Thursday, June 19, 2014


As much as I dreaded summer reading when I was in school, the idea of someone handing me a list of pre-approved books for my choosing sounds great now.  So in that sentiment, I bring you part one of my Summer Reading List.  This list is compiled of books that I have read and enjoyed.  Part two will consist of books that are on my "To Read" list.

*all descriptions are borrowed from Amazon

War Brides by Helen Bryan

This is one of those great books that you spend the first part trying to figure out when and how all of the stories will come together.  Not to mention, it totally played into my infatuation with World War II.  If you like this, I highly recommend The Sisterhood, also by Helen Bryan.

"With war threatening to spread from Europe to England, the sleepy village of Crowmarsh Priors settles into a new sort of normal: Evacuees from London are billeted in local homes. Nightly air raids become grimly mundane. The tightening vice of rationing curtails every comfort. Men leave to fight and die. And five women forge an unlikely bond of friendship that will change their lives forever."

Serena by Ron Rash

This is being made into a movie with Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper!  If you live in the East Tennessee/North Carolina area, it's really interesting to hear about the history of the Smoky Mountain National Park. 

"The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan to create a timber empire. Although George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate child, Serena is new to the mountains—but she soon shows herself to be the equal of any man, overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving her husband's life in the wilderness. Together this lord and lady of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or vanquish all who fall out of favor. Yet when Serena learns that she will never bear a child, she sets out to murder the son George fathered without her."

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

If you loved the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl then you should absolutely ready this one or her other novel, Dark Places.  All three are scheduled to be made into movies and have enthralling stories with a dark twist.  

"Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly."

All But My Life: A Memoir by Gerda Weissmann Klein

Remember the aforementioned fascination with WWII?  This is a true story not meant for a weak stomach but it will absolutely move you to tears.

"All But My Life is the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein's six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her comfortable home in Bielitz (present-day Bielsko) in Poland to her miraculous survival and her liberation by American troops--including the man who was to become her husband--in Volary, Czechoslovakia, in 1945, Gerda takes the reader on a terrifying journey."

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

This is the first in an upcoming trilogy.  It is long (804 pages), with some gruesome descriptions, but is a fantastic thriller that keeps you guessing who the good guys really are.

"Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor and pillar of the community has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Once a crusading prosecutor, Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense.  Penn's quest for the truth sends him deep into his father's past, where a sexually charged secret lies waiting to tear their family apart. More chilling, this long-buried sin is only a single thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK controlled by some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the state."

I realize most of these recommendations aren't exactly thoughtless, chick-lit, beach reads so if that's what you're in the mood for try:  Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close, The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, and The Only & Only by Emily Giffin.  What have you read lately?  Please share!


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