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
    Robin B.
    June 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Unbroken was amazing…still trying to convince my husband it’s not a chick book! 🙂

  2. 2
    June 24, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Love the book list! I just finished reading Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. I loved that it was a whitty fun regency era type book that is a great easy read.

  3. 3
    Margaret Latey
    June 24, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I just read The Light Between Oceans. I loved the story, although sad. I couldn’t put it down.

  4. 4
    Sarah J
    June 24, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I am currently re-reading the Great Gatsby. It was one of the only “required” reading books during my years in school that I actually enjoyed.

  5. 5
    June 24, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I love any book by Nicholas Sparks and the movie adaptations as well.

  6. 6
    June 24, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I am currently reading The Hangman’s Daughter Series – it’s being pretty good, but the best thing it’s on the lenders library on Kindle…so I’m reading the series for free. I have many of the above on my wish list. My favorite book of all time is Les Miserables, but my favorite recent read is probably Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (that would be a good winter read, though).

  7. 7
    June 24, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Oh gosh…I forgot, add the Divergent Series to your reading list as well. Book 1, Divergent, and Book 2, Insurgent are out. Book 3, Allegiant comes out this fall. They are being adapted to film next year, and although they are YA Dystopian Lit, being an adult I found them very entertaining.

  8. 8
    June 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

    One of my favorite reads for 2013 has to be Goodbye for Now, by Laurie Frankel. It’s a thought provoking read, especially for those of us who would give anything to have just one more minute with a loved one who has passed away. I really liked your list of books, some I’ve already read, and some I’ll be adding to me to read list. Thanks!

  9. 9
    June 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

    One of my favorite books to read is Let It Go by T.D. Jakes.

  10. 10
    Kim Hoover
    June 24, 2013 at 10:30 am

    The Sookie Stackhouse books are my favorites! Also love The Pianist…what an amazing telling of surviving WWII.

  11. 11
    Melissa DuBois
    June 24, 2013 at 10:30 am

    My favorite books is Watchers, by Dean Koontz. I love to read all his books.

  12. 12
    June 24, 2013 at 10:30 am

    The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is one of my favorite books.

  13. 13
    Erin H
    June 24, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin

  14. 14
    Jayne K
    June 24, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I love to read, so thanks for this list of books. I’m not sure I can pick a favorite book…it’s usually the one I’m reading at the time. I definitely have favorite authors, though: Patricia Cornwell, David Baldacci, James Patterson, and Brad Thor to name a few.

  15. 15
    BJ Wells
    June 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I am an avid book reader of mystery & good fiction. Love a book with a challenge.
    Also love all Charles Martin books.

  16. 16
    June 24, 2013 at 10:35 am

    I read The Giver a million years ago and it still haunts mr to this day. I guess that’s the sign of a good book, right??

  17. 17
    June 24, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I can’t believe you posted The Giver, I love that book! I just finished Cutting For Stone, it was very good. Thanks for the recommendations and the chance to win.

  18. 18
    June 24, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Loved Poisonwood Bible and The Giver. The Giver made me think about its content long after I had read it.

  19. 19
    Teresa Mensen
    June 24, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Not sure I could pick a favorite. I just got a Kindle and am excited to get a bunch of books loaded though. Will def be getting The Light Between Oceans.

    • 20
      February 7, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Woah nelly, how about them appesl!

  20. 21
    Doris Jablonski
    June 24, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Oh, Kentucky, by Betty Layman Receveur has been my long time favorite. It’s about young Ketty Gentry and the early, perilous years at Fort Boonesbough. It’s a wonderful and historically actuate story.

  21. 22
    June 24, 2013 at 10:39 am

    The Secret Keeper, love the list, looks like some good summer lit.

  22. 23
    Kay H.
    June 24, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I’m a Stephen King fan from back when I was in high school so I like books of that nature. I’ve also become a Sarah Addison Allen fan. I love the mystery and whimsy of her stories.

  23. 24
    Robin Whiting
    June 24, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Currently I’m reading the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin and I’m really enjoying them.

  24. 25
    June 24, 2013 at 10:42 am

    It’s difficult for me to choose a favorite book. My all time favorite is probably To Kill a Mockingbird. I love cozy mysteries, too.

  25. 26
    Amy L
    June 24, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I just finished “These Is My Words” and thoroughly enjoyed it! But my all-time favorite is Lightning by Dean Koontz. I’ve worn out several copies!

  26. 27
    Leah Patton
    June 24, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Four of the books on the list I have read already. We seem to have the same tastes in books. Here is a book you must read. It’s EXCELLENT ! The Shadow of the Wind. The author is Carlos Ruiz Zafon. You will not be disappointed. 🙂

  27. 28
    June 24, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Buddenbrooks is my favorite, but a recent good one was Street Sweeper!

  28. 29
    June 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I love The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

  29. 30
    Diane Westmoreland
    June 24, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Thank you for the reading list. It is hard to find good clean books. I just finished reading for the second time, “Visions of Glory” by John Pontius. Excellent book!

    • 31
      June 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      Hi Diane,
      I read Visions of Glory a few months ago! Gave me a bit of a heart attack, if you want to know the truth. But it was very interesting! 🙂

  30. 32
    June 24, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Anything by Francine Rivers–but my favorite is REDEEMING LOVE!

  31. 33
    June 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I just discovered Karen White and am really enjoying her books for easy, fun, clean reads.

  32. 34
    Maggie T
    June 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I just finished Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Children. It was such a vibrant and striking read. I really enjoyed it.

  33. 35
    June 24, 2013 at 10:54 am

    To be honest the last book I read was one of the Twilight books. With my 2 small ones I don’t get the opportunity to read much anymore. does a People magazine count?

    love the blog by the way. I’ve been using every chance to use a new recipe!

  34. 36
    Jill Jones
    June 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I love anything written by Charles Martin! I just finished reading Unwritten, and it is by far my favorite. I highly recommend any and all of his books.

  35. 37
    barbara n
    June 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I have been reading all of Kate Morton’s books and The Secret Keeper is next up!

  36. 38
    Kathy Pecha
    June 24, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Am reading “The Secret Keeper”. Love your website.

  37. 39
    June 24, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I’ve read, “The House at Riverton” by Kate Morton as well as “The Light Between the Oceans” – both are excellent reads. “The Poisonwood Bible” is another fantastic book by an amazing author. Have you read, “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver? Another great book.

    I love reading everyone’s suggestions.

  38. 40
    Kelly Dorpinghaus
    June 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for the list of books! I have downloaded the Light Between Oceans to my Nook but haven’t read it yet. The Secret Keeper is on my whishlist. I don’t think I pick a favorite book? A recent read that I really enjoyed was The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck. I just finished reading Family Pictures by Jane Green. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom was fabulous as was Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. I’m currently reading The Island by Elin Hildebrand.

  39. 41
    June 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I’m reading Ken Follett’s Winter Of the World–the second book in a series of three. The first was Fall of Giants. Great historical fiction that starts with WWI–I finally have a grasp of the early 20th Century.

  40. 42
    Sally Walter
    June 24, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Love your list and concur with your recommendations (several of which I have read). I really enjoyed Wonder by R. J. Palacio (a YA read but certainly applicable to all ages), The Rent Collector by Camron Wright, and the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. I recently finished a fun memoir titled A Change of Heart.

  41. 43
    June 24, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Loved Unbroken.

  42. 44
    June 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Just Breathe by Susan Wiggs (anything by Susan Wiggs) Light reading but well developed characters and fun to read!

  43. 45
    June 24, 2013 at 11:17 am

    My favorite book is The secret Life of Bees.

  44. 46
    June 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I enjoyed reading Follow the River by James Alexander Thom–one of your recommendations last winter.

  45. 47
    dixie romano
    June 24, 2013 at 11:20 am

    i just started Gone Girl and i’m loving it!!! thanks for the list!!

  46. 48
    June 24, 2013 at 11:21 am

    The only books I have been reading lately are the ones required for my classes 🙁 I am going to go old school though and say Judy Blume books. I still remember reading Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret and Tiger Eyes (by the way I heard Tiger Eyes is going to be made into a movie). My youngest son had to read Fudge last year for school. It was fun enjoying a book with him that I remember reading when I was close to his age.

  47. 49
    June 24, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I love anything by Susanna Kearsley. I love her style of writing and most of her books are historical romances (but clean). But of all her books my favorite is “The Winter Sea”

  48. 50
    June 24, 2013 at 11:21 am

    My 8 yr old daughter and I are currently reading the Whatever After series by Sarah Mlynowski. Our favorites right now! 🙂

  49. 51
    Shirley C
    June 24, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Killing Lincoln was most interesting. Can’t wait to read some of the books on you list. Thanks so much for the list.

  50. 52
    June 24, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Unglued by Lisa Terkeust, great book for moms!

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