Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Reading List

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, we’re talking about the books I want to read this summer. Here are 10 books I can’t wait to get into my summer-sweaty little hands.

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🌊 My Summer Reading List 🌴


Adult Fantasy

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.

Why I’m excited: Remember way back in December and January when all those “Best Books of 2019” lists came out? I saw this book so many times! I hope it’s the type of spooky, magical, light fantasy that I love.


Middlegrade Survival / Adventure

For as long as ten-year-old Moon can remember, he has lived out in the forest in a shelter with his father. They keep to themselves, their only contact with other human beings an occasional trip to the nearest general store. When Moon's father dies, Moon follows his father's last instructions: to travel to Alaska to find others like themselves. But Moon is soon caught and entangled in a world he doesn't know or understand, apparent property of the government he has been avoiding all his life. As the spirited and resourceful Moon encounters constables, jails, institutions, lawyers, true friends, and true enemies, he adapts his wilderness survival skills and learns to survive in the outside world, and even, perhaps, make his home there.

Why I’m excited: I’m getting Hatchet vibes. That was one of my favorite books as a preteen. I love anything that involves wilderness survival. If a book can be described as “weirdos in the wilderness,” I want to read it. The character definitely sounds like a weirdo.



Rebecca Stott was born a fourth-generation Brethren and she grew up in England, in the Brighton branch of the Exclusive Brethren cult in the early 1960s. Her family dated back to the group's origins in the first half of the nineteenth century, and her father was a high-ranking minister. However, as an intelligent, inquiring child, Stott was always asking dangerous questions and so, it turns out, was her father, who was also full of doubt. When a sex scandal tore the Exclusive Brethren apart in 1970, her father pulled the family out of the cult. But its impact on their lives shaped everything before and all that was to come.

Why I’m excited: I love cult memoirs and have read a ton of them. They’re almost always fascinating. I’ve learned a lot about human behavior. This book interests me because the author’s family has been involved with the group for generations. It would be difficult to disentangle yourself from that mess.


Young Adult Fantasy

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

Why I’m excited: “Excited” is the wrong word. “Cautiously optimistic” is better. I read The Scorpio Races and liked the writing style enough that I wanted to read more of the author’s work. Then I read The Raven Boys and didn’t like it. There are too many underdeveloped characters and unanswered questions. Now I’m conflicted about the author’s stuff! I want to read All The Crooked Saints because it’s set in the state where I live. That means I’ll either love it or be super critical. Who knows?


Middlegrade Contemporary / Realistic

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.

Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.

One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

Why I’m excited: Peer pressure. I want to know why my Goodreads friends rave about this novel. They call it honest and thoughtful. Since it deals with real world issues, it seems like the type of book I would have loved as a kid. I always wanted to know more about the issues I saw around me.


Young Adult Science Fiction / Dystopia

The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.

Until the taps run dry.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.

Why I’m excited: It’s Neal Shusterman. I have loved all of his books, and I’ll pick up anything he writes. His dystopias are always weird and thought-provoking with big plot twists and characters who capture your imagination. I hope this one is the same.


Adult Horror

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

Why I’m excited: Can I just say “ditto?” My reasons for reading this book are the same as my reasons for reading Dry. Stephen King books are must-reads for me. I started reading his novels when I was 11 years old. They made me a reader. Without Stephen King, this blog wouldn’t exist. Of course I need to read this one.


Adult Horror

Leaving your house in the middle of the night.
Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she's just as scared as you.

Starting a new school, making friends.
Seeing how happy it makes your mother.
Hearing a voice, calling out to you.

Following the signs, into the woods.
Going missing for six days.
Remembering nothing about what happened.

Something that will change everything.
And having to save everyone you love.

Why I’m excited: Again, “excited” is the wrong word. “Nervous” is better. I think I’ve seen one good review of this novel and a thousand bad ones. It’s sounds so perfectly weird, though! I can’t resist a story that’s set in the creepy woods. I hope I’m the second person in the universe who enjoys this book.


Adult Literary Short Stories

Nine brave, wise, and spellbinding stories make up this award-winning debut. In "When She is Old and I Am Famous" a young woman confronts the inscrutable power of her cousin's beauty. In "Note to Sixth-Grade Self" a band of popular girls exerts its social power over an awkward outcast. In "Isabel Fish" fourteen-year-old Maddy learns to scuba dive in order to mend her family after a terrible accident.

Why I’m excited: I desperately need a good short story collection in my life. I usually enjoy books about young women, so this one seems promising. It’s gotten good reviews from people I follow on social media.


Young Adult Contemporary

Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

Why I’m excited: Years ago, I read the author’s other book, Aristotle & Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe. I loved it! The writing style is memorable and poetic. I’m hoping for more of the same with this novel.

What are you reading this summer?


  1. Great list! I've heard really good things about How to Breathe Underwater. Happy reading!

  2. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance sounds like a great read!

    My TTT .

  3. Lily and Dunkin sounds like it will be a good one. It’s been ages since I read any middle grade novels.

  4. I have read none of these, but Lily and Dunkin has been on my TBR. I know Wendy raved about that book, and I have read other books by the author, which I enjoyed. Hope this TBR is all hits for you

  5. Great list! I haven't read that book by Julie Orringer but I enjoyed her novel The Invisible Bridge. Happy reading :)

    My TTT

  6. Dry was on my list this week too, I'm actually reading it at the moment and it's pretty good!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/16/top-ten-tuesday-268/

  7. Am busy adding many of these titles to my own summer TBR list! :D

  8. I haven't read any of these, but I hope you get to read them and enjoy them!

  9. I've not read any of these but do own several. Hope you find some new faves.

  10. I tried to read All the Crooked Saints. I just couldn't get into it. Made me sad because I have been a fan of her writing for years. I hope you have better luck!

  11. Dry was a great read - I hope you enjoy it!

  12. Interesting looking books and all are new to me! I'm definitely going to have to add In the Days of Rain to my TBR! I love shows about cults so I need to try a cult-y memoir.

  13. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance sounds intriguing. Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  14. So many of these books are new to me but they look interesting. Dry is a fantastic book!
    Enjoy your summer reading!

  15. Dry is one I've been wanting to read as well. I haven't tried Beast of Extraordinary Circumstances yet, but my sister read it and said it was wonderful.

  16. Ooooh! All of these sound like interesting books, especially All the Crooked Saints! Great list!

    Here’s my TTT!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  17. This will be a really great list to pull from this summer.

  18. I had just heard the Doors, "Yes, the River Knows" when I read the title "How to Breathe Underwater"? Coincidence?

  19. I love the synopsis for BEASTS OF EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCE. Adding it to my TBR! And I need to read a Stephen King novel!

  20. You have a few here that aren't on my TTT but are still on my TBR. Hope you enjoy them all!!

  21. I met Stephen Chbosky last year at a book signing/reading and he was great. Really nice guy. I sent a signed copy of his new one to my niece .... I hope you like it.

  22. Great list of books. I haven't read that King book. Sounds awesome. I'm sure I have it here somewhere because the husband is part of the SKL. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

  23. Lily and Dunkin was great. I hope you enjoy.

    Check out my TTT and my review of Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine

  24. I really liked DRY. It was horrifying, but also interesting and exciting. Just make sure you have a nice, big glass of water next to you while you read!

    I hadn't heard of ALABAMA MOON before, but it's going on my TBR list right now. It sounds excellent.

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!

  25. Great list, I hope you'll get to all of these and that they live up to your expectations!
    I also really want to read All The Crooked Saints, but I'm nervous since I heard mixed reviews and I'm definitely procrastinating now :)

  26. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance sounds really cool!

  27. How to Breath Underwater sounds so good! Happy reading!

  28. I hadn't heard of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance before this list (I don't know how?? I prowl the web for books like this... but I missed this one ��), and I'm so glad you put it on here, because it sounds like my kind of book!
    The rest of these books sound so intriguing! I hope you enjoy them all when you read them!
    Happy Reading!! <3

  29. So many of these are on my TBR!! I hope you enjoy them. The cover for All the Crooked Saint is amazing!

  30. DRY!!! I really hope you get to that one soon. I loved it so much! I also really want to pick up Imaginary Friend.

  31. I read another book by Julia Orringer about Hungary during World War II. It was really great. This one sounds good too. You have a lot of books on this list that look like fun summer reads. I'll be looking up Beasts and Dry.

  32. It's always fun to prepare reading lists! Trouble is I don't always stick to them!

  33. Your reading list looks great! I really need to read Dry still, too. I feel the same way about Neal Shusterman, and I bought Dry, but I just haven't had time to pick it up yet. I hope you enjoy Imaginary Friend. I can't say I did. I loved the first half ... and really disliked the ending. But I've recommended it to a couple library patrons and they loved it, so don't be discouraged. You wouldn't be the second. Maybe the fourth or fifth. ;)

  34. Looks like a great list!! Hope you enjoy!!

  35. We don't have one single book in common LOL But your list is very interesting Aj!

  36. Ooo this looks like a great list of books!! I added Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances and Alabama Moon to my TBR.

  37. Oh my! I may need to come back to your list. I love that you tell why you're excited about each one :) Now I'm intrigued by several - especially Beasts, In the Days, and Lily & Dunkin. Thanks for sharing!