Thursday, July 12, 2018

My Top Ten Summer Reads of 2018

As an English teacher, I don't have a lot of time to read for fun because I'm constantly grading student essays with every spare second that I have. But during the summer, that all changes! When May rolls around, I crowd source ideas for great reads, put them all on hold at the library, and get to work at knocking out a whole bunch of great books. I've been getting lots of questions about this year's summer reads (and what I thought of them), so here they are!

1. Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty)

Holy smokes, this one was good! If you like plot twists with a little bit of mystery thrown in (without things getting too dark) you'll love this book. It's the story of several characters whose kids all attend the same school, with separate plot lines that are all unified in some way, but Moriarty keeps you guessing as to how the entire time. I've really started to love her style, so you'll see her multiple times on this list. I actually haven't watched the show, but I know it was based on this book. If you haven't read this yet, you should!

2. Where'd You Go Bernadette (Maria Semple)

I couldn't put this book down! It's the story of a mother on the verge of a breakdown who mysteriously disappears. Told through a variety of letters, emails, and general entries that are constantly changing point of view, it's very engaging and you'll try to figure out just where Bernadette did go the entire time you're reading. Loved it.

3. The Story of Arthur Truluv (Elizabeth Berg)

This book was so sweet and touching! It's all about the unlikely friendship of Arthur (a widower), his neighbor Lucille, and their young friend Maddy. This novel is full of compassion and emotion, and I did cry a few times while reading it. But overall, I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it!

4. The Wife Between Us (Hendricks and Pekkanen)

Ohhh, this was good! I seem to be into lots of mystery with plot twists and a variety of unknown, yet united characters this summer, and this one did not disappoint. This love triangle explores dangerous truths and complexities of marriage- things that people often overlook when they love someone. I don't want to say too much and give things away, but just know that this one will keep you reading and on your toes.

5. The Hypnotist's Love Story (Liane Moriarty)

Moriarty does it again! Her style here is very similar to Big Little Lies, so if you like(d) that one, you'll like this one too! An interesting and engaging story about a crazy ex-girlfriend who stalks the new woman in her ex's life, this one is really good, and manages to be funny yet intriguing. You won't be able to put it down!

6. Of Mess and Moxie (Jen Hatmaker)

On a completely different level than the theme of my other reads, Of Mess and Moxie is an inspiration memoir of sorts. Jen Hatmaker uses her own hilarious life experiences to help all of us women feel connected, courageous, and inspired to live grace-filled lives. As a mom of a 16 month old, I found myself nodding along, crying, and laughing over and over again. If you're a woman over the age of 25, you should definitely read this one!

7.  The Magic of Motherhood (Ashlee Gadd)

This books shares all about the good, the hard, and everything in between when it comes to being a mom- in whatever form that looks like. It's a compilation of essays from a variety of women on their experiences with infertility, adoption, miscarriage, birth, kids with disabilities, and just general mom emotions and struggles. It's powerful and moving, and I cried multiple times and found a lot of it so challenging and relatable. Again, I'd say any woman over 25 (especially if you're thinking about having kids) should read it.

8.  The Friends We Keep (Susan Mallery)

This one was a nice, light summer read about a group of friends and the struggles they go through while all supporting one another. Each friends has a different scenario, and it's nice to see how they are all undergoing different, yet similar struggles. It felt relatable to real life, and is a good beach or easy fiction read that I enjoyed!

9. The Husband's Secret (Liane Moriarty)

Another Moriarty fave, this one unveils a big secret early in the book, and then you follow along to see how the wife is going to handle the secret she discovers. Like Moriarty's others, it keeps you reading and guessing along the way. I read it quickly since I wanted to see how it ended.

10. Why Motherhood Matters (September McCarthy)

This book was an excellent read if you have any interest in parenting from a Christian perspective! I loved its insight into ministry as a parent, and how your kids can be a part of that. McCarthy discussed things applicable to parenting kids all the way up into their teens, so a few of the chapters and points she made weren't applicable to me just yet since Eli is so young. All in all, this was a really good read that provided guidance and ideas for hard times as a mama.

Bonus Reads: 

Here are a few books that I've read in the past year or two and really loved!

  • The Last Anniversary and What Alice Forgot, both by Liane Moriarty! 
  • All the Light We Cannot See
  • The Glass Castle 
  • Murder on the Orient Express 
  • Bossypants
If you have any questions about the books, I've love to hear about them in the comments below or on my Facebook page! Have any other books you'd add to this list (or that I should put on my reading list)? Happy reading! 



  1. I was just listening to the What Should I Read Next podcast yesterday, and Where'd You Go Bernadette was mentioned! Sounds interesting!

    1. It was excellent! You should definitely check it out!

  2. These all look great! I just finished Season 1 of Big Little Lies and loved it. I need to read the book!

    1. I've heard it's so good! Now that I've read it, I'd like to watch the show!

  3. These sound like such great books! I've been wanting to read Of Mess and Moxie too. I watched the show Big Little Lies and really loved it, so I'll have to check out the book, as well. I didn't like it at first but I ended up being so intrigued by it. You should definitely watch it since you haven't yet. I'll have to check out the rest of the books, as well!

    1. Ahhh, yes- I will have to for sure! Of Mess and Moxie was so great- it cracked me up, but also had good meaning!

  4. Yessss. I needed this list! I hop on a plane tomorrow night for a 6 hour flight so I need some books to download!

    1. Yay! So glad that this was timely! Have a great flight!!

  5. The Hypnotist's Love Story sound intriguing ans intense. I'll try to find it on Kindle.

  6. I NEEEEED to read BLL so I can watch Reese's show - I love her!!!!!

  7. I read Big Little Lies last winter and I loved it! All her other books are on my reading list. Where'd you go Bernatte is another one that's definitely on my list to read this summer!

  8. I've heard so much about Big Little Lies but haven't gotten around to it yet! I love good plot twists so I think I need to give that one a go!


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