I’m such a fan of a good summer reading list. And in the fall and winter months, I equally enjoy getting comfy and cozy on the patio, or in the living room with a fire burning, immersed in a good book. Vino in hand, of course.
Being an avid reader, I dabble in every genre and I’m always on the hunt for a new reading adventure. When I want to escape my current reality and completely unwind, my “go to” genre is fiction. Specifically the kind of stories that are “keepers” you continually resurrect for another love affair. So, I’ve compiled a list of some of my most favorite quick reads that will leave you enchanted, laughing (snorting, in some cases), exploring, and falling in love with dynamic characters.
In no particular order …
The Doctor’s Wife (Elizabeth Brundage). A literary suspense of infidelity and all that comes with unpopular career choices, as Dr. Michael Knowles and his journalist-turn- teacher wife, Annie, transplant themselves from the big city to a small town in upstate NY. Rich with unpredictable mystery.
A Bend in the Road (Nicholas Sparks). I know what you’re thinking … I can’t be mourning for days after reading another Sparks’ book. I’m right there with you. I read Sparks’ books in moderation as to not propel myself into a state of utter depression. This one though … is … a … must. Inspired by Sparks’ brother-in-law, this story surrounds Miles Ryan, Deputy Sheriff of New Bern, NC who is also a widower and proud father to son, Jonah. Enter new to town Sarah who is recently recovering from a terribly emotional divorce. These two find solace and comfort in one another, but a shocking secret will cause them to reevaluate everything. [Gah! So good]
Good in Bed (Jennifer Weiner). This one is snort worthy. If you’re looking for a light hearted, witty read, look no further. Often compared to Bridget Jones [LOVE], character Candace (Cannie) Shapiro is an absolute riot. Complete with a recent confusing breakup with Bruce, beloved dog Nifkin, her plastic surgeon father and nutty family, her passion for producing her first screenplay, ridiculous diet programs and more, this book delivers everything you need to root for the underdog and cheer Cannie into every bit of success her heart desires!
The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd). I adore this book and have read it at least ten times. Told from the lens of tenacious 14yr old Lily, this story oozes all those Southern feels of hospitality and healing. It’s serendipitous to see how gravitation towards certain things and places can reveal the answers to all the questions Lily has dearly clung to.
Plain Truth (Jodi Picoult). Another incredible mystery surrounding a newborn’s death in the Amish community and the trial that follows. Layered with drama from start to finish, this novel is completely absorbing and will leave you feverishly turning pages to finish!
The Red Tent (Anita Diamant). This historical drama is told thru the lens of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and sister of Joseph. Author, Anita Diamant, imaginatively explored this Biblical character, who had one line in the Bible, and brilliantly crafted it into a beautiful story of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (Kim Edwards). Have your tissues handy for this one. This story surrounds the birth of twins, delivered by their father, Dr. David Henry in the 1960s. David delivers a healthy son, Paul, to start. But when his little girl is born, he notices she has Down Syndrome. Afraid of the complications and all the potential hardships she could face, he gives the girl to his nurse, Caroline, to put into a private care facility, telling his wife their daughter passed. After a series of events, Caroline never makes it to the facility and raises the little girl as her own. What follows is an incredible tale of love, regret, strength, deceit, and so much more. An emotional rollercoaster, but a raw and beautiful story.
The Shack (William P. Young). This Christian novel was originally self published and quickly became a USA Today and New York Times bestseller. The story follows the life of Mack Phillips and a camping trip he takes with three of his children. When one of his children goes missing, Mack is forced to face several demons in life. This story will completely captivate you as you experience Mack’s spiritual journey hand-in-hand.
The aforementioned books are just a few of my favorites and I’m always looking for a new adventure. Please share any of your must reads below – would love to check them out!