My Summer Reading List

photoOne of the most common questions I get as an author is “What are you reading?” It’s a question I LOVE, because as a book nerd, I thoroughly enjoy swapping book suggestions, dissecting plots and characters and just plain talking books with other people. This week on the Ball we’re each sharing our summer reading lists (either our favorites or what’s in our TBR stack) and we highly encourage your feedback! What are you reading? What have you loved? What do you have on the beach with you RIGHT NOW? (And if you’re on the beach why didn’t you invite me??????)

So, in no particular order, here are six (of the trazillion) books on my summer reading list:

1. The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft. Kathryn was kind enough to stop by The Debutante Ball a few weeks ago when this novel came out. I loved her interview and was especially intrigued/gut-punched that this book was inspired by the true events of her first husband’s suicide standoff. I finished it last week and it lived up to the intensity I thought it would. But it also surprisingly leaves you with a feeling of hope. Well done, Kathryn. (And if you like this one, make sure you pick up Kathryn’s debut The Art of Falling).

2. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. OK, so I think I did Rainbow Rowell backwards. I’ve been hearing such great things about her (and I follow her on Twitter and find her hysterically funny and smart), but the first book I picked up of hers was Fangirl, and though it was interesting and well-written, I think I just wasn’t the right audience/demographic for it. But I’m glad I stuck with her and picked up Attachments (which I also incidentally picked for my book club pick this summer), because it was everything I thought she would be as a writer from her Twitter personality— laugh-out-loud funny, emotionally tender and she just nails female friendships. I read this one in a few hours on my way home from a beach trip. It’s quick and fun and I highly recommend.

3. Finders Keepers by Stephen King. Do I need to explain? I heart Stephen King. I read all his books when they come out. The end.

4. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons. An Aussie friend of mine recommended this a few years ago and said was her favorite love story of all time. So I looked for it in the library and couldn’t find it and then promptly forgot about it. Then, lo and behold, it caught on here in the States and suddenly last month my book groups on Facebook were all aflutter about it, so I bought it and can’t wait to dig in.

5. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett. Though she’s one of my favorite writers of all time (hello, Bel Canto????? I die.), I’ve embarassingly never read her first book. I’m remedying that this summer.

6. I Shall Be Near to You, by Erin Lindsay McCabe. One of my favorite book bloggers, Hannah from So Obsessed With… listed out her top 20 favorite reads of the past three years and there were a few I hadn’t read, so I immediately bought them. This is one of them and the premise — a woman who disguises herself as a man to fight beside her husband in the Civil War— is so fascinating to me. My mom already read it and gave me two thumbs up, so I’m even more excited to start reading. Thank you, Hannah!

Talk books to me in the comments: What are reading this summer? Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Author: Colleen Oakley

Colleen Oakley is the author of BEFORE I GO (Simon & Schuster/Gallery, Jan. 2015), a love story. A former editor for Marie Claire and Women's Health & Fitness, she's now an Atlanta-based freelance writer. Find out more at

3 Replies to “My Summer Reading List”

  1. Oh, I’m new to Ann Patchett (I know, how did I miss her??) and read STATE OF WONDER this past winter. I LOVED IT. BEL CANTO is up next for me! Putting the rest of these on my TBR list …

  2. I’m so happy this is our topic for this week! I can write this post lickety-split! And woohoo for ATTACHMENTS!! Such a great book — I just read it again and loved it even more.

  3. Ann Patchett in general, YES!, but Bel Canto? Brilliance. The Patron Saint of Liars is solid.

    I’d add Wiley Cash to your list if you haven’t read his two (although I preferred the second to the first but it’s nearly like picking your favorite child). And I just read The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward. Beauty. That one will stick with me.

Comments are closed.