summer reading list 2019

We’re a month into summer and thanks to some road trips and audiobooks I’ve gotten through a significant number of books on my Summer Reading List already. I used to be against audiobooks on principle (I just love books in print), but after years of falling asleep 5 minutes into reading a print book or never being able to crack one open at all (thanks, motherhood!), I realized I could “read” while driving, cleaning, cooking, falling asleep or when I want to tune out the noise of my kids for a little bit 😉 Also, my husband’s first novel was published as an Audible Original so it was only available in audiobook form, so his was the first audiobook I ever listened to. (His second follow-up novel comes out this August!) So I thought I would share my Summer Reading List, starting with the books I’ve read already and including ones I hope to finish by the end of the summer. And below, I’m sharing a few tips on signing up for an Audible account and how to maximize your listens to get more bang for your buck.

My Summer Reading List, 2019

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My husband read this book first and followed it up by watching every rockumentary made about bands in the 70’s. He raved and raved and raved about it. So once I got my monthly Audible credit I downloaded it too. And it lived up to the hype, and then some. I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t get into the plot too much but this book transports you to LA’s Sunset Strip in the 1970’s. It is very sex, drugs, and rock and roll but within a character study that is so compelling that you won’t be able to put it down. While the story is fictional, it is said to be inspired by the love affairs and drama of Fleetwood Mac — which was enough to peak my interest. By the time the book is over you’ll be wishing Daisy Jones & The Six had been real because you’ll be wishing you could listen to their old album on repeat.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Another period piece, another novel inspired by real events — Before We Were Yours tells the real-life tale of Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, who kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country from the 1930s to 1950. The family in this story is fictional but based on real-life accounts from some of the victims of Tann. This story is told from two points of view, one present day and one as the story unfolds in 1939. It is heart-wrenching, riveting, and hopeful all at once and you’ll find yourself in tears.

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Another period piece and a coming of age tale, Summer of ’69 tells the story of one family from the different points of view of five family members and their own experiences during one summer on Cape Cod, which just happens to be the same summer that encompasses the first moon landing, the tragic death of Mary Jo Kopechne in a car accident involving Senator Ted Kennedy, and the continued Vietnam War. The way the author weaves the experiences of each family member together and manages to examine the issues of that time: race relations and civil rights; the Vietnam War as felt by people who opposed it, who fought in it, and the mother of a soldier; and different stages and experiences of womanhood at that time — it was compelling and hard to put down. It is the perfect summer read!

Educated by Tara Westover

Oh man, I couldn’t stop thinking about this book once it was done. I obsessed over it and researched the family on the internet to learn more about the people involved, including the author herself. Educated is a memoir based on the life of Westover, who was raised in rural Idaho by survivalist and religious extremist parents. It is a fascinating look into a family and how religion and mental illness can significantly impact the experience of its members. It is also a deeply inspiring story about survival on many different levels and is the kind of story that sticks with you, whether you want it to or not. In short, it is a MUST read.

The rest of my list:

Little Fires Everywhere (finished and loved)

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (finished and really liked)

Dare Me (finished and liked)

Then She Was Gone (finished and liked)

The Silent Patient (finished and liked)

The Last Mrs. Parrish (finished and liked)

The Book of Essie (finished and liked)

The Good Daughter (finished and liked)

The Wife Between Us (finished and liked it ok)

Behind Closed Doors (finished and liked it ok)

Something in the Water (finished and didn’t really like — this could have been so good but the “twist” really wasn’t one and wasn’t plausible to me — the twist I thought it was going to be would have actually made for a better story even if it had been predictable)

An Anonymous Girl (finished and didn’t really like — I got this because it was an author and narrator of other books I liked, but I found it boring, I didn’t care about the characters, and I didn’t really find the story compelling)

Started but couldn’t get through:

I think these would be better in printed book form (some books just don’t translate as well in audiobook form).

Where the Crawdads Sing (I know I’ll love this but I kept getting distracted and couldn’t follow it in audiobook form)

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (struggled listening to the first couple chapters so I think I’ll check it out at the library and see if that goes any better)

Woman in the Window (It is really well reviewed but I kind of hated the first few chapters and I didn’t like the narrator of the audio version)

Still on my list:

Where The Crawdads Sing (I refuse to give up on this)

City of Girls

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone

The Alice Network

I have a few physical printed books that I’ve been wanting to read for years and am hoping to get started on this summer as well. They are:

The Neapolitan Novels series by Elena Ferrante

Case Histories

Some tips on maximizing your Audible Subscription:

If you have never had an Audible account, you can get a a free book and a free 30 day subscription to try it out — after that it is $14.95 per month for 2 credits, which equates to 2 books. Your credits never expire and you can buy additional credits at a discount if needed.

You can also “exchange” books for free to get a new credit as long as you do so within one year of purchase. I’ve never needed to purchase additional credits thanks to this policy and it isn’t well-known. To exchange, you go to ACCOUNT DETAILS -> PURCHASE HISTORY -> and then you’ll see the list of your purchases and a button to the right that says RETURN. If you don’t see it (after you exchange a few this way they remove this easy option) you can contact Audible Customer Service via email or live chat and ask to exchange. It’s super easy and really allows you to read an almost-unlimited amount of books.

If you are a book lover and find yourself to busy to read as much as you’d like, an Audible membership is a gamechanger! You also get access to free books and can choose two selections per month from their Audible Originals for a discounted price (sometimes free). It’s so worth it, in my opinion.


So what are you reading? What am I missing? Have you read any books you love this summer or recently (old or new) that you’d recommend? Have you jumped on the audio book bandwagon? Can we have an unofficial bookclub in the comments section? 🙂


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