Please don’t be alarmed by the length of this list. If pregnancy is the kryptonite to my writing, it seems to have the opposite effect on my reading habits. And this list is really what I’ve read from April thru August, not just over the Summer.
I kept my commentary pretty short since there are 29 books listed, but I’d love to hear what you thought if you read any of them or have recommendations! I also didn’t really describe what many of the books were about because this post would have been ginormous, so the links will take you to Amazon if you want to know more about one in particular. (Amazon links are affiliate.)
My Fall plans look like rereading Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, which I haven’t read since high school, in preparation for Katherine Reay’s third novel, The Bronte Plot, due out November 3rd.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh: Lovely, complicated story of forgiveness and family that made me want to surround myself with flowers.
Food A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan: Abandoned midway.
Longbourn by Jo Baker: I know Austen fans are split on this rendering of Pride and Prejudice. I fall in to the Nay camp.
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple: This had been on my list since Shauna Niequist talked it up last year. An engaging and humorous read.
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist: Reread. Loved as per usual.
Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Colllins: The setting of this particular novel is reminiscent of the little towns a wee bit North of where we lived in Idaho (Brandilyn lives very near where Tim and I used to live in Coeur d’Alene), which made for fun reading. I have to be careful though, with this type of novel, since the murder aspect can get in my head.
Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott: So many authors I respect love Anne Lamott, so I jumped on this for 25 cents at a thrift store. Struggled to get half-way and then didn’t want to waste precious reading time on finishing.
Miracle at Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado: My first encounter with Lucado’s fiction. Kind of predictable, but good characters and a really neat perspective on spiritual warfare.
The Secret of Mirror Bay by Carolyn Keene: I’m a huge Nancy Drew fan and still pick them up every once in a while for a light, quick read. This one is set in Cooperstown, NY which is 20 miles from where my parents live.
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: Incredibly well-written. Beautiful and heartbreaking.
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn: What would happen if it were illegal to use an increasingly large number of the letters in our alphabet?… Lots of fun for the English major types.
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: First but won’t be my last of Rainbow Rowell.
The Nesting Place by Myquillin Smith: Loved everything about this book. I’m a horrible unpacker and avoid putting decor up because it may not be perfect or the best place to put it, so The Nesting Place was like a needed and beautiful kick in my decorating bum.
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles: Was on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide. Left me kind of depressed, though it was well-written.
All Dressed Up by Scarlett Berg: Fun, light read that felt like a mash-up of Robin Jones Gunn and America’s Next Top Model.
First Impressions by Charlie Lovett: Also on MMD’s Summer Reading Guide. Jane Austen + mystery + antique books = loved it!
Bossypants by Tina Fey: I expected to love this one because I think Tina Fey is quite funny. Abandoned half-way. I’ll stick with Mindy Kaling and Ellen DeGeneres.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo: I’ve done some simplifying before, but the KonMari method of evaluating everything you own by asking, “Does this give me joy?” really seemed to resonate with me. People get up in arms about the oddities in this book (which do exist, mostly due to cultural differences), however, I think it’s worth looking past. Since reading it in July, I’ve tidied our books (never thought I’d do that), clothes (even the hubs jumped on board!), our files, the kitchen (another one I didn’t think needed any work), my hard-copy photographs, and various boxes from the garage. We’ve taken endless loads to Goodwill. I’m much more mindful of what we own and what we purchase.
The Road to Yesterday by L.M. Montgomery: A nice collection of short stories from an author I love.
Well Fed & Well Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan: Though we don’t eat Paleo, these two cookbooks have provided amazing inspiration and recipes for cutting back on sugar and preservatives while amping up our protein and vegetable consumption.
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee: Our son’s middle name is Atticus. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of TKAM and the Finch family. I’m not sorry I read this (mostly from a literary history and criticism stand point), but it’s definitely not going to be for everyone.
Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster: Finally read the book that Dear Mr. Knightley a fantastic read) is loosely based on. Quick and very enjoyable. The movie, with Fred Astaire, was great too.
All Things New by Lynn Austin: Lynn Austin is a reliably good Christian fiction author. Her novels are always well researched and engaging. Having recently read Go Set A Watchman, the Antebellum setting of this particular novel was timely.
Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle: Wasn’t the best mom-memoir I’ve read. (Surprised by Motherhood is one of my favorites.) I wouldn’t be opposed to reading one of Melanie’s other two books – one on marriage, the other on friendship.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Fantasy isn’t generally my genre, but I really enjoyed this book (another from MMD’s Summer Reading Guide).
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer: I apparently had something going for epistolary novels this year… Utterly lovely book written in letters. Wonderful characters.
For The Love by Jen Hatmaker: I don’t want to be too nit picky about this book because I adore Jen Hatmaker. Let’s just say it wasn’t my favorite of the three books that I’ve read (plus her blog). It was good, I think I just had REALLY high expectations.