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This summer, I had a lot more free time than I usually do to read and read and read. I’ve narrowed down the 20-something books I read over the summer into my top 5 recommendations to dive into before the Fall.
Daisy Jones introduced me to Taylor Jenkins Reid, who has quickly become one of my favorite authors this year. The novel follows one of the ’70’s greatest “fictional” rock bands from their birth to their demise, from the bandmates’ perspective as told to a biographer. The plot has the 70’s grit that will engross you and is filled with music, romance, drugs, and superstars. It’s no wonder that an Amazon Prime television miniseries adaptation is in the works. If you haven’t read it yet, this is a must before the show is released. If you’re a fan, try Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo for another beautifully written novel about a flawed heroine.
Eleanor Oliphant is anything but normal, except she lives an entirely mundane life with an office job, no friends, and only her weekly calls with Mummy to worry about. Enter Raymond, her new co-worker, who flips her life upside down when they must save an elderly man on the street. Suddenly, Eleanor finds herself growing out of her bubble and considering whether she’s capable of friendships and maybe even love. You’ll fall in love with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Our April A32 Book Club* pick was a favorite for many as it delivered suspense until its last pages. Mickey, a Philadelphia police officer, can’t escape the opioid crisis at work or at home, as her sister Kacey is also an addict. When Kacey suddenly disappears as multiple deaths begin to point to signs of a serial killer, Mickey sets off to investigate both cases. While I loved the investigation, what really struck me was the chapters flashing back to Mickey’s childhood. The flashbacks revealed the sisters’ family story and tied everything together. Long Bright River was a 5/5 fantastic standalone.
How to Walk Away was one of my first reads of the summer and set the tone for a great reading season. Margaret Jacobsen has it all when her life quite literally comes crashing down. When she wakes up in the hospital with serious injuries, she must re-evaluate her seemingly perfect life from her new job to her new fiancé. The novel explores loss, love, and family dysfunction to the fullest. Strap in your seatbelts for a bumpy, but wholly entertaining ride. If you like this read, I’m currently enjoying Center’s Things You Save in a Fire, which I heard equally great things about.
This Kristin Hannah historical fiction novel was on my shelves for way too long before I finally picked it up. The story follows two sisters from France who feel called to action during World War II. As one sister joins the spy effort, the other deals with a husband drafted to fight and a German soldier quartering in her home. The Nightingale is a tale about bravery, resilience, love, and sisterhood. Trust me, you’ll need to keep tissues close to you while you read. If you enjoy this novel, try Hannah’s Winter Garden next; it’s another sister war-time tale, this one based in Leningrad, Russia.
This summer was a successful reading season for me and I’m excited for what’s to come in the Fall! Let us know if you’ve read any outstanding books this summer and your most anticipated Fall release! Happy Reading!