The Best of Summer Reading

I brought all of these titles to the beach, and, as so often happens, I read almost none of them. I’m such a right-place at the right-time reader, and I can’t decide what to read until I’m finished with what’s in front of me. Here’s my book report for the summer. The best, and only the best, of what I read.


For Kids and Young Adults

Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate – Everyone loves her last one, The One and Only Ivan. I thought it was nice, but not amazing. Which is why it took me over a year to read Crenshaw. Mistake. This book is sweet without being cloying. It’s wonderful.

Orphan Island, by Laurel Snyder – Does anyone remember the book, Baby Island, by Carol Ryrie Brink. I want to say it was someone’s favorite book in The Babysitters Club. So I read it in fourth grade, and tried to make myself like it, but I just couldn’t. This book is about an island of babies and big kids, and it’s marvelous. A little Lord of the Flies, too, but none of the craziness.

When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon – Perfect light, frothy, YA read.

Windfall, by Jennifer E Smith – See above.

For Grown-Ups

The Wellness Project, by Phoebe Lapine – I love books like this because they make me stay on top of making healthy choices….for a couple of weeks. Most of what Phoebe did to lead a healthier lifestyle won’t come as a surprise (drink more water, anyone?), but again, these kinds of books always make me try harder to stay the course.

Summer Rental, by Mary Kay Andrews – My neighbor told me she was flying through this book, which is about a trio of high school girlfriends who rent a house in Nags Head for a month. I am a sucker for any book about friends staying in a beach house together, and this didn’t disappoint.

My Reading Life, by Pat Conroy – Pat Conroy is best known for his book, The Water is Wide, about his year teaching students on an island off the coast of South Carolina. I’ve got that bumped up much higher on my list after tackling this book. Some of the chapters were riveting (the chapter about Gone with the Wind was my favorite, and the one about the bookstore where he worked a close second), but by the end I was skimming and racing to finish.

The Mighty Queens of Freeville, by Amy Dickinson – Might be my favorite read of the summer, though not particularly a summer read. Amy spent most of her life raising her daughter alone, and this is her memoir about the town that shaped them. They spent time in DC as well, which was fun to read.

This is How it Always Is, by Laurie Frankel – Lots of people have been talking about this one, and I was happy I read it. I wonder if I would have liked it as much if I wasn’t a parent. That’s where the title comes from – the idea that as a parent, making decisions as best you can, even though the consequences might not play themselves out for years to come, is how it always is.


4 thoughts on “The Best of Summer Reading

  1. “To Siri with Love” is very, very good. Guessing that fewer than 10% of the people reading it realize that the title is a play on the movie “To Sir with Love” with Sidney Poitier, an oldie but very, very goodie. Heart heart heart

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