Sweet Summer Reading


Every summer I post a list of books that I’ve either read recently and love, or that I plan to read this season.

Admittedly, I need to read more.

I really do. Books have always been a gigantic passion of mine, but somewhere amidst the wedding planning, moving, honeymooning, working, volunteering, every day life-ing, I haven’t been reading as much as I should be, or as much as I normally do. In a perfect world, I’d read for an hour every night before falling asleep. That hasn’t been happening much lately. Whenever I’m reading and cooking regularly, I feel like I’m able to tap into the truest part of myself. When I’m not, I feel a little unbalanced. A few years ago, we started a 4th of July tradition of renting a cabin at Lake Tahoe with Adam’s aunt and uncle. We look forward to that week all year long because it’s nothing but relaxation, hammocks, good food and sunshine. And lots of reading! I can’t wait to get lost in a few novels next week so if anyone has recommendations, please send them my way.

So here’s my list of “must reads” this season. I feel sort of corny for sticking up a photo of my own book at the top of this post, but hey, it’s a shameless plug.

Fiction ~

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Is This Tomorrow: A Novel by Caroline Leavitt

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

The Paradise Guest House by Ellen Sussman

Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock

Nonfiction {memoirs, essays} ~

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist {I’ve been eating the blueberry crisp out of this book for breakfast now for two days straight}

The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine by Somaly Mam

Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

To Read ~

The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls

The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen


What are you reading now? Anything you recommend?

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  • Live Love Yum
    June 27, 2013 at 2:38 am

    I also haven’t picked up a book for months now! I agree it helps to keep me balanced – whenever I start again, I wonder why I stopped. Life! I don’t think it’s a shameless plug to put your book up there – it’s good and you worked for it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • rajibydesign
      June 28, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      I agree. I used to be so shy of letting others know of stuff I’ve done, but no one will ever know unless you tell them. Cheers!

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    June 27, 2013 at 3:06 am

    Definitely writing a few down on this list! I read “On Mystic Lake” by Kristin Hannah about a month ago and it was incredible!

    • Nurse Frugal
      June 27, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      I agree! I am definitely going to check out a bunch of books on this list.

      I’m going to be in Lake Tahoe next week also. What kind of things are there to do in the summer? I heard they put on amazing fireworks!!! Do they have any cute coffee shops?

        June 28, 2013 at 10:37 am

        I think everyone is going to be at Lake Tahoe next weekend! lol All is well, the lake is big enough for all of us. ๐Ÿ™‚

        The fireworks ARE amazing! Make sure to stick around and watch them if you can. I don’t know what side of Tahoe you are going to but if you go to North shore side then there is a coffee shop called IV Coffee Lab that will blow your sock (or in this case sandals) off! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Megan
    June 27, 2013 at 3:44 am

    The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. Best book I’ve read this year, hands down!

  • Melissa
    June 27, 2013 at 3:44 am

    The Moonflower Vine, by Jetta Carleton. It’s a story of family- loss, love, discovery, forgiveness, and adventure. Truly a wonderful and thought-provoking read.

    • sallie
      June 27, 2013 at 8:33 am


  • jan
    June 27, 2013 at 3:45 am

    I need to read more. I am so OCD about it though and once I start a good book, I ignore everything until I’m done!

  • Fancy
    June 27, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Love this post, thanks Jenna! I’m currently reading Gone Girl, can’t put it down!!!

    • rajibydesign
      June 28, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      OMG! How is it? I’ve been meaning to read that one but I keep getting sidelined by the oldies like ones by Edith Wharton or Jane Austen. :0

  • Pam
    June 27, 2013 at 4:06 am

    My recent reads are:
    Candles Burning by Tabitha King (about the South) very interesting
    Defending Jacob about a DA whose son is accused of murder
    Twelve Tribes of Hattie
    A Life Worth Breathing by Max Storm A MUST
    Unthered Soul by Michael Singer Awesome
    Mt Stroke of Insight
    Enjoy your hammock and some really good books!
    I LOVE to read! And your blog!

    • Alysa
      June 27, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Me before You. Loved it!

  • Anne @
    June 27, 2013 at 4:45 am

    I love what you said about when you are reading and cooking you feel like your truest self. While the cooking may not apply to me, the reading most certainly does, and it’s something I love about myself ๐Ÿ™‚
    Truly, I cannot wait to read your book this summer, it’s been sitting on my “To-Read” list on GoodReads too long!

  • Mish @ MishMarieG
    June 27, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Plan B by Anne Lammont is FABULOUS! I have Travelling Mercies on my Ipad…I need to buckle down and start reading and get off of FB.

    • rajibydesign
      June 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Lol. It’s a tough battle between reading a book or surfing FB. But a book feels so much more satisfying, though a little harder to get into at first.

  • AdrienneCarolyn
    June 27, 2013 at 4:54 am

    Hi Jenna! I just finished The Silver Star and it was of course wonderful! Jeanette Walls is a real treasure…Love all 3 of her books ๐Ÿ™‚

  • alison
    June 27, 2013 at 5:01 am

    The Paris Wife is DIVINE! It’s about Hemingway’s first wife Hadley and their life in Paris. GREAT writing and gripping story.

  • Julia Kent @ The Domestic Blonde
    June 27, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Wow, you echoed my sentiments exactly when you said “Whenever Iโ€™m reading and cooking regularly, I feel like Iโ€™m able to tap into the truest part of myself. When Iโ€™m not, I feel a little unbalanced.” It’s like to read my mine!
    In addition to my regular blog, I also have a book club blog – – and there’s a list of “Julia’s Picks” (my favourite books ever lately). You should check it out!

  • Chris B
    June 27, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler. Our book club LOVED it! It’s a journey story both literal and emotional. Chapters alternate between the past and present. Two women (one elderly and one young) drive from Texas to Ohio for a funeral. A must read.

    • pamela
      June 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Couldn’t agree more. Calling Me Home was my book club read last month and we all loved it.

  • Lauren @ The Highlands Life
    June 27, 2013 at 5:17 am

    I loved Dancing on Broken Glass! And I love your reading lists because I get ideas of what to request at our local library. Keep ’em coming.

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    June 27, 2013 at 5:19 am

    If it makes you feel any better I just showed up to book club this weekend without even knowing the book title that we were supposed to have read. I was busy studying for a test all month but wanted to hang out and eat. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Margarita
      June 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Haha! I have done that a few times with my book club too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Brittany from CountingMyCupcakes
    June 27, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Jenna, have you read The Walk by Richard Paul Evans? (or anything by him for that matter?) I HIGHLY recommend The Walk, which is the first book in a series of 3 or 4 books. I flew through it in 3 days (which is unheard of for me) and am now on the second book in the series. It is a fiction story about a guy who “loses everything” and decides to leave his life in Seattle and walk to Key West. It has a Christian/spiritual message and I think you would love it as much as I did.

  • Abby
    June 27, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Shameless plug, but “Abby Still Has Issues” is hilarious and can be purchased on Other than that, I’ve recently enjoyed “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” and “Born Round” by Frank Bruni (it’s about food.)

  • Malkire
    June 27, 2013 at 5:33 am

    I cannot say enough about The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Truly incredible. I could not put it down!

    • Laura
      June 27, 2013 at 5:54 am

      I second this book-it was amazing! Definitely a tear jerker!

    • Alice H
      June 27, 2013 at 9:22 am

      I haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars yet, but I got a copy of Green’s earlier book Looking for Alaska from World Book Night and loved it. Definitely worth reading as well!

    • Gina
      June 27, 2013 at 9:39 am

      This one is on my list too…though I think I may need to find some alone time to read…my friends warn me it induces some serious ugly cries!

      • Karen
        June 27, 2013 at 11:57 am

        I agree with the high praise for The Fault in Our Stars – adore this book!

        • Emily
          June 28, 2013 at 10:44 am

          Echoing others here – The Fault in Our Stars is great. Also The Age of Miracles & The Supremes at Earls All You Can Eat (reminds me of The Help).

          • creative_be
            July 5, 2013 at 10:04 am

            Agreed! The Fault in Our Stars was one of my favorites this year! A must read ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Christin
    June 27, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I know this is weird, but what jeans are you wearing in that last picture? I really like the wash.

    I really want to read Traveling Mercies – it’s next on my list to buy!

    • jenna
      June 27, 2013 at 7:12 am

      Boyfriend jeans from gap!

  • Alisha @ Gluten Free Perspective
    June 27, 2013 at 5:42 am

    I loved The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanan!

    One that I would recommend is Arranged by Catherine McKenzie. It’s a perfect book for vacation reading.

  • Charise
    June 27, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Thanks for the suggestions, Jenna – I’ve added a few of them to my Goodreads to-read list!

    Three of the best books I’ve read all year: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, and Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt.

  • Kelly
    June 27, 2013 at 5:55 am

    One that has been recommended to me by many different people recently and is near the top of my summer reading list is Wild by Cheryl Strayed. But I gotta get through The Winter of the Word (Book two of Ken Follette’s Century Trilogy, which I definitely recommend if you enjoy historical fiction at all) and Dan Brown’s Inferno first!

  • Karlee
    June 27, 2013 at 5:56 am

    a hundred summers! A fast read!

  • Karen
    June 27, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Thank you sooo much for this Jenna…summer would definitely not feel like summer without a book list from you!:) One of my favorite parts of reading these posts are the recommendations offered in the comments! Let the exploring begin!

    Traveling Mercies is one of my favorite books of all time…I’ve always adored Anne Lamott’s bohemian and spiritual sensibilities. She’s got a newer book out on praying, “Help, Thanks, Wow,” that even to my non-religious, Jewish self was incredibly accessible. It’s quite light/humorous in tone though, so I’m not sure it would appeal to someone like yourself who is so religiously sophisticated – if that’s a term?

  • CC
    June 27, 2013 at 6:08 am

    i have trouble keeping up with reading too!
    currently i have been reading “Counterfeit Gods” by Tim Keller, dunno if you have read it, but it’s so good and convicting! if you haven’t read “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, you should pick that up too! i’m reading his other book “Forgotten God” right now too, which is quite the good read too.

  • Carmen
    June 27, 2013 at 6:13 am

    I just finished reading two fantastic books. The first was The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman. This book was brilliant, and I laughed and cried my way through the beautiful story until the very end. The other book I just finished was Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, and I truly loved this one as well as it spans 50 years of complicated relationships and ultimately ends perfectly.

  • Kathy R
    June 27, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Three of the books from your must reads are already on my Amazon wish list, and I added a few more from your suggestions. Your book would be on there, but I read that last year and loved it!

  • Devon
    June 27, 2013 at 6:43 am

    I just finished reading The Grapes of Wrath and it was phenomenal. Depressing, but wonderful. Now I’ve moved on to The Inheritence of Loss, which I’m enjoying so far. Can’t wait to read And the Mountains Echoed – that’s at the top of my list for the summer!

  • Caroline
    June 27, 2013 at 6:46 am

    I read Beautiful Ruins over vacation and loved it!

  • Rachel @ My Urban Oven
    June 27, 2013 at 6:49 am

    I wish I had your motivation to sit down for 1 hour before bed every night. Each time I try that, I am sleeping with my book in my face within 15 minutes! Love when book lists have books I haven’t read yet. Totally checking out a few of these for the summer! Have a great vacation!

    P.S. LOVE the shameless plug!

  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    June 27, 2013 at 7:01 am

    I read your book several months ago and it really touched me to learn more about your story. It also made me want to learn how to become a Boulanger!
    I am almost done reading The Fault in Our Stars and it isn’t the most uplifting story but it is extremely well written and makes you appreciate life a little more.
    Btw, so jealous of your Tahoe trip. I need to make it up there sometime this umber, I’ve only been in the winter since we moved here.

  • Beth
    June 27, 2013 at 7:02 am

    I just finished reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult yesterday. I absolutely loved this book! I was thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it and totally didn’t expect the ending. This is a lot different from her other books (if you’ve read her other books). I highly recommend this one.

    • Mish @ MishMarieG
      July 24, 2013 at 2:02 am

      I agree. I just finished this book as well..and it’s SOO good. I loved the history (I’m fascinated in the most genuine and caring sense, about the holocaust and the survivor stories). So an interesting book. Top of her writing for sure!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    June 27, 2013 at 7:03 am

    “Shameless plug” hahaha. Hey, it’s a good book. Really enjoyed it. But seriously, why do we women do that? A man slaps down his whatever and it’s, “Buy my &^%$ or hit the highway.” Not so much in words, but in unabashitude.

    Tahoe for the 4th….what a fabulous tradition. We always spent the 4th at a certain lake too. Great memories.

  • gwen
    June 27, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Oh, I love seeing others’ reading lists! Thanks for sharing.

    Yesterday I ordered And The Mountains Echoed, at the top of your list, as well as Reconstructing Amelia, The Secret History and Play It As It Lays, an old Joan Didion. I’m also looking forward to Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest… and about 30 other books, no joke.

  • erin @hooleywithaz
    June 27, 2013 at 7:07 am

    not sure if you’ve read “the night circus” by erin morgenstern…it’s a fantasy story about magic and love, and it’s so well-written (her descriptions are amazing) that you fly right through it. it’s a great vacation read because it’s not too heavy. (and girl, keep right on plugging away! ๐Ÿ™‚ i still haven’t read your book, but am planning on bringing it to the cabin this summer!)

    • Jackie
      June 27, 2013 at 7:11 am

      We must’ve been typing our comments at the same time! Loving this book right now!

  • Jackie
    June 27, 2013 at 7:09 am

    I’m reading Night Circus right now – been awhile since I’ve been immersed in a book – and I’m really enjoying it.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    June 27, 2013 at 7:13 am

    PS: I loved Jhumpa Lahiri’s debut short story collection “Interpreter of Maladies” (1999), that won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

    Want to read “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”
    by Cheryl Strayed. Memoir of hike at age 22 reeling from her mother’s death and destruction of her family and marriage– she took off in one of those “seemed like a good idea at the time” moments to walk the entire trail–alone. Yikes.

    • Karen
      June 27, 2013 at 7:55 am

      Suzanne – This was a great book – probably my favorite of last year! (I’m a big memoir girl.)

  • Stephanie P
    June 27, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I just read The Storyteller and The Last Camellia and both were fantastic!!! I couldn’t put The Storyteller down!

    I just got 3 books to read for my upcoming vacation and I am excited to dive in! I got Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes, The Life You’ve Imagined by Kristina Riggle and lastly, Vision in White by Nora Roberts (the first of a 4 book series). Get me to the beach so I can start reading!

  • Molly
    June 27, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Currently sitting waiting for me to read them:
    The Astronaut Wives Club
    The Leftovers

  • Renita
    June 27, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I love your book posts! I’m currently reading The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls by Anton DiSclafani and it is wonderful. I also just finished Overseas by Beatriz Williams which was not bad, though a little sappy ๐Ÿ™‚ enjoy Lake Tahoe!!

  • Casey @ Salted Plates
    June 27, 2013 at 7:44 am

    The Interestings was amazing! Definitely recommend

  • Amy
    June 27, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I am currently reading A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson, also known as the blogger behind Boo Mama. I’ve recently become fascinated with the southern lifestyle and this book is sweet as well as hilarious. I just finsihed reading The Last Camillia and loved it along with all of Sarah’s other books. Your recommendation of Dancing on Broken Glass was great and one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Keep the recommendations coming Jenna!!!

  • L
    June 27, 2013 at 7:50 am

    The House Girl, by Tara Conklin! It’s my cousin’s debut novel and has gotten some amazing reviews so far. Definitely check it out!

    • Emily
      June 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      LOVED this book!!! Everyone should read this, loved how it was written!

      • jan
        July 1, 2013 at 9:04 am

        I recently read this book and loved it also! Tell your cousin “great job” and hope she is writing more. The two story lines were so captivating!

  • Ashley
    June 27, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Traveling Mercies is fantastic! Actually ALL Anne Lamont books are fantastic! Enjoy and thank you for the book recommendations ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac
    June 27, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I loved your book! I was also a huge fan of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’m currently reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, which I’m really loving!

  • Cait's Plate
    June 27, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I’m loving JK Rowling’s new book, “Casual Vacancy” as well as “The Way the Crow Flies” by Ann-Marie McDonald and “The Omnivores Dilemma” Michael Pollen.

    • gwen
      June 27, 2013 at 8:20 am

      The Way the Crow Flies is one of my favorites! I rarely run into anyone who’s heard of it, let alone read it. (I also enjoyed the other two you mentioned. We must have similar taste in books!)

  • carolyn
    June 27, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Thanks so much for mentioning the new Jeannette Walls book–I love her and didnt know she had a new one out!
    I know hes not usually your cup of tea, but you really have to read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Its a quick read and its seriously wonderful.

  • Catherine
    June 27, 2013 at 8:25 am

    You must read “The Lost Husband” by Katherine Center. It is set in Texas and is a laugh out loud funny, very easy read about a widowed young mother who goes to live with her crazy aunt on a goat farm. A great light summer read.

  • Jessie
    June 27, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Sarah Jio is one of my favorite authors! If you like her I would highly recommend a Susanna Kearsley read, like her new one “Firebird”. Additionally I am reading “Born to Run” by Chris McDougall and it is so fascinating!

  • Casey
    June 27, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Kisses from Katie might be my favorite book—ever.

    Have you read The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns? Also pretty life-changing!

  • Rachel
    June 27, 2013 at 8:43 am

    7 Men by Eric Metaxas — it’s a quick read that’s so amazing. and if you want more from him, Bonhoeffer and Amazing Grace are must reads.

    Enjoy your vacation! (And I just put your book on hold at the library–I look forward to reading it!)

  • Mary
    June 27, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Great list! I’d add Where’d You Go, Bernadette; Tell The Wolves I’m Home; and Transatlantic

  • Alyssa
    June 27, 2013 at 8:49 am

    You know what’s so funny? I was just going through some of your older posts for book ideas, and here you are today posting exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!! I’ve already your book, so that one’s crossed off the list:) But I definitely want to read And The Mountains Echoed, because I loved the authors first two books. I’ll have to check out the others as well.

  • Suze from OR
    June 27, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Agree with L about “The House Girl”- intertwining stories, a no put downer. Just finished Alison Singh Gee’s “Where The Peacocks Sing” – a Chinese American writer meets her Indian “prince”. A great cross cultural love story with lots of food references!!!

  • Natasha
    June 27, 2013 at 9:02 am

    I read Dancing on Broken Glass recently – great book, but I cried my eyes out. Actually had to stop reading at one point to calm down since I couldnยดt physically read the words through my tears!
    Also, try Room by Emma Donoghue – really well written, itยดs almost like reading two stories in one, I felt like I was writing the story of the mother in my head while reading the perspective of her son.
    I live in Brazil and donยดt have great access to books in English – then combine that with the fact that Iยดm a super fast reader – I have to limit myself to not reading too fast! I envy you for all the options you have for one week!!!

    • Cheryl Cavanagh
      July 9, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Just finished Dancing on Broken Glass- wow it was great but emotionally draining! Like you, I had to stop reading it because I couldn’t see though the tears.

  • Allison
    June 27, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Calling me Home by Julie Kibler is an absolutely wonderful book! I just read The Best of Us and it is awful. It isn’t even a good beach read. Boring, cliche, just awful.

  • Lori
    June 27, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I just started (100 pages in) Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent and I am having a hard time putting it down! It’s set in Virginia in the 1930s, an era I just love! It’s book one of a three book series so I can’t wait to read them all. I recently read Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen, Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch and Chance of a Lifetime (Book #5 in the Harmony Series) by Jodi Thomas. All were good.

  • HilJo
    June 27, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Kristin Lavransdatter. (Sigrid Undset — Nunnally Translation)

    Read it. It is not trendy or cutesy or popular right now, but it is a classic. It is an excellent, thought provoking story and should be read ESPECIALLY now that you are a wife ๐Ÿ™‚ Historical fiction, the story of a womans life from the time she is a child until she is an old woman. Life-changing I would say.

  • Gina
    June 27, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I love these posts…I just sent a few new reads to my kindle from the comments:) We are hopping a ferry to the san juan islands here in WA for the holiday weekend. I booked a deal for “glamping”…can’t wait to try it! Anywho…I love Kristin Hanna lately and also just read Sarah Jio’s new novel and loved it! I am really looking forward to slowing down next week/weekend!

  • joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    June 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I canNOT wait to read the new Sarah Jio book!!! Love all her work.

    I’m currently reading American Heiress, but have been dragging it out because I just moved (San Diego!) and haven’t had any spare time. I need to get back in the habit as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Becca
    June 27, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I’ve been waiting for an update on what you are reading!! So excited to see this list. I’m always looking for new ideas on what to read next.

    I just downloaded The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers. Heading out on a girls weekend and can’t wait to get into it with a good glass of wine!

  • Jennifer
    June 27, 2013 at 10:06 am

    My summer list:-)

    “Cleopatra; A Life” by Stacy Schiff….a great biography of an amazing woman
    “Babette’s Feast” by Ernest Hemingway….LOVE this man:-)
    “The Greatest Show On Earth; The Evidence for Evolution” by Richard Dawkins…I am a science nerd and find evolutionary biology amazing!
    “Living Buddha Living Christ” by Thich Nhat Hanh…As a Buddhist…he is just my favorite writer of all things Buddhism along with Pema Chodron
    “Mind Over Medicine” by Dr. Lisa Rankin…a book on self healing and the mind/body connection
    “However Long The Night” by Aimee Long…..a book about Molly Melching’s work in Senegal to end female circumcision.

  • Ksenija @ Health Ninja
    June 27, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Nice list. I am going to read through some of this this summer! Your book is already in my shelf and I loved it so much, that reading through your old blog posts is one reading project I am at for months now ๐Ÿ™‚ and I also purchased the “trail of crumbs” due to your recommendation – it was great, so I guess our tastes do fit already. Regarding books I would recommend to read:
    Paulo Coelho – The Zahir
    Carlos Ruiz Zafรณn – The Shadow of the Wind
    Milan Kundera – The Unbearable Lightness of Being
    Marisha Pessl – Special Topics in Calamity Physics
    Haruki Murakami – 1Q84 and Kafka On The Shore
    Jostein Gaarder – Sophie’s World (if you are interested in philosophy) and The Ringmaster’s Daughter (a truly compelling story)
    A few great classics:
    Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray
    Leo Tolstoi – Anna Karenina
    Stendhal – Red and Black
    Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey

    I could go on forever, but those are the ones who popped in my mind (and out of my bookshelf).

    • Molly
      June 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      I absolutely loved The Shadow of the Wind!

      • Ksenija @ Health Ninja
        June 28, 2013 at 12:01 am

        It is one of my all time favorites! His other novels are great, too.

  • Sherri Becker
    June 27, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

    • Melissa
      June 27, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Great book!

  • Adam
    June 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Compelled by Love by Heidi Baker

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    June 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I have been waiting for this list. Love summertime reading!

  • kyla
    June 27, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Game of Thrones!

  • Mari
    June 27, 2013 at 11:31 am

    “All This Talk of Love” by Christopher Castellani
    “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler
    “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple

    “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal” by Mary Roach
    “Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity” by Andrew Solomon

  • Glory/ Glorious Treats
    June 27, 2013 at 11:40 am

    OOh, I’ll bookmark this post and try a couple. I love to read, but get out of the habit quite easily! For the books you’ve read, I’d love if you added a little (even a few words or a sentence) as to why you liked it, or what it’s about…. for next time maybe =)

  • Sallie
    June 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Nice list there! One of my favorite summertime activities is relaxing in a hammock with a good book!

  • Kiran @
    June 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Sigh! I need to read more too! Thanks for the wonderful recommendations, Jenna ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Marie
    June 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Wool by Hugh Howey ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Morgan
    June 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    My strongest suggestions:

    Love Anthony by Lisa Genova….a MUST!!! You of all people will love it.

    Left Neglect by Lisa Genova

    What Alice Forgot by Liane Mortiary

    Sister by Rosamund Lupton

    Wedding Night by Sophia _____ (I’m blanking. The girl that wrote shopaholic)

  • Caroline L.
    June 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Your book is on the top of my list ๐Ÿ™‚ I also want to start reading some Nora Ephron and Joan Didion!

  • Kelly S.
    June 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I can’t stop reading…I’ve read 4 books in a week.

    You must read THE SHOEMAKER’S WIFE (haven’t loved a book this much since The Help)

    Also loved The Midwife of Hope River

    About to start: The Light Between Oceans

  • eileen ragan | leaner by the lake
    June 27, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Reading “Born to Run” at the moment and soaking up every damned word. Plus, it’s great motivation on these HOT HOT days to get out there and move my booty!

  • Ashley
    June 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I’m reading all of Dan Brown’s books right now and I’m completely obsessed!

  • Dawn
    June 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Short but thought provoking book. I savored every sentence. Or anything by Barbara Kingsolver.

  • Molly
    June 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I recently read The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand and loved it. In my opinion, it is her best book and a great beach read.

    • Melissa
      June 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Elin Hilderbrand writes fantastic summer books. She transports you to Nantucket with her descriptions. Love her!

  • Joan S.
    June 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah is a great read!!

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action
    June 27, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I love books!

    I’ve recently been into dystopian novels- so I’ve read Divergent (only the first two are out), The Mazer Runner (all 4), and Terra. All are great and I recommend them to everyone!

    • jenna k
      June 28, 2013 at 7:49 am

      ahh I was hoping someone would recommend some good dystopian reads. I’ve been really into them lately as well!

  • April
    June 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I just finished reading “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts” by Neil White. Great book about the author’s time in jail that also happened to be a “leper colony.” Also finished “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” by Mark Haddon, both of which I really enjoyed!

  • Karen
    June 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    I actually read your book last fall while I was on vacation in France. Then my sister borrowed it and I haven’t got it back yet… really must get on getting it back so I can try the recipes!

  • Stephanie @ I am His
    June 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Kisses from Katie is such an inspiring book! I read it and was immediately convicted of my own faults in following the commands of Christ. If you want to feel inspired by another sister in Christ and motivated to do more in your own community, and abroad, that is most certainly the book to do it!

  • Cheryl Cavanagh
    June 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Jenna, remember me? We met in front of the Eiffel Tower when I was there with my husband, Greg.
    I have a few books that I have read in the last year that you might like:
    Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago – a long epic. Really enjoyed it.
    What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty- interesting concept
    Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell – about Claude Monet
    The Light Between the Oceans by ML Stedman
    The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
    The River of Doubt by Candice Millard
    Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

    We will get those photos we took to you soon! They are cute.

  • Alysa
    June 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Me before you

  • christa
    June 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    YES to 7!!!! AMAZING amazing book!!!!

  • Debbie B
    June 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Not sure if you’ve read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It was awesome ! It was great – just finished it 30 minutes ago!!

  • Jaime
    June 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    That’s where I plan to start, when I finish my thesis and pass my licensing exam. So excited to dive in!

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
    June 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Anything by John Green, but especially The Fault In Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, or An Abundance of Katherines. Love, obsessed, can’t stop won’t stop.

  • Cindy
    June 28, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Must read: The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton

    • Kathryn
      June 29, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Great book!! And author too!

  • Kim
    June 28, 2013 at 5:27 am

    I’m reading “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” and it is SO good; it’s well written, surprisingly funny at times, and absolutely fascinating. When I finish, I’m either picking up “And the Mountains Echoed” or “A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet.”

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  • Amber
    June 28, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I am reading And The Mountains Echoed (about 70% through it) and so far it’s amazing! I got excited seeing it on your list too. I definitely recommend it!!

  • Emily @ Running for Boston
    June 28, 2013 at 7:20 am

    You should add the Van Veeteran Series by Hakan Nesser to your list. Great series of mysteries that are fast reads! Borkmann’s Point is my favorite of the series.

  • TiffanyS
    June 28, 2013 at 7:41 am

    This is old news, but I finally was able to read “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”. It was fabulous. I’m also reading “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. Also, highly recommend “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed. I’m finally done with my Master’s, so my summer goal is to read for fun and joy! Enjoy your holiday trip.

    June 28, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I LOVE to read, and typically don’t read as much as I’d like to! Your book was one of my faves last year..I read it in a day, and then wish I had spread it out to make it last longer lol!

  • Nora
    June 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Love hearing your book recommendations. I just finished Cutting for Stone and I really loved it. The story is about two young boys who grow up in Ethiopia during its revolution. It was really great and I highly recommend!

  • Dynamics
    June 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    I am on the last book of the “The Clan of the Cave Bear” series. A big read. I love the history and the research that went into these books. To read about how they ate back in the early days. The fruits and berries. How they incorporated herbs not only to eat but in treating their sick. How they made tools and survived in that time. Sign language was used back then. Imagine how we evolved from there with little sickness to where we are today, GMO, artificial food, junk food. We have more cancer and disease today. If you have the time and like this sort of thing they are great books. Its fun when they mention a herb and how they used it versus how we use it today. Sometimes the same way. If you want to delve into this and like books I will send them to you.

  • Michele G.
    June 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

    What a fantastic list! Thanks for sharing and I hope you get around to reading all of the books on your list with such a busy schedule ๐Ÿ™‚ My summer book recommendation is by author Gemini Adams entitled, โ€œThe Facebook Diet.โ€ ( What makes this book so unique is that the author is also an artist and has made 50 very funny illustrations that all begin with, โ€œYou know youโ€™re a Facebook addict whenโ€ฆ.โ€ The book is so relevant in todayโ€™s digital world and really makes the reader want to re-evaluate their time spent on social media! The author doesnโ€™t just poke fun at our Facebook adoration but suggests unplugging once in a while โ€“ a digital detox! (thatโ€™s why this book is part one of the Unplug Series). I think itโ€™s a fun, entertaining read for the summer

  • Kathryn
    June 29, 2013 at 8:13 am

    One of he benefits of being a teacher is having time during the summer to read! I have been devouring books and it has been AMAZING! One if the books that my book club read was “The Winter Sea” by Susanna Kearsley. So, SO good! It’s one of those books that I loved so much I will definitely be reading it again and I want everyone else to read it too! Have a great 4th of July week!

  • Tracy
    June 29, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I just finished The Silver Star….excellent! Now I’m reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Very very good so far. HIGHLY recommend.

  • Kristi
    June 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I would love to be able to read a little more than I do. I guess I go through phases where sometimes I can read a book or two a month, and then sometimes it takes me 2 months to read one book.

  • Amy
    June 30, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Lisa Genova’s latest book Love Anthony is so good – a great vacation read! She wrote Still Alice and Left Neglected – loved them all!

  • Cate
    June 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    “The Storyteller” is a great book, but you will be crying!

  • Kristen
    July 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Traveling Mercies is SO GOOD. Glad to see it made it onto your list!

    July 2, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I loved, THE StoryTeller….I almost didn’t continue reading, when I realized what it was about. Jodi Picoult always ends the books in a way that you would never guess. Loved this one. This was and excellent book!!!


  • karen mccormack
    July 2, 2013 at 10:59 am

    The Girls from Ames,

  • Chelsey
    July 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Just finished The Last Camellia & The Best of Us – loved both! Highly recommend A Hundred Summers – my favorite of all 3, I flew through it. Beautiful writing and switches between past and present POV similar to Sarah Jio’s style (except it stays with the storyline of its main set of characters so that you’re always wondering what occurred in the past that brought them to where they are now). Set in the 1930s and very romantic – coming off your honeymoon I think you’ll adore it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Suzanne H
    July 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Dancing on Broken Glass is excellent! I love that book!

  • Emily
    July 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I just finished reading your book in one sitting! It was great, loved how you intertwined recipes into the stories you were telling. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Liz
    July 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Traveling Mercies is oneofmy favorites! I recently met Anne Lamottwhen I was 6 months pregnant. I cried the whole time during our conversation because I love her so much. Thanks hormones.

  • Jenny
    July 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Love the summer reading suggestions. Love your flip flops what kind are they? Thanks!

  • Megan
    July 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I’m actually reading Kisses for Katie right now. It’s so good. I am also reading Sacred influence by Gary Smalley. So so good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Julia Kent @ The Domestic Blonde
    July 12, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Hey Jenna! My book club just published our summer reading list too!

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