Just picture it: Your tan self, in a cute swimsuit lounging on a comfortable chaise. A private cabana provides the perfect mix of sun and shade, and the beach is not completely deserted, but just quiet enough to hear the waves lapping on the shore of white sand. A nice young man presents you with a fruity drink, bearing a tiny umbrella perched on the rim. You sip the sweet nectar and return your attention to a glorious epic novel, hearing the faintest strains of steel drum music in the background….
Yeah. That’s not how my summer looks either. (Sigh.)
More likely, it’s you in the car shuttling kids between baseball games and summer camps. Or trying to keep up with the yardwork and that dang vegetable garden you planted again, telling yourself you’d take good care of it this year. (Spoiler alert: I gave up. Didn’t even try this time.) If you’re lucky, you squeeze in some drinks on a patio with friends and maybe a week at the lake, for which you spend a week preparing, and from which you spend two weeks recovering.
Ahhh, summer! But hey, it’s all good. Summer brings sunshine, ice cream, outdoor drinks and dining, and thankfully, great summer reading. Today I’m sharing a few books that I’m looking forward to reading in the coming months!
The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand: If you haven’t read anything by Elin Hilderbrand, you’re missing out. Her novels, normally set in her home base of Nantucket, feature well developed characters, family drama, and the charm of a small island community. In this story, Nantucket’s summer wedding season is always eventful, but turns particularly memorable for one family when they all become suspects in a terrible tragedy. The twists and turns that follow illustrate the imperfection of every family.
This title releases on June 19. If you’ve missed Hilderbrand’s previous stories, now’s your chance to spend the next month catching up, as some of the characters from her previous novels make an appearance in The Perfect Couple. Start with A Summer Affair… I somehow missed that one and just picked up my copy yesterday!
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella: Summer wouldn’t be complete without a new read from Sophie Kinsella. In this novel, Sylvie and Dan have a happy, ten year marriage, and a full, comfortable life. Everything is blissful, until a casual mention of the many decades of marriage yet in front of them causes panic to ensue. Bringing surprises into the relationship seems like the right way to keep it fresh and fun, until mishaps, truths, and eventually a scandal send things awry.
I always love Kinsella’s books because they are funny, quirky, and light hearted, yet somehow seem to hit at the heart of hopes, dreams, and struggles faced by everyone. I cheated a little on this one… Surprise Me has actually been out for a few months now. But if you haven’t picked this up yet, it would be a great addition to your summer reading list!
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler: I *love* Anne Tyler. Her characters are so quirky and so real. They’re most often midlife women who are trying to figure out who they are and where they’re going. (Raises hand, along with a few hundred of my closest friends!) I actually like the publisher’s description of this book so well, I’m just going to skip re-inventing the wheel, and share it:
“Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life. In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother’s sudden disappearance. In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal. In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together. And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother but isn’t sure she ever will be. Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger. Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore to look after a young woman she’s never met, her nine-year-old daughter, and their dog, Airplane. This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory–surrounded by eccentric neighbors who treat each other like family, she finds solace and fulfillment in unexpected places. A bewitching novel of hope, self-discovery, and second chances, Clock Dance gives us Anne Tyler at the height of her powers.”
Doesn’t that sound intriguing and charming? Clock Dance releases July 10, and you can pre-order it now.
There are plenty of other titles on my TBR list this summer, including some non-fiction and a big stack of cozy mysteries, but this highlights a few of my most anticipated reads. What about you? What great reads do you have planned for this summer? (Cabanas, fruity drinks, and steel drums optional, but highly recommended.)