14 Books to Read This Summer – Fiction and Non-Fiction

There are some amazing books coming out this summer that I wanted to be sure to share with my readers. Some of these are sitting on my own shelf waiting to be read, others I’ll be buying like the rest of you as soon as they are available. Most of these are authors I don’t want to miss and some are brand new to me.  I’ve offered both fiction and non-fiction choices and something that I think will fit everyone’s reading personalities. Obviously there are other great books coming out this summer and I couldn’t possibly talk about all of them here. These are the ones that caught my eye. Be sure to let me know if you read any of these great summer books! Clicking on the photo of the book will take you directly to Amazon where you can purchase if you choose.

IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT
By: Judy Blume
Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Knopf

Judy Blume is back with an adult novel. I devoured all her books as a tween/teen and I’m anxious to share my very own collection with my daughter soon. Those of us who loved her books as teens are sure to love her books written for us as adults! I love the 50’s era and this book paints a picture of tragedy from that time-period.

In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place—Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.

GO SET A WATCHMAN
To Kill A Mockingbird #2
By: Harper Lee
To Be Published: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Harper

It would be difficult to find anyone who isn’t chomping at the bit to get Harper Lee’s long-awaited book after TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  This one is a no-brainer.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right. 

EENY MEENY
A Helen Grace Thriller #1
By: M. J. Arlidge
Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: NAL

I was offered this book and turned it down, only because I don’t think I could handle reading it. I get nightmares easily (I know…don’t laugh, but the baseball scene in TWILIGHT gave me nightmares for weeks) and I know this one will give me nightmares. I know my limits when it comes to scary stuff. But, for those of you who can handle thrillers like this, I think it sounds like one you would read straight through. I want someone to tell me how it is!! It’s the first in a series that I’m sure will be a hit!

Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.

It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Inspector Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.

Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case—with its seemingly random victims—has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense.

REMEMBER MIA
By: Alexandra Burt
To Be Published: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Berkley

This one I am worried about giving me nightmares as well, but I did agree to give it a look. But, I’ll stop if I think I can’t handle it. Another mystery I couldn’t stand to not know what happened. Reading the synopsis, any mother’s heart would stop. I think it’ll be a page-turner because I’ll have to know what happened!

First I remember the darkness.
Then I remember the blood.
I don’t know where my daughter is.

Estelle Paradise wakes up in a hospital after being found near dead at the bottom of a ravine with a fragmented memory and a vague sense of loss. Then a terrifying reality sets in: her daughter is missing.

Days earlier, Estelle discovered her baby’s crib empty in their Brooklyn apartment. There was no sign of a break-in, but all traces of seven-month-old Mia had disappeared. Her diapers, her clothes, her bottles—all gone.

Frustrated and unable to explain her daughter’s disappearance, Estelle begins a desperate search. But when the lack of evidence casts doubt on her story, Estelle becomes the number one suspect in the eyes of the police and the media.

As hope of reuniting with Mia becomes all she has left, Estelle will do anything to find answers: What has she done to her baby? And what has someone else done to her? 

TINY LITTLE THING
By: Beatriz Williams

To Be Published: June 23, 2015
Publisher: G P Putnam’s Sons

I am a huge Beatriz Williams fan and isn’t this cover just gorgeous?!?! Historical fiction and scandal make this novel one to read!

In the summer of 1966, Christina Hardcastle—“Tiny” to her illustrious family—stands on the brink of a breathtaking future. Of the three Schuyler sisters, she’s the one raised to marry a man destined for leadership, and with her elegance and impeccable style, she presents a perfect camera-ready image in the dawning age of television politics. Together she and her husband, Frank, make the ultimate power couple: intelligent, rich, and impossibly attractive. It seems nothing can stop Frank from rising to national office, and he’s got his sights set on a senate seat in November.

But as the season gets underway at the family estate on Cape Cod, three unwelcome visitors appear in Tiny’s perfect life: her volatile sister Pepper, an envelope containing incriminating photographs, and the intimidating figure of Frank’s cousin Vietnam-war hero Caspian, who knows more about Tiny’s rich inner life than anyone else. As she struggles to maintain the glossy façade on which the Hardcastle family’s ambitions are built, Tiny begins to suspect that Frank is hiding a reckless entanglement of his own…one that may unravel both her own ordered life and her husband’s promising career. 

SWEET FORGIVENESS
By: Lori Nelson Spielman
Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Plume

I’ve already raved about this one, HERE. It’s perfect for summer and may convince you to bury the hatchet at those class reunions or family gatherings.

The Forgiveness Stones craze is sweeping the nation—instantly recognizable pouches of stones that come with a chain letter and two simple requests: to forgive, and then to seek forgiveness. But New Orleans’ favorite talk show host, Hannah Farr, isn’t biting. Intensely private and dating the city’s mayor, Hannah has kept her very own pouch of Forgiveness Stones hidden for two years—and her dark past concealed for nearly two decades. But when Fiona Knowles, creator of the Forgiveness Stones, appears on Hannah’s show, Hannah unwittingly reveals on air details of a decades-old falling out with her mother.
 
Spurned by her fans, doubted by her friends, and accused by her boyfriend of marring his political career, Hannah reluctantly embarks on a public journey of forgiveness. As events from her past become clearer, the truth she’s clung to since her teenage years has never felt murkier. Hannah must find the courage to right old wrongs, or risk losing her mother, and any glimmer of an authentic life, forever. 

BLUEPRINTS
By: Barbara Delinsky
To Be Published: June 9, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Barbara never disappoints me and I have been hearing about this one all winter. If it doesn’t end up in my mailbox, I’ll be buying it.

Caroline MacAfee is a skilled carpenter, her daughter Jamie, a talented architect. Together they are the faces of Gut It!, a home renovation series on local public television. Caroline takes pride in her work, and in the way she connects with the show’s audience. But when she is told the network wants her daughter to replace her as host-the day after Caroline’s fifty-sixth birthday-she is devastated. The fallout couldn’t come at a worse time.

For Jamie, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his new wife die in a car accident that orphans their two-year-old son. Accustomed to organization and planning, she is now grappling with a toddler who misses his parents, a fiancé who doesn’t want the child, a staggering new attraction, and a work challenge that, if botched, could undermine the future of both MacAfee Homes and Gut It!

For Caroline, hosting Gut It! is part of her identity. Facing its loss, she feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world. Her ex-husband’s death thrusts her into the role of caregiver to his aging father. And then there’s Dean, a long-time friend, whose efforts to seduce her awaken desires that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself.

Who am I? Both women ask, as the blueprints they’ve built their lives around suddenly need revising. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, their challenge comes not only in remaking themselves, but in rebuilding their relationship with each other.

IT’S YOU
By: Jane Porter
Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Berkley

This one is waiting for me already. Don’t you love the cover? I love how it is modern, set in wine country, and connects to WWII. I can’t wait to read it.

In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.
 
What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.
 
As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.

AMONG THE TEN THOUSAND THINGS
By: Julia Pierpont
To Be Published: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Random House

I love finding debut novelists. Her book full of family secrets is sure to keep readers turning the pages. Family dramas makes for perfect summer reading.

Jack Shanley is a well-known New York artist, charming and vain, who doesn’t mean to plunge his family into crisis. His wife, Deb, gladly left behind a difficult career as a dancer to raise the two children she adores. In the ensuing years, she has mostly avoided coming face-to-face with the weaknesses of the man she married. But then an anonymously sent package arrives in the mail: a cardboard box containing sheaves of printed emails chronicling Jack’s secret life. The package is addressed to Deb, but it’s delivered into the wrong hands: her children’s.
 
With this vertiginous opening begins a debut that is by turns funny, wise, and indescribably moving. As the Shanleys spin apart into separate orbits, leaving New York in an attempt to regain their bearings, fifteen-year-old Simon feels the allure of adult freedoms for the first time, while eleven-year-old Kay wanders precariously into a grown-up world she can’t possibly understand. Writing with extraordinary precision, humor, and beauty, Julia Pierpont has crafted a timeless, hugely enjoyable novel about the bonds of family life—their brittleness, and their resilience.

CIRCLING THE SUN
By: Paula McLain
To Be Published: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books

I love historical fiction and this one is getting lots of early praise. I am often drawn to novels set in Africa, as this one is, and I’m sure is one I will enjoy.

Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Paris Wife, takes readers into the glamorous and decadent circle of British expats living in Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun tells the story of the beautiful young horse trainer, adventurer, and aviator Beryl Markham, from her childhood in British East Africa to her relationship with hunter Denys Finch Hatton and rivalry with Out of Africa author Karen Blixen—a notorious love triangle that changed the course of Beryl’s life.

I like to learn something while reading too and I enjoy non-fiction just as much as fiction. All of these will inspire you to do better, be better, and have fun….oh and have a hot dog while watching your favorite baseball team!

THE JOY OF BALLPARK FOOD
From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine
By: Bennett Jacobstein
Published: January 9, 2015
Publisher: Ballpark Food Publications

Now, I know this book has already been published for several months, but its theme is all summer. Ballparks, baseball games and food mean summer to many people. This one is waiting for to check it out. We love going to baseball games, even though we don’t go to that many…unless you count our boys’ games. Summer dinners consist of hot dogs, burgers, brats, and walking tacos for us until baseball season is over. But ballparks all over the country are upping their game and serving out-of-the-box food. I can’t wait to see what’s inside the pages of this book. I bet it’ll make me hungry and want to go to a game! I also love that all the royalties from this book are donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. That’s pretty awesome!

Baseball is a game that is identified with food. We even sing about it at every ballpark during the seventh inning stretch: “….buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack…” The famous song was written by Jack Norworth in 1908. From the early part of the twentieth century until the 1980s, classic baseball fare consisted mostly of hot dogs, ice cream, peanuts, and Cracker Jack. Then ballparks slowly began to sell new items. A proliferation of new food offerings during the 1990s was fueled by the opening of twelve new major league ballparks. Now, teams around the country sell a variety of exotic food as well as wide variety of hot dogs. The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine begins with the history of the first hot dog at a ball game and concludes with a culinary tour of all 30 major league ballparks. 100% of royalties from the sales of this book are donated directly to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties of California.

I KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT
By: Laura Vanderkam
To Be Published: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Portfolio

I’m a huge fan of Vanderkam. I follow (ok, stalk) her on Twitter and read her blog everyday.  She has been promoting this book for months and I think all of us can learn from her research on how to balance work and home life.

Balancing work and family life is a constant struggle, especially for women with children and ambitious career goals. It’s been the subject of countless books, articles, blog posts and tweets in the last few years, and passions run high in all directions.

Now Laura Vanderkam, the acclaimed time management expert, comes at the “having it all” debate by asking a very practical question. Given that we all have the same 168 hours every week, how do people who do have it all—women with thriving careers and families—use those hours? When you study how such women fit together the pieces of their lives, like tiles in a mosaic, the results are surprising.

If you work 40 hours and sleep 56 (i.e. 8 times 7) that leaves 72 hours for everything else. Vanderkam explains how her subjects use those “everything else” hours; why we work less and have more free time than we think; why it’s a myth that successful women get too little sleep; and how women can have demanding jobs, spouses, and kids, and still enjoy a healthy amount of downtime.

She shares the time-logs from 1001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year and still make time for their families and friends, for sleep and exercise, and for leisure activities they love. Based on what she learned from the patterns in those time-logs, she provides a framework for anyone who wants to thrive at both work and life.

AND THE GOOD NEWS IS…
Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side
By: Dana Perino
Published: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Twelve

I know this isn’t technically a “summer read”, but since it is close I’m still sharing it. This was a gift from my husband and is waiting for me to crack the pages. I respect Perino and enjoy watching her on Fox News. I am confident this will be inspiring and informative and may help you get back on track to finish out the year with a positive attitude.

Thoughtful, inspiring and often surprising, AND THE GOOD NEWS IS… traces Dana’s unlikely journey through politics, the White House, and television. She has an uncanny ability for knowing what to say and how best to say it. A recurring theme in AND THE GOOD NEWS IS…is that planning has never worked for Dana; every time she has made a plan, something unexpected-and often better-has happened. 
AND THE GOOD NEWS IS… blends a candid self-portrait with advice for allowing one’s very best personality traits to shine through, emphasizing that dignity and civility are choices we make for ourselves.

DANCING THROUGH LIFE
By: Candace Cameron Bure
To Be Published: August 1, 2015
Publisher: B & H Books

I have loved Candace Cameron Bure since her days on “Full House” and am still a fan as an adult. I follow her on social media channels and appreciate her honesty and faithful devotion to God and family.

Candace Cameron Bure has grown up before our eyes and we’ve watched as she’s balanced life in Hollywood with her faith for many years. But that all reached new heights when she was given the opportunity to join the cast of Dancing With the Stars. Being on the show was one of her dreams come true; and with that dream came the opportunity to display her Christian faith in front of millions of people, through an intense season of stretching beyond her limits, and to run the race God gave her with joy and perseverance.
 
Join Candace as she reflects on the self-discovery that came through leaping out of her comfort zone. Go behind the scenes and experience the highs and lows, the roadblocks, and the personal victories. Hear straight from her heart on tough lessons learned about grace, rejection, perfectionism, disappointment, accountability, dealing with criticism, and more. Through God’s strength, and with the help of endless support from her family and friends, see how Candace stayed true to herself and publicly lived out her faith in Christ all the way to the finale.

If you typically like the kind of books I share about here, I am confident these books will be winners. Let me know if you add any to your summer reading list!

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