I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for summer. Or, at least, the idea of summer…which includes lemonade and hammocks and perfect mosquito-less afternoons spent outside with a book. So, to help foster that moment into actually taking place, I’ve compiled a summer reading list just for you! A lot of people have been asking me for book recommendations. And, like any good bookworm, it’s my pleasure to comply. Here are 20 books/series that I’ve loved from all different genres and age ranges.
1. The Blood of Kings Series, by Jill Williamson
If you haven’t read this series yet, NOW IS THE TIME. If you have read this series…it’s time to re-read them. 😉 They are brilliant and packed with all things summer and travel and adventure.
2. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Because traveling and summer and songs and pipe tobacco and second breakfast. That’s why. I have two friends who have never seen nor read The Lord of the Rings and hubby and I are going to marathon the movies with them and force them to bow to our fandom. *ahem* I mean…and share the joy and epicness of Gandalf and Samwise and Aragorn…
3. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
I include this book/series because it takes place in a desert kingdom. Aka: warmth (and sand.) Thus…summer. I always love those less common worlds that show up in fiction–the ones that aren’t a medieval forest or mountainous terrain. Desert, people. Desert. Prepare your camels.
4. Breakwater by Catherine Jones Payne
MERMAIDS, PEOPLE. Mermaids. What is summer without mermaids or swimming? Without playing sharks and minnows or Marco Polo and snagging a snorkel to pretend that you are king or queen of the raging sea? I recently finished Breakwater and it’s now my favorite mermaid story. So there.
5. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer. I know I had Lord of the Rings up there, but I probably should have put The Hobbit first. If living in a round little hill house isn’t summery then I don’t know what is. Who doesn’t want to hang out in The Shire when they’re on school break?
6. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Time travel and pirate ships. Can you really beat that? I’ve yet to read the sequel, but I’m excited to revisit Passenger this summer. I read it while on a cruise ship in the Bahamas last year. Not sure I can top that.
Disclaimer: Readers seem to either love or loathe this book, so it may not be your thing. I happened to really enjoy it. 😀
7. The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis
If that cover doesn’t scream summer and adventure, I don’t know what does. A sweet little standalone about a girl getting sucked into a book and having to survive the plot. Just YES.
8. Unraveling by Sara Ella
Okay this is a sequel so you have to have read Unblemished first. But you should know that Unraveling is phenomenal. I mean…I liked the first book, but book two is awesomeness on steroids. It releases in July (two months away!) and it’s packed with tension and adventure and jaw-dropping “WHAT?!” moments. I’ve read it in book form…but the hardcover calls to me for a re-read. And I’ve given you enough time to go pick up the first book to prepare yourself.
9. The Bloodheart by Steve Rzasa
Sky pirates? Yes please. Cloud cities? BRING IT. This is one of those secretly awesome books that slipped through the cracks. But now I am shoving it in your face so that you can go read about it and love it like I do!
10. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Bookworms, this is a retelling of Arabian Nights…only as a YA novel set in a magical Persia-like empire. I still haven’t read the sequel but…it calls to us, precioussss.
11. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
And by A Voice in the Wind I actually mean the entire Mark of the Lion Series. Do it. Now. Obey me (or I will hunt you down…nicely.) This is the story of a Messianic Jewish slave girl who serves a Roman family during the time of the gladiator games. It’s intense and amazing and inspiring.
12. The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill
There’s just something about a 1920s mystery novel that seems to fit with summer. That is my opinion and my opinion is always right. 😛
13. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This book’s just a goodie all around. And if the thickness of it intimidates you…snag it on audiobook. 😉 Or just go watch the movie, because it’s also fantastic.
14. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Why yes, I’m pulling out a classic because this is a journey and summertime is all about hiking and traveling and growth and being outside. It just fits…both for the mood and for our souls.
15. The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
Oh, you know, just your typical middle-grade novel about a young farm girl who can fly. No big deal. This is one of this it-slipped-through-the-cracks books that is near and dear to my heart. In fact, I think I need to go read it again. I might just set this blog post aside and… *runs to read*
16. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Maybe you hated Twilight or maybe you loved it. No matter where you fall on the Stephenie Meyer spectrum…you need to read The Host. A standalone about an alien invasion that takes over our minds. I found it absolutely brilliant. (Warning: As would be expected because it’s Stephenie Meyer…there is some heated kissing. 😛 You’ve been warned.)
17. Dune by Frank Herbert
Do I even need to explain this one? They live on a desert planet! It’s a classic and it’s an old style of writing, but what a crazy and brilliant story. Not to mention giant sand worms that will hunt you down.
18. A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr
A Cast of Stones is one of the most unique and yet gripping fantasy novels I’ve read. I love a good rags-to-hero story. 😉 Also…that coverrrrr. This is a good summer read because it includes traveling and staff fighting.
19. Storming by K. M. Weiland
Zeppelins, airshows, and sky pirates. Just try and tell me you don’t want to read it.
20. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Hunting. Gathering. Love triangles. Giant arena of death and forest. What’s not to love? 😉 I had to include The Hunger Games on this list, though I will say…read Mockingjay at your own risk.
Well, my friends. Theres a new TBR pile for you.
Have you read any of these books?
Which books were new to you?