10 Books to Read this Summer

by - June 19, 2024

Has your TBR list ever gotten so big that trying to decide what to read next is overwhelming? That's what mine feels like these days. I have 261 samples currently in my Kindle library and at least a dozen unread books on my bookcase.

That's one of the main reasons I started my One Woman Book Club in 2023, then continued it for this year. If I stick to the plan, that means crossing twelve books off my TBR list each year, but when there are 367 unread books on my ereader alone, twelve books doesn't really make much of a dent, especially when I can't stop myself from adding new titles to the list.

When it comes to reading, I pretty much read what I feel like at the moment (with the exception of my book club pick), but with a few hundred titles to sift through, some of which have been on my list for several years, I don't always find myself choosing a book already in my library, which is why I've started making myself seasonal reading lists.

Unlike my book club, there's no pressure to read these books in a specific month. However, it does help me narrow down my reading choices to fit certain moods.

For summer, I thought it would be fun to focus on books that happen in places I'd like to visit some day. I picked books that I thought would make good pool or beach-side companions. Surprisingly, none of these are fantasy, which is what I find myself gravitating to most days. These are mostly historical or realistic fiction with some mystery thrown in the mix.

I hope you find something that piques your fancy this summer. Happy reading!

Author: Linda Keir

If this book looks familiar, that's because it's my One Woman Book Club pick for June. You might can guess from the title, but Mr. Wright has been keeping secrets from three women. To Lark he's Trip, the supportive investor who's making her dreams of being a board-game designer come true. To Jessica he's Jonathan, the founder of an inspiring medical start-up. And to Holly he's Jack, her husband of nearly two decades, father of her three children, and co-founder of a charity. Mr. Wright is anything but Mr. Right, and his lies are about to catch up with him.

Author: Madeline Miller

This is my book club pick for July, and I'm excited to dive in to this Greek historical fiction. This will be my second book by Madeline Miller, and I loved Circe. This book follows Greek hero Achilles, son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and King Peleus, and his friend Patroclus, an exiled prince. The two are trained in war and medicine by the centaur Chiron and are then called with the rest of Greece's heroes to the siege of Troy after Helen of Sparta is kidnapped.

Author: Julia Drosten

This is the final book club pick for the summer. Set in Ceylon's royal city in the year 1803, this historical fiction revolves around the esteemed position of the king's elephant keeper, a job that can only be held by a male. When the keeper and his wife have a daughter, they decide to raise Phera as a boy to ensure the line of succession. When the British invade, Phera is finally able to live as her true self, but she must also fight against the atrocities done to her people.

Author: Janice Hallett

What's summer reading without a murder mystery thrown into the mix? I picked this up from the book store after reading the tag line on the cover: "One Murder. Fifteen Suspects. Can you uncover the truth?" When the daughter of the director and star of the Fairway Players theatre group is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, the cast raises money to help pay for an experimental treatment, but not everyone is convinced it's a good idea. Things come to a head at dress rehearsal, and the next day a dead body is found and an arrest is made, but in the run-up to the trial, the lawyers aren't convinced they've got the right culprit.

Author: Alison Goodman

I love a good historical fiction/mystery book, and this one sounds right up my alley. Lady Augusta "Gus" Colebrook and her twin sister, Julia, each remain unmarried at 42, which is practically a scandal in Regency-era London. In search of a distraction, the sisters agree to help rescue their friend's goddaughter, Caroline, from a violent husband. On the way to Caroline's country estate, the sisters' carriage is accosted by a highwayman, whom Gus accidentally shoots. The highwayman is the exiled Lord Evan Belford, an acquaintance from their past who Gus is convinced was wrongfully accused of murder, so she sets out to prove his innocence.

Author: Julianne MacLean

This book has been on my TBR for awhile, and this summer feels like the perfect time to cross it off. It's about two women connected by something unusual: the Bermuda Triangle. Olivia's ties to the mysterious oceanic triangle come from her husband, Dean. The private pilot has been missing for years his plane having disappeared over the Bermuda Triangle. Melanie, on the other hand, is a particle physicist who had been studying the triangle up until her mother's death. When a shocking discovery links the two women together, it also sheds new light on Olivia's husband's disappearance.

Author: Rhys Bowen

Caroline's great-aunt Lettie's final request is for Caroline to scatter her ashes in Venice. She leaves her niece a sketchbook and three keys to guide her on the journey of unlocking Lettie's love, loss, and courage. In 1938, Lettie began teaching art in Venice, where she was also able to reconnect with Leonardo, the man she loves whose future has already been determined by his family. Then the threat of war comes to the city, and they're forced to fight, survive, and protect a secret.

Author: Lynda Rutledge

This is the same author who wrote West with Giraffes, one of my favorite historical fiction books of all time. This book is set in Texas in 1964, the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The story revolves around Corky, a 13-year-old white girl who befriends the new housekeeper's daughter, America. When Corky asks America to play on her softball team for the annual church rivals game, it sets off a firestorm of tension and changes in their small town.

Author: Susana Lopez Rubio

In 1947, Patricio flees Spain to the island paradise of Havana, Cuba, with nothing but the clothes on his back and dreams of a better life, but he manages to land a job as a runner at El Encanto, one of the most luxurious department stores in the world. That's where he meets Gloria, wife of the notorious mobster Cesar Valdes. What follows is a love affair that spans fifty years.

Author: Barbara O'Neal

Kit's sister, Josie, has been dead for fifteen years, or so she thought. When Kit sees a woman who is unmistakably her sister in live coverage of a fire at a club, Kit travels to New Zealand to try to reunite with Josie. But Kit's journey unearths long-buried secrets and a devastating truth that's kept them apart.

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  1. Hi, Ashton!

    I'm going to show Mrs. Shady your book reviews, because I see a few novels that I know she'd enjoy. Mrs. S is a history buff and that includes historical fiction. She also favors books with European settings. As for me, I love a good mystery, and the ones you listed would surely be to my liking. Moreover, Mrs. Shady and I are both keenly interested in the American Civil Rights Movement. I'm confident that Mockingbird Summer would be a captivating read for both of us.

    Thanks for coming to see me at Shady's Place. Say hello to Alexis for me and have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend Ashton!

    1. Shady, I'm so glad you found some reading inspiration from my list. My mom actually read Mockingbird Summer and recommended it to me. She said she wouldn't rate it as high as West With Giraffes but that it was good. I think the softball aspect of the story is probably what drew her in.

      You'll have to let me know what you read and what you thought of it! There's nothing I like more than talking about stories.