This post was updated in March 2020. If you find yourself social distancing due to the coronavirus, now might be the time to catch up on your reading. You’ll find some of our favorite series and authors to binge read below.
Once the weather warms up, my thoughts turn to iced coffee and good books. I love the summer reading lists that start popping up everywhere and I fill my library holds list until it bursts. Some of my favorite lists are from Modern Mrs. Darcy and Everyday Reading.
For this summer we decided to do something a little bit different. One of my biggest challenges when reading is how to switch gears when I finish a book. I want to keep reading, but my brain is so firmly in the world created by the author that I have a hard time immediately switching to a new book, a new world, a new set of characters. One thing that keeps me reading going is reading a series, or reading another book by the same author, a binge read if you will. With that in mind, we’ve created a summer binge reading guide with input from my own favorites as well as some suggestions from my reader friends.
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The Ultimate Summer Binge Reading Guide
Book Series to Binge Read
Don’t run away just because I started with a classic! If you haven’t read these books but have always wanted to, well now is the perfect time. If like me, these are old favorites, perhaps this summer is the time to reimmerse yourself into this world?
I have read every book in this series twice, and feel compelled to reread them all now that the first two movies have been released on Netflix.
I loved these futuristic re-tellings of classic fairy tales. I tried explaining the first book, Cinder, to my husband and as soon as I said, “Well, it’s Cinderella, but Cinder is a cyborg-” I lost him. This was the sort of series that had me hating the long wait times on my library’s hold list, and would be great to read all four in quick succession.
I finished this series last week and it has been a long time since a book, or a series of books, has stuck with me in this way. The first three books were originally published in the eighties, but they were updated when the fourth book was released just a few years ago. I bought all four books as they were a super deal on Amazon and ignored all of my other life responsibilities as I powered through them. The book centers around the First Family, namely the eldest child of the president, who happens to be a woman. Given recent political events, I found parts of the book hard to read. I cried while reading each book for different reasons, but finished the series so happy to have found these books. (Hat tip to Janssen at Everyday Reading for introducing me to these!)
Series Recommendations from Friends
My friend Erin recommended this and I was reminded that I read the first, but not the next two. These books are beasts, but I really enjoyed the first one, so if you don’t want a book that you’re going to finish in a weekend, maybe try these!
This is a recommendation from a friend who says it’s great for “folks who like old-timey stuff.” The first book alone has tons of 5 star reviews on Amazon, so I’m adding it to my personal list.
Another friend, Sheila, recommends this series. The series is being adapted into movies with Lin-Manuel Miranda producing, so you know my interest has been piqued.
I have read every book written by Jasmine Guillory and I’m eagerly anticipating her newest release in June. I find her books very comforting to read, and I especially love the way she makes food a main character in her books.
If you asked me for a summer reading recommendation last year, I can almost guarantee that I suggested something by Christina Lauren. I may have suggested everything by Christina Lauren. If you think you’re not a fan of romance, I would challenge you to try one Christina Lauren (not one person, but a pair of writing partners) for the well written dialogue and perfectly developed characters.
I find Reid’s books on recommended reading lists all the time. I’ve read nearly all of them. Her most recent, Daisy Jones and the Six was widely loved, especially on audio.
Hilderbrand is the QUEEN of summer reading and her Nantucket set novels are the perfect thing to read all summer long. Her newest book is The Identicals, but the good news is that she has so many books, that you shouldn’t have a problem finding a few on the shelves in your local library.
I’ve read so many books from Sarah Dessen and I’ve enjoyed them all. Many of her books are written in the same universe, so while they’re not a series, you’ll often see overlapping locations and characters, which is always fun without requiring you to have read the other books. The advantage of a big collection like this is that you’re likely to find a number of her books readily available at the library.
Surely you’ve heard of Big Little Lies after the HBO miniseries based on the bestseller was all anyone could talk about earlier this year. I had a hard time getting into, Truly, Madly, Guilty, but I enjoyed The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot.
More Author Recommendations!
Several friends named the following authors as excellent reads, although I don’t have specific books from one of them to specifically recommend: Robert Galbraith, Ruth Ware (I really enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10), Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Lamott, Louise Penny (I grabbed two of her books from the library this week,) Tana French and Alice McDermott.
Who did we miss? Tell us your favorite summer, and year-round binge reads!