10 Must-Reads for Your Summer Book List

Lauren Miller is a sunshine-addicted, Florida-transplant to Mississippi, a coffee-lover, Noonday Ambassador, and book-nerd. As summer begins to draw nearer, thoughts of beach reads and lazy afternoons are filling our daydreams! Read on as Lauren shares 10 of her favorite books perfect for summer reading.

Summertime. Longer days. Warmer temps. BBQ. Lounging by the pool. Afternoons on the porch reading a thick book, sipping sweet tea while the dog snoozes at your feet. If you’re anything like me, you love and long for the slower pace of summer, and at the same time thank the good Lord for the genius who invented air conditioning.

Because those lazy days of sunshine are just around the corner, here are 10 books perfect for your summer reading list.

1. The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny

Set in a small, quaint village in Quebec, each story in this series follows police inspector Armand Gamache as he delves into the dark side of a seemingly idyllic town life. The characters are so quirky and likeable (or unlikeable, as the case may be)…it’s like Gilmore Girls meets Jan Karon’s Mitford series meet Agatha Christie mysteries. Simply delightful. *Side note: each book takes place during a different season of the year (the setting for book #1 is autumn), so if you like your reading life to match the seasons, these are perfect.

2. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Let me start off by saying that I took a chance on these…and I’m so glad I did. This series is Young Adult fairy tale meets science fiction, which is NOT in my typical wheelhouse. I mean Cinderella as a cyborg? But it works; it really does. I heard about them through the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog, www.modernmrsdarcy.com (and I trust her judgement), so I gave the first one a whirl – and LOVED it. These are just plain fun.

3. Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman

Emily P. Freeman has described her blog as a space for your soul to breathe, and this book does exactly that. It’s a literary summer breeze. For anyone who has felt overwhelmed by expectations, comparison, or hurry, Emily shows that relief is found more in our small moments, like an ordinary Tuesday, than in our fast movements.

*Bonus – It’s Simply Tuesday Coloring Book

Also, if coloring is your thing, the It’s Simply Tuesday Coloring Book was just released!

4. The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

If you love browsing magazines and Pinterest to get decorating ideas, but always feel like the homes pictured are just too perfect to be real…well, here’s your breath of fresh air. The tagline reads, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” Myquillyn’s words and pictures will set you free to make your home a place of rest and joy and nurturing. It’s the perfect lazy day coffee table book.

5. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

I fell in love with Anne in elementary school (along with just about every other girl in the history of the world), and I firmly believe that summertime is the perfect time to lose yourself in one of your favorite, familiar fictional worlds. *Side note: my husband took me to Prince Edward Island (where the story takes place) for our honeymoon. #HesAKeeper

6. Brazen by Leeana Tankersley

The word ‘brazen’ literally means “without shame.” As an introvert, I needed the gentle push this book provided to own my worth as a woman and unapologetically claim who – and Whose – I am created to be. This book is the most beautiful kick in the pants you’ve ever wanted.

7. The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

Think The Devil Wears Prada meets the digital age. This is straight-up chick lit, and I couldn’t put it down. Perfect for reading by the pool.

8. The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand

Set in a Nantucket restaurant during the summer holidays, this story weaves a sweet romance with an air of mystery. A perfect beach vacation read…it will simultaneously make you hungry and want to visit Nantucket.

9. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

This book wins the Fattest Book category. And I’m almost ashamed to admit that I had never read it up until about two years ago. I remember thinking “Holy cow, this is taking forever to read” and also “I don’t want to say goodbye to these people.” I loved Scarlett O’Hara’s spunk one minute, and then wanted to slap her silly the next. It’s a southern classic for a reason.

10. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This book and movie came out right around the time I got married and moved to Mississippi. I initially began reading it as research, an attempt to understand the history behind my newly adopted home state. Before I knew it, I was cheering on these brave, sassy Southern women in a story about the lines we keep and the lines that are meant to be crossed.

Happy summer reading, y’all!

Meet Lauren Miller

Lauren Miller is a sunshine-addicted, Florida transplant to Mississippi, a coffee-lover and a book-nerd. As a former teacher, she’s had the opportunity to teach both in the U.S. and in Asia, and loves experiencing different cultures. She and her husband have one dog, Piper, who they adopted from a shelter and who considers herself a lap dog at 40 pounds. Lauren and her husband are currently in the process of adopting (children, not canines) internationally as well. Noonday’s work in vulnerable communities around the world, as well as its roots in adoption, made it a perfect fit for Lauren, and she loves connecting women across the globe through stories and jewelry. You can find her on her blog, Balloons of Hope, where she writes about rest, connection and finding hope in everyday life.

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