My summer reading season was glorious.

I made reading a priority and, because of some travel and sick time, I was able to set aside quite a bit of time for reading. In all, I read 34 books in June, July, and August.

Here are some tips of what helped me prioritize reading in this season:

  1. I created a reading nook. I bought a special chair, set up a good reading lamp, and gathered a comfy blanket in a corner of my bedroom and that’s where I did most of my reading.
  2. I read what I wanted. I didn’t put any pressure on myself about what I would read, just that I would read. That meant I got to read whatever I felt like, including starting a new romance series, which is way outside my typical murder mystery genre.
  3. I put books on reserve. I used my local library a lot over the summer, which means I almost always had something to pick up from reserve that I was looking forward to. That kept me motivated to keep reading.
  4. I listened to books on audio. When I was traveling or running errands, I made sure I had a couple books available on audio. I realized this summer that I usually tend to listen to nonfiction and read fiction more traditionally.
  5. I took time off content creation. It’s no surprise to me that my highest reading month (July) was also the month I decided to take a break from producing new content for my podcasts and blog. That meant I had more time for reading.

It’s always a good reminder that prioritizing things we find important can take time and planning.

And, in case you’re interested, here’s the monthly breakdown of what I read this past summer, separated by fiction and non-fiction:

June — 13 books read

Fiction (8):

  • The Good Goodbye by Carla Buckly
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • George by Alex Gino (listened on audio)
  • Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
  • Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
  • Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion
  • And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
  • Invisible by Carla Buckly

Nonfiction (5):

  • Beyond the Body Farm: A Legendary Bone Detective Explores Murders, Mysteries, and the Revolution in Forensic Science by William Bass
  • The Happiness Curve by Jonathan Rauch (listened on audio)
  • On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner
  • The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery by Barbara Lipska
  • Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (listened on audio)

July — 15 books read

Fiction (9):

  • Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr
  • Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs
  • The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths
  • Virgin River by Robyn Carr
  • Sulfur Springs by William Kent Krueger
  • Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs
  • Manitou Canyon by William Kent Krueger
  • The Liar’s Lullaby by Meg Gardiner
  • I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen

Nonfiction (6):

  • Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
  • Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lives I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler (listened on audio)
  • First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson
  • I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson
  • The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
  • Life Work by Donald Hall

August — 6 books read

Fiction (6):

  • The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg
  • I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
  • Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben
  • A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr
  • Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr
  • Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

I would recommend any of these reads if you are looking for something to settle in with in the coming months.

To think on:

  • What did you read this summer?
  • What should I add to my fall list?