June 26, 2017 Sue Mowrer

SUMMER READS – Dive into a Good Book

My idea of a perfect summer vacation is a couple of weeks at the ocean, with a pile of books stacked up and ready to read. The time at the ocean doesn’t always happen, but the fun of reading can take place anywhere.

Summer is the perfect time to lighten up and read strictly for enjoyment – leave the serious and self-improvement books for another time. Read whatever strikes your fancy – it’s all about choosing the books you can’t wait to dig into.

Here, in no particular order, is my “short list” of summer books:


When possible, I think it’s even more rewarding to listen to memoirs when they’re read by the people who wrote them. That way you can hear the words exactly how the author intended. It feels like a good friend is sharing their life stories with you.  

Giant of the Senate by Al Franken

This may not jump out as a “fun” book (as it is centered on his experiences as senator,) but I think he is one of the smartest, and certainly, funniest people in government right now. His journey from comedy writer on SNL to satirist, to senator should be informative and full of dry humor.


Theft by Finding Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris

Sedaris is one of my favorite funny writers: smart, dry, and always original. He’s been a frequent collaborator for NPR, and The New Yorker as well as a best-selling essayist. Listening to him relate his observations is always a treat. For the last forty years, he’s kept diaries that encompass just about everything that captures his attention. He can be snarky as well as surprisingly poignant, which is why he’s considered one of our best comedy voices. Plus, who can resist reading someone else’s diary?


Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

This book began when he wrote about playing the Super Bowl in 2009, to remember the experience, and from there he began to examine his whole life. I have said that the writing is much like his music, evocative, deeply felt and at times poetic. The Boss’s own story, told in his own words, in his own voice? Enough said.



Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy

This book about a vacation gone awry. Ann Patchett described this book as “smart and thrilling and impossible to put down... the book that every reader longs for."  It’s a novel filled with suspense, when two families take their children to Central America on a holiday cruise. Suddenly, the children are missing. This is the story of what happens next. Marie Clare calls it, “This summer’s undoubtable smash hit… an addictive, heart-palpitating story.”



Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Hailed as a brilliant, riveting thriller reminiscent of an Agatha Christie who-done-it, Amazon reviewers have called this a “chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.” It involves a murder at a local manor house, with several suspects in play, plus a good dose of jealousy, greed, and ruthless ambition, and suspense. As an Agatha Christie fan, this sounds irresistible.


Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

This is another psychological suspense thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train. Amazon describes it, “A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.” So this is not exactly a light book, but “Girl on a Train” was so compulsively readable that I’m curious to read more from Hawkins.



Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan

A family saga that traces the story of the Flynn-Rafferty clan, an Irish American family in Boston. Centered around two sisters, 50 years and their complicated relationships, regret and love. Family dramas get me every time.

A House Among the Trees by Julia Glass

Amazon describes it as, “The National Book Award winner gives us the story of an unusual bond between a world-famous writer and his assistant — a richly plotted novel of friendship and love, artistic ambition, the perils of celebrity, and the power of an unexpected legacy.” I’ve read several of her other novels and find her characters are richly developed and the stories drew me in from the first page.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Popsugar describes this novel as, “The epic adventures Evelyn creates over the course of a lifetime will leave every reader mesmerized. This wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet and her tumultuous Tinseltown journey comes with unexpected twists and the most satisfying of drama.” I’m a sucker for stories full of old Hollywood glamour, so this sounds like catnip to me..



The Dinner Party and Other Stories by Joshua Ferris

According to Amazon, “These eleven stories by Joshua Ferris, many of which were first published in The New Yorker, are at once thrilling, strange, and comic. The modern tribulations of marriage, ambition, and the fear of missing out as the temptations flow like wine and the minutes of life tick down are explored with the characteristic wit and insight that have made Ferris one of our most critically acclaimed novelists.”


The Accomplished Guest (Stories) by Ann Beattie

Jay Mclnerney from the New York Times Book Review describes this read, “These stories are set along the East Coast from Mainer to Key West, exploring unconventional friendships, frustrated loves, mortality and aging, with writing from a master of the form, “a national treasure, the author of short stories that will endure and continue to inspire.”

I have a few more on my nightstand, but I think this is a great start to my summer reading list. What’s on your list to read this summer? Let me know down in the comments as I am always looking for my next read. Happy Summer and Happy Reading!




  • Mary Greta

    I have ordered several of those books already, and one is a future Book Club book. Great suggestions!



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