Summer is when I find myself reading the most; all my favorite authors release new books during the summer months. I can never get enough of Mary Kay Andrews, Mary Alice Monroe and Wendy Wax. All three set their books throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina; which happen to be my favorite southern locales, and they make for the perfect beach read setting. I've also been following a few series for the last couple of summers, so this list will give you more than plenty to read during the remaining dog days of summer.
I was late to the game on The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand, but it was so so good! Two best friends both caught up in small town rumors—some are true, some not so true and others are half truths. Either way, you'll enjoy this book poolside with a cosmo in hand.
Mary Kay Andrews, in my opinion, can do no wrong. I've been reading her books since college and I've never met one I didn't like, including The Weekenders. Riley Griggs is hit with a wave of unfortunate events, and she must lean on friends and family, as she races to piece together all the parts before anything else can go wrong.
If you're addicted to HGTV and looking to start a new series that'll last you through September, then you'll definitely want to read the Ten Beach Series by Wendy Wax. After a ponzi scheme steals money from four women, they are left with one decrepit mansion of a fixer upper on the west coast of Florida. They have to rally together to renovate in order to sell and recoup some of their money (Ten Beach Road). The series continues in book two (Ocean Beach) down in Miami, where the women begin taping a new DIY reality show. The third book takes them to The House on Mermaid Point in the Florida Keys, and the fourth book brings the women back to the west coast of Florida to rehab an old beach club in Sunshine Beach.
Another great series is the Lowcountry Series by Mary Alice Monroe; book four A Lowcountry Wedding is the final book in the series and just released this summer. You'll definitely devour all four books if you have a love for the South Carolina lowcountry and small beach towns. Start with The Summer Girls, then read The Summer Wind, The Summer's End, and finish with A Lowcountry Wedding.
A Girl's Guide to Moving On
A mother-in-law and daughter-in-law both decide to lean on each other to move on from their cheating husbands. They both begin to reinvent themselves, as they move on and grow from their experiences. A Girl's Guide to Moving On focuses less on the cheating and more on the two women and the positive changes they use to transform their lives for the better.
If you enjoy small town stories and friendships grown at the local diner, you'll love this series. Each book in the series focuses on another set of characters, and allows previous main characters to take a bit of a backseat in other books. So, by the end of the series you'll know and love all of them as if you've sat around the bonfire the entire summer. Start with Up at Butternut Lake, then read Butternut Summer, and finish with Moonlight on Butternut Lake.
Wild and Free
I'm only a few chapters into Wild and Free, but it's such a great book so far! I love how these two women are challenging their readers to realize they are never too much and always enough.
I Said Yes
I finished I Said Yes a few months ago, but never had the opportunity to post a review, so I went ahead and included it in today's mix. I love how honest Emily was in her story, and how clearly God worked in her life to lead her to the life she had always wanted. God's timing is always the perfect timing, and this book makes that so clear!
Here's a few books I'm also really looking forward to in the coming weeks and months! I'm obsessed with Shauna Niequist and her raw, honest, essay style writing. You leave her books feeling like you've been curled up on the couch having girl talk for hours, and you always leave a better version of yourself. I have no doubt that Present Over Perfect will be any different. I'm also really looking forward to Emily Ley's first book, Grace Not Perfection. I love all that Emily stands for, and the grace she works to share with women who use her products every day.
Jennifer Close's new book The Hopefuls just released today, and I can't wait to read it. The story line sounds like a great way to finish out the summer of reading.
The Space Between Sisters
Although it's a different story and new characters, the setting stays at Butternut Lake in The Space Between Sisters. I can't wait to wrap up my summer reading list with this book before moving into a busy fall season.
What have you been reading or what was your favorite book you read this summer? Leave a post in the comment section!
Books Mentioned and Where to Buy:
Present Over Perfect (August 9th)
Grace Not Perfection (October)