The 5-book summer reading guide

The 5-book summer reading guide

The new summer reading guide launched yesterday (here’s how to get yours).

Just for fun—and for you minimalist types—I’m narrowing the choices down to five. (I had a terrible time deciding what to include, because I love every one of the 35 books in the guide!)

But here’s the thing: I’m giving away the 5-book summer reading guide, and it’s a lot more affordable to ship 5 books than every book in the guide.

So I chose 5 titles that 1. are tremendously entertaining, 2. have broad appeal, and 3. are perfect for the beach, pool, or lounge chair in the backyard. This means the “breezy novels” category is over-represented, but I think I’m okay with that.

After all, it’s summertime.

The 5 book summer reading guide. These 5 books are the best of the best--because the hardest part is figuring out what to read next!

My top 5 picks for your summer reading list:

Parnassus On Wheels

Parnassus On Wheels

Helen McGill doesn't realize she's teetering on the verge of a midlife crisis until the professor rolls into town. He wants to sell her brother Parnassus—his traveling bookstore on (wagon) wheels. Helen falls in love with the idea of traveling through upstate New York, matching book-deprived readers with the right books, and she buys Parnassus herself. Adventures ensue. For fans of Miss Pettigrew (another terrific beach read). Essential reading for book lovers, and anyone who believes that when you sell a man a book, you sell him a whole new life. More info →
The Invention Of Wings

The Invention Of Wings

Author:
Charleston, November 1803. Sarah Grimké turns 11. Her birthday gift? A slave named Hetty ("Handful"). This sweeping novel tells the story—in alternating voices—of real-life abolitionist Sarah Grimké and the wholly imagined slave Handful through several decades and up and down the East Coast during a tumultuous time in American history. A can’t miss for fans of The Help or Monk Kidd’s first hit, The Secret Life of Bees. An engaging mix of fact and fiction. More info →
Attachments: A Novel

Attachments: A Novel

Author:
Can you fall in love with someone just by reading their email? For Lincoln O’Neill, the answer is YES. When he takes a new job as an “internet security officer” he doesn’t realize that means he’ll be reading people’s emails. But it’s the company's policy, and besides, all the employees know their emails are being monitored—at least in theory. Before long Lincoln has pored over countless personal emails between Jennifer and Beth, and he's sure of two things: he's in too deep, and it's too late to confess. It’s not as good as Eleanor & Park, but you couldn’t ask for a better beach read. More info →
The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project

Author:
Don Tillman can count his friends on one hand, has never been on a second date, and is clearly (to the reader, at least) on the autism spectrum. When a colleague surprises him by remarking he would make a wonderful husband, Don creates "the Wife Project," and embarks on a search to find his perfect partner. (To Don, that means creating the perfect questionnaire.) But when he meets a woman that's all wrong for him—at least on paper—he's forced to reconsider what he really wants, and what love really looks like (all while his scientific, orderly approach to life is getting wrecked). Fast, fun, and smart. Heads up for a few f-bombs and racy scenes. More info →
The Secret Keeper

The Secret Keeper

Author:
Any Morton novel would make a great summer read, but The Secret Keeper is her finest. When she was 16, Laurel witnessed a violent crime involving her mother, Dorothy. The family hushed it up, and Laurel hasn't spoken of it since. Now, fifty years later, Dorothy is dying, and Laurel is determined to unravel the secret while there's still time. As Laurel pursues her clues, the story flips back and forth in time between today and the years before and during World War II, including the London Blitz, which Morton recreates so vividly you can almost hear the bombs dropping. Filled with twists and turns that will keep you guessing to the end. More info →

Leave a comment below to enter. The winner will get all 5 books delivered straight to their door. U.S. only, must be eighteen or older, giveaway ends Sunday at midnight Eastern time.

What’s on your summer reading list? And I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above books in comments.  

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517 comments

  1. shannon says:

    I just found your blog and look forward to reading back through your post! I think I’m going to love it!

  2. Barb says:

    Am currently reading Delicious! Thank you for the list. It sure helps to weed out some of the really bad books.

  3. Sarah says:

    The first Kate Morton book I read was The Secret Keeper and I thought it was great. I have since read two others, but The Secret Keeper is definitely her best, so good. I haven’t read the other books, but I will be sure to add them to my Goodreads list! Thanks!

  4. Krissa says:

    I loved The Rosie Project and have been recommending it to all my friends! I’m always looking for good book recommendations so I’m excited to add the others to my list!

  5. Julie says:

    I have your full summer reading list and most sounded so good. The list made me long for days when I could just sit on the beach and read. Now, I’m applying sunscreen and passing out snacks! But 5 books – I can do that!!! Thanks for the abridged version.

  6. Elysse says:

    I have enjoyed all the books on your reading lists. You have great taste! Whenever your reading guides come out I immediately put all the titles on my library lists!
    I’m really looking forward to “Where’d You Go Bernadette”, and to finally reading “Anathem”, which has been on my list for a while.

  7. Ronna says:

    Wow! So exciting! I always love free books! Especially when it means I could possibly delete five books off of my Amazon wish list.

  8. Anne says:

    “The Secret Keeper” (and I agree that all of Kate Morton’s books are fantastic. I keep wondering when she’s coming out with another one?) is the only one on this list that I’ve read, although I’ve been meaning to read “Parnassus on Wheels” for ages.

    On my summer reading list? The Lord Peter Wimsey short stories by Dorothy L. Sayers and re-reading the “Anne of Green Gables” series, which I haven’t read since I was a teenager. There are plenty more (there are ALWAYS more, lol!), but I can’t remember them off the top of my head. 🙂

  9. Monica says:

    I challenged my 11 year old daughter and niece to read 100 books over the year. I think they reached the goal in 8 months and are still humming along. I’m moving a little slower and hesitant about picking what to read, but I would love to have 5 in the mail box to help reach my goal of 50! Monica

  10. Valerie J. says:

    I was looking for books for this summer when I found your list. The giver is in my amazon cart waiting to come home to me!

  11. Laura says:

    What a fun collection of books. All of the selections sound engaging, but the Rainbow Rowell book has been on the top of my to read list since I read Elanor and Park.

  12. what a fantastic list! i am so excited to start on some of your recommendations on vacation next week. in the meantime…winning this giveaway would be super amazing! my book club has talked about reading several of these 🙂

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