As I’m writing this, I have to go to school in thirty minutes to take my Spanish exam. Tomorrow, I have my math exam. And after that, I will be summer bound. I am very very excited, but less ecstatically so than last year. There’s a bittersweet tinge to my feelings this time around. I will truly be missing my classes and my teachers.
But one way in which school time can never compare to summer time is how many more books get read during the summer. After scrolling through so many beautiful lists of new books to read this summer (AKA The Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide-which you can get by signing up for the MMD newsletter!, other MMD posts such as this list of books people will be talking about this summer, and Goodreads newsletters), I have compiled my own list of books that have caught my eye.
Several of them are a step out of comfort zone, but because of one strong recommendation or another (mostly by MMD), I’m going for it. If a book on this list isn’t something I would normally read, I will mention it in my thoughts section. Also, there will most likely be a continuation of this list coming next week.
Also, how are there no fantasy books on this list???? That needs to be fixed.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Release date: April 16, 2019
Genre: Contemporary fiction:
Two college students. The complexity of life.
This book kind of feels Jane Austen-y: love story but not really. Except I’m guessing this book is going to have a darker feel than Austen. Normal People isn’t a book I think I would normally read, but it’s won several awards and I keep seeing people talk about it, so here goes.
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
Release date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Middle grade contemporary
Immigrating to America from Syria. Change, strange-ness. Friends, family. School musical.
I’ve read and really liked both of Jasmine Warga’s other books: My Heart and Other Black Holes and Here We Are Now. I think I’ve talked about both on the blog too. So I have to read this book to keep up my record. It’s her first middlegrade book and also the only middlegrade book in this post.
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Release date: May 28, 2019
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Neighbors. Family. Tragedy. Generations.
Honestly, I do not think I will make it through this book. In the Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide, this was described as a very dysfunctional family story, depressing, and dark. This is another one of the books on this list that I don’t usually go for, but she goes on to say that the ending put this book on her best-of-year list, and I just couldn’t resist that pitch. I couldn’t. Again, I don’t think I will finish it, but I will at least try.
The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson
Release date: December 31, 2018
Genre: Historical fiction
Dual timelines. Heroines. London, 1947: Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown and two of the women who made it. Toronot, 2016: a woman trying to solve the mystery of why her grandmother has the dress.
This book is one of the five titles on the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Minimalist Summer Reading Guide. Basically, out of the 30 Summer Reading Guide titles, five are chosen to make decisions easier. I hope that the author includes at the end of the book how much of the story is real and how much is fiction because the description of the book is very interesting.
Release date: April 2
Genre: Non-fiction, memoir and self-help and psychology
What it’s like to be a therapist. What it’s like to need a therapist. Honest truths about both.
I like to cover of this one. I just realized it’s probably a tissue box, but my first reaction was that it’s a really soft, puffy pillow on top of a bright-orange cube that doubles as a chair. I also like the sound of this book in general. I haven’t read something pyschology-ish in a while. Or a memoir I think.
If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais
Release date: July 16
Genre: Historical Fiction
Post-apartheid South Africa. Three women in different social situations who are all struggling.
On Goodreads right now, this book has a 4.91 rating which might be the highest rating I’ve ever seen. Except for maybe when books have full stars because they only have one rating. This book doesn’t have a large amount of ratings right now either, but still. That is still crazy. This cover is cool too. The dog and owl on the cover are interesting. The first thing I thought when I read the title was the end of that saying: tell Him your plans. I’m not sure if she’s referencing that though.
The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
Release date: June 4
Genre: Young adult contemporary
Summer at the lake. Wealth versus working class. Love story.
One of my favorite books I read last year and definitely one of my favorite YA contemporaries is Sarah Dessen’s book Once and for All from 2017, but I’ve have’t liked some of her other books that I’ve read. But I’m hoping I will like this one.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Release date: May 7
Genre: Historical fiction
1936. Kentucky. Nineteen year old girl. Librarian. Poor country. Books.
DUDE, this book is about a girl who is blue-skinned. She is the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry, which is apparently a real thing! How come I have never heard about this before?
Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
Release date: August 13
Firefighting. Texas. Moving from Boston. Only girl.
This is also a book outside of what I normally read. I don’t really read romance centered books that aren’t YA, but it was the MMD book list I mentioned up top of books that people will be talking about this summer. Also this book has two tropes that I have a hard time resisting: a girl finding her way in a situation as the only girl and a relationship that one side doesn’t think is a good idea-well, at the beginning at least.
The River by Peter Heller
Release date: March 5
Two college friends. Canoe trip. Canada. Real wilderness and all the trouble that can entail. And some other strange stuff it usually doesn’t entail. Survival.
Here’s another one of the books on this list that isn’t something I normally read. Thrillers? No thank you. Scary thrillers? Absolutely not. But from the description, this book doesn’t sound overly scary. I think I will still be reading it during the day though. This one is also a cool cover. It gets the intensity feel of the story without being too upfront about it.
Do you have any fantasy recommendations?
What books are on your to-be-read list for this summer?
Which tropes can you not resist?
Did any of these books catch your interest?