Summer Reading Recap

This summer I read a total of 12 books. This isn’t as many as I had hoped to read but life took an unexpected turn this summer when my mother died in July. I battled to focus on well, everything. I’ve slowly found my way back to regular programming so to speak and am happy to report that just four days into September, I have already read two books.

Besides the books pictured, I read 3 books I borrowed from the library and one book through my Kindle app. I would prefer to own all of the books I read but alas, financially speaking that would be unrealistic. 😂 As it stands I have a hard time ever leaving the bookstore spending less than $100. Everyone needs a hobby they spend too much money on, right? Mine is reading. There are worse vices.

I’m going to review the books based on my star reviews. I would like to point out that typically I would be considered generous with my stars in the book community. I have rarely given a book less than a three star ranking. My reasoning is simple. If it starts to become a book that I would rate lower than three stars, I DNF the book. Life is too short and there are too many books to read to continue reading a book a dislike. Let’s get to the reviews!

Five Star Reads ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This is the second book I’ve read by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I have loved them both. Nina Riva is a surfer and model who grew up and lives in, you guessed it, Malibu. The book tells the story of her family through flashbacks during the in famous Riva’s summer party. Nina and her siblings all have their own ghosts to face and must each make a decision about their future. Taylor Jenkins Reid is great at character writing. I want to know the people in her novels. I feel connected to them and that always make for a great and memorable book.

The Queen’s Fortune by Allison Pataki – Allison Pataki writes some of the most visually interesting historical fiction on the market, in my opinion. All of her books are extensively researched and richly written. The Queen’s Fortune tells the story of Desiree Clary who was first the unofficial fiancé of Napoleon Bonaparte and later the Queen of Sweden and Norway. Desiree Clary’s story was unknown to me before I read this book. Like all great historical fiction books, this one led me to several hours of my own research. I loved this book! If you enjoy historical fiction this is a must read.

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry – Poppy and Alex begin their friendship in college when they share a ride home for the holidays. This begins a lifelong friendship that sustain through life’s changes with one vacation a year. This books tells the stories of these vacations as well as the current one where they are trying desperately to heal a broken friendship after a fateful vacation two years earlier. This is the perfect read while you are on vacation or simply lounging by your pool, which is how I enjoyed this book. I wish I could be friends with Poppy.

Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams – The beginning of the cold war spy novel. It’s perfection! I read it in a day.

Golden Girl & The Sixth Wedding by Elin Hilderbrand – The Sixth Wedding is a follow-up short story to 28 Summers. Golden Girl is Elin Hilderbrand’s latest novel. I have loved every Elin Hilderbrand novel I have ever read and I’ve read almost all of them at this point. They are the quintessential beach read and I love them for that. Honestly, my favorite part of ll of her books is the setting. All of her books are set in Nantucket with the exception of her Paradise winter series. Every time I finish one of her books, I’m ready to go to Nantucket. Maybe next summer???

Four Star Reads ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Haven Point by Virginia Hume – This story is told from the viewpoint of three generations of women with a small community in Maine as the central point. I love stories that are told from multiple time periods and this one does not disappoint. This story is also a statement to how a community can change the trajectory of a person’s life. When you feel loved and accepted, you will champion that community to the end. When you feel like you don’t fit and are not included…you run.

Glam Italia! How to Travel Italy by Corinna Cooke – I loved how the information was presented in this book. Even the things that I already knew were presented from a perspective I hadn’t seen in the past. I’ll be traveling to Italy next summer and as a travel agent I always want tot learn information that will help my clients.

Bring Your Luggage and Don’t Pack Light by Helen Ellis – I found this book at lovely independent bookstore in Knoxville, TN called Union Ave Books. I try my best to visit an independent bookstore in every city I visit. My favorite part is looking at all the staff picks and I always come home with at least one new book. This book of essays was hilarious! A must read if you are a women in your early 50’s. You will relate to the essays and the humor.

Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand – I enjoyed this book but definitely not my favorite Elin Hilderbrand novel. This novel follows Meredith as she grapples with the reality of her husband’s ponzi scheme. I didn’t enjoy the character of Meredith. I don’t enjoy reading about weak women and in my opinion Meredith was weak and kind of stupid.

Three Star Reads ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Light Between Us by Andrew Fukuda – I came across this book while wondering through the library. ,This book is currently on the Lone Star Book list in Texas. A young Japanese American boy in a small farming community outside Seattle and a young Jewish Paris girl in the years before World War II are assigned as pen pals. Their friendship grows through letters over the years. This book dragged for me in the middle and the ending was flat.

House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild – This is another book I found at an independent book store. This one at Books & Books in Key West. This was a unique story and had a couple twists. Those twists could have been great but unfortunately fro me they were simply ok. This book had so much more potential but overall was on ok story.

That’s a wrap! Hope you found a book or two to add to your to be read list! What were your favorite books you read this summer?

Happy Reading!

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