Summer Reads + Fall Book Club Picks

For me, a perfect summer day includes sitting on the beach in the late afternoon after the height of the sun’s burning rays which minimizes my need for 28 layers of sunscreen, my “Do Not Disturb” hat perched on my head, clip-on shades affixed to my reading glasses, a salty snack nearby to nibble, and a good book in my hand.  Fortunately, the weather has cooperated providing many of these days already, and we’re barely at the middle of July. My Kindle app is over-loaded and my TBR pile is stacked high. I hope I make a decent dent this summer.

If you’re looking for a few recommendations for your summer getaways or if you’re in charge of picking a title for your book club this fall, I’ve updated my curated list of top picks for the best book club discussions. I queried several reading / book club interest groups on FB and put out a request for suggestions through a survey for favorites read/discussed January – June 2022.  Even if you aren’t in a book club, the list includes a variety for all tastes of some older favorites as well as recent releases.

Why 93? There were far too many titles with single mentions to include. I had to make the cut somewhere.

Here are the Top 10 (14 – given a few more ties).

1 Educated Tara Westover
1 Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens
2 Lessons in Chemistry Bonnie Garmus
3 American Dirt Jeanine Cummins
4 A Gentleman in Moscow Amor Towles
5 West with Giraffes Lynda Rutledge
6 The Personal Librarian Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray
7 Small Great Things Jodi Picoult
7 The Nightingale Kristin Hannah
8 The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek Kim Michelle Richardson
8 The Four Winds Kristin Hannah
9 The Great Alone Kristin Hannah
10 The Book of Lost Names Kristen Harmel

I have read all but two of these recommendations. I’ve started A Gentleman in Moscow a few times but found the beginning too slow for my tastes. With many folks advising me to try again, I may have to put it on my August list. Oh wait, I’m going to be a bit busy in August – maybe August 2023 I’ll meet up with the Gentleman. Lessons in Chemistry definitely sounds intriguing. BLURB: “Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.”

Have you read any of the 93? Agree that they should be on a “Best” list? Disagree? Why? Let me know – comment below. My dream? To discover someone on the beach reading The Unlocked Path next summer – just the way I saw my neighbor reading West with Giraffes and asked if I could borrow her copy for my photo op.

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  1. Simon Chibuk on July 13, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    Am rereading ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ again for the movie!! So looking forward to it – absolutely love the book 🙂

    • Janis Robinson Daly on July 16, 2022 at 12:06 pm

      Have you read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah? I wrote an essay on the similarities between the two novels.

  2. Janis Robinson Daly on July 13, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Have you read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah? I wrote an essay on the similarities between the two novels.

  3. Lynn Wallden on July 16, 2022 at 9:52 am

    I’ve read all but two of the books on the list. West with Giraffes will be the September book for my book club. Lesson in chemistry is in my ever growing TBR pike!!!

    • Janis Robinson Daly on July 16, 2022 at 12:06 pm

      West with Giraffes is great. Looking forward to hearing about your February 2023 book club discussion – 😉

  4. Gail Quinn on September 20, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    Just finished Horse by Geraldine Brooks, love her writing style, fantastic descriptions, feel like I am there!

    • Janis Robinson Daly on October 5, 2022 at 8:00 am

      I mentioned Horse as our May pick for the SOECC book club. We’ll all need to wear derby hats. 🙂

  5. Jim LeQuin on March 4, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    As the father of two daughters, I thoroughly loved learning more about and gaining a greater appreciation for the hurdles women experienced then and even in our current world at large.
    Well worth the read!

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