I’d Rather be READING! – Summer Reading List – Part 1

Give me some love!

“You can never get a cup or tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” C.S. Lewis


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Do you love reading as much as I do?? If so, you have come to the right place! I was the nerdy kid who looked forward to getting the summer reading list for school each year. Now, as an adult, I look forward to Anne Bogle’s (aka The Modern Mrs. Darcy) summer reading list. Do you follow Anne’s blog? If not, you can read it here! It is one of my very favorite blogs and one of many that inspired me to get back into blogging. It is just GREAT. You might be a book worm if you enjoy reading about reading.

In an homage to Anne’s summer reading list and summer reading lists everywhere, I decided to compile my own! This is the list of everything that I am reading, have read, or want to read this summer. Now, onto the reading list! I am breaking it up into two parts because it is rather a long list, 21 books to be exact. I am including three books from each of the following categories: classics, new/pop fiction, novellas, beach reads, non-fiction, audio books and eccentric picks.

Let’s get started.


Classics are pretty much my favorite genre. Weird, I know. I love them so much it was hard to narrow it down to just three picks. Instead of adding my favorite classic literary picks, I decided to choose three classic works that are new to me.

As I Lay Dying – by William Faulkner 

HOW have I never read this book? It was on practically every high school reading list and I NEVER read it. Plus, Faulkner is THE quintessential southern novelist. I bought a beautiful copy of this book and even my husband, who is not a reader, picked it up and started reading. It is the story of one southern family’s trek across the Mississippi to bury their wife and mother. Faulkner claimed to have written it in just one night! This was my first pick for a classic and I am so glad I chose it.

The Heart of the Matter – by Graham Greene

My brother has read practically every Graham Greene novel (yes, we’re both into reading/writing) but I haven’t read a one. He left a copy of The Heart of The Matter on my bookshelf when he moved out, after a brief stay at my house after my mom (his stepmom) passed away. I decided I should read it because, not only is it a classic and touted as his masterpiece, It is full of things that interest me: ill fated love, scandal, exotic places, murder and intrigue. The back cover describes it as, ” the story of a good man enmeshed in love, intrigue, and evil in a West African coastal town” I haven’t started this book but I am anxious to wipe the dust off of my brother’s old copy.

Play it as it Lays – Joan Didion

Didion is another celebrated American author, whom I’ve never read. This book is one of Didion’s most well-known works. Time magazine named it on the list of 100 best American novels. The book is said to capture the spirit of the American life in the late 1960’s and is set in Hollywood, Las Vegas and the Mojave desert. It was described as haunting and profoundly disturbing. Say no more. Get me a copy!

New/Popular Fiction

This is actually one of my least favorite categories, because it is so hit and miss. I feel like for every ten new books published, nine of them don’t suit me. Hopefully, one or two of these talked-about picks will surprise me!

At the Water’s Edge – by Sara Gruen

So, I am in a book club (of course) and this was their July pick. I don’t know that I would have picked this book up otherwise. Though I really enjoyed Water for Elephants, also by Gruen, the synopsis of this book left me feeling that the plot is …… a bit silly. The time period is WWII and socialite couple Maddie and Ellis are cut off from their luxurious lifestyle by disgracing the family patriarch at a New Year’s Eve party. To rectify the situation, they go to Scotland in search of the Loch Ness Monster. Yes, really. I love Gruen’s writing style, so I’m going to keep reading this one and hope that it gets less silly. I’m only on chapter six, so there is hope this will improve.

The Girls – by Emma Cline

This is one of THE most talked about books of the summer. I have to admit, even I am intrigued. It is about a young girl who is pulled into a 1960s cult by the fascinating women within the group. Can the heroine escape before it is too late? How far will she go to fit in? I am, admittedly, one of those people who really enjoys reading/watching about cults so…. this should be great! I am so excited about this one.

A Visit from the Goon Squad – by Jennifer Egan

This is a book about music. PUNK ROCK MUSIC. Count me in! The story of an aging punk rocker, and the troubled young woman he employees. This book won a Pulitzer Prize and its premise speaks to my soul. As an aging punk rocker myself, I CANNOT wait to read this highly acclaimed book.

Beach Reading

You KNEW this had to be on the summer reading list somewhere, right? These books are as shameless as they are light and I can’t help but love them all.

Summer Sister – by Judy Blume

So, I didn’t even know Judy Blume wrote grown-up books. Really! A friend recommended this book to me as the perfect beach read- and she was so right! The story of a precocious girl whose life is forever changed when her wealthy classmate selects her to spend summers at the family home in Martha’s Vineyard. I laughed out loud and really enjoyed this breezy summer read full of fun, jealousy and plenty of sex! This truly is the perfect easy beach read.

The Happiness Project – by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen doesn’t pretend to be some profound philosopher/scholar- she just focuses on “being Gretchen.” This book is all about learning how to make yourself happier, and helped inspire me to start this blog. I have really been inspired by Gretchen and do feel happier for having read this book. It isn’t every day that a non-fiction book can make for a good beach read, but who doesn’t want to sit on the beach and imagine being the best possible version of themselves? This book was at times both funny and inspiring. I will definitely read this one again.

Can you Keep a Secret? – by Sophie Kinsella

Speaking of funny, this book made me laugh out loud continuously… to the point my husband asked me to go in the other room so he could sleep. Sophie’s lighthearted chick-lit books are my guilty pleasure. I gobble them all up and this one was particularly entertaining to me. In the opening chapter of this book, our heroine is suffering through a tumultuous and thinks that she is about to die. In a moment of poor judgement, she reveals all of her darkest secrets to the handsome stranger sitting next to her, only to land safely. On Monday morning, she arrives at work to find that the handsome stranger on the plane is actually her new boss. This book made me laugh from beginning to end.


So there it is! Part one is in the books (haha… see what I did there?) 😉

I will post part two tomorrow: non-fiction, novellas, outstanding audio books, and eccentric picks.

Thanks for reading! Now get to your own summer reading!


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