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
    June 25, 2013 at 7:52 am

    always looking for good new reads, thanks for sharing your list. There is more than one I NEED to get from Amazon.

  2. 2
    Misty Wilson
    June 25, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I recently read the Mark of the Lion series, by Francine Rivers. It was PHENOMENAL! By far my favorite author and the best series I have read to date!!!!

  3. 3
    Becky S
    June 25, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I just started reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I think it is going to be a good read!

  4. 4
    June 25, 2013 at 8:07 am

    I always suggest Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, its my fav!

  5. 5
    June 25, 2013 at 8:53 am

    The Boy In the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

  6. 6
    June 25, 2013 at 9:38 am

    The Glass Castle, such a crazy and unbelievable story!

  7. 7
    June 25, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I have to pick just one!?! Most recently, Moon Over Manifest, Maisie Dobbs, Code Name Verity, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Ally Carter’s YA novels (one series about teen girl spies another about a teen girl art thief). I could go on and on…

  8. 8
    Angela Gregg
    June 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

    The Witching Hour and
    Sleeping Beauty Trilogy

  9. 9
    Kim Powell
    June 25, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Jamie, I’m still working on last summer’s list. I loved “These Is My Words”. Great book!

  10. 10
    Christine D.
    June 25, 2013 at 11:18 am

    My favorite book is Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. Thanks for the giveaway and suggestions!

  11. 11
    June 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    To Kill A Mockingbird is an all time favorite

  12. 12
    June 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    The Book Thief or anything by Jodi Picoult…Just not enough hours in a day to read them all.

  13. 13
    Kristine Gardner
    June 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I read all of your summer suggestions last year, and am looking forward to reading this year’s list. I have already read some, like The Giver, which I have reread several times when my children have read it in school. I would also recommend John Lund’s The Alliance.

  14. 14
    Marilyn Mason
    June 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    If I can only choose one favorite book —- it must be Jack Finney’s Time and Again One feels that you are living in another time period as the main character time-travels between the 1880’s and the present.

  15. 15
    June 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Always looking for a good book to read. I don’t think I could pick one favorite but I have read North and South by John Jakes countless times.

  16. 16
    Cindy G
    June 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I just read several fairy tale retellings by Melanie Dickerson that I quite liked. Right now, I’m reading the Mistborn trilogy. It’s fantasy and I’m barely into it so I don’t know what I think yet.

  17. 17
    June 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    My most recent favorite book is Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I definitely recommend it! From your list, I recently read The Giver. What an amazing story! It’s good to think about what we sacrifice when we want life without choices.

  18. 18
    June 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I love Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman, I pick it up every fall. I’m currently reading The End of Your Life Bookclub by William Schwalbe and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris.

  19. 19
    Marcia F.
    June 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flag. An endearing read about a man who moves from Chicago to Alabama and meets a redbird named Jack, who is at the center of this story. Curl up with hot chocolate and Christmas cookies and enjoy a wonderful Christmas story. There are even some southern recipes in the back of the book. What more can you ask for?

  20. 20
    June 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I love to read and have so many favorites. Love the Flavia de Luce books by Alan Bradley. Wonderful!!!!

  21. 21
    Melissa K.
    June 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    “Fearless” by Eric Behlm is a book about a Navy SEAL named Adam Brown. One of the best books I’ve read in a very long time.

  22. 22
    June 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Well, when someone asks about favorite books I always say Watership Down by Richard Adams. I’ve read it quite a few times and every couple years I go back to it. I’m currently reading Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs and enjoying it as well. I’m a classics girl, what can I say?

  23. 23
    June 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Great list of reads! I read Gone with the Wind and the entire Chronicles of Narnia at least once a year…they’re at the top of my top ten list of best books!

  24. 24
    Michelle M.
    June 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Jaime, thanks for your great blog. I love your sense of humor and the recipes are always yummy and easy to follow. I really have enjoyed and, frankly, become addicted to the Raleigh Harmon series by Sibella Giorello (beginning with “The Rivers Run Dry”). There are currently 4 in this series about a southern gal, Raleigh, who works for the FBI. Giorello has a 5th book almost ready for the publisher. Murder mysteries and romance, what could be a better combination? 🙂

  25. 25
    June 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    My all time favorite is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet… I’ve probably read it 5 times!

  26. 26
    June 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    A lighthearted & FUN summer read is It’s a Jungle Out There by Ron Snell. It is hysterical (and good for teenagers and kids too 🙂
    I read it out loud to my husband while we were working on a building project and we laughed through the whole book!

  27. 27
    June 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Whatever I’m reading right now! Right now that includes The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, The Devil’s bones by Jefferson Bass and The Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke.

  28. 28
    June 25, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I just finished reading Sparkling Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle & LOVED it!!

  29. 29
    June 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I don’t know if I can pick just one, but one of my favorites is To Kill a Mockingbird. I also love recommending anything by Shannon Hale to those with teen and pre-teen daughters. We have a lot of hers around here. 🙂

  30. 30
    l larson
    June 25, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    The Red Tent was a great book.

  31. 31
    June 26, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I love Edinbrooke, such a fun read!

  32. 32
    June 26, 2013 at 10:59 am

    The Kite Runner is a really good read.

  33. 33
    June 26, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Thanks for your suggestions! As per your recommendation I read the Kitchen House several months ago, and loved it. Another book I really enjoyed this year was “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty–would be a great summer read.

  34. 34
    Holly W
    June 26, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Favorite books – I have far too many to list but here are the top two – both very old school.
    “Honor Girl” by Grace Livingston Hill and “Girl of the Limberlost” by Gene Stratton-Porter.

  35. 35
    June 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

    This makes me so happy, with your list and the comments of others, I compile my library wish list for the year! Thanks! Right now I am reading “90 minutes in Heaven” which I am enjoying.

  36. 36
    June 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    One of my favorite books is “Always the Baker, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker. This is such a cute story about a Baker who loves weddings!

  37. 37
    June 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I’ve always loved most things from Tom Clancy, especially the earlier ones involving Jack Ryan Sr. Also a definite favorite would be the J.R.R. Tolkien books from Hobbit through Return of the King.

  38. 38
    June 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Kinda nerdy but I still enjoy Nicholas Sparks books “The Notebook” 🙂

  39. 39
    June 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I just finished 1Q84 by Murakami Haruki and fell in love with his writing more than I did already when I read his Norwegian Wood (Tokyo Blues). And anything from J.R.R. Tolkien fascinates me 🙂

  40. 40
    Abigail gerken
    June 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Yeah I need a good read! “Cutting for Stone” awesome book. Also just read Glennon Melton of momastery’s book Carry On Warrior. Really great. And Silver Linings Playbook.

  41. 41
    June 26, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Jamie~ Thank you for the book list…I’m always looking for a good read! I just finished a series by Shelley Shepherd Gray called Heart of Hero series. The books are A Texan’s Choice, A Texan’s Honor and A Texan’s Promise. Such good books…I couldn’t put them down!! Hope I get picked for the Amazon card!! =)

  42. 42
    Sara Floyd
    June 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I love His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman

  43. 43
    June 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    I always like to read a book as a family. We just finished a hilarious one! My kids loved it(all 5 and that’s a success in itself!) my husband and I laughed so hard we were crying! Chickens in the headlights is a fantastic read! Getting ready to order the second, Bullies in the headlights.

  44. 44
    June 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I loved “A Little Salty To Cut the Sweet” by Sophie Hudson. Such an enjoyable read.

  45. 45
    June 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    These are some great books! I’ve yet a few of these, but some I’d really like to read. One of my favorite books is A Wrinkle in Time, ever since I was a kid. The magic of the story was so thrilling. I’m also a big fan of the Harry Potter books.

  46. 46
    June 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    My favorite book is Eat, Pray, Love.

  47. 47
    June 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    I love “These is my words” by Nancy E. Turner. It’s a romance historical fiction. I also love everything by Jane Austen, but then who dosen’t? Thanks for the recommendations, now I just need more time!

  48. 48
    June 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    My favorite book is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Thanks for all of the great recommendations!

  49. 49
    June 27, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Can you keep a secret by Sophie Kinsella

  50. 50
    June 27, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I just finished The Selection by Kiera Cass. It’s a fun, clean, romantic young adult book that teen girls love.

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