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From the desk of Deanne Paul, Ambassador for FOREVER®

A glance at the May calendar, its squares filled with end of year activities and events, seems to taunt. Will summer ever arrive? In this most notoriously busy month, it’s normal to long for the hectic school year schedule to subside. When it does, one of the best perks is a little extra leisure time to pick up a book and read! With a desire to create my own summer book list, I perused online resources and sought the input of a variety of avid readers and book club junkies, as well as those “sometimes readers” who were willing to share their all time favorites. Whether you’ll be poolside, ocean side, or off to an exotic adventure, one of these titles that piqued my interest might be perfect to toss into your summer vacation bag, too.

 

Contemporary Fiction

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

By Phaedra Patrick

BUY The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

This debut novel of Phaedra Patrick is commonly described as charming and endearing. If you choose to pick this one up, you’ll enjoy a journey of love and self-discovery with 69-year old widower, Arthur Pepper. Upon discovering an old charm bracelet of his deceased wife, he embarks on a pilgrimage of sorts, learning about his wife before they ever met. I’m looking forward to diving into what promises to be a tender and insightful read.

 

Based on Historical Events

Before We Were Yours

By Lisa Wingate

BUY Before We Were Yours

 I suspect this riveting story centered on the scandalous practice of kidnapping and selling poor children to the wealthy will be an unforgettable one. Based on unsealed documents from The Tennessee Children’s Home that revealed nearly three decades of criminal activity of orphanage Director Georgia Tann, the author weaves a tale of discovery that is sure to be a page-turner. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one.

 

Oldie But Goodie

Redeeming Love

By Francine Rivers

BUY Redeeming Love 

This book was recommended to me years ago and I had forgotten the title (and never read it) until interestingly, it came up several times in my recent search and inquiry for a good summer read. This is not for the faint of heart. Set in the California Gold Rush of the early 1800s, it is the story of a woman whose heart was hardened due to gut wrenching circumstances of selling her body and soul. The beauty comes from experiencing the unconditional love and patience of a godly man, Michael Hosea. This is a retelling of the Bible story of Hosea and Gomer. It may not be a short read or an easy read, but I suspect the power of God’s mercy and love will leave the reader with hope, healing and inspiration.

 

Modern Classic

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

By Betty Smith

BUY A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

This may be one of those books that stays with you and is worth a re-read if you’ve read it before. Appealing to young adults as a coming of age story, it is described as one that will speak to the reader in new ways at the second or even third read with the insight of a new stage in life. The themes are universal across time, which is the making of a true classic. A trip through emotions from laughter to heartache awaits those who journey with the young idealistic Francie Nolan, in turn of the century Williamsburg. I don’t know how I missed this classic, but let the journey begin this summer!

 

Humorous Fiction

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

By: Gail Honeyman

BUY Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

 

If you’ve not yet read this one, add it to your list to read this summer – or at least before the movie release anticipated in February 2020. This romantic comedy is about a quirky young woman, an equally quirky IT guy from her office, and their unlikely friendship that develops with an elderly man after they come to his aide. I expect this one to be funny, sad, and surprising as we grow with Eleanor, learning more about who she is. Truly, we are all more than what is visible on the surface.

 

Suspense-filled Thriller

The Woman in the Window

By AJ Finn

BUY The Woman in the Window

Are you looking for a psychological thriller that touts suspense and promises surprise twists? This may be the answer to the search for a story that keeps your summer on edge. The protagonist is a recluse suffering from agoraphobia who occupies her days watching life pass by outside her window. When she is certain she witnesses a crime, her life is turned upside down. What will she do? If you liked The Girl on the Train, this seems to follow in that genre and you’ll want to add this to your list!

I hope you’ll find time to get lost in a good book this summer. If you pick up one of these, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

To read more about McKinney, head over to our Visit McKinney page.

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