Every day it seems—twice a day, even. The post appears on Facebook, Instagram, even Twitter. “Show us your TBR pile!”
Also, for those who’ve managed to avoid all that internet speak, “TBR,” just means to be read. Beautiful pictures of stacks of books… They make my heart sing. Oh, they do. But they also make my eyes turn to a poison green (not really—just enjoy the semi-literary flight of fancy).
You see, a decade ago, I couldn’t comprehend a “TBR” pile—not of books that you hadn’t already read. If I dashed down to the bookstore and bought three or four books, they’d be read by morning. I just never had a “fresh pile” lying around.
I do now.
Enter full-time writing. Yep. When your free time dwindles to no time at all, the important things often get shoved by the wayside. Organizing your cabinets, making meals, cleaning the closet… oh yeah, and binge-reading four books in a day. Those nights of stumbling to brush my teeth in a book-drunk stupor? GONE.
It’s so sad.
Fortunately, to write well, one must read. So, I do. But not as much as I’d like. But this summer, I was determined. I’d collect recommended books, books I’d been dying to read for ages, and books I’ve been wanting to finish but never had time. And I’d try to get through as many as possible. I’d compile a great list of “summer reads.”
Ten, though. I promised myself ten full books.
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So… My Top 10 Anticipated Summer Reads & Why They Made the Cut
*note: I have not read these, but since all but 3 mentioned are Christian fiction and the others were recommended to me by conscientious readers, I do not expect objectionale material in them.
1. On Love’s Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson
The last book in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series—how could I not? Well, and I’m almost done with it. For the second time. In a row. Just sayin’. Stay tuned for the review on July 4th!
2. Death by the Book by Julianna Deering
3. Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma
I’ve been half done with this book for ages which is WEIRD. Because usually, if I can put a book down, it’s not that good of a book. But this one is! It’s really good. Holds my attention! I’m dying to finish. So I am. And then I can finally review the second book in the series, Daisies are Forever.
4. Never Tomorrow by Judith Rolfs
I received this as a gift when I met Judith last fall, and I’ve been dying to read it since. It’s time to do that. She won out over Purple Rain on Dogwood Lilies by giving it to me just a few days before Brian Voigt gave me his. I think his goes on the Autumn Reads list. What do you think?
5. Storming by K.M. Weiland
When Katie sent me this book, I was DYING to start it that minute. And I did. But I made myself put it away after a few paragraphs and use it as a reward. I’ve done that a few times, and even reread bits while my ankle healed, but surprisingly, I couldn’t read much with my bum ankle. So, I am letting myself finish. Because I can. And because this is a seriously good book.
6. A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham
So we all know how much I LOVED Pepper’s Just the Way You Are—despite the abundance of lip-lock in the thing. Well, she recommended this book as one that might hide the red cheeks that only make me look like I forgot sunscreen in this blazing heat.
7. Unplanned: A Kennedy Stern Suspense by Alanna Terry
I was just going to buy the one book, but EEEP! The whole set is available for 9.99. I’m going to go by the recommendations and reviews and nab that sucker while I can. Besides, that makes it count as one book, so I can read three in one! WOOT!
8. Being Dead Is No Excuse by Gayden Metcalfe & Charlotte Hays
Don’t the authors’ names scream southern? Yep! This was a gift from April, one of my readers. When I met her last autumn, she thrust this book into my hands and told me I had to read it for my research on the upcoming series I have planned. It takes place in Savannah, so I’ve got to get that stuff right, you know? A few minutes later, while I worked on my friend’s porch, she dashed across the street and popped another book in the mail slot— Sue Ellen’s Girl Ain’t Fat. She Just Weighs Heavy by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson. That goes on the autumn reads list, too—at the top. So I can truthfully say I read it—and probably have to admit I shouldn’t have waited so long.
9. Eleni by Nicholas Gage
My dear Greek friend, Vicky, gave me this book for my birthday last year and I STILL haven’t read it. Well, guess what? I’m reading it for my birthday THIS year. YEAH. I can’t wait. My daughter has at least read some of it because she told me it was sad. Can’t wait. It looks amazing.
10. Life After by Katherine Ganshert
Okay, I didn’t choose this one JUST because it takes place in Chicago, or because it feels like it’s going to have a taste of another favorite Chicago fictional story for me—the movie Return to Me. No… I really did choose it because it looks like a fabulously crafted story. I hope I’m right. Oh, and on Return to Me? LOVE that movie. But Jim Belushi needs a filter on his mouth a time or three. Just warnin’ you.
Which ones didn’t make the summer reads cut this time?
In case you can’t read that picture, I thought I’d share the ones that didn’t make it for summer, but probably will for autumn!
- In Plain Sight by Marlayne Giron. Aliens among the Amish? C’mon. I’ve gotta check it out, right?
- Purple Rain on Dogwood Lilies by Brian Voigt. The next book is coming out soon. Gotta catch up!
- People of the Book by Kathi Macias. Read the synopsis. It says it all!
- Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin. You know, I’ve been dying to read her books for ages. It’s time.
- Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl. It was recommended. The reviews look great. That’s all I need!
- Hazardous Duty by Christy Barritt. I’ve been meaning to read these for years. I OWN THEM ALL. My husband has read them all. In fact, I even have a book signed to him by her. It’s time.
- The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron. Look, every time I see a “What are you reading” list or a “What should I read” post, someone mentions this book. Then a bunch of people jump on and say, “THAT BOOK IS AMAZING!” So, I want to see if I agree! (Bet I do!)
- Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor. The only reason this book didn’t make the summer reads final cut is that I couldn’t find it on Kindle and I don’t know the guy enough to know if I’d want to pay to ship it to another reader or not. That’s the only reason.
- Who Is Harrison Sawyer? By Aaron Gansky. I saw Gansky and automatically read “Alton Gansky” instead of Aaron. I loved Distant Memory, so I chose this. And it looks good. Even if it isn’t the “right guy.”
- A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawanna Blackwell. I loved her Gresham Chronicles books, so I thought I’d give this one a shot, too.
- The Sweetest Rain by Myra Johnson. Frankly, I chose it because it takes place in the 30s. And it’s time for a good 30s book for me.
- The Spindle Chair by Shellie Arnold. I wasn’t that intrigued by the synopsis, but the “A Happily Even After” tagline for the series? Sold me on giving it a shot.
- 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith. My daughter bought me the series at the thrift store—in hardback. I loved the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency “movies,” so it’s time to see if I love these, too!
- The Memoir of Johnny Divine by Camille Eide. Confession. I almost bumped one of the ones up there for this one. I’m REALLY dying to read it. It sounds AWESOME! Sigh.
There you have it. And because I love you guys, I’ll share one of my reads with one of you if you’ll tell me what’s on your summer reads list, and if any of these intrigue you! What do you think?