Ten Books I Can’t Wait to Devour this Summer

A Summer Reading List

There are few things I love more than a glass of wine and a good book! Since finishing up our Outdoor Space, I’ve been trying my best to enjoy Carson’s nap times curled up with my latest read (you know, between catching up on the housework and tackling all sorts of DIY’s!). I’m the type of gal that enjoys the feeling of having just finished a fabulous book for about a second (maybe a day if I’m lucky!) before I’m looking for my next fix. So, you can imagine my disappointment when I turned the last page in my latest (more about that below) with absolutely no idea what to pick up next. After a bit of research and of course, perusing Pinterest for inspiration (follow along with my Books to Read board for more ideas), I came up with about a zillion must reads to add to my list … here are ten of my faves:
Ten Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains

10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

What Amazon has to say about it:
In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.

I {love} a great historical read and, having enjoyed all of Elizabeth Gilbert’s work so far, I’m definitely looking forward to this one!

10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

What Amazon has to say about it:
A “cheerfully engaging”* novel for anyone who’s ever asked herself, “How did I get here?”

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

With its fabulous reviews, this one sounds like an easy and entertaining read!

10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai

What Amazon has to say about it:
Meet the Devohrs: Zee, a Marxist literary scholar who detests her parents’ wealth but nevertheless finds herself living in their carriage house; Gracie, her mother, who claims she can tell your lot in life by looking at your teeth; and Bruce, her step-father, stockpiling supplies for the Y2K apocalypse and perpetually late for his tee time. Then there’s Violet Devohr, Zee’s great-grandmother, who they say took her own life somewhere in the vast house, and whose massive oil portrait still hangs in the dining room.

Violet’s portrait was known to terrify the artists who resided at the house from the 1920s to the 1950s, when it served as the Laurelfield Arts Colony—and this is exactly the period Zee’s husband, Doug, is interested in. An out-of-work academic whose only hope of a future position is securing a book deal, Doug is stalled on his biography of the poet Edwin Parfitt, once in residence at the colony. All he needs to get the book back on track—besides some motivation and self-esteem—is access to the colony records, rotting away in the attic for decades. But when Doug begins to poke around where he shouldn’t, he finds Gracie guards the files with a strange ferocity, raising questions about what she might be hiding. The secrets of the hundred-year house would turn everything Doug and Zee think they know about her family on its head—that is, if they were to ever uncover them.

In this brilliantly conceived, ambitious, and deeply rewarding novel, Rebecca Makkai unfolds a generational saga in reverse, leading the reader back in time on a literary scavenger hunt as we seek to uncover the truth about these strange people and this mysterious house. With intelligence and humor, a daring narrative approach, and a lovingly satirical voice, Rebecca Makkai has crafted an unforgettable novel about family, fate and the incredible surprises life can offer.

This one sounds like an absolute page turner!!!

10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
Personal History by Katherine Graham

What Amazon has to say about it:
An extraordinarily frank, honest, and generous book by one of America’s most famous and admired women, Personal History is, as its title suggests, a book composed of both personal memoir and history.

It is the story of Graham’s parents: the multimillionaire father who left private business and government service to buy and restore the down-and-out Washington Post, and the formidable, self-absorbed mother who was more interested in her political and charity work, and her passionate friendships with men like Thomas Mann and Adlai Stevenson, than in her children.

It is the story of how The Washington Post struggled to succeed — a fascinating and instructive business history as told from the inside (the paper has been run by Graham herself, her father, her husband, and now her son).

It is the story of Phil Graham — Kay’s brilliant, charismatic husband (he clerked for two Supreme Court justices) — whose plunge into manic-depression, betrayal, and eventual suicide is movingly and charitably recounted.

Best of all, it is the story of Kay Graham herself. She was brought up in a family of great wealth, yet she learned and understood nothing about money. She is half-Jewish, yet — incredibly — remained unaware of it for many years.She describes herself as having been naive and awkward, yet intelligent and energetic. She married a man she worshipped, and he fascinated and educated her, and then, in his illness, turned from her and abused her. This destruction of her confidence and happiness is a drama in itself, followed by the even more intense drama of her new life as the head of a great newspaper and a great company, a famous (and even feared) woman in her own right. Hers is a life that came into its own with a vengeance — a success story on every level.

Graham’s book is populated with a cast of fascinating characters, from fifty years of presidents (and their wives), to Steichen, Brancusi, Felix Frankfurter, Warren Buffett (her great advisor and protector), Robert McNamara, George Schultz (her regular tennis partner), and, of course, the great names from the Post: Woodward, Bernstein, and Graham’s editorpartner, Ben Bradlee. She writes of them, and of the most dramatic moments of her stewardship of the Post (including the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, and the pressmen’s strike), with acuity, humor, and good judgment. Her book is about learning by doing, about growing and growing up, about Washington, and about a woman liberated by both circumstance and her own great strengths.

This sounds like an amazing story from a powerful and truly admirable woman!

10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
Heartburn by Nora Ephron

What Amazon has to say about it:
Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs” is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron’s irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.

I’ve heard SUCH great things about Nora Ephron and so, I cannot wait to finally read some of her work!

10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum

What Amazon has to say about it:
In this reverse love story set in Paris and London, which Glamour hailed as one of the “10 Best Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List Right This Second,” a failed monogamist attempts to woo his wife back and to answer the question: Is it really possible to fall back in love with your spouse?

Despite the success of his first solo show in Paris and the support of his brilliant French wife and young daughter, thirty-four-year-old British artist Richard Haddon is too busy mourning the loss of his American mistress to a famous cutlery designer to appreciate his fortune.

But after Richard discovers that a painting he originally made for his wife, Anne—when they were first married and deeply in love—has sold, it shocks him back to reality and he resolves to reinvest wholeheartedly in his family life…just in time for his wife to learn the extent of his affair. Rudderless and remorseful, Richard embarks on a series of misguided attempts to win Anne back while focusing his creative energy on a provocative art piece to prove that he’s still the man she once loved.

Skillfully balancing biting wit with a deep emotional undercurrent, this “charming and engrossing portrait of one man’s midlife mess” (Elle) creates the perfect portrait of an imperfect family—and a heartfelt exploration of marriage, love, and fidelity.

This sounds like a wonderful twist on the typical romance!

10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

What Amazon has to say about it:
Allison Weiss got her happy ending—a handsome husband, adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder…Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or if your husband ignores you?

The pills help her manage the realities of her good-looking life: that her husband is distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father’s Alzheimer’s is worsening and her mother is barely managing to cope. She tells herself that they let her make it through her days…but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?

With a sparkling comedic touch and a cast of unforgettable characters, this remarkable story of a woman’s slide into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again is Jennifer Weiner’s most masterful work yet.

I can {always} count on Jennifer Weiner for a light, yet enjoyable read and I’m sure her newest won’t disappoint! Chick lit at it’s best!

10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
Divergent Series Complete Box Set by Veronica Roth

What Amazon has to say about it:
Divergent: One choice can transform you. Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling debut is a gripping dystopian tale of electrifying choices, powerful consequences, unexpected romance, and a deeply flawed “perfect society.”

Insurgent: One choice can destroy you. Veronica Roth’s second #1 New York Times bestseller continues the dystopian thrill ride. As war surges in the factions all around her, Tris attempts to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Allegiant: The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Technically this isn’t just one book, but how could I read just one?! I’ve heard SO many good things about this trilogy and I can’t wait to get started on it!

10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

What Amazon has to say about it:
Meet Dolores Price. She’s thirteen, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Beached like a whale in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally rolls into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she’s determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before really going belly up.

In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years. At once a fragile girl and a hard-edged cynic, so tough to love yet so inimitably lovable, Dolores is as poignantly real as our own imperfections. She’s Come Undone includes a promise: you will never forget Dolores Price.

A read that’s definitely been on my list for what seems like forever!

10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

What Amazon has to say about it:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Who doesn’t love a little teen lit once in a while?

And, just in case you have nothing but time (or maybe you’re just a super fast reader!), I couldn’t help but share this amazing read that I just finished and {loved}!
10 Books to Devour this Summer @ making it in the mountains
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

What Amazon has to say about it:
In this gripping New York Times bestseller, Kathleen Grissom brings to life a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War, where a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate.

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family.

In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Grissom’s debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds.

This was a deeply touching story that was truly heartbreaking, but absolutely worth the read!
With Summer already half over, I better get reading!!! What books are you enjoying this Summer?
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you’ll help support making it in the mountains (at no extra cost to you) and you’ll end up with some lovely books to devour this Summer! For more information, see my disclosure policy.*

Happy Notes copy    

92 thoughts on “Ten Books I Can’t Wait to Devour this Summer

  1. Thank you for this! I’m just finishing up a book and am definitely going to dive into one of these next! P.S. Fault in Our Stars is a tear jerker!

  2. I read What Alice Forgot ages ago, but the story and the feelings it evoked come back every time I read the title. Excellent book and a great choice for your list.

  3. Thanks for the ideas. I’ve read a few of these, which were good. This list is great for my next trip the library. I’m always looking for good reads 🙂

  4. Thanks for this great list along with reviews. I will be re-reading the Mitford series starting with At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon. They are a gentle easy read that take you to a place you would like live. They are thought provoking, humorous, there is a bit of romance and mystery and her charactors are much like people in most small towns.
    She does a great job of charater development. And there is a spiritual thread woven thoughout.

  5. I have been meaning to find a few good books to read this summer and had no idea where to start. Your review has given me great ideas. Can’t wait to get started. Thanks for sharing. (stopping in from Let’s Get Real)

  6. What a great idea. I really miss reading, but can’t find time to fit it into my day right now. I do get some reading done with the children, but just don’t make it to the ones I’d like to read. Maybe making a list like this would inspire me to carve out a few moments each day. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I hear ya Karen! I find that there are weeks or months sometimes where I just don’t have the time to read and it can take what feels like forever to get through a book. Honestly, I bet I spend more time finding my page after falling asleep and losing my spot the night before 😉 And then there are other times where I seem to be able to finish a book within days, though these seem few and far between. Right now, I’d say I fall somewhere in the middle trying to take advantage of early mornings and nap times with a good book out on the deck lately. A book that you’re dying to read or really enjoying is ALWAYS motivating though!

  7. What a great blog this is, and this is quite a list of books to read! I love to read and nothing beats a good book!
    Saying hello from fabulous fins link party!

  8. I always love book recommendations! The only one I’ve read on this list is What Alice Forgot. I love Lorraine Moriarty’s writing. Looking forward to checking the other ones out! #Be.You.Tiful

    1. You are SO, SO sweet! I would {love} to guest post for you Danielle! I’ll fire off an email this weekend and we can chat more! Thank you SO much!!! Enjoy your weekend!

  9. I’d love to know what your favourite books are. I am currently reading the Freakonomics series and have got a war book for my hubby (he loves that sorta stuff!). I love that it is so much more relaxing than tv and it gives us a whole new topic to talk about as a couple.

    1. Hi Ellie! I’ve been thinking about this all night and I still couldn’t possibly pick favorites 😉 I will say that the ones that I can read over and over again are the classics like Great Expectations, Anne of Green Gables, Pride & Prejudice (this list could go on and on!). I’ve heard of Freakonomics, but I can’t say that I have any clue what it’s all about – I’ll have to head to Amazon and check it out. I totally agree … there is nothing more relaxing than curling up with a great book! Enjoy your weekend!!!

  10. She’s Come Undone and The Fault in our Stars are two of my all time favorite books. I read the Divergent series this summer and that’s all I’ll say about it because I don’t want to ruin it for you. I just finished reading The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd and I enjoyed it immensely. I’m going to add a few books from your list that I haven’t read to my goodreads list. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you SO much Nicole!!! Sounds like you’re the gal to come to when I’m on the hunt for a great read! You’ve got me looking forward to these ones even more now! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  11. The Fault in our Stars is awesome! Also if you haven’t read The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, you should. It’s amazing! I’ve got the Divergent series as well as What Alice Forgot on my to read list but might have to add a few more of these. Great List!

  12. Thanks for the great books to read! I’m drawn to The Fault in Our Stars~ after I have finished Linda Olssons “Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs” – this book is a one of a king, my warm recommendations!
    Visiting from Saturday’s Share Fest,

  13. Love this list. And I love Jennifer Weiner. Just finsihed one of her books this weekend. Going to buy the All Fall Down next. Thanks. And thank you for linking up at Share it Sunday. I liked your fb page and am sharing out this post on the Share it Sunday FB page. Have a great week.

  14. You have me wanting to see where I can find some of these books….as if I don’t have enough to do already lol 🙂 Will definitely be looking some of these up today!

    Stopping by from Merry Mondays!

  15. Thanks for the recommendations. I’m just starting to put together my list of vacation books. And thanks so much for sharing with the Let’s Get Real Party. We are starting a Facebook group for Let’s Get Real bloggers as a place where we can get to know each other a bit better and support each other’s blogs. We would love to have you join. If you’re interested, please send the email address for your personal FB page (we aren’t able to add people from their blog pages) to me at gc @ calmhealthysexy.com and I will send you an invitation to the group.

  16. I’m always looking for new books as well! When I’m reading, I totally immerse myself into a book – but later I have a hard time remembering which ones I read. In 2014 I’ve been tracking on my blog what I’ve read each month – and now going back its fun to remember each of them. Like a visit to a distant relative. Ok yes, I’m a little attached to my books! LOL

    Thanks for sharing your suggestions!

  17. Great list! I am hosting book club at my house this month so I will get to choose the next book we read. Thinking of going with What Alice Forgot. Sound alike a good read. Thanks for linking up to the Be. YOU. tiful link party!

  18. What a great list – I have several of those titles already on my ever-growing to-read list too, but now I see that I need to add a few more. (just stopping by from #TurnItUpTuesday )

  19. Great list! I loved What Alice Forgot; recommended it to my book club and they all loved it, too. We really like the way she writes (and had read The Husband’s Secret a while back, too). And I want to read the Jennifer Weiner book; hers are always funny, although this one sounds a little more serious.

  20. Stopping by from the Wonderful Wednesdays Blog Hop. I saw quite a few books on this list that I can’t wait to read also! Thanks for the list 🙂

  21. Wouldn’t mind updating to top 25 would ya?! I only have two more left to go from this list that interest me. Lol. I may have ignored my family and read three in two days. Oops!

    1. Hahaha! That’s fantastic Melissa!!! I think it’s going to take me a good year to get through this list! There are a ton of other ideas on my Pinterest board if you want to check some out 🙂

  22. Hiya! Stopping by to let you know you’ve been featured this week on The Wednesday Roundup annnndddd because you’re featured that means I’m pinning this one to our link party pinterest board! Thanks for sharing and have an awesome weekend!!!

  23. Wow! I haven’t heard of most of the books. I loved the Divergent series and am hoping to watch the movie soon. I have heard of The Fault In Our Stars but I haven’t read that one. Other then those two, these are all new to me. I hope you get them read and enjoy the rest of your summer!
    Thanks for linking this list up in the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party, come again soon!

    1. Thank you SO much Rebekah! I’ve certainly got more books than time here, but I’m definitely looking forward to making my way through this list! Have a fabulous day!!!

  24. Wow! Quite the ambitious list! I’ve read so many of these and they are so good. She’s Come Undone is one of my favorite books! What Alice Forgot is a very cute story. You wonder the entire time what happened in Alice’s life to make it change so drastically. Divergent is an absolute page turner. I am so excited to read the next one. Geez… I’m almost jealous that you get to experience so many great books for the first time! I’m going to put the Kitchen House on my list!

    1. A very ambitious list indeed! I’m currently still on my first book almost 3 weeks later 😉 I’m thrilled that you loved so many of them! Definitely gives me a ton to look forward to!!! Hope you love the Kitchen House – it was a bit heavy, but SUCH a great read! Have a wonderful weekend JoAnn!

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