fast as I did my mom’s homemade ice cream sandwiches. I may have gotten a little re-addicted to reading this year; curled up on the couch in front of our living room fan with my feet up and a book in my hand became my usual spot 90% of the time I was at home. There may have been a point I had 5 books checked out from the library at once, and my roommate had to ask if I had a problem. Maybe.
Here’s the best of what I read, as well as a complete list underneath. What did you read this summer??
Best Novel: Lilac Girls
This was suggested to me via The Skimm (witty news and books recommendations – major heart eyes) and I am so, so glad I picked it up. Set on the brink of WWII, it follows three different women: a spinster socialite in America, a Polish teen, and a young German doctor. Each chapter trades off into one of their stories, and as the war goes on, their stories get closer and closer to colliding. Not only well written, but incredibly well researched – this book is a work of art. It will make you re-think a lot about WWII and Nazi Germany.
Most Inspiring: Big Magic
For all you creatives out there, this is a must read. I heard and heard and heard how amazing it was – but I’m still surprised it took me this long to pick it up. Gilbert gives an amazing view of creativity as a whole, and the writing process as well. She somehow mixes together a high call of responsibility with a no pressure attitude. I finished it (in about two days) wanting to write a book, like, now.
Most Interesting: Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own
I fully realize not everyone will enjoy this book as much as I did; but as a currently single, particularly strong feminist, writer – I ADORED it. It starts off with, “Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman’s existence” and then follows the author’s personal journey with the idea of spinsterhood interwoven with the history of five famous women writers / poets with rather abnormal relationship lives. Although hard to keep track of the various five women through history at times, this book was revolutionary to me for so many reasons. Simply the history of the word “spinster” is fascinating. This book is well researched, witty, honest, and smart. I loved every page of it.
Funniest: Of Mess and Moxie
If you do not follow Jen Hatmaker on social media, you need to right now. Or you can listen to her new podcast that just came out (I have successfully gotten all my friends addicted). Jen is equal parts sassy, brilliant, and hilarious. She is a deep truth teller, has a passion for loving others, and loves food as much as we all do. This book is a breath of fresh air, an encouraging hug, and a little love note all at once.
- Lilac Girls
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (also really wonderful!)
- The Girl You Left Behind
- Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully Live
- Big Magic
- The Provence Cure for the Broken Hearted
- Scrappy Little Nobody
- Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own
- The Swans of Fifth Avenue
- A Wrinkle in Time (if you haven’t read this yet, A. who are you?! B. read it before this amazingness!)
- 206 Bones
- Of Mess and Moxie