Help With My Summer Reading List

Read any good books lately? Today is my children’s last day of school.  This afternoon they will be coming home with their recommended summer reading list.  Before we hit up our local library/bookstores and in my case Kindle store, I was hoping to get some great summer reading recommendations.  I haven’t read a good book in a while, one that I can’t stop thinking about or put down.  The summer is such a great time to escape into a book and these are some past standout favorites of mine.   Now that you’ve seen my preferences, can you recommend a good one?

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  1. Ooh – didn't know that Melissa Bank has a new book – loved her first! I've been slowly getting through Shantaram which is on par with The Kite Runner and Life of Pi but a very big book (probably not the best beach read!) I've heard the new book from Lisa See is getting great reviews and I've loved her previous stories…

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  2. Ashley wrote:

    We have similar taste. Water for Elephants was a great book. Also, the most recent really good novel I've read is ROOM. If you want a style book, I'd recommend any of Nina Garcia's 4 books, Lauren Conrad Style, True Whit by Whitney Port or Style A to Zoe by Rachel Zoe. Have been having a hard time finding good books lately so if you read something great, do share! xx

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  3. I too loved melissa banks' first novel. always looking for new great books. LOVED the help. read it a few summers ago and it still resonates strongly. I read a ton of memoirs last summer. I just adore them… I feel as though I am getting a private sneak peak into someone's life.

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  4. Wendy wrote:

    This is summer I hope to get off the computer more and catch up on some reading… thanks for sharing your list! Right now I'm reading Sundays at Tiffany's… read Eat, Love, Pray recently too.

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  5. The Help is fabulous….couldn't put it down and was sad when it was over. I also love Dorothea Benton Frank. Plantation is my favorite. Happy Summer!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  6. Debby wrote:

    I have been reading A Father's Love by David Goldman. Not sure if you followed their story, but I have a bit of a crush, (o.k., a huge crush), on David. He is just so classy and the love for his son is so heart warming.

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  7. a' la mode wrote:

    2 Kisses for Maddy and Bossypants- also The Art of Racing In The Rain, soooooo good. Xoxo shel

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  8. Brillante wrote:

    Just finished re-reading Vanity Fair. Great choices.

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  9. Karena wrote:

    Sue I loved the Help and am ready for a new beach read, Mary Kay Andrews Summer Rental is next and then it will be a classic, I like to mix it up!

    Art by Karena

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  10. Cara wrote:

    I was thinking the same thoughts Sue!
    ♥ Cara
    Lilac and Grey

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  11. LOVED the help! fantastic book. i would also add sloane crosly's books to your list. xoxo jillian:: enter in TWO GIVEAWAYS over at cornflake dreams

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  12. angela wrote:


    A Reliable Wife – spicy, Victorian, darkish (worth the read)

    Haven't read but on list of my 2 book groups:

    The Keep – Jennifer Egan

    The Secret Life of Henrietta Lacks

    Shanghai Girls

    Sunflower and the Secret Fan

    Cazelet Chronicals (sp?)

    Fall on Your Knees

    This is Where I Leave You

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  13. Thanks for sharing some of your favorites. I loved The Help too, but haven't read the others. I'm currently reading Jonathan Trotter's This Is Where I Leave You, it's a hilarious tale of a dysfunctional family sitting shiva for their deceased patriarch. The Daily Candy blog recently had a really good list of summer reads too. Good luck and please share any others you hear about!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  14. The Zhush wrote:

    These are great so far! I think I need to get Bossy Pants, LOVE Tina Fey and heard so many great things about this book! I read Shanghai Girls a few years back and LOVED that as well…keep em' coming..I'm taking notes!:)

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  15. Sorry, I mistyped. It's Jonathan TroPPer.

    Have fun!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  16. Just finished "The Help" and loved it!!! It is the best book I've read in a long time! Just started "A Visit from the Goon Squad" the pulitzer prize winner – so far, so good!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    Just finished Room and enjoyed it. If you're looking for a memoir, try Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl. Someone mentioned Fall on Your Knees-fantactic! Next up is The Beach Trees, looks like a good summer read.

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  18. I Dream Of wrote:

    A favorite recent read was "The Paris Wife." And for some reading "candy" the Carrie Diaries books are fun. Ann Patchett (Bel Canto) has a new book coming out any moment. And Steve Martin's "An Object of Beauty was a fun tour of the art world.
    Happy reading!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  19. Stephanie wrote:

    I LOVE to read … some summer favorites are … anything by Mary Kay Andrews for a good beach read and getting your southern girl on, Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, I really enjoyed Karen White's books too, The Scent of Rain and Lightening, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, hmmm … give me a minute, I'll think of more!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  20. I loved The Help and Girl in Translation. Some other really good ones that I've read recently are Little Bee by Chris Cleave and Piano Teacher by Janice Lee.

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  21. The Now wrote:

    I'm reading The Help right now. I only started it last March on my honeymoon! haha…Finally finding time to finish it!! xoxo E &A

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  22. I am behind on my reading so I don't have any new release recommendations but I agree Water for Elephants was a terrific fast read. If you've never read Loving Frank – it's a must! Amazing book!! And I also liked Shadow of the Wind. SO many – it's hard to know where to start.

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  23. tarheel wrote:

    Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese- you won't be able to put it down. And I'm reading Mme. Bovary right now- the beautiful Penguin edition, which brings me joy.

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  24. Yay summer for the Zhush kids!!!

    I really think The Kids Are Alright would be up your alley b/c it is set in your neck of the woods. Written by 4 siblings, a memoir from each perspective….it is a fast read. (Not to be confused by the movie of a similar name).

    I've heard Bossy Pants is great, too!!! Sadly my stack of books is in the same place it's been for a month. Can't seem to find time to read!! Maybe this summer.

    xoxo E

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  25. Great list, Sue. My recommendation for reading The Help is to listen to it on audio. The dialects are so great, and i think it adds another layer to an already fabulous story. Read/listen to it quickly…the movies coming out this summer!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  26. I adored Vanity Fair! It was so so so good! I bought the movie it was so good but never watched it because I was afraid it would taint the experience.

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  27. The Help is one of my favorite books! You should read it and then go see the movie when it comes out in August!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  28. -H wrote:

    Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro (spelling??)

    Water for elephants (absolutely!!!)

    Anything Malcolm Gladwell

    Happy Reading!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  29. Nutbird wrote:

    I'll get back to you about the books. I have to really think about what I've read. Cutting for Stone is unforgettable. Went over to the other web site to check out your wedding. Fabulous dress. I am glad that you wore gloves. No one does anymore. Ann

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  30. The Zhush wrote:

    I have read Cutting for Stone and Loved IT! It seems that Water for Elephants is a MUST…so glad to have this list, will be consulting it all summer and probably into fall! Any others…keep em' coming!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  31. I recently finished Water for Elephants and it was great. Emma Brown by Clare Boylan is another favorite of mine. Happy reading.

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  32. travelkate wrote:

    I loved The Help and Girl in Translation was very good as well! I would highly recommend Shanghai Girls-I see some other people recommended it as well. The author just came out with the sequel, which I just ordered, I would have loved to read them back to back. Another great read was Undress me in the Temple of Heaven. Or anything by Jhumpa Lahiri!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  33. Mally Rose wrote:

    If you have a sister you should read Think Twice! It is a great book and very realistic!!!!

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  34. I've been spending so much time on my computer that I haven't been reading much lately. I did finish Emily Griffin's newest one and it was quite good (Heart of the Matter) and Candace Bushnell's One Fifth which has been out for a while. I've heard so many good things about The Help so I'll be adding that to my list 🙂

    Published on 6.9.11 · Reply
  35. Ooh, these are some great choices, I need to stock up on some new reads myself!! I have been hearing nothing but fabulous things for Bossypants, so that is going on my own list for sure 🙂
    Nancy xo

    Published on 6.10.11 · Reply
  36. OOh love to add to my reading wish list too – I still have not read Girl in Translation – on my list too! Check out my blog tomorrow – I list our book club read for June. and other books I have enjoyed.

    Published on 6.10.11 · Reply
  37. Josie wrote:

    The Help is on my absolute must-read list.
    xo Josie

    Published on 6.10.11 · Reply
  38. Darbyut wrote:

    Mao's Last Dancer was wonderful! Not something I would have chosen, but my mom just went on and on about it. It was a big hit in her book club too!

    Published on 6.10.11 · Reply
  39. Two of my all time favorites: Confederacy of Dunces & The Elegance of the Hedgehog…the first is funny, with great New Orleans local color. The second is a poignant story originally written in French.

    Enjoy your summer!

    Published on 6.10.11 · Reply
  40. At our pool party playdate this week, someone slipped "I Thought There Would Be Cake" in my bag. I have NO idea what it's about, so I can't recommend, but it look swell read and was worth passing on I guess 🙂 XO, Kelly

    Published on 6.10.11 · Reply
  41. I just finished reading "The Paris Wife" last night & loved it – give it a try!
    Happy Friday!

    Published on 6.10.11 · Reply
  42. really enjoyed The Help and One Day is unforgettable

    Published on 6.10.11 · Reply
  43. Alias Grace, Water for Elephants (Much better than the movie), The Heretics Daughter, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

    Published on 6.13.11 · Reply
  44. I know I am late in responding to this but I just finished "Rebecca's Tale" by Sally Beauman. It's set in England and it's a mystery. Not something I am normally draw to but I really liked the way it was written, etc…I have taken notes on these books from your post as well as your readers – I'm always looking for good books so thanks!

    Published on 6.28.11 · Reply