Every year, like summers past, I post an end-of-summer booklist. Every summer, like summers past, I fill up on YA I would otherwise skip (“beach reads” as I call them), allow myself to check out one-too-many items from the library (to remind myself of my childhood), and enjoy the simple joy of a good book in the sunshine. IT’S MY FAVORITE.
Sadly, this summer, unlike summers past – I read a lot of so-so items. Blame it on my lack of planning, blame it on my mono (I was kind of mad at everything this summer…) or blame it on bad luck. You win some, you lose some – right?
What did you love this summer?? Any I should pick up before 2019 ends?
Little Fires Everywhere
Honestly, this book blew me away on page one. By far the best novel I read this summer, if not this year (and it’s only September). Ng’s storytelling is truly a craft. (Bonus: she’s also a fun follow on Twitter!)
PLUS Reese Witherspoon’s wonderful Hello Sunshine is making a Hulu adaptation! Yes please.
Oh. My. Wow. Not only is this story insane, the writing is exquisite. And did I mention it’s a memoir?! This reads like a movie – which I’m fully convinced it will be turned into within the next two years. Be sure to read it before you see it on the big screen.
Crazy Rich Asians (and the sequel China Rich Girlfriend)
I did what you’re never supposed to do: picked up the book after I saw the movie. But I will say for this series, it worked out – the book is more of a fun experience than amazingly written. Plus having seen the movie helped me track with the numerous characters and story lines. Neither book will blow you away, but they’re a good time. I’ll eventually read the third.
The Woman in Cabin 10
This is Gone Girl-esque, but not quite on the same level of brilliance. It’s a great summer suspense read – I passed it along to a friend the second I finished it.
Eleanor and Hick: the Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady
A bit dry at times (it is, after all, history) – this is a fascinating, in-depth look at Eleanor Roosevelt’s life through the lens of one her closest relationships (that we never hear about). Quinn does an amazing job weaving in actual letters between the ladies with other historical tidbits. I must say it’s a bit refreshing reading about the 30s and 40s and only hearing about FDR in passing.
The Cuckoo’s Calling (and the sequel The Silkworm)
You know it’s silly, but you just expect anything that JK Rowling touches to be Harry Potter. I think that’s why I avoided reading her mystery series (written under a pen name) for so long. These were both good-but-not-great. I’ll definitely pick up the third soon.
- Paper Towns, John Green | I really can’t get into the King of YA for some reason.
- Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
- On the Come Up, Angie Thomas | Hate to say it, but no where near as good as That Hate U Give
- The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware
- Educated, Tara Westover
- On Beauty, Zadie Smith | This was painful to get through. Smith is another fan favorite I can’t get into
- Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
- Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin | This may have been a best seller in 2004, but I don’t think it aged well
- China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan
- A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny | I’ve heard each of these get better! This one was fun, but not amazing
- The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith
- It Ends With Us, Colleen Hoover | A+ concept, C+ execution
- What to Say Next, Julie Buxbaum | If you’re looking for a light hearted YA, this will do the trick
- The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith
- Eleanor and Hick: the Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady, Susan Quinn
And, as always, excited to start…
- The River, Peter Heller
- I’d Rather be READING, Anne Bogel
- Wolfpack, Abby Wambach
- Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson