Links I love

Links I love

What a week! I started my week with a writer’s getaway in Nashville, then came home to launch summer reading season in earnest, woohoo! The guide, which features my top 25 titles published between January 2 and July 10, went live on Wednesday: get it here.

(Enter your email address on the page to get the printable one-page guide—titles and covers only—and summer reading bookmarks, plus to be entered to win your choice of any five books in the guide.)

Next week on the blog: on Monday I’m sharing the minimalist guide containing my top 5 picks for summer, and on Wednesday I’m sharing two favorite nonfiction titles that are perfect for entering the summer state of mind.

And I’ve had a lot (and I mean A LOT) of requests for Summer Reading Guide categories, which I ditched this year for the first time ever in favor of publication date order. But I want YOU to have a great reading season, so I’m thinking about it. Let me know in comments if a categorized version makes your bookish heart soar?

My favorite finds from around the web:

17 secrets of audiobook narrators. “Mental Floss spoke with a few industry professionals to learn about what it takes to excel at the job—including their diligent voice-care regimens, the one thing they always look for during research, and the spoilers they sometimes get from authors.” (Want to hear more insider scoop? I talk with the fabulous and fascinating narrator Adam Verner in What Should I Read Next? episode 31.)

Then and now: How fairy tales continue to invite us to think smarter and harder. “‘We need stories in order to live,’ Joan Didion tells us, but we also need them to imagine perils and possibilities and to become dreamers and inventors, philosophers and poets, and, yes, engineers and innovators as well.”

The Great American Read. This PBS documentary about uncovering America’s 100 most-loved novels premieres on Tuesday, May 22.

Read the World: Summer Book Club. Travel the world from the comfort of your couch with Jamie’s book club. This club, hosted on Simple Homeschool, will once again devote one week to each region of the world featured in Jamie’s book Give Your Child the World,

Literary Dinner | My Kitchen Year. Rikki and Michaela made a wonderful dinner inspired by a book I recommended to them on their appearance on What Should I Read Next.

Favorite Instagram: 

On Monday, this was all I was sharing of the Summer Reading Guide, but now you can see the full guide here. (Follow me on instagram @annebogel.)

On the blog:

Don’t miss: 20 books everyone will be talking about this summer. Your cheat sheet for the season’s most-anticipated and certainly-bestselling titles.

One year ago: In honor of the graduates: 11 books for figuring out what to do with the rest of your life. “New graduate or not, we can all enjoy dreaming about what we want to be when we grow up.”

Two years ago: The 8 uncomfortable lines I want to cut from books I’m reading these days. “I still didn’t like it, but I could at least understood why the author made that choice.”

Three years ago: “You have to tell people what you’re interested in.” “It’s obvious to me how many good things have come about—jobs, friendships, opportunities—because someone else knew about that interest, and offered to help.”

Four years ago: Self-awareness makes everything better. “I’ve known for ages I’m an INFP, and teasing out how that affects how I feel, how I work, and how I parent has been enormously helpful to me over this past decade.”

Have a great weekend!

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  1. Lisa Rowlee says:

    Anne, I’ll take book recommendations from you any way I can get them, but I did miss the categories— they’re an extra fun layer of your Summer Reading Guide! Thanks for all of the time you take to put the list together each year.

    • Laura says:

      That’s how I feel too. You’re the boss Anne, but the categories are a nice touch 🙂 ! I love nonfiction too I’m excited to hear your recommendations for summer next week.

    • Jill Porco says:

      I completely agree with this sentiment. I’d classify books that could fit in two of more categories in the first one you think of instead of sweating the details of that. Readers probably will figure out other categories a given book could fit into once they read your review of it! At least, I hope so!

  2. Krista says:

    Yes, please bring back the categories. Otherwise, I feel I waste my time because there are just certain genres that I do not enjoy.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I have found several great series through your blog and I always love that category. I’m searching for a new series or two now. I would love a post with your recommendations!

  4. Mandi says:

    I really did prefer the categories. Just made it easier to pinpoint what books I would be interested in. I understand not having time to do it though. I’m sort of just glad to hear I’m not the only one who felt that way.

  5. Sarah K says:

    I find your categories very helpful—over the years of reading your recommendations, I’ve learned which categories fit my taste and which are not for me. Personally, I’d find the guide much more useful if they were included. But I’ll still peruse it even if they aren’t!

  6. Nanette says:

    Count me in as another one who missed the categories. Last year, they gave me an idea of which group would be less appealing so I skipped them in order to read others. One thing I do appreciate this year is the diversity of the authors. It seems like there are more from non-US/non-British authors (though I may be assuming here). I always try to diversify my reading and this will help.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I missed the categories too! I actually went to my laptop (I was looking at the list on my phone) to see if I just couldn’t see the categories on mobile. I also love when you include at least a little nonfiction so I’m looking forward to your suggestions.

  8. Katie says:

    Yes! Categories! I kept clicking through thinking the link wasn’t loading properly because it was just a long book list! I blame the newborn lack of sleep happening here, but I could use some help narrowing down my choices!

  9. Grace says:

    (First time commenter!) I have to confess to being shedding a figurative tear when I saw the categories were gone. That is probably the number one thing I love about your guide because it gives me a good sense of whether I’ll like it AND where is best to read it (the beach for fun chick lit, inside curled up on the couch with a cozy mystery, on a lazy Saturday or coffeeshop for memoirs or nonfiction). I think it always puts a fun, very “you” spin on it. I thought it was gone for good, but am so happy to hear you might bring it back!!

    • Grace says:

      But, I completely understand that things change and evolve as well as it taking time to do that. Thank you for always putting together a great guide regardless and for all the months of prep! You are the queen of books.

  10. Joanna says:

    I love the guide every year, thank you for all the work you put into it. Since you asked, I do miss the categories! It’s a great list either way?

  11. Sarah says:

    That link to The Great American Read hasa fun (although maybe not fully functional, since I couldn’t get a score) quiz on the books. It’s a reminder of how diverse reading tastes are, because at least a 3rd of the “most beloved books” are ones I didn’t (or know I wouldn’t) enjoy including two of the only books I ever quit reading (one of which is a favorite of my husband, so I really like to needle him about it.) So I’ll never get through the whole list, but I’m happy I’ve read a decent number, and it was a nice reminder of a few others I’ve “been meaning to read.”

  12. Allison says:

    I really and truly didn’t want to comment critically on the 2018 Summer Reading Guide lest I seem ungrateful (I’m not! I love everything you do!) but I totally miss the categories!! At first I thought it was a mistake, and maybe the mobile version wasn’t loading properly… but alas.
    When I’m reading, I have certain categories I totally revolve around – and it helps to separate my want-to-reads into such categories so that I don’t burn out on any one genre. For example – I’m just finishing He Said/She Said (from the 2017 Summer Reading Guide) and The Perfect Mother just came in for me at the library… but I don’t feel like I can dive right into another domestic-psychological-thriller again. So I’m going to switch gears and read I Was Anastasia – historical fiction – which I bought and have had sitting on my bedside table for a couple weeks.
    Obviously I can manage to figure these things out on my own, of course, but this is why I love the categories oh-so-much!

    • JmeLnne says:

      Yes to all of this! I don’t want to seem ungrateful either… Thank you for all the effort you put into it, Anne. For every book that makes the list, we know there were countless others you sorted through and didn’t include. That’s a lot of work! But the categories were what made the guide unique. The publication date is not important to me at all, unless it’s a note that the book is not out yet. In which case, I can still reserve it at my library and wait until the order comes in while I read something else from the list in the meantime.

  13. Brandyn says:

    I did miss the categories, but it wasn’t a big deal. I learned last year that all the thrillers SOUND good, but I’m not that big of a thriller reader so my plan this year was to pick 1 from that category to request from the library. I just had to do a little more internal categorizing.

    • Anne says:

      Hahaha! Laughing because it’s true: good sales copy makes books sound good, but that doesn’t mean the content is good. Or at least, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for YOU. 🙂

  14. Nicole says:

    I love the summer reading guide and did miss the categories this year – they’re very helpful. Thanks for all of your hard work!!

  15. Brittany Bailey says:

    Categories help me narrow down which books to read and which order. I like to try one or two that are out of my comfort zone but I try to intersperse ones that I am confident I will love to keep my summer reading pace moving.

  16. Ioana says:

    On Wednesday I quickly scanned the summer reading list on my phone because I was curious. I thought my phone didn’t show the challenge correctly and that was why I couldn’t see the categories.
    So yes, I’d appreciate the effort of showing the books by category. Some of the titles I haven’t even heard of, and I like to know what genre I pick a book from before I start reading.

  17. Grace Furman says:

    I definitely missed the categories. I kept scrolling up and down and up and down when I first opened it to see where they were hiding or how I was missing them, haha. I’d love to see them added back in, I think they give a better sense of not just what the book is about but also the feel or mood of the book. Publication date doesn’t matter to me since I get all my books out from the library anyways.

  18. Katie says:

    I also miss the categories! I have certain categories I gravitate to. Also I sometimes peg a book as a certain category based on the description, but really it’s in another category that I may not want to read! Having books sorted by someone who has read them really helps.

  19. Jennifer O. says:

    Thank you for putting together the summer reading list. I do not need categories- I didn’t really use them and I think you’ve done enough work. Maybe think about them for next year if people really want them. Maybe readers can create their own categories or book flights.

  20. Tiffany says:

    Yes to categories! The list felt so random to me, and hearing they were in publication order seems irrelevant. I love your recommendations, but I need the categories.

  21. Becky says:

    I’m in the minority here but I was glad to see the categories were gone, LOL! I get decision fatigue trying to decide which category and then which book I want to read. Probably because I don’t have a “favorite” genre I feel like I have to pick a category first and I don’t enjoy that.

    Also, as a lit teacher, I have the task of reading and selecting the next year’s books for my class and I know first hand how limiting it is to have certain categories or genres you’re trying to fill. I try to expose the class to a variety of genres but some years it’s really hard. Maybe I read and really liked multiple realistic fiction books but all the historical fiction possibilities I read were just meh. So in order to fill that historical fiction slot I have to include a title I’m not very excited about just so our categories will all be even. If I didn’t have a deadline I could just keep reading more historical fiction, trying to find “the one” but next year’s book list has to be turned in by a certain date.

    I understand the difficulty of categories and I’m happy to see they’re gone! 🙂

  22. Megan says:

    I also missed the categories this year! However, this year it forced me to read every book’s description instead of sticking to my favorite categories.

  23. Angela says:

    I did not miss the categories. I got enough information from the book description. I did really like listing how you listed the books by publication date. That helps me with placing library requests/holds and planning my reading.

  24. As with your myriad fans, I’ll take whatever book recs you give in whatever form you’ll give them, but categories allow me to skim past the genres that aren’t for me to get to those which are. For sure categories make my bookish heart soar.

  25. Rebekah in Redlands says:

    I like the categories. Last year I read all to the thrillers . . . and finally come to the conclusion that thrillers aren’t my favorite genre. Sometimes I pick at least one from each category for the challenge, but right now, with so many real-life challenges, I just want my reading life to be cozy.

  26. Mimi says:

    Yes, please bring back the categories. And I can’t wait for the nonfiction picks. I don’t know how I chose books before I started reading your blog and listening to the podcast.

  27. Karen says:

    I love your book recommendations and they are always spot on. But, I too wish this summer’s reading guide was catagorized. I still look back at past guides because I remember a book by its catagory. The 2018 list looks great but I honestly don’t pay any attention to pub dates. Thanks Anne for all the time and research that went into choosing these titles.

  28. Meg says:

    Thanks for giving me the chance to say I’d love to have categories in all your reading guides and challenges. I missed so much fun because I didn’t find your blog until this year (but as I said in the comments section for the 2018 Summer Reading Guide, I can certainly use recommendations from past years, too).

  29. molly says:

    That’s too funny about the missing categories this year! As I was scrolling thru the Summer Reading guide, I kept thinking it must be showing up wrong because I was reading on my phone & not seeing any categories;) xo

  30. Stephanie S says:

    I’m in the extreme minority, but I actually liked not having categories. With categories I tend to just pick from those I assume I’ll like. With just the description and review I’ll have to put a little more thought into it. I get all my books from the library so worst case scenario, if I end up with something that isn’t for me, I’ll just return it and get something new. Best case scenario, I find a book I love, but maybe would never have chosen if it was in the “wrong box”. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about your podcast is hearing from guests with wildly different tastes than my own and discovering some amazing books I never would have picked up on my own.

    • Anne says:

      Yes, this is why I didn’t include them this go-round. 🙂 I love what you said about the podcast guests. Thanks for commenting!

  31. Emilee Rockhill says:

    I love the guide. I already finished Queen of Hearts, but I did miss the categories They were lots of fun!

  32. Margie says:

    I, too, was looking for the categories. But am happy to have the list. When will the book club get the summer list?
    Thanks for all you do. love it all!

  33. Kendra says:

    I love the summer reading guide so much, I’ll take it any way I can get it! I did really miss the categories though. It helps me narrow down where to start and get a good sense of the flavor of the books so I can match one with the reading mood I’m in. I do understand though that the categories are probably a lot of work, and we don’t want to seem ungrateful or inconsiderate! But if you’re really asking, then I’m a definite vote for the categories please 🙂

  34. Ruth says:

    I really enjoy the “Links I Love” posts, especially the links to posts from a year ago and on. Relatively new to the blog so catching up is awesome! The one about the 8 lines was especially helpful–I just keep thinking a system of rating books would be great. So I like it when you warn us about racy content, or language, as well as ‘dark’ themes, thrillers not being my fav! I enjoyed reading the comments on that post. I usually always read Goodreads reviews before deciding whether to even try something.
    Thanks so much!
    I just found The Boat People on the new books shelf at the library, to my delight…now to find time to jump in.

  35. Julia R. says:

    I love the categories, but also think it’s good to switch things up now and then! I don’t believe my top choices from this year’s Summer Reading Guide would have been any different had they been categorized. I love all of your reading guides and challenges, no matter the format!

  36. Hanni says:

    I am so thankful for your guide every year no matter how it comes but I have to say I felt a little lost without the categories.

  37. Holly says:

    I really missed the categories! The categories helped me find the right book for me in the past, versus feeling more like just a list of books that will be out this summer.

  38. Rebecca says:

    Since you’re asking, I love the categories as well. Differentiates it from other book lists. Either way, I always look forward to your summer reading guide. Thanks!

  39. Megan says:

    I did not miss the categories and actually enjoyed it more this way! I took my time reading each description and didn’t automatically write off books as l know l would have if they had been categorized. It kept me more open-minded. I also liked that you ordered them by publication date. Thank you for all your work on this! I put many requests in at the library!

  40. Colleen says:

    Sorry to agree with so many…but I LOVE the categories, helps me each summer when I’m deciding!! Thanks for doing the guide each year, I know we all love it!

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