Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Summer Reading List

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Do you know which books you're going to read this summer? I do! Here's my summer reading list. A few of these books may have been on my reading list last year. Oops. In my defense, I work a zillion hours during the summer. I'm reading as fast as I can!

🌞  Summer Reading List  🌻


Middle Grade Contemporary

Decades after the Vietnam War and Toby's life-changing summer with Zachary Beaver, Toby's daughter Rylee is at a crossroads—her best friend Twig has started pushing her away just as Joe, a new kid from New York, settles into their small town of Antler. Rylee befriends Joe and learns that Joe's father was a first responder on 9/11. The two unlikely friends soon embark on a project to find Zachary Beaver and hopefully reconnect him with Rylee's father almost thirty years later.

Why I'm excited to read it: This is a companion novel to When Zachary Beaver Came To Town. I was in love with that book as a young teen. I read it over, and over, and over. It may have sparked my passion for historical fiction and stories set in small towns. Of course I need to read the sequel! Summer is a perfect time for this book because it's short. I can probably read it in a day or two.

Buy it on Amazon


Adult True Crime Nonfiction / Memoir


When Sarah Perry was twelve, she saw a partial eclipse of the sun, an event she took as a sign of good fortune for her and her mother, Crystal. But that brief moment of darkness ultimately foreshadowed a much larger one: two days later, Crystal was murdered in their home in rural Maine, just a few feet from Sarah’s bedroom.
The killer escaped unseen; it would take the police twelve years to find him, time in which Sarah grew into adulthood, struggling with abandonment, police interrogations, and the effort of rebuilding her life when so much had been lost. Through it all she would dream of the eventual trial, a conviction—all her questions finally answered. But after the trial, Sarah’s questions only grew. She wanted to understand her mother’s life, not just her final hours, and so she began a personal investigation, one that drew her back to Maine, taking her deep into the abiding darkness of a small American town.


Why I’m excited to read it: I’ve been searching the Internet for well-written true crime nonfiction, and I keep stumbling across this one. I’m intrigued that it’s a true crime memoir instead of a book written by a journalist. The author has more connection to the crime than a random journalist would. I’m interested in the personal angle. Also, this book has amazing reviews on Goodreads. I’m going to trust thousands of Internet strangers and give it a shot.


Buy it on Amazon


Adult Literary Fiction

From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’s twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

Why I'm excited to read it: Look at that cover! It's very "summer." So . . . I don't think I understand what this book is about. I know it's about trees. And history. I kept seeing it on lists of best nature writing, and then it won a Pulitzer, so I finally decided to pick it up. Let's see if it lives up to the hype.

Buy it on Amazon


Middle Grade Fantasy


After an incident shatters their family, eleven-year old Samantha and her older sister Caitlin are sent to live in rural Oregon with an aunt they've never met. Sam wants nothing more than to go back to the way things were . . . before she spoke up about their father's anger.

When Aunt Vicky gives Sam a mysterious card game called "A Game of Fox & Squirrels," Sam falls in love with the animal characters, especially the charming trickster fox, Ashander. Then one day Ashander shows up in Sam’s room and offers her an adventure and a promise: find the Golden Acorn, and Sam can have anything she desires.

But the fox is hiding rules that Sam isn't prepared for, and her new home feels more tempting than she'd ever expected. As Sam is swept up in the dangerous quest, the line between magic and reality grows thin. If she makes the wrong move, she'll lose far more than just a game.


Why I’m excited to read it: Goodreads says this book “explores the often thin line between magic and reality, light and darkness.” It sounds like this novel has the potential to be delightfully weird. I’m game. Let’s play.

Buy it on Amazon


Adult History Nonfiction

Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don't want black women voting. And then there are the 'Antis'—women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel's, and the Bible.

Why I'm excited to read it: My American history education in school wasn't the greatest. I'm trying to fill the gaps. The events in this book happened in August 1920, so maybe it'll be a perfect book to read in August 2022.

Buy it on Amazon


Adult Historical Fiction

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

Why I'm excited to read it: A few months ago, I wrote a post about modern books that I think will become classics. While researching that post, I kept coming across this book. I don't read enough about Africa, so I decided to give it a shot.

Buy it on Amazon






Young Adult Mystery

Natalie's parents are taking her and her three best friends on a cruise for her seventeenth birthday. A sail-a-bration, they call it. But it's only been a few short months since Natalie's boyfriend died in a tragic accident, and she wants to be anywhere but here.

Then she meets a guy on the first night and sparks fly. After a moonlit conversation on a secluded deck of the ship, Natalie pops down to her cabin to get her swimsuit so they can go for a dip. But when she returns, he's gone. Something he said makes her think he might have . . . jumped? No, he couldn't have.

But why do her friends think she's crazy for wanting to make sure he's okay? Also, why do they seem to be hiding something from her? And how can she find him when she doesn't even know his name? Most importantly, why is the captain on the intercom announcing the urgent need for a headcount?


Why I’m excited to read it: Summer is the perfect time for a cruise! Well, not this particular cruise, but you know what I mean. It would suck to be the main character in this story. You meet a cool guy on a ship, and he jumps overboard the instant you turn your back. That can’t be good for your self-esteem. Anyway, this sounds like a compelling mystery. Also, I love the cover. Someone should replace that rope before unfortunate events happen.


Buy it on Amazon


Adult Memoir

For twelve years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes.

 Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.

In this graphic and yet surprisingly funny account of her and others’ extraordinary careers, Lankford unveils a world in which park rangers struggle to maintain their idealism in the face of death, disillusionment, and the loss of a comrade killed while holding that thin green line between protecting the park from the people, the people from the park, and the people from each other. Ranger Confidential is the story behind the scenery of the nation’s crown jewels—Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smokies, Denali. In these iconic landscapes, where nature and humanity constantly collide, scenery can be as cruel as it is redemptive.

Why I'm excited to read it: Um . . . I guess I'm reevaluating my life choices? Do I want to continue working as a park ranger? Nature is cool, but OMG humans are exhausting. I just need everyone to remain calm and alive while I'm multitasking as fast as I can. I need several naps.

Buy it on Amazon


Adult Historical Fiction


There are many things twelve-year-old Clover Blue isn't sure of: his exact date of birth, his name before he was adopted into the Saffron Freedom Community, or who his first parents were. What he does know with certainty is that among this close-knit, nature-loving group, he is happy. Here, everyone is family, regardless of their disparate backgrounds—surfer, midwife, Grateful Dead groupie, Vietnam deserter. But despite his loyalty to the commune and its guru-like founder Goji, Blue grapples with invisible ties toward another family—the one he doesn't remember.

With the urging of his fearless and funny best friend, Harmony, Clover Blue begins to ask questions. For the first time, Goji's answers fail to satisfy. The passing months bring upheaval to their little clan and another member arrives, a beautiful runaway teen named Rain, sparking new tensions. As secrets slowly unfurl, Blue's beliefs—about Goji, the guidelines that govern their seemingly idyllic lives, and the nature of family itself—begin to shift. With each revelation about a heartbreaking past he never imagined, Blue faces a choice between those he's always trusted, and an uncertain future where he must risk everything in his quest for the truth.


Why I’m excited to read it: The main character's name is Clover Blue. That's a summer-time name. The book set in a commune in the 1970s. I need to read it! By the end of my life, I’ll probably have read every commune book ever written. I’m not sure how/why I keep attracting commune books to me, but this one is a welcome addition to my collection.


Buy it on Amazon



At the age of thirty-eight, Stephen Kuusisto—who has managed his whole life without one—gets his first guide dog, a beautiful yellow Labrador named Corky. Theirs is a partnership of movement, mutual self-interest, and wanderlust.

Why I'm excited to read it: Summer is a great time for a vacation with your furry friend. I want to read more animal books, but it's hard to find good ones because too many of them are sappy! I can't stand sappy books that try too hard to make the reader feel something. I have no idea if this book is sappy, but I picked it up because it has extremely positive reviews on Goodreads. The author's adventures with his dog sound fascinating.

Buy it on Amazon

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Which book are you excited to read this summer?


  1. I haven't read any of these, but Ranger's Confidential, The Woman's Hour, and A Game of Fox and Squirrels look really cool!

  2. I'm the weirdo who keeps thinking summer is almost over. The Opposite of Here is a bonkers book. Also makes cruises a terrifying place (pre covid).

  3. The Poisonwood Bible was such a good read. May you enjoy it!

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-books-on-my-summer-2022-to-read-list/

  4. Love your list! The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas, The Woman's Hour, The Poisonwood Bible, and Ranger Confidential all caught my eye. Now, I just need the world to stop so I can catch up on my reading. Hope you get to read all of these.


  5. Hope these are all fab books! I'm in the mood for all the thrillers/mysteries lately.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

  6. I think this is a great list. I can't wait to see what you think of Ambassador of Nowhere Texas and Ranger Confidential.

  7. I rarely read YA but I'm totally intrigued by The Opposite of Here. I need to know what happened.

  8. I hope you enjoy all of these books!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2022/06/28/top-ten-tuesday-374/

  9. This looks like a great list, I hope you enjoy them all!

  10. The Overstory- yeah I'm not sure what it's about either lol, but it does sound intriguing huh? And yeah the cover is nice also. I hope you like The Opposite of Here. I liked it but didn't love it but it was probably just me. The premise is fun. Cruise ships are dangerous apparently! :)

  11. I did not realize Nowhere Texas was a companion to Zachary Beaver. I had my eye on that book already, but now I am even more interested.

  12. I love this diverse list of books. I read The Poisonwood Bible YEARS ago and just loved it. Now I need to re read it! I used to work for the National Park Service, so reading Ranger Confidential sounds good too. Happy Reading.

  13. Good list... I need to make my summer list, but I have so many on my TBR pile and a lot of my summer reading will be in preparation for fall teaching. "After the Eclipse" sounds very good. I enjoyed "The Poisonwood Bible," although the father is a terrible representative of the Christian faith. Save us from people who think they can save the world!

    Have you been celebrating Colorado's winning the Stanley Cup? Congratulations!

  14. Such a good list! A Game of Fox and Squirrels looks so good!

  15. A Game of Fox and Squirrels is good, but not light.

  16. I remember really loving The Poisonwood Bible when I read it years ago. The Woman's Hour definitely intrigues me, especially since it has a blurb from Hillary Clinton on the cover. I hope all of these are great reads for you.

  17. A Game of Fox and Squirrels is an excellent book. It captures the essence of an abusive father really clearly.