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
    Jennifer T.
    June 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I really love Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

    From your list I loved Light Between Oceans and Poisonwood Bible. I ned to put the rest on my reading list. Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. 2
    June 24, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    My favorite book is probably Sense & Sensibility, but recently I have read Cutting for Stone and enjoyed it. I am currently re-reading Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods. It always makes me laugh.

    • 3
      Erin R.
      June 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      I just read Cutting for Stone and loved it! I heard about it from my mom and was intrigued by the Ethiopian setting. You never get books about Ethiopia and it was so interesting to get a look at its history and culture.

  3. 4
    June 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I’ll certainly be jotting some of these titles down! My favorite book is Annie’s Song by Catherine Anderson.

  4. 5
    Patricia lapinsky
    June 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I recently read The Storyteller by Picoult and loved it.

  5. 6
    June 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I just finished “Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America” by Firoozeh Dumas. It is laugh out loud funny.
    Another very inspirational book is “10 years later”. It is by Hoda ? (from the Today show). She writes about 6 people who have done great things against all odds and then revisits them 10 years later. Some language but very inspiring.
    A great author is Lynn Austin – she writes mostly historical fiction and is totally clean (sometimes hard to find these days!)

  6. 7
    Betsy O
    June 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions! A recent favorite of mine is Firefly Lane and Fly Away!

  7. 8
    June 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Peace Like A River by Lief Enger is at the top of my list – after Pride & Prejudice of course!!

  8. 9
    June 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    There are so many great ones that it is hard to narrow it down, but I loved “Dream When You’re Feeling Blue” by Elizabeth Berg!

  9. 10
    Stephanie H
    June 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Too many to name! I just finished “The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult and LOVED it!

  10. 11
    June 24, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Hello, fellow book nerds! I love novels that take place in other countries. Here’s a list of some I’ve enjoyed recently: In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner (Cambodia); Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie (Nigeria); A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri(Iran); The Eaves of Heaven by Andrew Pham (Vietnam) and Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi (Ghana, Nigeria and U.S.)

  11. 12
    Debbie Cline
    June 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I would say my favorite book of all times is Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. If you haven’t read it, you really should. Second on the list is probably Loving Frank.

  12. 13
    June 24, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Couldn’t name a favorite but just finished Kill Shot by Dvid Balducci

  13. 14
    June 24, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I’ve always loved where the red fern grows.

    • 15
      June 25, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Oh I forgot about that one – GREAT book, but a tear-jerker.

  14. 16
    June 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Oooh, I just read The Giver for the first time too. It was excellent.

    I think I read too many books to be able to pick just one favorite, but the most recent book I read and enjoyed was Woodsong, by Gary Paulsen.

  15. 17
    June 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    So great to meet another fellow book nerd! My most recent favorite is 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, a call to work at gratitude.

  16. 18
    Margaret Matlock
    June 24, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Love your reading lists. My favorite on this years list is “The Light Between Oceans”.

  17. 19
    June 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I love all of Jodi Picoult books but another favorite was The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

  18. 20
    June 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Jamie-I love that you post these books! I want to read each one. I wish I had more time. I have a very young family and have not slept for more than 4 hours in a row for close to a year now! I can’t even think of a favorite book to post right now-I just want to read your list!! Someday! Thanks!

  19. 21
    Alana DeGooyer
    June 24, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I just finished reading “The Worst Hard Time”, by Timothy Egan. Must have missed this section of history class, because I had no clue about how severe the dust bowl was.

  20. 22
    Sheila Lehmenkuler
    June 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I love reading novels set in the World War II era, Bungalow is one of my favorites.

  21. 23
    Amy Vannelli
    June 24, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Unusual Children” is a recent favorite of mine!

  22. 24
    June 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    My favorite all time books are a series from long ago, still in libraries, I believe by Victoria Holt. Grew up reading them and still love to read them!

  23. 25
    June 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    The last few books I have read have been Amish fiction. I am totally hooked on them. I just started reading via tablet with kindle too. Only free dowloads so far. I would really love to win your Giveaway! Thanks for the recommendations. I will see about checking those out, as I am a frequent visitor of my local library. Happy reading everyone!

  24. 26
    June 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    One of my all time favorites is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. And it’s hard for me to pick favorites because I love to read. Thanks for the reading list!

  25. 27
    June 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    The Book Thief. I loved it!

  26. 28
    June 24, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I recently read all of Julie Klassen’s books. Except for her first, The Lady of Milkweed Manor, they are all great! My favorite was The Tutor’s Daughter.

  27. 29
    June 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I just finished Kisses from Katie (loved it) and am reading The Namesake next. My goal is to read 60 books this year, and I have completed 32 so far!

    • 30
      February 8, 2014 at 6:42 am

      Never would have thunk I would find this so inilapenssbde.

  28. 31
    Heidi Savage
    June 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I love all of Richard Paul Evans books, and I just finished A Step of Faith. I was just looking for another good book to start, so thanks for the list of suggestions.

  29. 32
    June 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Anything by Julie Klassen!

  30. 33
    June 24, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    The last three books that I read have all been phenomenal…The City of Thieves, The Light Between Oceans and Glass Castle.

  31. 34
    June 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    The last three books that I read were phenomenal…The City of Thieves, The Light Between Oceans and Glass Castle.

  32. 35
    Jamie L
    June 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I love the classics….Anna Karenina!

  33. 36
    June 24, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Way too many favorites to list…but today I’d like to recommend an author: Madeline Brent. She wrote books similar to Victoria Holt, but I liked her stories better. They’re hard to find (out of print?), but the small-town library I used to live in had a stash of them.

  34. 37
    Jen K
    June 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    One of my all time favorite books was Jemima J. I read it several years ago but remember that I had a hard time putting it down.

  35. 38
    June 24, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Geek Love!

  36. 39
    Sheryl M
    June 24, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    So many good books, but I just finished The Paris Wife. It is the story of the relationship of Hemingway and his first wife. I love the writing style, it was like she was sitting across the table telling you the story.

  37. 40
    June 25, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption is one of the best books that I have ever read.

  38. 41
    June 25, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I love Steinbeck! I love mysteries. I love books about quilting. I enjoy lots of nonfiction as well. I’m not much help here. I’ve read Poisonwood Bible twice. You can never go wrong with Barbara Kingsolver!!

  39. 42
    June 25, 2013 at 4:12 am

    My favorite books are by Nora Roberts, the wedding series, including Savor the Moment. I also like anything by Debbie Macomber.
    Thank you for the suggestions!

  40. 43
    Angie Miller
    June 25, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Hunger Games trilogy (at this time). ????

  41. 44
    June 25, 2013 at 5:26 am

    I don’t get a lot of time to read, but I do like the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.

  42. 45
    June 25, 2013 at 5:27 am

    My favorite books are novels by Patricia Cornwell. She does a series about a medical examiner, Kay Scarpetta.

  43. 46
    June 25, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Since my little man arrived, all we read are children’s books and I’m too tired to remember anything I read on my own before that!

  44. 47
    June 25, 2013 at 5:32 am

    I can’t remember the last time I read an adult book. It’s Berenstein Bears and Dr. Seuss these days.

  45. 48
    kari arsenault
    June 25, 2013 at 6:07 am

    I just read Shanna Swendsons enchanted Inc series, and loved it. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys magical romance.

  46. 49
    Janet Kolbe
    June 25, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I enjoyed The Given Day.

  47. 50
    June 25, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Thanx so much for the list as I am always looking for new authors. Recently I finished ‘Grave Minder’ by Melissa Marr and loved it!

  48. 51
    June 25, 2013 at 7:21 am

    I look forward to your book suggestions. I recently read the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and loved it! I also love reading the comments because now I have several more on my reading list!

  49. 52
    Trina A
    June 25, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I love Gone with the Wind. It is so different from the movie!

  50. 53
    June 25, 2013 at 7:29 am

    A favorite recent book that I’ve read is The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

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