Reading: Sizzlin’ Summer Reads 2019

Another summer reading presentation has passed us by and this time it was a resounding success — 40 people! Double the turnout we had at our last presentation. DOUBLE! I love doing these presentations and I’m so grateful that Anbolyn and CPL still allow me to participate. Though I will say I was feeling a little burned out this time around, but the wonderful attendance and the lovely feedback we heard from attendees makes it so worth it.


The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo is easily one of my favorite summer reads. It’s reminiscent of my favorite family-centered dramas like Parenthood, Brothers & Sisters, and This Is Us. In the spirit of Jonathan Franzen but written by a woman and without all of the references to feces, this is hand’s down one of the best explorations into family dynamics I’ve read.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
The Nest by Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney
The Vacationers by Emma Straub


When I was 14, I visited California for the first time. I remember driving by a castle and then looking over at a man in a convertible who my brother in law tried to convince me was Antonio Bandares, and I thought…man, LA is weird. The Castle on Sunset is a definitive history of one of Hollywood’s most iconic and scandal-filled hotels.

The Stars in Our Eyes: The Famous, the Infamous, and Why We Care Way Too Much About Them by Julie Klam
Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century by Nancy Schoenberger and Sam Kashner

The Farm by Joanne ramos

The lives of four incredibly different women intersects at Golden Oaks, a high-end facility for surrogate mothers to the wealthy. The reasons the women in the novel choose to visit Golden Oaks is so varied, each of their journeys will open up lots of discussion topics for book clubs.

Bump by Megan McCafferty
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

rules for visiting by jessica francis kane

A university gardener sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with four old friends over the course of a year. This book made me consider my own friendships — do I have a “fortnight friend”? May, the main character, is a lover of words, enjoys gardening, and is a fan of cats – she’s kind of my literary soulmate.

The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Little by Edward Carey
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Vessel by lisa a nichols

An astronaut returns to Earth after losing her entire crew to an inexplicable disaster, but is her version of what happened true? This is a fast-paced psychological thriller even though it has a pretty limited cast.

The Martian by Andy Weir
Wanderers by Meg Howry
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

City of girls by elizabeth gilbert

City of Girls is a novel set in 1940s New York about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a “good girl” to be a good person. The characters sparkle. It’s a great escape from your troubles and so much fun to get into trouble with Vivian.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

recursion by blake crouch

A terrifying scientific discovery will lead two people on a quest to stop it from happening. There’s a mysterious phenomenon occurring called the False Memory Syndrome. No one is sure of what it really is – is it a virus? Is it a collective unconscious? Is it like the Berenstain Bears vs Berenstein Bears. (Reminded me a little of DOLLHOUSE — go watch it!)

Afterlives by Thomas Pierce
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
Sourdough by Robin Sloan

wanderers by chuck wendig

A mysterious sleepwalking affliction captures the attention of the nation as a virus sweeps across the globe. If you’ve been looking for Stephen King-esque novels, this is so perfect.

The Stand by Stephen King
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Fireman by Joe Hill

hollow kingdom by kira jane buxton

One pet crow fights to save humanity from extinction after his mofo’s eyeball falls out. Hollow Kingdom taught me more about crows than I ever really thought I would want or need to know, but I’m glad I know it now. Because it’s all about murder…or family. I love the unique perspective — both because we follow a crow and it’s an animal’s look at the apocalypse.

The Waking Land by Callie Bates
Artemis by Andy Weir
Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines

YOU’ve been volunteered by laurie gelman

Gelman drops us into Jen Dixon’s life one more time as she navigates being a room parent. The politics, the gossip, the sass — so much fun to read.

The Hive by Gill Hornby
How to Party with an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

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