My summer reading list started off with a couple of World War II novels and then transitioned into lighter, beach reads for the rest of summer.
SUMMER READING LIST
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter is easily one of the top 3 books I’ve read this year and tied with The Nightingale for the best WWII book I’ve ever read. My girlfriend recommended it to me and it didn’t disappoint.
We Were the Lucky Ones follows a Jewish family (parents, grown children, spouses and grandchildren) as they are forced to flee their home in Poland. One is forced to leave the country, others try to escape certain death. It’s a story of love, perseverance and survival. As always, reading WWII books makes me so very grateful. Present day, I think about the parents walking thousands of miles with their children to our southern border. The will to survive, risking your life and desire to find a better life for your child seems very similar to me.
I picked up The Matchmaker’s List by Sonia Lalli at a local bookstore during our family trip to Aspen this spring. I’m a sucker for the staff picks! The Matchmaker’s List is the story of an Indian woman, Raina, and her grandmother’s efforts to find her a husband. After disastrous blind date followed by disastrous blind date, Raina has to stand up to her grandmother while trying not to disappoint her.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is one of the most popular WWII books (it has almost 30,000 reviews on Amazon) and a Pulitzer Prize winner. At the height of the war, a museum locksmith escapes Paris with his blind pre-teen daughter. Meanwhile, in Germany an orphaned young boy uses his talent fixing radio transmitters to escape a career in the mining industry. Their stories eventually cross outside of Paris. The writing is beautiful and the story is unlike any other WWII book I’ve read.
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee is so good in a completely different way that I had to dedicate an entire post to it. The short story is it’s a sophisticated romance novel that I’m still raving about months later.
In The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry a daughter is forced to return to her childhood home to assist her father as suffers from Alzheimer’s. In the process, she comes to forgive her sister and uncover a family secret that changes her life. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s and I thought of her throughout this book.
Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen follows a young woman, Alice Weiss, as she moves to Manhattan and gets a job as an assistant to the first female editor of Cosmopolitan, at the time a struggling magazine. I enjoyed it more than I expected. It’s a fun insider look at the magazine industry. The parties and photo shoots seem so exciting and chic.
I read The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren on our San Diego beach vacation. You guys, that in itself is a small miracle. I actually read a book on a vacation with two toddlers!
The Unhoneymooners follows a couple’s brother and sister that are thrown together after the bride and groom get food poisoning and offer their honeymoon to them. They discover their mutual dislike for each other was based on several misunderstandings and eventually fall in love. Their antagonist relationship got a little old, but it’s a cute story (although Love and Other Words is still my favorite Christina Lauren book).
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes follows in the same genre as the lighter, “beach” reads I read this summer. Recently widowed Evvie Drake rents her extra space to a former Major League Baseball player that was forced to retire after getting a case of the yips. A not quite typical romantic comedy follows.