Summer Reading Picks for Mom

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My summer reading list began with about 15,000 books, but I’ve narrowed it down to these.

Do I think I’ll read them all?


But this way I am ready to grab the next book as soon as I finish one.

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I’ve organized the book list in three categories. Within each category, the titles are listed in order of priority.

  • book club books
  • personal development titles
  • fiction/just for fun

At the end of the post, you’ll find a list of titles that didn’t make the cut because the summer isn’t 800 weeks long. I am trying to work in the 10ish weeks that I’ve been given and I don’t want to forget some of the titles I would like to read in the future.

Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

Summer Booklist: Book Clubs

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green happens to be the June title for Kate Bowler’s book club so you can find discussion questions there and eventually there will be a podcast with the author.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: Loved this one. Great discussion at book club.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles has been on my list for a very long time. I can’t wait to read it with friends this summer.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: Uh. Where is the plot? While the descriptions and language were beautiful, I was bored. I just couldn’t get into this one, though I did finish it for book club.

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City’s Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case that Captivated a Nation by Brad Ricca is the non-fiction title we’ll read this summer.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens has over 900 people on the library waiting list so I suspect this is going to be a good one.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: Great read. Beautiful language WITH a plot that moves. Murder mystery.

Love Lives Here by Maria Goff is on the list because we are all Bob Goff fans so we can’t wait to dive into Maria Goff’s book this summer.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: I could not love this book enough. It hit my momma’s heart right where I needed it this summer. I walked away feeling inspired to embrace change and what makes me family unique. It was such an encouraging read.

Finally, A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle isn’t a title for my local summer book club, but it is the summer title for the Read Aloud Revival Mama Book Club this summer. The reading plan begins on June 3rd and culminates with a live online event on July 25th.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: I only made it halfway. I just don’t think my summer mindset was there for this one. It is a meandering book with lots of great thoughts, but it just wasn’t pulling me in. I really wanted to love it though.

Summer Booklist: Personal Development

Wolfpack by Abby Wambach was my first summer read. I enjoyed it enough that I am going to have both of my girls read it this summer and I wanted to pass on the title.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: Loved this one. Quick, inspirational, easy read.

Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan looks like a good one for improving relationships and connection.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: Relatable. Fun. Easy read that I enjoyed. Good stuff to think about.

I am not an introvert, but I hope The Introverted Mom by Jamie C. Martin will help me understand my introverted friends with more insightfulness.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: I really enjoyed this one. I wasn’t sure what to expect as an extrovert, but I related to so much of the general needs of a busy mom.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear is in my pile because quotes on Instagram piqued my interest. And now that I have it here, it looks like a good one to dive into this summer.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: Someone suggested that I simply read the summaries at the end of each chapter and go back to dig deeper if one chapter struck me as a good one. I am in the process of doing this now and enjoying it.

Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions to Adulthood by Lisa Damour is one I need to finish so I will make it a priority this summer.

Finally, I have Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make Room for More Happiness by Gretchen Rubin on my list. This is my last priority in this category though it looks like a quick read. It is full of quick tips and suggestions.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: Well, I read about half. Then I stopped. It’s just mantras and thoughts and it didn’t really inspire me.

—> My entire list of Books for Homeschooling Parents <—

Summer Booklist: Fiction

I love fiction books, particularly mysteries and thrillers so you will find several on this list but I am also trying to branch out to other genres this summer.

I am already in this middle of the Shades of Magic series, so I will definitely finish it. The first book is A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. It took me a little bit to keep everything straight, but now I am halfway through book two and completely hooked.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: I read the entire trilogy and really enjoyed this one.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr has been in my house so many times, but it is always due back before I find time to crack it open. This summer, I’ll be cracking it open and reading it.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: Great story. I’ve been waiting a long time to read this one and it did not disappoint.

Still Lives by Maria Hummel looks like an intriguing mystery. I love the idea of a mystery set in the LA art scene, so I can’t wait to dig in.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: Enjoyable murder mystery plot. Great read for summer fun.

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman was a selection chosen for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. It looks like another good, twisted plot…my favorite type of summer read.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this one. It was a great summer read.

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny is the second book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series. I am working my way through the very long series book by book.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: I am growing quite fond of Detective Gamache, much more so in this book. I will continue this series for sure!

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is one I don’t know a whole lot about. I’ve seen it on a few Instagram posts and I have heard good things so I am diving in.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: I had no idea what to expect in this one, but I LOVED it. The story captured me and I loved the way it was told through letters at some point and then a rotating POV.

My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Deeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul looks like an enjoyable read for sitting by the pool. I suspect I’ll have a few more books to add to my list once I read it.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: This one didn’t draw me in. I didn’t relate to her stories or thoughts surrounding the books. I stopped reading after 3 chapters.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin has a ton of amazing reviews and I am intrigued by the plot. What would it be like if you knew what day you were going to die? I guess I’ll find out one author’s theory.

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: WALK AWAY. Not only was there VERY ADULT CONTENT (sexual) in the first section, but the plot was disappointing. The basic book premise had so much potential, but it didn’t pan out. I read the first two of the four stories, despite having to skim the content of the first, and found that I wasn’t engaged at all. I skimmed to the end and was glad I hadn’t spent any more time on it.

I Found You by Lisa Jewell had me when the Library Journal declared that, “Readers of Liane Moriarty, Paula Hawkins, and Ruth Ware will love.” I am ready to give Lisa a try with this one!

THOUGHTS AFTER READING: Great read. Mystery and intrigue. This one moved quickly and was definitely my type of book.

I am looking forward to a summer with an open book on my lap! I suspect there are more titles on the list than I’ll be able to read, but I’ll never be without a book.

If you are interested in checking out the titles I didn’t choose this summer, but don’t want to forget then you can find them below:

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
The Light we Lost by Jill Santopolo
You Think it, I’ll Say it by Curtis Sittenfeld
The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey
The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After Happiness: A Memoir by Heather Harpham
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

Got a title you would add to the list in the future?

Related Posts:

Literature List for Our 7th and 8th Grade Book Club
Booklist for our 5th and 6th grade Book Club
Ultimate Collection of Book Club Celebrations for Kids


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  1. The Huntress by Kate Quinn- three soldier hunt a runaway Nazi after war is over. I could not put this down.

  2. Thanks for the list, Mary. I’m off to see if I can find some of them in my Kindle Unlimited subscription!

  3. What a great list! I’ve already enjoyed 5 of these titles, and I’m reading one of them now 🙂 Sounds like we are bookish kindred spirits!

  4. I love your summer reading suggestions! I always enjoy them! Went to Greece with my daughter last summer and stumbled on the fabulous book Lovely War by Julie Berry. I think you’d love it as much as I did! I couldn’t put it down and fell so in love with the characters.

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