Summer Reads

There is nothing that I would rather do than read as a pastime.  I love it and always have.  If you asked me what my perfect vacation would be there is always built in time for laying around and reading.  One of my favorite parts of traveling without kids is that I can read on the plane...crazy I know.  This past summer Bret and I took a vacation to celebrate our 10 year anniversary to Jamaica.  It was an amazing trip and we a great time with our friends but my  favorite part was when we would sit under a cabana on the beach and we would read, snooze, wade in the water, and then read some more.  It was so relaxing.
A few years ago Bret bought me a Kindle for my birthday.  It was a big deal because this more money than we usually spend on birthday presents and it was kind of expensive since it was still pretty new.  I still have this same Kindle and I can honestly say it changed my life.  Instead of having to pack 5 books on every trip I just pack it.  It also makes me feel way less guilty buying new releases because they normally don't cost TWICE as much as paperbacks.  The easy access to new books is not the best thing for me though.  I don't have to wait until the next time I can run to a bookstore I can buy the next book in the middle of the night...not good people.  Bret is also completely clueless to how many books I have bought.
A few months ago I bought Bret's mom a Kindle and added it to my own account for the sole reason that she would then have access to my library without having to buy them.  We usually tend to read similar books and I thought this would be a good starting point for her.  Bret almost passed out when he saw that my kinds had 50 books on it to start.  The newest thing has been Kindle on my phone.  I love it!  Instead of playing Candycrush or any other apps I just read and I can't get enough.  I love that my phone is always with me, hooked up to the Internet (for new books instantly), and easy to charge.
So I thought that it would be fun to go over my top ten books that I read this past summer.  I would recommend all of these books and it was not as easy to narrow it down as you might think.  Don't be confused there are much better books out there than some of these but these are the top ones that I read this summer (most of which are new releases). 
1.  The Selection and The Elite by Kiera Cass
So I got on a little bit of a Young Adult series kick this summer.  I loved the Hunger Games series and when Amazon recommended a few new series I figured I would try them.  This three book series (the third book is not out yet) was by far my favorite of the summer.  It was a light read that kept the pages turning.  It reminded me a lot of the bachelor only the stakes are much more serious.  My sister and my mom read it and my mom asked me no less than three times if I was sure the next one wasn't out yet.  If I had a teenage daughter this would definitely be a series I would put in her hands.
2.  Divergent, Insurgent, and coming soon Allegiant by Veronica Roth
This is another Young Adult series and I loved it.  My sister borrowed my Kindle for the end of the summer so she could read some of the same books that I was reading and when she asked me for recommendations this was at the top of my list.  However I didn't think about the fact that reading these back to back with Selection would take away from the book.  So read both series but not one right after the other.  Jump through the list and come back to this one.  This book was much closer to the Hunger series which made me love it.  The characters were great and the love interest made me cheer for one of the guys.  The new book comes out in October and I can't wait.

3.  Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I loved this book.  It is a sad story and the first time I really cried at the end of a book.  I read this book into the wee hours of the morning to finish it because I just could not believe the ending.  I did not like the ending but like many good books that is OK and doesn't make any less of a great book.  The story is about a girl who is hired to take care of a young man that is a quadriplegic.

4.  The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
This book kept showing up on my Amazon recommended list and I kept ignoring it.  The premise is about a girl with problems that uses flowers to communicate with people through an old secret language.  Sounded weird to me.  Not finding anything else that sounded good to read I decided to give it a whirl and I really loved it.  The author is an amazing writer and it was so interesting to learn that there really is a language of flowers that royalty used to use back in the day to send secret messages to their lovers and friends. 

5.  The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
This book is about immigrants coming to America to make a better life for themselves and their families.  Twisted inside of this story there is a love story about two people who might be destined to be together.  The hand that life deals the many different characters breaks your heart in ways you never thought possible for them. 

6.  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Anytime you read a book about kids that have cancer you know that your heart is going to hurt for them.  This book takes that to a whole new level and makes you want to change the stars for them.  It is great how they tie in love and a sense of humor that made me laugh out loud at times. 

7.  The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
This book takes place on a southern plantation and really digs into life back then.  Once again the truth is never as it seems to be and as you follow along with the different characters your heart breaks in one chapter and you cheer in the next.

8.  Inferno by Dan Brown
If you have enjoyed any of Dan Brown's other major hits (The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons) you won't be disappointed in this one.  This was the book that Bret took with us on vacation and he finished it during our trip.  He too enjoyed this book as it was a great page turner full of adventure.  I love the way Brown ties in facts to make you really wonder.

9.  The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
In this book a couple lives on a deserted island and live in a light house.  They are separated from family, friends, and the rest of the world for months at a time back in the day.  Desperate for a baby an accident presents a choice that no one should ever have to make.  I think this book shows how sometimes doing what is right is not always black and white and more importantly how every choice affects more than one person.  Loved this book.

10.  Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Flynn wrote Gone Girl which has become a top seller recently.  After reading that book last spring I wanted to see what some of her other books were like.  Dark Places is another murder mystery with some crazy twists that you just don't see coming.  A great book that makes you want to sleep with the lights on.
So what books have you read lately that you loved?  Sometimes the disadvantage of having a Kindle is the opportunity to pass along books that you loved is thwarted.  I would love to hear what you are reading these days.

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