Summer 2021 Book Recommendations
At the beginning of every summer I like to put together a list of the books I recommend. Many of us have more time to read and lounge in the summer months than throughout the rest of the year. As an empty nester I am able to read year round, so I make my Summer 2021 Book Recommendations list from the books I have read in the last year.
For more book recommendations:
Summer 2021 Book Recommendations
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BOOKS I LOVED:
I also discovered Ann Patchett this year. I LOVED The Dutch House. The book covers the lives of a brother and sister over five decades as they fight to regain everything they lost after their father died. I also recommend Run by Patchett, where a freak accident leads a family to a huge new truth.
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is the only book I read this year where I cried at the ending. It weaves faith throughout the book in a way that is raw and genuine. There are no pat answers for Sam. I did find out it is medically inacurate, but I am totally willing to forgive that for the amazing story.
I confess. I had never read the entire Harry Potter series. Years ago I read the first book and also watched all of the movies with my kids. I asked a lot of annoying questions like, “So Snape was Harry’s Dad????” I never completely got what was going on from watching one movie every few years. So in 2020 I read all 7 books and I watched all 7 movies. The Harry Potter series should be on everyone’s book reading bucket list.
Anxious People by Fredrick Backman
Fredrick Backman is becoming one of my favorite authors. He writes characters so realistically. I always feel like I know the people he writes about. What is more amazing is that the people live in Sweden and his books have been translated from Swedish. I am amazed at deep down how much we are all alike no matter where we live on the globe. (If you did not catch the HBO series of his book Bear Town, it is must see tv. The story absolutely could have taken place in any sports obsessed town in America.)
A Well Behaved Woman is a fun read about Alva Vanderbilt, who married into the Vanderbilt family. The marriage is arranged to aid the Vanderbilts in acceptance to New York Society and to keep her family from everyone realizing they were actually broke. This book is historical fiction, but gives many of the facts surrounding her life and the lives of the members of this infamous family.
If you like True Crime, A Race Against Time is the book for you. (It should totally be a podcast. 😉 ) An investigative journalist goes back and SOLVES and helps get prosecuted murders from the Civil Rights era. It’s also kinda cool that Jerry Mitchell is also an Abilene Christian University alum. I am proud to share that with him!
BOOKS I LIKED:
I was looking for something light after finishing a big project and doing some other heavy reading (not included in this list), so I turned to Louise Penny. I had read the first book in the series several years ago. It delivered a solid “who done it.” Not my favorite characters, but a light, easy mystery read.
I listened to the Audible version of The Four Winds. I loved the main character and her life story, but the book was entirely too long and belabored and seemed to promote Communism??? I was driving on a trip with my husband and our rule is driver chooses what we listen to, so I turned this on. After about 20 minutes, he said, “So the point is they’re poor?” Yes. Hours and hours of descriptions of their poverty. It is also kind of a rip off of The Grapes of Wrath.
I read two of Lucy Foley’s books this year, The Hunting Party and One by One. They are both murder mysteries and follow the same pattern – a group of people is stranded together by the elements and one or more of them are murdered. And, of course, the murderer has to be among them. I did not figure out the murderer in The Hunting Party, but knew from the first few chapters who the murderer was in One by One. Not the best books, but good for a light mystery read.
BOOKS THAT WERE SO-SO:
As with any year of reading there are going to be a few books that were merely so-so. Here is my list: When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neil, The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, High Achiever by Tifany Jenkins, and The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton (so disappointing since Next Year in Havana was so good).
What have you read in the last year that you LOVED? Let us know your Summer 2021 Book Recommendations in the comments below.
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