As a child, I felt like the school year was the time to do all of the things that I was supposed to do. When I wasn’t in school, I spent my time completing endless stacks of IB homework or rehearsing for an upcoming performance at my ballet studio. I complained about the work load and the stress, but I thrived under pressure and couldn’t bear to take anything off my schedule. I had so many goals for my future, and the school year was the time to work towards those goals. And then summer came, and it was time to do all of the things that I loved to do.
Instead of having to sit in assigned seats next to annoying ex-boyfriends, I got to spend time with my best friends. Instead of rehearsing for The Nutcracker for what seemed like the 100th time, I got to dig deep into technique and artistry in my dance classes. And instead of listening to boring physics lectures or trying to stay awake in calculus class, I got to spend all of my free time with my nose in a book. I’d spend entire days lost in the world of Harry Potter and hours soaking up the beautiful words of Gabriel García Márquez. When we’d go to the beach, my parents would have to remind me to look at the water because I’d be too mesmerized by my book of the moment. I was the definition of a book worm.
Since I’ve graduated from school, my summer days are mainly spent trapped in an office; however, I’m determined to make a change this summer. I want to make an effort to find time to do the things that I love to do. I’m scheduling days off to relax with family, saving money for vacations, scheduling classes to take, and creating a huge (and I mean HUGE) reading list. I have dozens of books that I’ve been meaning to read over the past few years, but I haven’t made the time. That’s changing this summer. I have a stack of books ready to read, and I also bought an Audible membership where I get a new audiobook each month. I spend a lot of time driving, and now I can listen to my favorite books while I drive. It’s gonna be awesome. If you need summer reading inspiration, here are the first 21 books on my summer reading list!
Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes || I recently finished listening to You on audiobook, and I bought the follow-up book Hidden Bodies minutes after listening to the final chapter. This story is told from the perspective of a woman’s stalker, and it manages to be scary, sexy, and hilarious at the same time. I’m hooked, and I can’t wait to listen to the next installment of Joe’s story!
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater || After reading Alexandra from Twirling Pages rave about this series, I knew I needed to add it to my summer reading list. Based on the reviews I’ve seen, this book is a supernatural young adult thriller, and I have to say I’m thrilled to start reading. I’m already a Maggie Stiefvater fan from the Shiver series, so I have high hopes!
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes || Michelle from Mash Elle has been begging me to read this book, and I’m finally fulfilling my promise to her. This book tells the story of a young girl who takes a job assisting a wheelchair-bound man, and their unlikely love story. While the heartwarming movie trailer already convinced me to read this story, it doesn’t hurt that the book has also been recommended by at least five friends. I’ll be reading this book with several boxes of tissues and chocolate handy.
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon || I’m hopelessly in love with the world that Diana Gabaldon created in the Outlander series, and I need to know what happens in the third installment of Jamie and Claire’s story. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, epic love stories, and a bit of supernatural flair, this series is right up your alley. If you’re not convinced, check out the Outlander television series on Starz. Watch Jamie walk around shirtless for a few episodes and tell me that you don’t want to read more about his story. It’s a worldwide bestseller for a reason. You’ll be hooked.
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker || I’m a total sucker for dystopian novels and tales of everyday life, and this book seems to combine both themes seamlessly. This book tells the story of one family’s experience when the rotation of the Earth suddenly begins to slow. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, and I can’t wait to read the first page!
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty || After ignoring one too many recommendations for Liane Moriarty, I thought it was time to give this book a go. Big Little Lies explores the world of suburbia, parenting, and school politics with a bit of mystery and murder. I’m honestly not sure what to expect, but I’m intrigued.
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr || This book has been on my reading bucket list for far too longer. This book explores World War II Europe from the perspective of two teenagers: a girl who was lost her sight in France and an orphaned boy in Germany. I’m hoping to devote an entire weekend to this moving tale.
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney || As someone who attended a Masters program in marriage and family therapy, I have a thing for stories about family dynamics. The Nest explores the relationships between four siblings with a shared inheritance. This book seems to be on everyone’s summer reading list, and I’m joining the crowd!
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper || When I see a movie that’s been adapted from a book, I’m normally not tempted to go back and read the book; however, I feel the opposite way about this book. This Is Where I Leave You explores the dynamics of a family after the loss of their father, and it’s simultaneously sad, beautiful, and hilarious. While the movie was great, I feel like the book is going to be even better. I can’t wait to get to know these characters again.
One More Thing: Stories And Other Stories by B.J. Novak || I’m a mega-fan of The Office, so of course I’m going to read Ryan’s book. Yes, I know his name is B.J. Novak, but he’s still Ryan to me. I’m ready to laugh.
Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter || I’m hopelessly obsessed with the musical version of Hamilton, and I’ve been tempted to buy this book AKA the “Hamiltome” to support Lin and his amazing production. I cannot wait to read this book!
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick || Humorous autobiographical essays written by Anna Kendrick? Sold.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown || I’ve always viewed vulnerability as a strength instead of a weakness, and I can’t wait to read Dr. Brown’s thoughts on this concept. I have a feeling that this book is going to be really powerful.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love And Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed || I love Cheryl. I was profoundly moved by Wild, and I’m addicted to her trademark balance between brutal honesty and compassion. This book features her advice on every aspect of life, and I’m prepared to laugh and cry.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanathi || Paul shares his experience as a neurosurgeon who unexpectedly gets diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. His memoir explores mortality, the doctor-patient relationship, and what’s truly important in this life. I’ve only read the summary, and I think that I already love this memoir.
The E-Myth Revisted by Michael E. Gerber || After hearing at least a dozen of my favorite podcasters recommend this small business classic, I’ve decided to give it a go. If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner (or thinking of becoming one), this book is for you.
Grit: The Power of Passion And Perseverance by Angela Duckworth || I’ve always believed that having the ability to survive and push through tough situations with sheer grit and determination is a key component of success. I can’t wait to read Angela Duckworth’s psychological take on this component of success.
Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande || There are few professions with stakes as high as the field of medicine. When you have someone’s life in your hands, you get the job done – no matter what. In this book, Gawande shares stories of doctors in impossible situations and shows how they’re constantly on a path to be better. I’m ready to be inspired!
Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on The Art of Organizing And Tidying Up by Marie Kando || Cleaning is not one of my strengths. I know how to clean and organize things, but I hate the process. After reading Kando’s first book, I’m inspired to shake t hings up in my household. I’ve donated so many things, but it still seems like our house is cluttered and dirty. I’m looking forward to learning detailed new techniques to organize in this book. I’ve heard not one but two people tell me that they actually enjoy folding clothes after reading this book. If that’s true, this book is magical.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert || Working in a creative field is fantastic, but sometimes it can be difficult to access my creativity and inspiration. I’m hoping this book will rev up my creative engine in time for summer!
Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott || This book is a collection of Anne Lamott’s essays about faith, family, and community. I’ve heard great things about her other books, so I’m hopeful her latest release will be a winner.
I know this list might seem lengthy, but I’m thinking that I can knock out three books a week with Audible. I’ve been a paying member of this service for about seven months, and it’s been worth every penny. Each month, you receive a credit for a new audiobook with your membership fee, and you can listen to your book on the Audible app on your phone, tablet, or computer. I listen to my books everywhere: in the car, at the gym, while I’m cleaning the house. It may not always have time to sit and read the books on my reading list, but I have quite a bit of time to listen to them on my phone! If you’d like to try out Audible, click here to get a free one-month trial! You’ll be able to choose any book on the website for free, and I know that you’re to love the service.If you take advantage of the free trial, let me know which book you choose. I’d love to add more books to my summer reading list!
What’s on your summer reading list?This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.