5 Books I Loved This Summer

This summer wasn’t a summer of reading for me. It was a summer of shooing away a toddler from outlets, of teaching a 5-year-old the differences between a redwood and a willow. It was an outside summer, a keep-em-busy summer, a run-em-wild summer, and on most nights, we all fell into bed with dirty feet and tangled hair.

Still, I snuck in a few reads between groceries and tire swings, and each were every bit as good as I’d hoped. (The ones that weren’t as good as I’d hoped won’t show up here, of course, because I quit them a chapter or two in. Of the two camps, I’m firmly planted in the “Life’s too short to finish a book you’re not into” one.)

And so, if you’re in need of some good old-fashioned nightstand clutter, might I recommend these for your fall list?

The Middle Place, Kelly Corrigan

I’ve had no less than eight girlfriends tell me to read this, and quick. I finally snagged it at the library a few months ago, and as much as I hate to re-read books, this is one I’d return to time and time again. It’s a story about a father’s unfailing love for his daughter and a daughter’s undying admiration for her father, written in “that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap.” If you’ve ever found yourself secretly yearning to be adopted into the Braverman clan, you’ll find the mayhem and magic of the Corrigans to be a pretty close second. Full of hope and heartbreak, humor and truth, ordinary love and extraordinary joy. Grab it here for $6.

Themes: Family, Humor, Resilience

At Home in the World, Tsh Oxenreider

A few years ago, my friend Tsh circumnavigated the globe with her husband and three kids in tow, and the result is a lovely, wise memoir that points us all toward both the adventure and acceptance we search for daily. At Home in The World is a battle cry to celebrate the gift of today – each detour and delight – in whatever zip code we may land. Grab it here for $16.

Themes: Adventure, Discovery, Comfort

My Glory Was I Had Such Friends, Amy Silverstein

Never have I wanted to rush to the phone and call each and every one of my girlfriends quite like this read. After 26-year transplant survivor Amy finds herself with donor heart failure, she moves across the country to await a grueling treatment plan with her husband and a rotating cast of nine loyal girlfriends. Written on each page is undeniable evidence of the power of a woman’s tribe, and how – often – it takes a collective village of different voices to sing hope into one woman’s heart. Grab it here for $16.

Themes: Friendship, Wellness, Human Spirit

Small Great Things, Jodi Piccoult

This one’s the only novel on my list (thank you to Amber for the rec after this post!), and it was – hands down – the most enlightening. The story of a racist parent, a dying baby, an African American nurse and a white public defender, each perspective weaves together a truer-than-true account of what it means to be silenced in an increasingly noisy world. I found a bit of myself in the portrayal of every character – each painted with triumphant clarity – and on the final page, understood a small sliver of what it means to fight an uphill battle with grace and heart. Grab it here for $17.

Themes: Privilege, Hope, Justice

The Glass Castle, Jeanette Wells

I read this one on a recent nonstop flight and found myself unable to put it down until everyone else deplaned (even then, reluctantly). Jeannette tells the true story of her difficult childhood with such grace, equanimity and – dare I say? – magic. I rooted for the Walls family on every single page – through every shred of surprise and disappointment and unending prospect. Grab it here for $16.

Themes: Family, Resilience, Character

 

Tell me, what’s on your fall reading list? I’d love to hear!

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  • LOVED ‘Small Great Things’
    Fall list:
    Beartown
    More God Less Crime
    The Cross and the Lynching Tree

  • Read The Glass Castle for the fifth time this summer — just in time for the movie! (Which I thought was terrific.) I’m starting Tsh’s book this week! I’ve had it on hold at the library for ages and it’s finally my turn.

    Another good one I read this summer: The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs.

    On my list after At Home in the World: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Reading People by Anne Bogel and The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin.

    • oh yay – i’m so excited for you to read tsh’s book – and LOVE that you’re a fellow glass castle fan! (also, i heard such good things about the bright hour!!! thanks for the rec!)

  • I am currently reading “The Glass Castle”. It is So good!! Tsh’s book is definitely coming up on my next ‘stack’. Thanks for the other suggestions. My reading list is just getting out of control haha. I am pretty sure that my Pinterest board (where I keep track of the ever-growing list) has hit 60+ books at this point. Time to add a few more I suppose! ;)

  • YES to Small Great Things! One of Jodi Picoult’s best books by far! My night stand clutter includes: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, At Home In the World, and Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult

    Definitely recommend The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah. Incredible story about women’s role in WWII. MY favorite summer read and one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

  • Can’t wait to check these out! Loved loved loved the middle place and glass Castle

    I just finished”behold the dreamers”— you’ll love it! The last sentence of the book was my favorite:) , don’t peek till end. I just love stories with hope.

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