What is on a book blogger’s summer reading list? Check out Rachael’s list of books to read this summer.
Every year, I love to create a summer reading list for my readers. I research the best books to read this summer and read as many as I can to give you the ultimate summer reading guide.
However, that means that by the time summer rolls around, I’ve already read the summer reads I’m recommending.
So what does a book blogger read in the summer?
I always think it’s fun to give you a peek at my personal summer reading list. For those hot summer months, I like to catch up on some recent reads as well as some backlist favorites I keep hearing great things about.
Go ahead. Satisfy your curiosity and glance through what’s on my summer reading list in 2021.
Summer Reads 2021
In a coastal Washington town, next-door neighbors Isaac and Lorrie are both struggling to cope with the recent deaths of their sons. When a pregnant teenager shows up at Isaac’s doorstep, she at first seems a blessing. As Isaac and Lorrie get to know Evangeline, their overlapping pasts threaten to derail the shared future they are building.
The untold story of a group of Jewish women in Poland who became Resistance Fighters during World War II. In the Jewish ghettos, the Jewish women transformed their youth groups into the ultimate freedom fighters – bribing the Gestapo, flirting with soldiers, and bombing train depots. Already optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture, The Light of Days is a tale of bravery never before told.
As COO of the hottest tech company in America, Julia Lerner has it all and hides a lethal secret: she’s also a Russian spy. One afternoon while performing a server check, Alice notices something off about the company’s privacy settings. When Alice begins to suspect Julia, a cat-and-mouse game ensues in this satirical look at Silicon Valley.
In the years leading up to the second world war, a group of military strategists, nicknamed “The Bomber Mafia,” wondered if precision bombing of strategic targets could make war less lethal. Gladwell ponders how technology and the best intentions collide in the heat of war while examining the bombing of Tokyo. Weaving together stories of a Dutch genius, pyromaniacal chemists, and two competing generals, Gladwell makes you consider the incalculable costs of war.
Martha Hall Kelly
In a spin-off prequel of her bestseller, Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly tells the tale of Caroline’s ancestor, a story inspired by true accounts. During the Civil War, Georgeann Woolsey feels trapped in a life of luxury and boldly enlists to become a Union nurse. There she meets an enslaved girl who joined the Union Army to flee her cruel mistress. Together they must face the cruelties of war and the inhumanity of their day.
After years of living in isolation in the German woods, a young woman is shocked to find out that the world is at war. When she stumbles upon a group of Jews trying to escape the Nazi regime, she teaches them the survival skills that have kept her alive. After she is betrayed, she ends up in a German-occupied town where her past comes back to haunt her.
Can’t Miss 2020 Releases
This debut novel from up-and-coming author Abi Daré highlights the coming-of-age of a Nigerian woman. All Adunni wants to do is get an education so that she can craft her own future. When her father sells her as the third wife to a local man, Adduni runs away to the city, only to become a servant to a wealthy family. Yet, Adunni finds that no matter her circumstances, she can still speak out for herself and all the other girls just like her.
Chloe Gong’s debut young adult novel is a clever retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In 1920s Shanghai, a blood feud between two rival gangs causes chaos in the city. Eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai has returned home to embrace her place as heir to the Scarlet Gang. When a contagion starts sweeping the streets, Juliette must work with her first love, Roma Montagov from the rival gang, to solve the mystery.
When you think of castes, India’s strict caste system likely comes to mind. Isabel Wilkerson argues that America has its own hidden caste system, a hierarchy that has influenced the United States both historically and currently. Using fascinating stories, Wilkerson points out that on top of race and class, our understanding of caste systems must also change if we are to better ourselves as a nation.
Catherine Adel West
After Ruby King’s mother is murdered on the South Side of Chicago, she must now live alone with her violent father. Layla is determined to save Ruby despite her parent’s insistence that she stay away from her best friend. The more Layla becomes involved with Ruby, the more she learns the dark secrets tying their families together.
Technology reporter Sarah Frier gives an in-depth look at the social media giant Instagram. When creating Instagram, founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger wanted to blend art and technology. From its founding days to its explosive growth and purchase by Facebook, Frier shows how Instagram became an unlikely success story that has changed how we perceive social media.
Backlist Books to Read this Summer
One of the best World War 2 novels released in 2017, We Were the Lucky Ones is based on the epic true story of the Kurc family. Separated during the war, they are determined to not only survive the atrocities but reunite together and be a family again. To make the story even more compelling – it’s a tale of the author’s own ancestors.
Kim Michele Richardson
Published just before Jojo Moyes’s bestseller The Giver of Stars, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is another novel about the Pack Horse Library Project in Kentucky. Richardson’s heroine is 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last remaining member of the rare blue-skinned Appalachian people. Carter must overcome the suspicions of the locals and win their friendship as she becomes a traveling librarian.
Born with red eyes, Sam Hill has been called the “Devil Boy” all his life. Reflecting on his life, Sam realizes that his childhood friendship with two other misfits – Ernie Cantwell, the only African American boy at his school, and Mickie Kennedy, a firestorm in the form of a girl – has defined and shaped his life.
Raising questions about privacy, medical research, and ethics, Rebecca Skloot spent more than a decade researching the history of Henrietta Lacks and her immortal cells. Just before her death of cervical cancer, Henrietta Lack’s cells were taken without her permission and scientists figured out how to keep them alive indefinitely. The created cell line was then used for countless medical research. Interspersing the history of Henrietta’s family with the medical use of her cells, Lacks has penned a memorable work.
An outcast among her fellow Africans, Cora finds life as a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia particularly hard. When Caesar, a new arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, the two hatch a plan to escape. Yet in their efforts, Cora kills a young white boy and the two are furiously hunted as they journey to freedom in the North.
What would you suggest I add to my books to read this summer?