It’s no secret that I’m a huge bookworm. From the moment my mom taught me to read “Hop on Pop” by Dr. Seuss, I’ve been devouring book after book. My bookshelves are overflowing and I know the employees at the local library by name. Classics, mysteries, young adult … I read it all.
It may sound cliché, but I like my summer reads to be light and fluffy. I want to read books that will make me smile and feel good as I enjoy them poolside or outdoors under the stars. The problem is, there are a lot of those types of reads out there and a lot of them aren’t very good. So, to save you some trouble, I thought I’d share my favorite summer reads.
1. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
This book has it all: romance, family, and a touch of magic. Claire, the central character, is a caterer who has a knack for using edible flowers and herbs grown in the family garden that have the ability to affect those who consume them in powerful ways. It is hard for me to describe why I enjoy this book so much. All I can say is that it is enchanting and delightful.
2. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
I’m a sucker for books that take place in small towns and are centered around a quirky cast of characters. This story takes place in a small mining town in the Appalachian Mountains and focuses on Ave Maria, the town “spinster” and her group of friends as they come together to plan musicals and a parade to welcome a visiting Elizabeth Taylor to Big Stone Gap. This book is both funny and heartwarming. It may also make you want to pack your bags and head to a small town, even if for just a day.
3. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Books about books … Is there anything better? The small, rundown town of Broken Wheel, Iowa, is turned upside down by Sara, a traveler from Scotland. Sara has arrived to visit her longtime pen pal Amy, who unbeknownst to her, has just passed away. The people of Broken Wheel take Sara under their wing and in return allow (albeit reluctantly) her to share her love of books with them. A touch of romance and a whole lot of charm.
4. The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag
When Alba finds her academic career at a crossroads, she stumbles upon a house she has never seen before. She is greeted by Peggy, an older woman, who invites her to stay at the house under the conditions she has 99 nights to figure out her life. Once inside the house, Alba learns the house is anything but ordinary, and previous guests include Beatrix Potter and George Eliot, who still remain in the home in the form of talking portraits that advise the latest guests. While the premise for this book sounds a little odd, I assure you that is wonderfully whimsical.
5. Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg
Most people are familiar with Fannie Flagg and don’t realize it. She’s the author of “Fried Green Tomatoes.” While I enjoy that book, “Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man” is by far my favorite by her. There was a time in my life when I only read classics and turned my nose up a bit at anything contemporary. After finding myself in a huge reading rut, I decided to find something lighter. A trip through the blogosphere had me reaching for this treasure. Again, this book takes place in a small, suburban town and is the story of a young girl just trying to make something of herself. (Aren’t we all?) The book is full of malt shops and debutante balls, and will keep you laughing long after the story is over.
Just writing this list for you has me itching to pick up one of my old favorites. If only my to-read list wasn’t already miles long. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do!
What’s on your summer reading list? Leave a comment below and share which books you can’t wait to spend some time savoring this season.
Editor-In-Chief, Bella Grace Magazine