Never Enough Summer Reading?: The New, The Backlist, The Way Backlist, The Audio

Is summer the ultimate reading season? I’ve been thinking about that lately. It seems like lists for summer reading come out unlike at any other time of year and there definitely is that sense of freedom that I have a strong suspicion is embedded in us from the time when we were kids counting down the days until school let out. I know there are a ton of these out there, but I’m of the opinion that a long TBR list is just a long list of wonderful opportunities.
There’s also something about the imagery of reading in the summer. I have idyllic daydreams about lakeside reading, hammock reading, poolside reading…none of which I have. In reality, my favorite spot to be in my house is on our back screened porch with a book in hand, looking up between pages at sunlight filtering through the trees. It’s magic. That’s where I’ll be doing most of my summer reading. Where will yours be?
In the lists below I’ve added an asterisk next to the books that I received for free from the publishers as review copies. Please know that I always only offer up my genuine opinions and that there are absolutely books I receive for free and don’t say a word about ; ).  These ones have earned their spot on the list. The links to the books are also all affiliate.  I so appreciate all of you for supporting me with your time and this additional show of support for my time with the blog is so kind and so, so appreciated.  I additionally have a link to Powell’s at the bottom of the blog if you wish to support me and an independent bookstore.

New Releases

Get ’em while they’re hot!

Recursion by Blake Crouch *
He did it again. Mind-bending, page-turning fun.

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey *
The best kind of feel good read. I loved this from start to finish and I’ve got the perfect day planned out for you and this gem.

If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais *
Layered, moving, wonderfully crafted story of three women in South Africa in the 90s.

The Book Supremacy by Kate Carlisle *
Cheesy fun escapism into this cozy mystery featuring books, food, and set in Paris and San Francisco.

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts *
There should be way more buzz about this fantastic historical fiction story centered around the daughter of a famous suffragette and wife of Frank L. Baum.

The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith *

I found this “Scandi-blanc” (a spoof on the Scandi-noir thriller genre) so funny.

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
We need more books featuring black characters who feel this genuine and that explore real issues this well. Angie Thomas is fantastic.

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim *
I consider this a Chinese American Chocolat set in San Francisco full of lots of food and magical realism. It was too cheesy for me, a bit like the Nina George books, but I can see other people enjoying it, so that’s why it’s on the list.

Serious Eater: A Food Lover’s Quest for Pizza and Redemption by Ed Levine
I’m still reading this one, but so far it is compelling and drips with real food knowledge and love.


Tried and true.

The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher
The worst cover for one of the best possible summer reads. England lovers, house lovers, cozy lovers, history lovers, ignore the cover and read this delight.

The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman
A book unlike any other I’ve read. Kalman’s art and words are beautifully contemplative. You can read this one in bits and pieces, stopping to linger over its achingly lovely magic, or in one very dreamy afternoon.

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
If you’ve been intrigued by graphic novels, give this graphic food memoir a try. It’s so charming and, again, would make for the perfect afternoon read.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
For those of you who like to feel like you’ve accomplished something, for those of you who love gifted writing, for those of you who love powerful stories, for those of you who haven’t read it yet.

Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown by Maud Hart Lovelace
Erin, are you seriously including this on a list again? Why, yes, yes I am. This is my heart in book form and if you love middle grade like I do, would you please read it already and then read the rest of this beloved series?

Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson *
This book blew me away. The paperback comes out in August.

Way Backlist (okay, Classics)

I know I’m not the only one who really likes a classic to sink my teeth into over the summer.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I believe this might be my favorite. The writing is BRILLIANT yet doesn’t bog you down and there is just so much to think about from this genius work. It’s also only 249 pages.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau
I really like the idea of reading this one in bits and pieces while lounging outside. I read this one in the fall and enjoyed myself slowly wafting along with his various musings.

The Mingham Air and Landscape in Sunlight by Elizabeth Fair
I haven’t read these two but, again, lovely covers and they sound so darn charming.

Illustrated Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Unabridged and with the best illustrations. Probably going to ask for this one for my birthday.

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Reading a play might not initially appeal to you, but you’ll quickly get swept up in this powerful story about a black family trying to achieve their dreams in a world working against them.


Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
I LISTENED TO THIS ONE WHILE I WAS IN LABOR. Do I need to say any more? Fine. It’s realllly good.

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker
I don’t even drink wine, but this one is such a fascinating listen anyways. I learned so much and it’s also such an effortlessly told story made all the more so read in the author’s conversational voice.

Circe by Madeline Miller
Classic Greek myths retold from the woman’s perspective and read by the most elegant of voices.

Save Me The Plums by Ruth Reichl
Read by Reichl herself, you’ll be swept up in her story about working as the editor-in-chief at Gourmet magazine.

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
I firmly believe that books written by comedians are best heard in their own voice because, well, it’s their gift. This one had me laughing out loud over and over again.

What are you most looking forward to this summer, reading and otherwise?

If you would like to join in on the fun, please go to the submissions page!


  • dawnerenee says:

    I’m always on the hunt for new audiobooks! This is a great list!

    • Erin says:

      Thanks so much! I’m always on the hunt, too. It can be tricky to find a great voice and a great story, although they’ve been getting better and better these days. Maybe I’ll do another post of them soon!

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