Hot Summer Reading

Earlier this week, I highlighted my most anticipated books from BEA, but most of those unfortunately aren’t out until fall. Luckily, I also have a whole lot of books I’m excited about reading this summer!

Although I have a wide variety of genres I am looking forward to reading this summer, I am really looking forward to my ‘summer’ books. I’m not sure I could precisely describe a ‘summer’ book, but they are often fun, something that will keep you turning pages at the beach or keep your mind off of oppressive heat and humidity – books that lend themselves well to a glass of iced tea, a margarita, or chilled white wine.

Without further ado, my most anticipated ‘summer’ reads from among the books I’ll be reading in the next few months (in publication order):

Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace – Touchstone, May 4, 2010, paperback

About the book: In the 1920s, Ruby Thomas becomes responsible for her two young nieces and most find a way to care for them. Her fastball seems to be the answer to the conundrum, and she is eventually signed with the Brooklyn Typhoons. Her worries aren’t over, though.

Why I’m looking forward to it: “Diamond Ruby” has been getting great reviews, and Joe seems like an incredibly nice guy. Plus, I’ve heard it described as ‘fun girl power.’

Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson – Grand Central Publishing, June 8, 2010, hardcover

About the book: Rose Mae Lolly is a formerly-strong woman who has allowed herself to be subjugated by her husband, until she’s told that her husband will kill her unless she kills him first. Next thing she knows, Rose Mae is running for her life and uncovering long-hidden family secrets.

Why I’m looking forward to it: Although I haven’t read Joshilyn Jackson’s previous books, I have heard fantastic things about them. I’m looking forward to this story of a woman rediscovering her own strength.

29: A Novel by Adena Halpern – Touchstone, June 15, 2010, paperback

About the book: Seventy-five year-old Ellie Jerome feels that she has more in common with her twenty-nine year-old granddaughter than with her fifty-something daughter. She has always done her best to stay young so, when confronted with a cake full of birthday candles, she wishes she could be 29 again, with unexpected consequences.

Why I’m looking forward to it: I love this sort of concept, it tends to make for a really fun read, at least from time to time.

The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst – Doubleday, June 15, 2010, hardcover

About the book: Octavia Frost is both a mother and a novelist, but has perhaps been more successful as a novelist. When her son Milo is arrested for murder, it is Octavia’s books that will provide the clues as to what went wrong.

Why I’m looking forward to it: I read Carolyn Parkhursts two previous books, The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found back in the days before I started blogging about books, and really enjoyed them – particularly The Dogs of Babel. Parkhurst is an original, inventive author and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with this story.

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais – Scribner, July 6, 2010, hardcover

About the book: When tragedy strikes the Haji family, they are forced to leave their restaurant in Mumbai and eat their way around the world, finally landing in the small village of Lumiere, France. When the family opens a small, inexpensive Indian restaurant, they inadvertently begin a culinary war with their famous gourmand neighbor.

Why I’m looking forward to it: This promises to be a literary romp through plates and plates of delicious-sounding food. This book may be hazardous to fitting into your swimsuit, but it sounds DELICIOUS.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens – St. Martin’s Press, July 6, 2010, hardcover

About the book: Annie O’Sullivan was simply trying to sell a house when she was abducted. “Still Missing” intertwines the story of of Annie’s captivity with that of her escape and the police’s search for her abductor.

Why I’m looking forward to it: I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about this book, pages and pages of buzz! Plus, a good, literary thriller is always a fun summer read. By the way, I’ll have a giveaway for THREE copies the book in a couple of weeks.

Finny by Justin Kramon – Random House Trade Paperbacks, July 13, 2010, paperback

About the book: Finny Short is a 14 year-old misfit being sent off to boarding school by her ultra-conservative parents. It is there she will meet Judith, an heiress and one of the main influences in her young life.

Why I’m looking forward to it: Well, for one thing, I received a personal recommendation for this book, which always goes a long way. Other than that, it sounds quirky and fun, a great summer read.

The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson – Shaye Areheart Books, August 3, 2010, hardcover

About the book: Although Annabelle McKay is happily married and has been for twenty-six years, she still fantasizes about another man every day. When circumstances throw that man back into her path, she must decide which man possess her heart: her husband or her fantasy.

Why I’m looking forward to it: I think that everyone at some time wonders ‘what if,’ even if they don’t go so far as to have a consistent fantasy about someone who is not their spouse. The universality of this feeling often makes for a good novel, and I’m hearing very promising early buzz about this one.

The Life You’ve Imagined by Kristina Riggle – Avon A, August 17, 2010, paperback

About the book: Four women find themselves thrown together back in their hometown of Haven facing death, abandonment, addiction of a family member, and memories of the people they once were and are forced to ask whether they are living the life they imagined they would.

Why I’m looking forward to it: I loved Kristina Riggle’s debut book, Real Life and Liars. Loved, loved, loved it. It even made my ‘Best of 2009’ list, so I have high hopes for this, her sophomore attempt. Plus, if done correctly (as I suspect it is!), this story has the potential to be one that refuses to be put down. If I were only able to read ONE book from this list this summer, this would be it.

What hot summer reads are on YOUR list?

(Some or all of these books may have been provided to me for review)

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18 comments to Hot Summer Reading

  • Looks like you’ve got a good summer of reading ahead of you! I’m mostly planning on reading for my challenges over the summer but I’m also looking forward to Deborah Noyes’ “Captivity,” Kris Radish’s “Hearts On A String” and the “The Space Between Us” readalong that I’m hosting.

  • What a great list! I hadn’t heard of a few of these but they’ve already been added to my list. All are great recommendations and I hope you enjoy them. I look forward to them now too!

  • 29 was my WOW pick last week. It looks so good! Backseat Saints is on my tbr shelf – love Joshilyn Jackson. The Riggle book looks good, I have another of hers on my Summer Challenge list. I feel like I’m barely treading water in the tbr pool.

  • Those all sound really good! Summer reading is so much fun–I love reading by the pool!

  • Wow! Thanks so much, Jen, for including my Diamond Ruby. Looking forward to hearing what you think.

  • Alice

    Great list! You should also check out COMMUTERS, by Emily Gray Tedrowe 6/29 HarperCollins. A powerful, poignant, heartbreakingly funny family drama (think Little Children by Tom Perrotta), it totally blew me away! *Perfect* summer read….

    p.s. thanks for all you do for books!

    • Yes! I’m definitely planning on it! The description made it sound a little heavy for this list (although maybe it isn’t, if it is “heartbreakingly funny”), but I’m going to read it in the next two weeks and am VERY excited about it!

  • I just added all of these to my wish list! This is a great summer reading list! Some of these I had not yet heard of so thank you for bringing them to our attention!

  • I pre-ordered 29 last night for my iPad. Have you read her first book: The Ten Best Days of My Life? It was good too. The Life You’ve Imagined is also on my summer list. I loved Real Life and Liars and added Kristina Riggle to my “authors to watch” list. Great picks!

  • Wisteria Leigh

    You will really like Diamond Ruby. I was hesitant as I’m not a sports fan. However, I really enjoyed it. Once the review is published, I will post it on the blog…but heads up…it’s fun.

  • A new Carolyn Parkhurt and Kristina Riggle. Yay! I am going to be on the lookout for both books. I’m also interested in Still Missing. Many BEA attendees have noted it recently. I’ll be looking forward to those reviews.

    This is a fun post, Jen!

  • LOL! I have almost all of these on my wish list or TBR as well. And the couple that I didn’t have on my list? They are there now.

  • I have Still Missing on my summer list as well. I’ve been eyeballing Backseat Saints and have been trying to discern a way to get my hands on a copy! Great list!

  • What a great stack of books – they all look good! I’ll be looking forward to reading your reviews :)

  • Ben

    For all interested,

    An excerpt of Finny is available at


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