Celebrate Summer with Great Books

3 years ago

It’s officially summer!  For me, that means spending any available leisure time with a good book by a pool or body of water.  Here are some of the books on my summer reading list.

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

I fell in love with Lamb’s writing when I read She’s Come Undone.  I was shocked to learn that his next novel, I Know This Much Is True, has been out so long.  I started reading last week and am reminded of his trademark way of writing brutally honest, sometimes cringe-worthy, scenes. 

From the book description: “…a heartbreaking and poignant multigenerational saga of the reproductive bonds of destruction and the powerful force of forgiveness. A masterpiece that breathtakingly tells a story of alienation and connection, power and abuse, devastation and renewal—this novel is a contemporary retelling of an ancient Hindu myth. A proud king must confront his demons to achieve salvation. Change yourself, the myth instructs, and you will inhabit a renovated world.”

Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Liz and Lisa have a great blog that highlights chick-lit books.  I was honored that they picked my book, Finding Mr. Righteous, as one of their May books of the month.  I can’t wait to read their first novel of the classic “grass is greener” theme, but with a twist.

From the book description: “Best friends since childhood, Casey and Rachel couldn’t lead more different lives. While workaholic Casey rubs elbows with celebrities daily as the host of Gossip TV andcomes home nightly to an empty apartment, stay-at-home mom Rachel juggles an “oops” baby, two fiery teenagers, and a husband who barely seems the man she fell in love with two decades before. After an argument at their twentieth high school reunion, Casey and Rachel throw back shots to get the night back on track. Instead, they get a life-changing hangover. Waking up in each other’s bodies the next morning, they must figure out how to navigate their altered realities.”

The Weed Agency by Jim Geraghty

Politics is my day job.  Writers like Jim make it bearable.  I’m excited to read his debut novel about government excess and incompetence. 

From the book description: “Full of oddball characters who shed light on the daily operations of Beltway minions, THE WEED AGENCY showcasesa world in which federal budgets balloon every year, where a career can be built upon the skill of rationalizing astronomical expenses, and where the word ‘accountability’ sends roars of laughter through DC office buildings. That’s life inside the federal Agency of Invasive Species… and it may sound suspiciously similar to your reality.”

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

Discovering Jennifer’s books while in college opened a new world of real, complicated relationships and the possibility of happy endings for girls like me.  When I wrote my book (Buy it here! Sorry, I can’t help myself!) I tried to channel Jennifer.  There were some things about my past and my insecurities that were hard to write about, but I knew the only way others could connect and identify with my story was if I was completely honest.  Jennifer paved the way for a lot of chick-lit writers.  I know her latest book will be a great read.

From the book description:  “Allison Weiss got her happy endinga handsome husband, adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder…Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or if your husband ignores you?

The pills help her manage the realities of her good-looking life: that her husband is distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father’s Alzheimer’s is worsening and her mother is barely managing to cope. She tells herself that they let her make it through her days…but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?”

7 Men by Eric Metaxas

Confession: I have recommended this book in several articles. I have given it to several people.  I haven’t read it.  But that’s going to change.  Eric is one of my favorite writers.  Everything he writes and says is witty and poignant.  Reading before recommending is just a formality.  It is not an exaggeration when I say that his books changed my life. (For more on that, see Finding Mr. Righteous). 

From the book description: “Each of the seven biographies represents the life of a man who experienced the struggles and challenges to be strong in the face of forces and circumstances that would have destroyed the resolve of lesser men. Each of the seven men profiled—George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colson—call the reader to a more elevated walk and lifestyle, one that embodies the gospel in the world around us.”

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer? (Other than Finding Mr. Righteous, of course).  Tell me in the comments!

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