Now that it’s officially September, I’m wrapping up my summer reading and what a summer of reading it was!

I’m thrilled that I completed my goal of reading 100 books by the end of the summer and now I’m plugging away to see how many I can read by the end of 2021.

In this post, I wanted to share my top ten reads for the summer. You can also hear me talk about them in this week’s podcast episode.

In no particular order, here are my favorites:

  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman: This was such a fun book about a bookstore employee who gains a new family after the biological father that she never knew passes away. You’ll love this one if you like pub trivia, books, or snarky humor.
  • Range by David Epstein: I listened to this on audio and it’s perfect for academics who never quite wanted to niche because they love too many topics, but needed the research to show that being a generalist is actually a great contribution to society. Perfect for fans of Emilie Wapnick’s How to Be Everything.
  • Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaoud: This was a tough read, but the author’s rendition on audio was wonderful. The author shares her story of undergoing cancer treatment for leukemia over several years and the road trip that she took to celebrate a successful remission. The writing is beautiful and it was a treat to hear the author’s voice telling her story.
  • Girl A by Abigail Dean: This book is kind of a mystery novel and kind of a psychological family drama. The basic premise is that a family of children were abused for several years without anyone knowing. Told from the perspective of one of the children as an adult, the book takes place after her mother, who eventually goes to prison, dies and leaves her their childhood home. The unraveling of the narrative and what happens to each child is really masterfully done. (It probably goes without saying, but trigger warning for child abuse.)
  • When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McCain: I really enjoyed this book about the early days of investigating child kidnapping cases in the U.S. The author pulled in information from real cases in the 1980s that made the story feel a lot more grounded, even though the main plot is fiction. (Trigger warning for children in peril.)
  • Hail Mary by Any Weir: I love, love, loved this book. I can’t share much without giving plot twists away, but I thought this book was funny, creative, and just really a fun read. If you are looking for a page turner that offers some fun science fiction, grab this one.
  • We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker: Of all the books I read over the summer, this was probably one of the more literary ones. It was also a heart breaker at times, but in all the right ways. The book tells the story of a criminal who returns to his hometown after being released from prison and the sheriff who was his childhood best friend. It’s also so much more. Highly recommended. (Trigger warning for addiction and suicide.)
  • Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica: I tried to explain the plot of this to my partner and I failed miserably. It’s got some crazy twists and turns and was perfect for a suburban drama/mystery if you like to be kept on your toes. (Trigger warning for children in peril.)
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: This one had been on my list for a while and I finally got around to it. It’s a charming story of an curmudgeonly older man who is befriended by a new family that moves in next door. I also really liked the movie adaptation, which made my partner laugh out loud in several places. (Trigger warning for suicide.)
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes: This was a great book to close out the summer since it’s all about new beginnings and fresh starts. The title character is getting ready to leave her husband (literally, her suitcase is in the car) when she gets a call that he died. Now she has to navigate being a grieving widow when she doesn’t have as much to grieve as everyone around her thinks she does.

I’d also love to hear what you read over the summer. If you want to follow what I’m reading, come on over and connect with me on Goodreads!