Summer Reading Recommendations and Book Giveaway

I cannot believe summer is half over already! Where did it go?

I love that summer is really the only season dedicated to book lovers. Sure winter months are good for cozying up indoors with a great read, but it’s the summer months that magazines and newspapers devote to reading. Maybe it’s because sunning yourself on a sandy beach with blue waves and a great book is one of the ultimate vacation dreams!

So in honor of summer, I’m sharing a few of my favorite summer reads with you!

But wait, there’s more!

I decided it’s time to another giveaway! And adding new books to my shelf, means sorting through the old ones. So I’m hosting a book giveaway where the winner gets to select a title of their choice from my bookshelf to their own!

Keep reading to find out how you can win!

Summer Reading Recommendations

Where’d You Go Bernadette

Bernadette Fox was once a famous architect. Time has passed and Bernadette’s life has taken a drastic turn toward Hermitville. As she begrudgingly plans a trip to Antarctica (a promise to her daughter), everything begins to change. Told from the point of view of e-mails, parent/teacher newsletters, landscaping agreements, and FBI files, Bernadette’s daughter, Bee, tries to solve the mystery of her mother’s mysterious disappearance.

The author, Maria Semple, previously worked as a writer on the TV shows Mad About You, Ellen, and Arrested Development. Needless to say, this book will make you laugh out loud, and it has one of my favorite ensemble casts of characters all in one book!

Belle Weather: Mostly Sunny With a Chance of Scattered Hissy Fits

A collection of satirical essays told by a southern charmer herself, Celia Rivenbark, Belle Weather made me wish to be her neighbor! I wanted to hang out with the woman who attempted to make pancakes in the shape of Miley Cyrus for her daughter’s friends. She also stands up for Britney Spears, desperate housewives everywhere, and American Girl Dolls.

Look, the woman is hysterically funny. Read this book!

Bonus: The audio book is read by the author and I thought hearing her tell her stories made them all the funnier!


Read this one last summer with the library’s book club and loved it! A memoir by Lynne Cox, Grayson recounts the nearly unbelievable story of Cox’s swim practice one morning when she was just a teenager. Feeling a change in the ocean currents, followed by several schools of fish, Cox realized that something big was following her. What it turned out to be was a baby gray whale!

The whale had been separated from its mother, and if left alone, could be picked off by a predator or not make the migration south on its own. Lynne stayed in the water with the whale, searching for his mother.


I’m in LOVE with Piper Bayard’s post-apocalyptic book, Firelands! This book is so cool! She’s webbed together this awesome world where religions are mixed and the people are divided. The Josephites control the food, unless…

Archer, our protagonist, just may be gutsy enough – and completely in over her head – to start a war that could take down the Josephites and feed her people forever.

The Ruth Valley Missing

Everyone in the town of Ruth Valley creeps me out!!! Amber West writes a great thriller about a girl who leaves New York and moves to the small town of Ruth Valley.

She quickly realizes that something about the town is off. Who does she trust? And when people start going missing, how far will she go for the truth? And can she solve the mystery before she too becomes one of the missing?


What’s on your summer reading list?

Leave a summer book you love in the comments and be entered for a chance to win a free book off my bookshelf! Tweet this post and be entered an additional TWO times!

As always, happy reading!


Just a few titles to peak your interest!  😉

21 responses

  1. I had heard good things about Where’d You Go Bernadette but had no idea that the writer wrote for Mad About You, Ellen, and AD. That’s definitely motivation for me to grab a copy.

    This summer has been so crazy, I haven’t had a chance to really hit my TBR pile. Flat Out Love by Jessica Park is one I read recently that I thought was really cute.

    Silver Sickle is at the TOP of my TBR pile – I started it and sadly life got in the way so I haven’t had a chance to get back to it yet!

    (…and there is a used bookstore closing it’s doors here that had a “all you can fit in a bag” sale – $5, any size bag – so I now have a bunch of SciFi novels to check out!)

    And thanks for having me in this list! I was super surprised to see me. 🙂

    1. Any size bag??? I would be bringing in a hefty bag and ransacking their shelves! How awesome! Gift shopping stock up, new books for me, blog giveaways. OMG! I want that sale!

      And of course you’re on here! I am loving The Ruth Valley Missing. I’m at 90% on my Kindle so I hope to finish it tonight!!!

  2. Just finished “The Wierd Sisters” – what an interesting read, particularly for anyone from a family wherein sibling rivalry is an issue (duh… like, every family?). Also good and recommended is “Crossing on the Paris” and “Let the Great World Spin”. Of course, Camilla Lackberg’s books are great, too!

    1. Did you see Camilla’s new book has been released in the U.S.? It was either just this month or last, I think.

      The Weird Sisters is on my shelf too. My mom read it and recommended it to me.

      I’m really liking The Light Between Oceans so far.

  3. Hi Jess. Thanks so much for your support! I’m so glad you’re enjoying FIRELANDS.

    Ruth Valley Missing is on my list, but I hadn’t heard of the others. Thanks for the info. 🙂

    1. Thank YOU for writing Firelands. Can’t wait to hear about the rest of the series!

  4. I love learning what books other people read. They are usually ones I’ve never heard of but sound intriguing, like your list. I do have Pipers book on my TBR pile. I would love to read Belle Weather and Where’d you go Betnadette! What a great idea for your readers, Jess, and a great way to free up space on your bookshelf! I’ve read Patricia Sands’ Promise of Provence, Lesann Berry’s passing judgement and Alternate Endings, Elema Aitken’s Composing Myself, Chris Guillebeau’s $100 Startup, Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck and I’m now reading a book called, Contagious-how things catch on. I also have Ryan Wynfield’s book, Jane’s Melody , James Scott Bell’s Don’t Leave Me, Darcie Chan’s Mill River Recluse, Tracey Garvis Graves, Uncharted, Catie Rhodes, Forever Road and several others by friends on my pile. But there’s always room for more! Never can have too many books!

    1. LOL. I love all the recommendations. I just got Elena Aitken’s book through Patricia Sands’ giveaway! Glad to hear a good recommendation!

      And glad to hear you’re enjoying your summer reading! Catie’s book is on my to read pile as well!

  5. What a fun list! I loved seeing a couple of familiar (and awesome!) author faces within it. 🙂 I’m reading an ARC of a super creepy thriller by Mike Sirota right now, and have a non-fiction book on psychopaths and sociopaths in line next. What would life be without books? (Wait – don’t answer!) Lots o’ love, beauty! Hope you’re having a groovy Monday.

    1. You know, I don’t read enough thrillers. I love them when I do, but I just don’t get enough of them. I need to remedy that! I may be bugging you for more recommendations, m’dear!

  6. Firelands definitely sounds like an interesting read. The Ruth Valley Missing, too. Thanks for promoting reading…no matter the season!

    1. I think you’d dig both of these Mark! And of course I’ll promote reading!

  7. My summer reading list is always insane. If only I planned my time better to allow for more reading. Right now I am anxious to read The Fault of Our Stars. So many of my book-loving friends have recommended it. Loved your overviews above as well–looks like I’ll be adding more books to my list. Great post!

    1. Every year I think I’ll plan myself a writing retreat vacation, and then it never happens. I really need to remedy that!

  8. There is always so much to be read on my list… just finished Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty, about missing parts to the old Dracula book. Quite dark, but a very enjoyable first novel. I am now reading Lexicon by Max Barry. I recently read and highly recommend The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne, the autobiography of a very cool Morman man with Tourrette’s Syndrome who loves books. For crime thrillers, Karin Slaughter is terrific. Stephen King’s books could easily all be re-read if you like his work. Jonathan Kellerman writes great psychological crime novels based in L.A. My favorite fictional character (besides perhaps Anne Rice’s Lestat) is Aloiscious Pendergast from the Dougas Preston/Lincoln Child writing team. He is a character too behold! Then if everything just becomes too much to handle and it’s time to escape into the attic, grab Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon again!

    1. I’ve read Misery by Stephen King and loved it. I really should pick up more of his books. Thanks for all the great recommendations!

  9. Can’t remember if I read this last summer or not, but The Night Circus is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. I still think about it. It is stunning, evocative and beautifully written. So, that would be my recommendation.

    1. I loved that book! Perfectly un-ordinary!

    2. That’s on my list to read! It sounds so good!

  10. […] Want to win a FREE paperback from my shelf to yours? Check out my book giveaway HERE! […]

  11. […] Until then, please keep yourselves occupied by crossing off some of my summer fun suggestions in 51 Things to Do Before Summer’s Over and entering to win a FREE book From My Shelf To Yours. […]

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