2015 Summer Book Recommendations and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

2015 Summer Book Recommendations and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
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This giveaway is now closed.

I am happy to be posting my Summer Reading List for you today. I do realize that the summer is more than half over (boo), and I  apologize that this list is being posted so late. Summertime has gotten away from me, I have to admit! I’ve been drinking in as much family time as I’ve been able, which has been wonderful. Thanks for your patience. I look forward to these book recommendation posts for many reasons, but mostly because I love to read the recommendations you leave in the comment section. So, thank you in advance for participating!

You can access previous years book lists by clicking HERE, HERE and HERE. If you love to read and are looking for something great to get you through the summer, take a look at the reviews listed below. I hope you find something that will suit you. Also, if you are interested in following me on Goodreads, you can do so by clicking here.

To enter the $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway, leave me a comment telling me one (or two or three) of your favorite books. If you are using a mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of your screen (past the food photos) and the comment button will be at bottom (I am working on bringing it up higher, but for now at the bottom she is). If you would rather post a comment on INSTAGRAM, I will accept them there as well. Follow my Instagram feed by clicking here. The giveaway will be open from today until Tuesday July 28th. The winner will be announced on Wednesday July 29.

On to the list…

Wish You Well by David Baldacci
4 STARS

I really loved this book. It was a great story of a brother and sister who find themselves in the care of their great-grandmother (whom they have never met) who happens to live high up on a mountain. I loved reading it as this time of year, when everything is in harvest mode. The novel talks a lot about farming and the hardships it can inflict on those engaged it such taxing work. It was a really sweet story line, with a lot of wonderful things said about family, God, and using what the good Lord has given us. It was very heart warming and quite lovely.

         
Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle
4 STARS

The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life by Melanie Shankle
4 STARS

The author of these fun, memoir style books is the blogger at The Big Mama Blog. While I hadn’t ever read her blog (before I read the books), I came across her books from a recommendation on Instagram and loved both of them. Sparkly Green Earrings is a memoir on motherhood. It’s cute and laugh out loud funny. The Antelope in the Living Room is a memoir on marriage and was equally as fun. They are both lighthearted, endearing and easy to read. She had a new book come out this year called Nobody’s Cuter than You. Looking forward to reading it.

I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Young Adult Fiction)
4 STARS

This book was a pleasant surprise, I enjoyed it very much. For the first 30 pages or so I thought is was going to be another one of those typical boy meets girl teenage romance stories (that actually have a special place in my heart, I have to admit!). However, while the story is based on a relationship, it’s so much more than that. It’s not overly sexualized (thank goodness!), the language is clean and the characters are resilient. I found myself reading late into the night to see how it turned out in the end. Excited to pass this one on to my teenage daughters.


Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Juvenile Fiction)
4 stars

This is a coming of age book, starring Willow Chance, a 12-year-old genius who struggles in social situations but is brilliant and knowledgeable in many areas. I totally fell in love with her. She is met with tragedy early on in the book and uses her obsession with gardening and botany to deal with her grief and cope with her difficult situation. I loved seeing the world through her genius eyes. This is a quick read, great for teens and adults alike.


Still Alice by Lisa Genova
4 STARS

This book is about a well-educated, extremely brilliant, Harvard professor of psychology that is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 50. The story is told through her eyes which was both captivating and so sad. This disease has always haunted me, I can’t image how scary it must be to lose your memory. It was so interesting to see her relationships change with her family members and how they each cared for her in different ways. Well worth reading.

The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers On The Moors)
3.5 STARS

This is a super clean, easy reading romantic novel with a little bit of religion thrown in. Loved it. A great summer read. Eager to read the second in the series. While this books isn’t life changing or particularly fabulous, it was fun to read just the same. I can appreciate a good regency romance now and then.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
4 STARS

This is the first Anna Quindlen book I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I’m happy to know of this author and look forward to reading more of her work. I loved this particular novel, mostly because the characters are so realistic. The main character is a 60-year-old (famous) photographer who falls on difficult financial times, struggles to make ends meet and works to rebuild a life for herself. Great, satisfying story.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
3.5 STARS

This is a coming of age story about a teenage boy and his family living in the early 60’s. It’s a murder mystery with a lot of religious wisdom woven into it. My favorite quote is…

“…what is left to us when that which we love most has been taken?…three profound blessing. Faith, Hope and Love. These gifts, which are the foundation of eternity, God has given to us and He’s given us complete control over them…in your dark night, I urge you to hold to your faith, to embrace hope, and to bear your love before you like a burning candle, for I promise that it will light your way.”

I loved the message of this book. I am giving it only giving it 3.5 stars because the story line was a bit predictable and sometimes slow.

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
5 STARS

I know I’ve shared this book recommendation with you all before (maybe multiple times!). It is, after all, my favorite book of all time. I wanted to add it to this summers list, because it’s one of those books you can read every few years and get something wonderful out of it each time. It’s the true story of two sisters who live in Holland during WWII. They are devout Christians and as such are willing to care for and look after anyone who needs help during the perilous Nazi regime. It’s a story of resilience and honor, but most of all, it’s about charitable love and forgiveness. This book is life changing, truly. I know many of you have read it, if you haven’t yet, add it to your list. It’s an amazing read.



Post a comment!

49 Comments

  1. 1
    Bev B
    July 22, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I just finished One Plus One by Jo JO Moyes, also author of Me Before You. I enjoy her stories. Alan Eskens, The Life We Bury was also a good read. All of these earned a solid 4 star rating from me.

  2. 2
    July 22, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    I just finished reading The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. It was full of wisdom on how to handle being too busy and always trying to please everyone. She talks about how we only need to do what God has for us to do, hence the best yes. I love how open and vulnerable she is.

  3. 3
    Sarah
    July 22, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    I love the Princess Academy books by Shannon Hale. Light, easy to read young adult books, but so sweet and fun.

  4. 4
    Elena
    July 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I like Agatha Christie’s books

  5. 5
    Melissa
    July 22, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    My favorite is Of Mice & Men

  6. 6
    Dawn Z
    July 23, 2015 at 5:52 am

    I have already downloaded Hiding Place, so excited to read it!
    If you haven’t already read Chateau of Secrets by Melanin Dobson I think you would like it.
    I love your recipes and so does my husband!

  7. 7
    Kim
    July 23, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Ironically, I am reading “Still Alice” right now. I love your book lists. Thanks for doing it. One book I’ve liked this year is “Finding Jake” by Bryan Reardon.

  8. 8
    Cheryl
    July 23, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Christy by Catherine Marshall.

  9. 9
    KaySue
    July 23, 2015 at 6:42 am

    The most recent book I finished and enjoyed was Enemy Within by Marysol James.

  10. 10
    Laura
    July 23, 2015 at 7:51 am

    I love all books written by Wally Lamb… She Has Come Undone is probably my favorite. His books are not light reads, but he is a master at writing great characters. Love your blog! And have tried many recipes…

  11. 11
    Charlotte
    July 23, 2015 at 8:08 am

    I LOVE all genera of books here are some of my favorites: The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, The Paris Wife,
    All the Light We Cannot See, Same Kind of Different as Me, and I am currently reading The Ladies of Missalonghi. I can definitely use this Amazon gift card!

  12. 12
    Cheryl S
    July 23, 2015 at 8:41 am

    On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves was wonderful. I also enjoy absolutely everything by Catherine Ryan Hyde: Where We Belong, Walk Me Home, Don’t Let Me Go, When You were Older….

  13. 13
    Judith D.
    July 23, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I recently read The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd and also My Name Is Resolute by Nancy E. Turner. I really enjoyed both of those and recommend them often.

  14. 14
    lynn
    July 23, 2015 at 10:21 am

    “Far From the Madding Crowd” is a great period drama by Thomas Harding that is currently being produced in film.

  15. 15
    Gina
    July 23, 2015 at 10:28 am

    My favorite books were all of “the work and the glory” books..i read 7 in one year..just couldn’t put them down..;)

  16. 16
    rachel
    July 23, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I just finished “The Great Beanie Baby Bubble” — nonfiction, but a fascinating read about that late ’90s fad!

  17. 17
    Aurelie Red
    July 23, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I absolutely love Alice Munroe and my favorite is RUNAWAY !
    (and John Burnside… and… )

  18. 18
    Carrie
    July 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I haven’t done as much reading lately as I’d like! I finally read The Giver a few weeks back though. What an interesting book! Much to contemplate there. I am going to read the second one soon. I like to recommend the books “Calling me Home” by Julie Kibler and “I’ll be Seeing You” by Suzanne Hayes and a few other authors I can not remember. Looking forward to reading your recommendations from this post! I LOVE Corrie Ten-Boom. The Hiding Place is life Changing.

  19. 19
    July 23, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I have been reading the Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery Series by Abby Vandiver. I have kindle unlimited and read thru about 4-5 books a month much less my teens find all kinds f good classics. I still come across the few that I have to buy for my kindle and save up for my “treats”.

  20. 20
    Jenisa
    July 23, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson. It’s a Cinderella story retelling and great!

  21. 21
    petra
    July 23, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    i just finished “At the Water’s Edge”, “Edenbrook” is also a favorite of mine and my daughters.

  22. 22
    Aimee
    July 23, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    The Book Thief!!

  23. 23
    Aimee
    July 23, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I love The Book Thief.

  24. 24
    KC
    July 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Love Goose Girl series by Shannon Hale. Also love The Royal Diaries. Great give away!

  25. 25
    Jen B.
    July 23, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I just finished Finders Keepers by Stephen King. Great read!

  26. 26
    Anjanette
    July 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I really love the Book Thief

  27. 27
    Teresa Winfrey
    July 23, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I love the Elizabeth Berg books.

  28. 28
    Alta B.
    July 23, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I love the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. Great books to revisit every now and then.

  29. 29
    Suzanne
    July 23, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    My favorite recent reads: “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce,
    “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin, and “10% Happier” by Dan Harris.

  30. 30
    Makelle Guenter
    July 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    I always get so excited when your book reviews come out. I always love reading a good (clean) book. I just finished the Cinder series and can’t wait for the last book this fall. My favorite book of all times is “The Winter Sea” by Susanna Kearsley, all her books are amazing. Also the Celtic Brooch Series by Logan are really good too. I could go on and on. Thanks

  31. 31
    July 23, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    A few of my favorite books are: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac.

  32. 32
    Jaimie
    July 23, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Me before You by Jo Jo Moyes

  33. 33
    Carla S
    July 24, 2015 at 3:53 am

    I like Chi Running and the Eat Clean Diet the most.

  34. 34
    July 24, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I love everything Baldacci, It has been my summer go-to for audiobooks. JA Jance and Stuart Woods too, they are all excellent books

  35. 35
    Teresa
    July 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I really enjoy Young Adult and Junior Fiction — The Legend Series by Marie Lu; School of Charm by Lisa Ann Scott; The Owl Keeper by Christine Bordien-Jones; Defy & Ignite by Sara B. Larson; Rump by Liesl Shurtliff

  36. 36
    Shelia
    July 24, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Gone with the Wind is still one of my favorites. Reading Go Set a Watchman right now – can’t wait to see how it stacks up to To Kill a Mockingbird.

  37. 37
    Cristine
    July 24, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    My recently read favorite books are: Broken by Danee Riggs; Anybody’s Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; and Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

  38. 38
    July 24, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Jim Gaffigan’s “Dad is Fat”…I’m an empty nester, but still enjoyed this book.

  39. 39
    Chantelle
    July 25, 2015 at 5:41 am

    Still Alice for sure!

  40. 40
    rachel
    July 25, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Gone Girl

  41. 41
    Donna
    July 25, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I love the bonesetter’s daughter and a great and terrible beauty

  42. 42
    Kristen
    July 25, 2015 at 11:04 am

    I still love Me before you.

  43. 43
    Tonya Atkinson
    July 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    My favorite book is It’s A Wonderful Life

  44. 44
    Elizabeth Stevens
    July 25, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Just finished All the Light We cannot see. LOVED it. Also, I just read Me before you by Jo Jo Moyes.

  45. 45
    Beth
    July 26, 2015 at 6:57 am

    I just finished the Legend series by Marie Lu. It was easy reading and enjoyable.

  46. 46
    Maureen
    July 26, 2015 at 8:38 am

    To Kill A Mockingbird. Still one of my all time favorites!

  47. 47
    Karaleigh
    July 26, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I love Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

  48. 48
    Liz
    July 26, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    I really enjoyed The Boys in the Boat. Now I am reading The Opposite of Spoiled. So good!

  49. 49
    Linda S Gruber
    July 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I have to agree that The Secret Garden is one of my all time favorites. Also Harry Potter series. I love any book that Nora Roberts has ever written.

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