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 This Summer
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 recently reread the first two books in this series when the third was released and I can’t stop telling people to read this series. The audiobooks are well done, too and I’m not even a particularly big fan of audio. I haven’t read her other books but they’re definitely on my to-be-read list!
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.
Authors to Binge Read This Summer
I am a Rainbow Rowell fangirl (pun intended) (and she recently released a short story that just made me even more anxious for her next full-length book.) My top three suggestions from her are Attachments, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. I’ve read Fangirl more times than I care to count.
I find Reid’s books on recommended reading lists all the time. I’ve read and enjoyed both After I Do and Maybe in Another Life and have her other books on my rather long list of books to read.
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 (all?) 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. Her newest book, Once and for All is on a number of summer reading lists, but you’ll likely have better luck finding some of her other books immediately available, especially if you’re a library user like me!
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 in to her latest, 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!