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2015 Summer Book Recommendations and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

2015 Summer Book Recommendations and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
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This giveaway is now closed.

I am happy to be posting my Summer Reading List for you today. I do realize that the summer is more than half over (boo), and I  apologize that this list is being posted so late. Summertime has gotten away from me, I have to admit! I’ve been drinking in as much family time as I’ve been able, which has been wonderful. Thanks for your patience. I look forward to these book recommendation posts for many reasons, but mostly because I love to read the recommendations you leave in the comment section. So, thank you in advance for participating!

You can access previous years book lists by clicking HERE, HERE and HERE. If you love to read and are looking for something great to get you through the summer, take a look at the reviews listed below. I hope you find something that will suit you. Also, if you are interested in following me on Goodreads, you can do so by clicking here.

To enter the $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway, leave me a comment telling me one (or two or three) of your favorite books. If you are using a mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of your screen (past the food photos) and the comment button will be at bottom (I am working on bringing it up higher, but for now at the bottom she is). If you would rather post a comment on INSTAGRAM, I will accept them there as well. Follow my Instagram feed by clicking here. The giveaway will be open from today until Tuesday July 28th. The winner will be announced on Wednesday July 29.

On to the list…

Wish You Well by David Baldacci
4 STARS

I really loved this book. It was a great story of a brother and sister who find themselves in the care of their great-grandmother (whom they have never met) who happens to live high up on a mountain. I loved reading it as this time of year, when everything is in harvest mode. The novel talks a lot about farming and the hardships it can inflict on those engaged it such taxing work. It was a really sweet story line, with a lot of wonderful things said about family, God, and using what the good Lord has given us. It was very heart warming and quite lovely.

         
Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle
4 STARS

The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life by Melanie Shankle
4 STARS

The author of these fun, memoir style books is the blogger at The Big Mama Blog. While I hadn’t ever read her blog (before I read the books), I came across her books from a recommendation on Instagram and loved both of them. Sparkly Green Earrings is a memoir on motherhood. It’s cute and laugh out loud funny. The Antelope in the Living Room is a memoir on marriage and was equally as fun. They are both lighthearted, endearing and easy to read. She had a new book come out this year called Nobody’s Cuter than You. Looking forward to reading it.

I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Young Adult Fiction)
4 STARS

This book was a pleasant surprise, I enjoyed it very much. For the first 30 pages or so I thought is was going to be another one of those typical boy meets girl teenage romance stories (that actually have a special place in my heart, I have to admit!). However, while the story is based on a relationship, it’s so much more than that. It’s not overly sexualized (thank goodness!), the language is clean and the characters are resilient. I found myself reading late into the night to see how it turned out in the end. Excited to pass this one on to my teenage daughters.


Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Juvenile Fiction)
4 stars

This is a coming of age book, starring Willow Chance, a 12-year-old genius who struggles in social situations but is brilliant and knowledgeable in many areas. I totally fell in love with her. She is met with tragedy early on in the book and uses her obsession with gardening and botany to deal with her grief and cope with her difficult situation. I loved seeing the world through her genius eyes. This is a quick read, great for teens and adults alike.


Still Alice by Lisa Genova
4 STARS

This book is about a well-educated, extremely brilliant, Harvard professor of psychology that is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 50. The story is told through her eyes which was both captivating and so sad. This disease has always haunted me, I can’t image how scary it must be to lose your memory. It was so interesting to see her relationships change with her family members and how they each cared for her in different ways. Well worth reading.

The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers On The Moors)
3.5 STARS

This is a super clean, easy reading romantic novel with a little bit of religion thrown in. Loved it. A great summer read. Eager to read the second in the series. While this books isn’t life changing or particularly fabulous, it was fun to read just the same. I can appreciate a good regency romance now and then.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
4 STARS

This is the first Anna Quindlen book I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I’m happy to know of this author and look forward to reading more of her work. I loved this particular novel, mostly because the characters are so realistic. The main character is a 60-year-old (famous) photographer who falls on difficult financial times, struggles to make ends meet and works to rebuild a life for herself. Great, satisfying story.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
3.5 STARS

This is a coming of age story about a teenage boy and his family living in the early 60’s. It’s a murder mystery with a lot of religious wisdom woven into it. My favorite quote is…

“…what is left to us when that which we love most has been taken?…three profound blessing. Faith, Hope and Love. These gifts, which are the foundation of eternity, God has given to us and He’s given us complete control over them…in your dark night, I urge you to hold to your faith, to embrace hope, and to bear your love before you like a burning candle, for I promise that it will light your way.”

I loved the message of this book. I am giving it only giving it 3.5 stars because the story line was a bit predictable and sometimes slow.

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
5 STARS

I know I’ve shared this book recommendation with you all before (maybe multiple times!). It is, after all, my favorite book of all time. I wanted to add it to this summers list, because it’s one of those books you can read every few years and get something wonderful out of it each time. It’s the true story of two sisters who live in Holland during WWII. They are devout Christians and as such are willing to care for and look after anyone who needs help during the perilous Nazi regime. It’s a story of resilience and honor, but most of all, it’s about charitable love and forgiveness. This book is life changing, truly. I know many of you have read it, if you haven’t yet, add it to your list. It’s an amazing read.



Post a comment!

39 Comments

  1. 1
    Debbie
    July 26, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    The Hiding Place is one or our FAMILY all-time FAVORITES. The story provides fresh inspiration with every re-reading!

  2. 2
    Sheila L
    July 26, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. But, another is on this list Wish you Well by David Baldacci.

  3. 3
    Barbara
    July 26, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Gone with the Wind….”Oh, Rhett!”

  4. 4
    July 26, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    This summer I have re-read the Anne of Green Gables series. I loved them as a youth. I really enjoyed them this summer!

  5. 5
    Leah
    July 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Gathering Prey – John Sandford

  6. 6
    Anneka
    July 26, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    All time favorite is The Giver. I also love the Children of the Promise series. This summer, I’m rereading the Harry Potter books. Love them 🙂

  7. 7
    Phyllis
    July 26, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    “Every Soul a Star” and the “birthday” series, all of which are written by Wendy Mass, and all great reads for young teens, but I LOVED every one and have read some of them multiple times!

    Also love the “Miss Julia” series by Ann B. Ross

  8. 8
    judy watts
    July 26, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Im starting the second part of the trilogy The Lake

  9. 9
    Jessica
    July 26, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Anything by Traci Hunter Abramson, her CIA books, her SEAL team books.

  10. 10
    Ann
    July 26, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I have read quite a few books so far this summer…my favorites have been “To Kill a Mocking Bird”, “Girl on a Train”, and “These is My Words”.

  11. 11
    Leanna
    July 26, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    I read mostly contemporary romance stories, I love happy endings. I would say my top three series are: Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis, Fool’s Gold by Susan Mallery and THunter Point by Robyn Carr.

  12. 12
    Leanda
    July 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Uneasy Fortunes by Mandi Ellsworth. My husband bought this for me on clearance from Deseret Book. I wasn’t sure about it, but once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. So good!

  13. 13
    Katie
    July 26, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Anything by Julie Klassen

  14. 14
    Sarah
    July 26, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    The Bible 🙂

  15. 15
    Rachel
    July 26, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    LOVE Anne of Green Gables and the Little House series.

  16. 16
    Kathleen
    July 26, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I enjoy Amish Fiction.

  17. 17
    Mindy Barnes
    July 26, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    I am just finishing the Horstberg series by Elizabeth D. Michaels. There are five big books (some of them over 700 pages), but I have loved them!

  18. 18
    Kesha
    July 26, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    I love Anne of Green Gables series! Circling the Sun is good too

  19. 19
    July 27, 2015 at 8:38 am

    I love Jamie Langston Turner’s novels. The newest one is To See the Moon Again. She has also written No Dark Valley, Some Wildflower in My Heart, and more. This is the most well-written, thought-provoking Christian fiction I have found.

  20. 20
    Lisa
    July 27, 2015 at 9:23 am

    My favorite book of all times is THE STAND by Stephen
    king.

  21. 21
    Jamie K
    July 27, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I love Julie Klassen and Sarah Eden books. As You Are, Seeking Persephone and Kiss of a Stranger. Clean regency romance books. I also really enjoyed La’s Orchestra Saves the World.

  22. 22
    Patem
    July 27, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I love The Hiding Place and recently re-read it and loved it even more than the first time. My recent reads are Don’t Know Much About History which is a fun look back at historical events and filled with facts that your probably don’t know. So fun! I’m also a big YA reader and just loved a trilogy called The Selection, The Elite and The One by Kiera Ross. I adored it! And a very interesting trilogy called the Birthmarked trilogy by Caragh O’Brien. Thank you and everyone else for some great reading ideas. Have a great summer!!!

  23. 23
    Judy
    July 27, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I love The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen!

  24. 24
    ewhatley
    July 27, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve gone back in time a bit this summer and read Gone Girl and Girl on the Train – loved both of them. Also read Natchez Burning and The Bone Tree, the first 2 books in a trilogy by Greg Iles – highly recommend.

  25. 25
    Dezi A
    July 27, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Oh, thanks, I always love your lists!
    Recently, I’ve liked A Heart Revealed, The Bookseller, Lady Maybe and Calling Me Home.

  26. 26
    Amy
    July 27, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Delicious by Ruth Reichl from last round of SL County Library Readers choice

  27. 27
    Tracy
    July 28, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Enjoyed reading Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and The Paris Architect – both books that included history lessons for me. I enjoy reading Barbara Kingsolver and Jodi Picoult. Love your lists and love reading all the comments – just read through 180+ comments and have a huge list growing for my summer/winter/next year reading list!

  28. 28
    marie
    July 28, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Thanks for your fun giveaway and awesome book recommendations! One of my favorite books is Wednesday Wars. Our family also loves the Penderwicks series.

  29. 29
    Michelle
    July 28, 2015 at 9:56 am

    A great one I read recently was The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. I just added a couple of your recommendations to my ongoing list. Thanks!

  30. 30
    Maddie
    July 28, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I just finished “The Martian” and I’m obsessed! Best book I’ve read in a long, long time!

  31. 31
    Shannon Walker
    July 28, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird this summer. Great book!

  32. 32
    Heidi
    July 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Etched in Sand, by Regina Calcaterra, it is the true story of Regina and her 4 siblings living in Long Island New York and how they survived abuse and neglect by their mother. The book reminded me of The Glass Castle, it was inspiring and educating as to the trials some people go through growing up and the challenges of the foster care system. It was also a testimony to great teachers and public libraries.

  33. 33
    Michelle L.
    July 28, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Love reading books by Traci Hunter Abramson, Melanie Jacobson, and Dee Henderson.

  34. 34
    Cindy Hackett
    July 28, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    This summer I read Cinder, Scarlet and Cress by Marissa Meyer. I can’t wait to read Winter in November!!

  35. 35
    Glenna Wilson
    July 28, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    “Teatime For the Traditionally Built,” by Alexander McCall Smith, is an installment in the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Of all places, it takes place in Botswana! It is fun how these ladies tackle mysteries and at the same time show off the culture of Botswana.

  36. 36
    Emily
    July 28, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Classics are my favorite genre of book. I just finished Oliver Twist. My favorite books of all time are Gone with the Wind and Les Miserables.

  37. 37
    Kelly D
    July 28, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    I liked The Book Thief and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

  38. 38
    Bonny Daines
    July 28, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Juliet by Anne Fortier. I loved it, it was sweet and kinda predictable, but at the same time a good book to read.

  39. 39
    Becky
    July 30, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I know I’m late, but just had to throw out, if you liked Still Alice, read Left Neglected by the same author – written about a very strange and real disease.

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