As summer comes to a close, I’m looking back on an amazing time of reading! I wanted to share some of the books I read over the past few months in case you’re looking for some fun reads as we head into the new season. I’ve linked each book’s profile in Goodreads (just click each image to view), so you can learn a little more if one looks interesting.
This summer I revisited Your Money or Your Life, a book I read about 15 years ago that just came out with a new edition. It’s amazing how it’s stood the test of time and the updates for a new generation of readers are right on target. I’ve been researching the concept of financial independence this summer and this is a great book to start with if you’re interested in the topic.
I had been hearing about Matt Haig’s books for a while and, in particular, his memoirs about depression and anxiety. I think we need more of these kinds of stories being shared, so I was happy to see an honest account of how struggles with mental illness can be bewildering, but also something that can be integrated into one’s daily life.
Somewhere I stumbled across a recommendation to Jason Reynold’s quartet about junior high students who join a track team together and I’m so glad I did! I read the first three of the quartet over the summer, starting with Ghost, and found them to be so enjoyable. Beautiful stories each told in distinct voices. Check out Patina, Sunny & Lu to round out the series.
I have always been fascinated by the concept of writing and publishing as an industry, so reading Scratch was a fascinating look at how writers are surviving in an increasingly crowded marketplace. I loved hearing the back story of Cheryl Strayed (of Wild fame) before she was a household name. (I think in another life I would have gotten an MFA.)
This book was another revisit since I first started this series years ago, but never got past the first couple of books. The main character struggles with PTSD following WWI (including a voice he hears in his head constantly) as he tries to return to his job as a detective. The books are also written by a mother/son team, which I also think is incredible.
Like many writers, I would follow Julia Cameron pretty much anywhere. She is the creator of the concept of “morning pages” that I have been engaging in for the past four months or so. This book was a wonderful exploration of how creativity can be infused into all stages of life. I think everyone could find something beneficial here.
I’m a sucker for a good zombie apocalypse novel and this one had been on my to-read list for a while. It’s beautifully written and takes place over just a few days in New York. The plotting is incredible and it’s amazing how the author includes so much backstory without you even realizing it. This is my first Colson Whitehead, but certainly won’t be my last.
I read a couple more of the Lynley/Havers novels by Elizabeth George this summer and they keep getting better and better. Each one is 600+ pages, so they are a bit of an investment, but I think they are worth every minute of the time. Each novel is distinctly different and the character development is fantastic. I can’t wait to dive into the next one.
I was introduced to this Australian mystery writer by a profile about her in the New York Times. This is the first in a series (she also has some stand alones) and it did not disappoint. If you like atmospheric books, you’ll enjoy this one since it’s tied to the landscape and setting as much as it is to the characters and plot.
This book is the fourth in a series about a retired FBI agent married to a retired priest. This particular installment also weaves in a storyline related to the murder case profiled in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. One of my favorite elements in a book is going back and forth between past and present, so I loved this one.
This book, based on a true story, was incredibly powerful. I appreciated the appendix in the back explaining how the author came to know the man who becomes the main character in her book. This was part historical fiction, part creative non-fiction, and part romance, so a little something for everyone here.
On a recent trip, I continued my traditional of reading about a plane crash while riding on a plane. A little strange, I know. I enjoyed this story about a woman in recovery following a plane crash. It read quickly (my favorite for plane trips) and was a lighter read despite the traumatic event at the heart of the plot.
I just can’t resist mysteries that take place in the woods. The author of this book goes back and forth between two female protragonists, one who is missing and the other who is trying to find the missing woman. It’s the first I’ve read by this author and I immediately read her next book after this one was done.
I love a book with a twist and this one has been marked as the next Gone Girl, so I had to give it a read. It did not disappoint. I pretty much read this in one sitting. The premise is a woman killing her husband, but then becoming mute for years afterward. The story is told from the perspective of the psychiatrist trying to uncover her motive.
Over the summer, I also caught up on the two latest Joe Pickett novels from C.J. Box. There are almost 20 in the series and I’ve followed it for years. The books take place in real-time, so the characters age over the course of the series. The main character is a game warden in Whyoming who solves mysteries.
My last read of the summer was this non-fiction book about a wolf who befriends the people in a town in Alaska by seeking community with their dogs. The book also includes a lot of information about the history of wolves in North America and the various responses to wolves over time. Completely fascinating and a really fun story.
See anything that looks interesting here? I’d also love to know what you’ve been reading lately – what should I add to my list?