Summer 2020 Book Recommendations

I have read a whole lot of books during the great quarantine of 2020. I can't recommend all of them, but some were a lot of fun or truly inspiring or educational. (I love learning new things – gotta keep that empty nest mind full)! If you are looking for Summer 2020 Book Recommendations, read on for the best of what I have found.

I have loved my Audible membership this past year. We have listened to books while traveling to see our kids and during the quarantine I would get in my car and drive around listening to books just to get out of the house. They are also great to listen to if you have a mindless task you are working on.

I have read (unless otherwise noted) every book on the list and have divided them into “Loved,” “Liked,” and “Wish I hadn't.” I am including many of the books I have read in 2020. I had a surprising number of duds this year. I won't include them all, but sometimes you need to tell people why they might not like a book as well as recommend good book.s


For more book recommendations:

50 Books by 50 Years Reading Challenge

10 Best Books for Empty Nesters

summer 2020 books to read

Summer 2020 Book Recommendations


This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar.  


Summer 2020 Book Recommendations 1

“The Late Show” by Michael Connelly


Michael Connelly introduces a new character, Detective Renée Ballard, in “The Late Show.” My husband and I started listening to the series on our trips to see our children this past fall and winter. These are fun detective books with great characters. Detective Bosch (of previous Connelly books and of the tv show) teams up with Detective Ballard in the 2nd and 3rd books. If you are a fan of the show, listen to the audible versions because Titus Welliver reads his part. LOVED!

Summer 2020 Book Recommendations 2

“Maybe You Should Talk To Someone” by Lori Gottlieb

“Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” gives a candid look at the world of therapy through the eyes of Lori Gottlieb, who is both therapist and patient in this book. If you have ever been to therapy, thought about therapy, or have no idea about therapy, this book is for you. It is funny and poignant and often too-close-to-home. LOVED!



summer 2020 books to read

“The Unseen World” by Liz Moore

“The Unseen World” follows the life of Ada Sibelius, the shy daughter of a single and very eccentric father. After her father is diagnosed with alzheimers and is unable to care for himself, she learns that he is hiding a big secret. Her quest to unravel her father's past as she journeys through her life will keep you turning the pages. One reviewer says that the author takes too long to reveal the real story. But when she does, your jaw will drop. Your jaw will drop again when you finish the epilogue. LOVED!

summer 2020 books to read

“The Family Upstairs” by Lisa Jewell

I became a Lisa Jewell fan this year. I have read “The Family Upstairs,” “I Found You,” and “Watching You” this year. I LOVED “The Family Upstairs” and “I Found You.” I LIKED “Watching You.”

“The Family Upstairs” follows three characters, two in the present, and one from the past. Of course, you know they are all going to meet up in the end. Jewell writes great psychological thrillers that are not too rough or creepy. I noticed that another of her books, “Then She was Gone” is on the Amazon's best sellers list even though it was written in 2018, so of course, it is now on my list. LOVED!

Summer 2020 Books to Read

“The Fountains of Silence” by Ruta Sepetys


I mostly loved “The Fountains of Silence.” It is a historical fiction novel that takes place in Spain. The book is full of interesting and unique characters including the teenage son of a Texas oil tycoon, a pair of impoverished Spanish grave diggers/bull fighters, and a hotel maid among others. The ending of the book is a little Hallmark Christmas movie-esque, but sometimes that is what we need. In between the fun characters and the cheesy ending is a great story. MOSTLY LOVED.


summer 2020 book recommendations

“The Giver of Stars” by Jo Jo Moyes

“The Giver of Stars” tells the story of the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky, a group of women who deliver books on horseback to poor families. There was a lot to like about this book – an intriguing historical fiction story and mostly likeable characters. I found some of the characters a bit cliché and stereotyped and that is why I liked, but not loved this book. LIKED!

summer 2020 books to read

“Say You're Sorry” by Melinda Leigh

“Say You're Sorry” is the first book in the Morgan Dane series. Morgan is the widow of a man killed in Iraq. She is ready to go back to work as a prosecutor after taking time off to be with her children when she is dragged into a murder case when her neighbor is accused of a murder he did not commit. I really liked her character and would like to read more in this series. The story was a little predictable, but I can forgive that for good characters. This book was free in Kindle Unlimited, so that is a bonus. LIKED!

summer 2020 books to read

“The Killer Collective” by Barry Eisler

I listened to “The Killer Collective” on Audible. I don't think I would have liked it as much if I had read it. The author reads it himself. He is one of the best narrators I have ever heard. He moves seemlessly from character to character, convincingly voicing several accents. The story is of a an ad hoc group of former military, police, and spies who team up to take down a child pornography ring. LIKED.

summer 2020 books to read

“Bear Town” by Fredrick Backman

I would describe “Bear Town” as “Friday Night Lights” in the snow. It's small town hockey in Sweden and you quickly realize that Americans are not the only ones crazy serious about their kids' sports. Fredrik Backman writes beautifully and developes complex characters. There is now a sequel to this book featuring more hockey and more sports drama. LIKED.


Summer 2020 books to read

“Strike Me Down” by Mindy Mejia

I wanted to read this book because the main character is a forensic accountant. As a former accountant it sounded interesting. The premise is that a kickboxing company with a world-renowed kickboxing star as the face of the company has lost $20 million. The more I read the book the more preposterous the whole thing became. The accounting firm never asked the most obvious questions: “Where is the money supposed to be and how is it missing?” “How do you go months on end thinking there are millions of dollars in a bank account when there isn't?” And “No one ever reconciled the bank statement?!!?” The main character is also in an open marriage. Maybe some would disagree, but I cannot fathom that this is really a happy situation. WISH I HAD NOT READ. 

I read a number of books that I would describe as merely “so so.” If you read a lot, it isn't possible to love every book you read. I wanted to give you a sample of the books I read. Use this list of Summer 2020 Books to Read to find something new for yourself. Be sure to comment below with the books you have loved, liked, and wished you had not read below.

Summer 2020 Book Recommendations 3

Join the Community

Join the Almost Empty Nest Community and receive FREE ACCESS to the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. The Printables Library includes every printable on Almost Empty Nest - A Year of Care Package Printables, Gift Tags, College Preparation Checklists, Additional Care Package Printables (Birthday, March Madness, the Super Bowl, additional Halloween and finals), Bible Verse printables and more.



If your prefer not to join, you may purchase the printables HERE.

More from Almost Empty Nest:

Summer 2020 Book Recommendations 4
crockpot meals for two
Summer 2020 Book Recommendations 5