10 Great Summer Reads ($50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway)

10 Great Summer Reads ($50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway)


Twice a year I post  a list of book recommendations. I know some of you fine people out there are book nerds, just like me. We reading nerds have to stick together, right!  Click here for the list from last Summer, and here for the list from last Winter. Check out the comment sections of both of these posts for more book recommendations.

I am also giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one of you lucky readers. To enter the giveaway just leave me a comment below telling me what one of your favorite books is. Giveaway will be open until Sunday June 30th at midnight. Winner will be announced and contacted on Monday July 1st. Good luck!

On to this summers list!

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton is one of the best books I have read this year. I loved the writing style, which is both elegant and captivating. Kate Morton tells the most amazing stories! Throughout the whole book I kept trying to guess the ending…never could I have dreamed it would finish as it did. I loved it, best Kate Morton book so far.

The Baker’s Daughter is a story about a family living in Germany during WWII and the sacrifices they make to survive. It covers a lot of issues I haven’t read about before. Though it is sad, it’s very well written and the heroine is so endearing.

Poisonwood Bible is a story of an American minister and his family who move to the African Congo to during the 1960s and 70s. The story is told through the eyes of each of the children and the mother, which gives it a wide variety of perspective. It was so interesting to see how each of the characters developed and behaved, though many of their experiences were the same. It is a compelling look into human nature.

BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS  by Shannon Hale is a Young Adult book about a princess who gets locked in a tower with only one servant and supplies. It’s about loyalty, and a little bit about love. 🙂 It’s a quick, clean read, as is the case with all of Hale’s books. She’s a great author for teenage girls. (And for Mom’s who have teenage girls and like a quick, clean read now and then).

The Light Between Oceans is one of those books I cried my ever lovin’ face off while I read it. Not the WHOLE time (thank you for your concern), but certainly at the end. It’s about a young married couple who live alone on a small island and take care of a lighthouse. It’s about marriage, sacrifice and motherly love. It is beautifully written and very compelling.

The Giver  is a book that I’m sure many of you (and your children!) have heard of. While it’s written for a young audience, I found it to be both thought-provoking and captivating. It’s about a boy living in a post apocalyptic world, and the choices he faces in a world very different from our own.

A Monster Calls is a sad tale of boy whose mother is dying of cancer. It’s about life, death and letting go.

The Bungalow is a love story that takes place on the tropical island of Bora-Bora during WWII. It’s a quick read, with a bit of history woven into the romance. Great book to take to the beach. 🙂

Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust is a life changing book. It’s a true story written by a woman who lived through the Rwandan Holocaust. It’s about forgiveness and love.

Escape is a true story written by Carolyn Jessop, a woman who escaped a life of forced polygamy. I was stunned, truly to learn of the terrible conditions that girls and women are forced to live with in these cult-like, fundamentalist communities. It is very eye opening.




Post a comment!


  1. 1
    Amanda Murphy
    June 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

    On Little Wings by Regina Sirois. A beauty of a book by a beauty of an author!

  2. 2
    June 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

    A perfect new release beach read: Nantucket Blue by Leopard Howland

  3. 3
    Katie Roltgen
    June 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I love anything by Nicholas Sparks! Not sure I can pick a favorite one of his!

  4. 4
    June 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Although not my absolute favorite, I just finished reading Paula McClain’s The Paris Wife. I’m still walking around in a bit of a daze wishing I was still reading about Jazz Age Paris.

  5. 5
    June 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    The Papa’s Wife books by Thyra Ferre Bjorn. Love them.

  6. 6
    June 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I love the Shannon Hale books. I just finished the follow-up to Princess Academy, Palace of Stone. They are delightful, clean, fun reads. I’m happy to have my duaghters’ read them–I love the strong female characters. Also, I read the Wednesday Wars and Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt at your suggestion–I recommended them for our family book group and even my grumpy father loved the characters and story.

  7. 7
    Amber Molyneaux
    June 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    The Last Waltz

  8. 8
    June 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Eyes of the Tailless Animals:Prison Memoires of a North Korean Woman by Sun-ok Yi. Amazing and very disturbing account of life in a prison camp in North Korea. Not fun to read but something the world needs to know about. Thank you for the generous giveaway.

  9. 9
    Amelia Loken
    June 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    My favorite of your list is Shannon Hale’s ‘Book of a Thousand Days’. Love that story!

  10. 10
    Julie H
    June 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I really enjoyed She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell.

  11. 11
    Jennifer Neyland
    June 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I can’t pick a favorite book but I have favorite authors.. Julie Garwood, JR Ward, Kresley Cole

  12. 12
    June 28, 2013 at 6:51 am

    I have enjoyed The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and a lot of the Nora Roberts books. Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. 13
    Heather Swarthout
    June 28, 2013 at 9:07 am

    There are so many books that I have read. I love any fantasy book, especially renaisannce or anything in that genre. I absolutely LOVED the Hunger Games series. I’m still hunting for the perfect book though.

  14. 14
    June 28, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I love “The Blue Castle” by L.M. Montgomery. Such a classic.

  15. 15
    Adnana J
    June 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    My favorite book…I’ll pick the one that has my absolute favorite book hero. “The Bronze Horseman” by Paullina Simons. This book made me cry, and it made me laugh…and it was just all-around fabulous.

  16. 16
    Aimee Marie
    June 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Rereading Watership Down right now. One of my favorite books

  17. 17
    Jessica Harwood
    June 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    One of my very favorites is “These is My Words” by Nancy E Turner. Wonderful book. I really liked “The Giver” also, so I was excited to see that on your list. Thanks for sharing! I’m looking forward to some new reads.

  18. 18
    June 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    In the middle of the Ascendance trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen and am loving it.

  19. 19
    June 28, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I read The Secret Keeper and The Baker’s Daughter, and I LOVED The Bungalow. Great list. My most recent favorite is the Sisterhood, by Helen Bryan.

  20. 20
    June 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Loved the Giver too!

  21. 21
    Jennie Grimes
    June 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It’s the 1st I’ve read of this author (I read it with some gals I work with in a club). It’s hard to put down, and I kept wanting to skip to the end and read the last chapter. It has some “yucky” language but is a good summer read.

  22. 22
    June 29, 2013 at 8:00 am

    My favorite book of all time is “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I still go back and read it periodically.

  23. 23
    Robyn Johnson
    June 29, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I love the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

  24. 24
    June 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I love Afternoons with Emily by Rose MacMurray. Such a good book to get lost in!

  25. 25
    June 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    i love the catcher in the rye and monster calls

  26. 26
    June 30, 2013 at 12:31 am

    I recently read “Code Verity”, it is an amazing book about friendship, WWII, and women’s roles during the war. I am often hesitate to recommend books to people because we don’t always like the same genre but this book I will always recommend. It doesn’t end flat either like some books.

  27. 27
    Lisa Brown
    June 30, 2013 at 10:17 am

    I like Jane Eyre. I have it and read it from time to time…a great classic novel.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

    • 28
      February 8, 2014 at 1:12 am

      Whoever edits and pueslihbs these articles really knows what they’re doing.

  28. 29
    June 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I really appreciate all of your book recommendations…they are often the next books I request from the library.
    I can never decide on one favorite book of all time, but three books that I have enjoyed immensely are: Gone With the Wind, The Book Thief and Heaven is Here.

  29. 30
    June 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    My favorite book that I have read this year was Visions of Glory. I could not put it down!!!!

  30. 31
    June 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    the notebook by Nicholas Sparks and one of my all time favorites Gone with the the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

  31. 32
    June 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I read a lot and probably couldn’t choose a favorite, but a recent one that you would like is “The Rent Collector” by Camron Wright

  32. 33
    June 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    did you know the giver is the first of a four-book series? i just found that out a few months ago…quickly got the other three books and now they are rotating through my daughters…and others…

  33. 34
    June 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I love historical books. A series I love is Prelude to Glory. It has been out for awhile but the Revolutionary War is always inspiring to me.

  34. 35
    Jeanne Knight
    July 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I love “Evening Class” by Maeve Binchy. This is a book about people that come together in Dublin to take a class on Italian. It is great fun reading about all the different characters that take the class and their ultimate trip to Italy!

  35. 36
    Ann Wilson
    July 3, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    The Bride’s House by Sandra Dallas

  36. 37
    July 5, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Am reading the first book in The Inn Boonsboro Triology by Nora Roberts…very good with interesting characters and I was surprised to find out that the place actually exists along with the other retail shops in the book. May have to make a trip to Maryland and see them for myself!

  37. 38
    July 10, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I read Carolyn’s story of “Escape” and gained great admiration for her. I wholeheartedly recommend this book!

  38. 39
    July 12, 2013 at 7:37 am

    The Shoemaker’s Daughter by Adriana Trigiani! It tells about two young people from the mountains in Northern Italy who immigrate to the US around the turn of the century. It’s quite an adventure and you learn so much about what life was like then for Italian Immigrants in the US.

    For a YA read set in the same time period, I think your kids would like “Uprising” by Margaret Peterson Haddix- a great historical fiction novel about the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. It also sheds light on what NYC was like for poor immigrants from Italy and Eastern Europe- as well as telling about the experiences of rich young society girls.

    I think you would love them both!

  39. 40
    July 23, 2013 at 1:42 am

    Hmm…Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Haha, I need to get back into reading, I used to read a lot during school breaks but haven’t much recently, and those books were the very large in depth ones that get you hooked! That was just the only book on my mind that I remember reading and loving though it’s just comedic. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • 41
      February 8, 2014 at 1:53 am

      Brlinialce for free; your parents must be a sweetheart and a certified genius.

  40. 42
    N. R.
    July 25, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    One of my favorite books is “Chasing Redbird”

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