5 Books to Read This Summer


I am a self-proclaimed bookworm and love reading every chance I get. I am a part of a book club that meets monthly and I also am always adding to a note in my phone when I hear of great books.

A couple of times a month I gleefully walk into my local library and put my latest reads in the return bin and head to the online database to search for a few new books from my list.

I don't really have a specific genre that I am always drawn to - I like to switch it up and challenge myself to read different styles. It helps to keep my imagination and learning going while also guaranteeing to keep things interesting. 

My favorite thing about reading is that it can virtually transport you to any time, place, or situation imaginable. If you’re reading a book by a skilled author you begin to feel yourself connecting with the characters in the story and almost forget where you are while you’re reading. 

Summer is the prime time to read - there is nothing better than heading to the park or a patio and getting lost in a book and getting a nice sun tan and dose of Vitamin D at the same time. 

Here are 5 book suggestions for your summer reading list. These are all books I have read over the course of the last year and each of them is a different genre and style so there is something for everyone! I also challenge you to pick up something even if you don't think it's your normal kind of pick - often times it will pleasantly surprise you!

1) The Heart's Invisible Furies - John Boyne


This is truly the best book that I have read in a long time. John Boyne is the author of "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" and this story is truly one of a kind. It is a tale of uncertainty, a secretive life, painful discovery, the joy in growing up, and the freeing feeling that comes with accepting who you are.

The book follows the story of Cyril Avery from boyhood to adulthood in Ireland in the 1940s. It follows Cyril's struggles with his personal identity throughout all stages of his life as well as his struggle to love Ireland and the stages it goes through as a country and homeland. Boyne writes with great emotional depth while also incorporating humor in a refreshing and brilliant way. This is one book I could barely stand to put down. 

2) Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult


Let me start off by saying that this is quite different than most Jodi Picoult books that I had read in the past and it was still an excellent read. As someone who now works in the healthcare industry, this book was a fascinating look at the ethical, moral, religious, personal beliefs that are intertwined in people's ability to give medical care and how everyone has such a different lens or journey that they are expecting when they are getting care in a clinic or hospital setting.

Small Great Things follows an African American female nurse through a dilemma in her career and the after effects of a choice she makes for a patient in a dire situation. This is another page-turner and definitely full of raw strength and emotion. 

3) The Boys in the Boat - Daniel James Brown


This book is an inspirational story of adversity, triumph, and pride as it walks through the journey of the American rowing team as they prepare, train for, and experience the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. The team of nine young gentlemen goes through lots of exciting and trying times as they prepare to compete on the world stage in their sport.

This story built a lot of excitement and pride in the American national teams and athletes for me and gave me a window into a sport that I knew nothing about. If you're looking for an inspiring read this should definitely be your pick!

4) The Girls of Atomic City - Denise Kiernan


This is a total girl power book if there ever was one! The Girls of Atomic City tells the tale of the American women who served as behind the scenes heroes of World War II. As American men were overseas fighting American women worked their tails off at home producing supplies for the military and filling in in the world of physical, taxing work.

This story talks about the well kept secret in the mountains of Tennessee where women were hard at work on The Manhattan Project - building the atomic bombs that started the beginning of the end of the war. The women were kept in the dark about the work that they were doing and began to piece things together the longer they spent working on the site. This is an eye-opening and fascinating tale about a hidden part of one of the pivotal events in modern United States History that shows how women contributed to the American military story. 

5) You are a Badass - Jen Sincero


Last, but CERTAINLY not least, is a book for the ages. I am sure by now many of you have heard of this book. If for some reason you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?! This book opens the door for an entirely different style of "self-help" and lights a fire in all of us while giving us an extremely healthy dose of tough love and reality that we all need.

I laughed out loud more times than I could count in this book as Sincero has a unique way of writing that makes you feel like she is talking right to YOU - and I mean that. She connects to you and reaches through the pages to remind you that you are a badass and can do absolutely anything you set your mind to. This is a book I will come back to again and again because I know it provides such a refreshing and honest perspective on the human potential. 

I hope this list brings you joy and gives you at least one (if not 5!) new books to dig in to over the next couple of months. 

What's on your reading list this summer?

Tara Jen Regimbal
Jen is a North Dakota-based blogger and a firm believer that #midwestisbest. During the day she works full time in Human Resources and is a part-time master's student, on top of writing her blog, Sugar Spice and Style That's Nice. She's the proud mom of a Goldendoodle named Luna, and spends her spare time DIY-ing, decorating her townhouse, singing loudly in the shower and reading any book she can get her hands on. She also loves writing and creating blog content and spending as much time as possible with friends and family.