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
    Tammy Wallis
    June 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I’m currently reading In the garden of beasts and am really enjoying it. Mi love a good book and have read several from your list. I’ve added the others to my own list of books to read!

  2. 2
    June 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

  3. 3
    June 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    A book I really enjoyed was The Invisible Thread, a story about a woman who befriends a young homeless boy in New York and their lifelong friendship. The author is Laura Schroff. Great book.

  4. 4
    K A Priestner
    June 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    The Giver is one of my faves. I love to read, $50 would help my library out!


  5. 5
    June 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    One of my favorites is an older book and a quick, easy read. The Westing Game.

    • 6
      February 7, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      This “free sharing” of inarmoftion seems too good to be true. Like communism.

  6. 7
    June 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Any book by Sarah M Eden has been my favorite. I just finished Friends & Foes and really liked it. For a silly, no-brainer but fun summer read, check out “Chickens in the Headlights” by Matthew Buckley. Thank you for posting your reading list and yummy recipes – I LOVE your website!

  7. 8
    Faith Edmonds
    June 24, 2013 at 11:31 am

    One of my very favorite books is Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.

  8. 9
    June 24, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

  9. 10
    June 24, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Anything by Karen Kingsbury!

  10. 11
    karyn h
    June 24, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I actually was just loaned a copy of The Poisonwood Bible. I am just a few pages into the book, but I look forward to reading it.

  11. 12
    June 24, 2013 at 11:40 am

    One of my favorite books is House Rules by Jodi Picoult. Its about a boy with Aspergers and his family. Its amazing.

    • 13
      June 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      LOVE,LOVE,LOVE this book!

  12. 14
    June 24, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I’m currently reading the Tess Gerritsen series, love Jodi Picoult and have Light Between Oceans on my wish list. 🙂

  13. 15
    June 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I’ve read a couple of Kate Morton books but not the one you suggested – requested it at the library per your suggestion! John Irving is my favorite author. I’ve read everything he’s written.

  14. 16
    June 24, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I really loved The Help!

  15. 17
    Nancy McKenzie
    June 24, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed Marie Force’s “Fatal…” series. I would highly recommend Phillip Margolin’s Executive Privilege, Erin Hildabrand’s Silver Girl, and Nora
    Robert’s Whisky Beach.

  16. 18
    June 24, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I have gotten into Amish books. Right now I am reading Amanda – A Daughter of the Mennonites.

  17. 19
    June 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I’d have to say that ‘Left to Tell’ would be my favorite book since I have friends who live in Africa.

  18. 20
    June 24, 2013 at 11:59 am

    The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. Such powerful stuff, just requires your whole attention to read!

  19. 21
    June 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Loved “Ten Great Souls I Want to Meet in Heaven” bios by Michael Wilcox. Really opened my eyes to people in history I knew little about. Changed my entire perspective on Darwin and loved the great insites to Shackleton, Budda, etc. Got on hold loan from library, but now want to own it.

  20. 22
    June 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I recently read Jane Eyre for the first time and just loved it! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Quite telling for a book that was written in 1847!

  21. 23
    April Cyr
    June 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Jamie! Thank you for sharing your top 10. I’m always looking for another book to read. My favorite is the Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers. Hope you’ll read it some time if you haven’t yet – it’s that good!
    Have a blessed day!

  22. 24
    June 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I am about to finish “The Secret Garden”, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is a gem! I thought I already read it as a younger girl, but I’m not remembering any of it. Either I never actually read it or my memory is terrible! Does this ever happen to you?

  23. 25
    Chris Webb
    June 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I am currently reading ‘Proof of Heaven’ but Eben Alexander. Eben was a neurosurgeon who argued near-death experiences are impossible – until it happened to him. True story, very interesting.

  24. 26
    June 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    My current favorite book is “The Fairytale Mother” it’s amazing!

  25. 27
    Angela Harrison
    June 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I love House Rulles .

  26. 28
    Margie Huddleston
    June 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    My favorite book of all time is “The Shack”, but “Crossroads”, by the same author, William Paul Young, is truly fantastic. You cannot read these two books without it changing you in the best kind of way.

  27. 29
    June 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    My personal absolute all-time favorite: Jane Eyre.

    Favorites to read with my children include: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, God King, God’s Smuggler, Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

  28. 30
    Becky Ethington
    June 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I read The Kitchen House when I saw it on your last list. What affected me most were the author’s notes about how she came to write the story.
    I can’t wait to read from your new list. I am a teacher (of English!) on summer vacation; books are my entire to-do list. Well, the only things on the list that will actually get done. 🙂

    • 31
      June 24, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      I have to agree with you on the Kitchen house. Can you imagine having a story come to you in that way. So interesting. Good luck with your to-do list…sounds wonderful. 🙂

  29. 32
    Joyce Mitchell
    June 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    China Court by Rumer Godden is a favorite. I checked it out so many times for the library, I finally bought my own copy. Thanks.

  30. 33
    Kim N.
    June 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I love The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.

  31. 34
    Susan Broughton
    June 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Its hard for me to find time to read a lot of books. I love to read though. The last book that I liked was Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. sbroughton61@yahoo.com

  32. 35
    June 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    My all time favourite book is She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, it still amazes me that it is written by a man because he really got the female perspective down.

  33. 36
    June 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I read two young adult books over spring break that I really enjoyed. “Wonder,” by RJ Palacio, and “Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon,” by Steve Sheinkin.

  34. 37
    Briann neeley
    June 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I love reading the llama llama books to my girls!

  35. 38
    June 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    One of my favorite books is Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. I have read it multiple times and love it every time!

  36. 39
    June 24, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I love all books by Karen Kingsbury! If I had to pick a favorite of hers, it might be Rejoice.

    • 40
      February 8, 2014 at 5:30 am

      You mean I don’t have to pay for expert advice like this anroeym?!

  37. 41
    June 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Currently reading “The Apothecary’s Daughter” Love It!

  38. 42
    June 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I just love Dan Brown books. I just started his newest one Inferno, so I’m hoping it becomes my new favorite.

  39. 43
    Janet Irwin
    June 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    The Giver is one of my all time favorite books. I judged the book by it’s cover for a few years I was working in the middle school where I am employed. I finally read it and all the others in the series. It’s haunting in a good way.

  40. 44
    June 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I recently read The Help, and just loved it. I really liked the movie, but loved the book even more.

  41. 45
    Allison Evans
    June 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Just finished The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. Fantastic read! My summer reading list is a mile long and I’m always looking for new suggestions!

  42. 46
    Maudie the Maid
    June 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    The most recent book I read and loved is The Kitchen House. Loved loved loved it.

  43. 47
    June 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I just finished “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” and I loved it.

  44. 48
    June 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I love your lists!! I really enjoy almost any kind of books. I am currently reading the Divergent series! It is a young adult series but it is so good!!!

  45. 49
    Shari M.
    June 24, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Your list is interesting and diverse. I am reading Gary Jennings “Spangle” about a traveling circus troupe at the end of the civil war. Its very good. Light between the Oceans and Monster calls will go to my summer reading as if falls close to home. thanks for the list.

  46. 50
    June 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I love Historical Fiction and one that I have recently read that I loved was Light to my Path by Lynn Austin.

  47. 51
    Joyce O.
    June 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    My favorite Young Adult book is “Matched” by Ally Condie. I just finished “Crops and Robbers” by Paige Shelton, and if you like culinary mysteries, it’s good.

  48. 52
    Debbie W
    June 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    My favorite book ever is The Hiding Place.
    I just finished reading The False Prince and it was excellent and perfect for teenagers too.

  49. 53
    June 24, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Besides the Bible, my favorite books of all time are the Lord of the Rings trilogy!

  50. 54
    Janet T.
    June 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    One of my favorite books is ‘Little Bee’ by Chris Cleave. Thanks for your book lists. Always nice to get recommendations.

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