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Book Reviews

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Best Books of the Summer

Are you looking for a new book to read? One of those books that you just can’t put down? Or maybe just a fun, easy book that won’t put you to sleep the minute you sit down to read?

Once Labor Day is over, my white pants and swimsuit get pushed to the back of the closet because summer is OVER. But some parts of summer continue to linger into September, like me sitting in the corner of the couch with my nose in a book. Or sitting under the ceiling fan on the back patio, reading until it gets so dark out that I can’t read another word.

Summer is my favorite time to read ALL the books, mainly because I have a little more free time on my hands.  This summer, I probably read at least one book a week. So I pulled together a list of the favorite books I read this summer to share with you. Most of the books I read are either from Amazon (free Kindle First books), from the library, or from Audible. While the majority are new releases, some are just books I recently discovered and recommend.

The Best Books of the Summer. Including those I couldn't put down, books just for fun and a few that made me stop and think.

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Books I Couldn’t Put Down

My favorite kind of book is one that I Can’t. Put. Down. A book that makes me miss my bedtime because I can’t stop reading to find out what happens next.  Or that I dream about at night because I can’t stop thinking about it. These next few books fall into that category.

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

Aimee’s childhood sweetheart and fiance disappears in a boating accident two months before their wedding day. At his funeral, which should have been their wedding day, a strange women approaches Aimee and says she knows her fiance is still alive. Brushing aside this unsettling news, she tries to rebuild her life on her own. But she can’t shake the nagging feeling that he could still be out there somewhere, alive.

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

This book is chilling, dark and creepy but it drew me in. A young woman, Maya, survives a kidnapping and was held prisoner in a beautiful garden. FBI agents slowly piece together the gut-wrenching story across the table at the police station as they interview Maya, knowing she is holding something back. She tells them about “The Gardener,” the horrific man who held her and many other girls captive, and marks them with large, intricate butterfly tattoos on their backs. Their youthful beauty is what entices him, but is also what puts them at risk.

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

When Christine and her husband find out they are unable to conceive, they decide to use a donor. The process is difficult on their marriage but once she becomes pregnant things begin improve. Then one day, Christine sees the TV news and a young, blond man who looks exactly like their donor is arrested and accused of a series of murders. She is faced with a decision, does she want to know if the accused man is the donor? If he is, how will this affect her marriage and the future of her unborn child?

Fun, Easy Reads

For a short vacation or weekend trip, I like to pack fun, easy reads. Nothing too deep or too emotional. Because a book that makes you cry on a plane makes everyone around you feel uncomfortable.

I discovered The Girls Series by Rachel Hollis this summer on Instagram. All three ebooks were on sale for $1.99 each so I bought them all at the same time and binge read them.  The series is about Landon, Max and Miko, three friends from very different backgrounds who meet in LA while pursuing their careers. It weaves a story of their friendship, jobs and love lives over the three book series.

Party Girl – Landon moves from small town Texas to LA to pursue her dreams of becoming a party planner. At first she is thrilled to land an internship with a well known event planner but she soon realizes her boss will do ANYTHING to get ahead.

Sweet Girl – Max has a tough exterior, so few people know that she actually dreams of being a pastry chef. Will she succeed when her dream job lands in her lap?

Smart Girl – Miko, the brilliant designer, uses the plots from her favorite romance novels to try to get a guy to fall in love with her. Unfortunately, she knows nothing about true love and starts to realize she may have picked the wrong guy.

Books that Made Me Think

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Paul Kalanithi is in the last year of his residency in neurosurgery when he is diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. He has influenced the lives of his patients for years, but now he is faced with an uncertain future. As he also desired to become a writer, Paul begins writing a memoir and exploring moral questions about his life. He asks: What makes life worth living in the face of death? How do I make life decisions when I am not sure how long I have left? Should I start a family when I will not be here to see my child grow up? It is beautifully written, deeply meaningful and poignant book.

Falling Free by Shannan Martin (advanced copy), releases September 20th, 2016

She started out with a blog called Flower Patch Farmgirl, living her Farmhouse lifestyle. Then God asked Shannan Martin to sell her dream home in the country and move to a small, urban house on the wrong side of the tracks. I’m not saying she immediately answered, but eventually she followed his call. Her life looks radically different now than what she dreamed about when she first got married. Every thing she clung to has been stripped away, her safety net is gone.  Shannan describes a life of God’s More being found in Less. It makes me uncomfortable to read her story, because it makes me question my definition of living out God’s calling in my life. It makes me stop and think, what really makes a good life?

Books I Am Still Reading but Recommend


Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

I started reading this on my Girl’s weekend at the beach but had to put it down. Every word Shauna writes seems to be plucked from my mind and written on the page. I turned to my sister and said “I know this book is going to change my life and I don’t know if I am ready to face it yet.” Some books we need to slowly digest bits at a time.


Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst

On a date with my husband last Friday, I walked into a bookstore and instinctively knew I needed to buy this book. Even though I have not finished Present Over Perfect, I dove into Uninvited over Labor Day weekend. Today during my lunchtime workout, I listened to this podcast about the book. Some books come to you because you need them. I look forward to seeing where this book takes me.

What great books did you read this summer? What books do you recommend? Is there something really good on your “want to read” list that you are willing to share?

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