My Top Summer Reads of 2018

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With summer having officially kicked off over a week ago, it is truly time to sit back and relax poolside with a sizzling read and a frozen drink to cool things down. One of the many things that I enjoy about the summer months is that while I don’t have the entirety of it off from work (long gone are my teaching days); my daily schedule is much lighter, therefore allowing me the ability to squeeze in more time for leisurely reading. With my TBR (to be read) list continuously growing, now is the time that I tackle as many of these reads as time allows. It helps that our book club, Cover 2 Cover, has a July challenge of reading as many ‘shelved’ reads as possible; motivating us all to perhaps bump television time to the side in place of our most current read. Another thing I love about summer is that it houses some of the best, and I say BEST, reads of the year. Below I’m sharing my top five recommended reads of the summer, along with why you should get your hands on them NOW:

 

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1.     I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

Known for her enormously popular blog, AwesomelyLuvvie.com, Luvvie Ajayi is a go-to source for brains takes on pop culture. In her debut book ‘I’m Judging You’, Luvvie takes on a set of humorous essays that dissects both our cultural obsessions and calls out on bad behavior in our increasingly millennial lives. With a lighthearted tone and unique perspective, I’m Judging You is the handbook we all need, stating the facts while providing a road map for bringing the “do better” into our lives, popular culture, and social media.

Recommended if…podcasts are your jam, non-fiction is your weakness, and you’re in a phase in your life where transition and the need to ‘do better’ is completely necessary.

 

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2.     Eleanor Oliphant is Perfectly Fine by Gail Honeyman

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she is a 30-year-old woman who battles with suitable social abilities and tends to state precisely what she’s thinking – absolutely zero filter. However, everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the IT tech from her office. When she and Raymond save the life on an elderly man, Sammy, the trio turn into the most unlikely of companions. What we don’t know is that Eleanor has a past, a past that she would rather forget but continues to haunt her, no matter how hard she tries to shake it from memory. Raymond’s huge heart will help Eleanor discover the best approach to heal her harmed one. In the works of hitting the big screen, this Reese Witherspoon selection truly captured my heart.

Recommended if…you are looking to get lost in a new friendship with a fictional character, a good laugh is just what the doctor ordered; you want to get ahead on what is sure to be a most talked about book in the months to come.

 

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3.     An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

The moment that Oprah declared this read as her 2018 book club selection I was sold and knew I needed it in my life immediately. To say that I loved this novel however would be an understatement, because it far surpassed that. I’m going to say this once, and only once…this may reign as my favorite book for the ENTIRE year. It was just that good. The story takes place in the city of Atlanta (already I’m completely biased) and surrounds the lives of Roy and Celestial, two newlyweds navigating this thing called life. Enduring what seems to be the picturesque marriage, the unexpected happens, causing Roy to be wrongly convicted and sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. An American Marriage is the fictional depiction of a real life journey and will have you clinging to each and every word up until the very last page.

Recommended if…you are looking for a love story with a twist, you were a fan of Brit Bennet’s ‘The Mothers’, are a fan of Oprah’s Book Club reads.

 

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4.     Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I’m currently reading this one for book club, and I’m ecstatic because it’s been on my TBR list for what feels like forever. Everyone and their momma is talking about this book right now and I’m tired of having FOMO in the conversations and debriefs. In ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Shaker Heights is a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland where everything is planned – from the color of the houses, the layout of the winding roads, to the successful lives of its residents, especially Elena Richardson. Without giving too much away (because I’m still reading it too) ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – along with the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

Recommended if…like me you experience book FOMO, you’re looking for a suspenseful read, you enjoyed Liane Moriarty’s ‘Big Little Lies’.

 

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5.     The Vacationers by Emma Straub

For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family is considered a celebration. With the sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, tapas and tennis courts, it provides a promised escaped from Manhattan. However, all does not go according to planned: over the course of the vacations family secrets come out, old and new humiliations are experienced, and ancient wounds are resurfaced. This is the story of family secrets and the sides of ourselves we don’t choose to show to others. With mixed humor and a tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a delightful story of a family in the midst of a change.

Recommended if…you enjoyed Emma Straub’s ‘Modern Lovers’, you are in need of a beach/vacation read, looking for something fluffy and light to engage in.

Interested in starting a book challenge within your own book club/circle of friends? See how our book club leader, Jennifer, got us invested in tackling our TBR lists below:

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Which summer read/s above do you plan to dive into first? Share in the comments below, along with any additional titles you recommend!

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