My Summer Reading List

My 2016 Summer Reading List | gimmesomeoven.com/life

This post is sponsored by Audible, and contains affiliate links.

Alright, who’s ready to talk summer reading lists??

I know, I know, it’s not technically summer yet.  But after wearing my favorite comfy sundress, paddle-boating around the lake, sitting with friends around a campfire watching the stars, and eating all the watermelon yesterday on Memorial Day, I feel like we’re close enough.  So here’s my summer reading list!

Actually, here’s my summer audio-reading list.

Because, guys, I’m on a mission this year to balance out my podcast-listening (which had gotten a little outta control) with my audiobook-listening (which I absolutely love).  Are any of you in this same boat?  I mean, I love podcasts and always will.  But I always feel like audiobooks have a totally different vibe, and I love getting swept up in a story and then returning to it again and again whenever I’m taking the dog for a walk, or out driving, or cooking up a storm, or doing the dishes.  (<– Which, if your computer or phone speakers aren’t loud enough to be heard over the clang of dishes, I highly recommend looking into one of these speakers.  I finally bit the bullet and purchased one a few months ago, and immediately wished I had done so years ago.  It’s awesome, and lets me listen to audiobooks while cooking without headphones, and that way Barclay or other friends can listen along too.  Just had to tell you!)

Without a doubt, my go-to place when I’m looking to purchase audiobooks has always been Audible.  They have a killer selection of audio programs (over 250,000 actually, that are all easy to purchase on Amazon), they have a killer app (that also has my favorite option of playing books at 1.5 the normal speed), and they also have a 30-day trial with a free download for new users (which you should absolutely check out if you haven’t before).

So here are my picks for audiobooks to listen to this summer, along with a few reasons for why I’ve chosen each one.  Would love to hear if some of you have read them before, and what books are on your summer reading list.

Happy audio-reading!  

Station Eleven

Because I Missed It In Book Club Last Month…

Station Eleven | By Emily St. John Mandel

My book club read this book this May, but I had a scheduling conflict and wasn’t able to make it (and thus, totally played hooky on reading the book).  But it sounds like I missed a good one.  So I’m really looking forward to listening to this one over the summer!  It’s been at the top of the bestseller charts recently, and sounds like a fascinating post-apocolyptic novel.

My Life In France

Because I’ve Always Wanted To Read This (And I’m Going To France This Summer!)…

My Life In France | By Julia Child

I feel like it’s a bit of a crime that I’ve been working in the culinary industry for years — and absolutely love Julia Child — but still haven’t read this book.  Crazy.  I’ve heard from so many people who love it, and have been looking forward to reading it for years.  So this summer is the time.  And actually, I’ve already decided that it’s going to be the audiobook I bring along for the long flight and road trips that I’m going to be taking with Barclay all over…France!  (<– Eeee, more on that to come!)  I feel like Julia will be the perfect travel companion over there, and I already can’t wait.

Big Magic

Because I’m Always Down For A Creative Boost…

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear | By Elizabeth Gilbert

Alright, don’t shoot me, but I haven’t been a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s previous books.  But.  I really love listening to her in interviews, and have heard a handful of friends rave about this book.  And, I could always use some extra creative motivation in life, so I’m game to give this one a try over the summer.  Hoping it’s as good as everyone says it is!  That said, I’ve also been wanting to check out Rob Bell’s How To Be Here: A Guide To Creating A Life Worth Living, which sounds like it covers a similar topic.  So who knows, might have to try both…

United

Because This Guy Gave The Best Political Podcast Interview I’ve Ever Heard…

United: Thoughts On Finding Common Ground and Advancing The Common Good | By Cory Booker

Oh man, I mentioned earlier this month that I was absolutely blown away by Cory’s interview on the Ezra Klein Show.  (Seriously, I loved every minute of it and was so impressed with both he and Ezra in that podcast — listen to it!)  Ever since then, I’ve been itching to read his book.  But upon second thought, I realized I would actually love to hear him read his book.  So I can’t wait to dive into the audiobook and hopefully hear him go more in-depth with some of the issues covered in the podcast.  And — bonus! — I’ve recruited a few friends to read this one with me, so we’re going to have a Cory Booker-Club night to discuss it.  Can’t wait.

The Nightingale

Because Everyone’s Talking About It…

The Nightingale | By Kristin Hannah

Yep, I keep hearing people rave about this one, and it also happens to take place in France.  (Are you noticing a theme with this summer’s list?)  ;)  The summary says that it “captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war” and that it “celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women” and is “a novel for a lifetime”, no less.  I’m in.

When Breath Becomes Air

Because I Was Really Moved By His NYTimes Article…

When Breath Becomes Air | By Paul Kalanithi

This one has been on my to-read list ever since it was released last January, and I’ve been waiting for a good moment to really pay attention and let his words soak in.  His New York Times article gave me goosebumps, and I’ve heard from a handful of friends that you can’t put the book down.  Really looking forward to it.

Small Victories

Because I Need More Anne In My Life…

Small Victories | By Anne Lamott

I’ve loved Anne Lamott’s books since college, but somehow fell behind on her last two releases.  I’m just finishing up Help, Thanks, Wow right now (so good), and already can’t wait to dive into this other one.  But once again, I’m realizing it would be fun to actually hear her read it instead.  So audiobook it is!

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Because I’m Ready To Try Out This “Magic”…

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up | By Marie Kondo

I feel like I’ve already heard the highlights of this book from so many people I know (<– including Barclay, who spent a Saturday throwing all of his clothes in a big mountain, tidying them up, and then couldn’t wait to show off his “vertically-folded” shirts lined up in his dresser).  That said, her methods sound cool, and I want to finally read the book for myself.  So I feel like this will be a good one to listen to while I work at home, and then start tidying up my place step-by-step as I have time this summer.  Ready to feel some joy sparking!  ;)

So what are YOU reading this summer?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.

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19 comments on “My Summer Reading List”

  1. I LOVED Station Eleven, I’m so jealous you get o experience it for the first time. The art of Tiding Up was kind of silly to me, a lot of people just loved it but I it missed the mark for me. Hope you like it. I’m reading Before I go to Sleep S.J. Watson and so far I’m loving it. Me Before You and After you are on my list (before they are a movie)

    • Awesome! I’ll have to look up Before I Go To Sleep. And I’ve read Me Before You, but still need to check out After You. Excited for the movie! Thanks for the recs!! :)

  2. I’ve been wanting to read Big Magic too. You’re going to love When Breath Becomes Air!! Just get the Kleenex ready, it’s a tear-jerker. 

  3. Yeah, I love reading lists!!!!  I’m adding a few of these to mine. I also loved the Magic of Tidying Up.

    If you haven’t already read it, you should bring The Girl On The Train on your trip. It’s a fast read, and a great vacation book. 

  4. Anne Lamott is just the best. :)

    Have you read anything yet by Barbara Brown Taylor? She’s another voice in that space who I have really come to love. (I’d highly recommend Learning To Walk In The Dark.)

  5. Wow. Great list! I listened to or am currently listening too many of these. Station Eleven is terrific on audio as is When Breath Becomes Air. I really need to read The Nightingale. Maybe I’ll also try audio. Happy listening!

  6. I loved Station Eleven! Great books I’ve read this year include The Golem and the Jinni, Big Little Lies, When We Collided, and Missoula. I’m currently reading A Little Life, which has been really difficult at points but also a really good/important read.  

  7. I was just looking for some good summer reading ideas!  Thanks for this list!

  8. I’ve read the Magic of Tidying Up & its pretty incredible!!
    Kari

  9. I’ve loved several books by Elizabeth Berg. Very compelling and down to earth. 

  10. My book club (and I) did not love Station Eleven at all… I would add it on the end of your reading list- the rest are all much better!

  11. The Nightingale was amazing! I was a little ‘meh’ at first- couldn’t really connect with any of the characters. About 1/3 of the way through, I suddenly realized I couldn’t put it down. Get a box (or 2!) of Kleenex before you start reading. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was full of good advice. Some of the thought behind the method was not in line with my personal beliefs, but the method itself was quite practical. It made me think deeply about my attachment to things.

  12. Thanks for the book recommendations! You mentioned that you listen to a lot of podcasts. It would be cool if you did a post on your go-to shows. 

  13. Thanks for the heads up about the Cory Booker. I am impressed with him, period, so I’ll be adding this to my queue. My politico husband says Booker is in good stead to be president one day. 

  14. I just stumbled across your site while looking for a great recipe for our bookclub next week which I am hosting and I am trying the blueberry tart tomorrow as well as the caprese salas and who knows what else. So, books that should be on your summer reading list:
    The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, The Rosie Project, The Rent Collector, Wher’d you go, Bernadette, A Man Called Ove. LOVED them!!!! We are currently reading Lost & Found which I am thoroughly enjoying. Defending Jacob was a book that brought around much discussion. I read The Magician’s Lie in one sitting last month and found it provoking. I highly suggest The Nightingale, you will be left with much to reflect upon.

    Finally, does your site include favorites? I really do like to try new things and especially like to try out the appetizers and desserts before I serve them at book club, but there are so many good choices on your site that I’m having trouble deciding.

    THANKS!

    • Hi Lisa! That book club sounds so fun, and we hope you love the blueberry tart and caprese salad! :) Thanks also for the book recommendations — those are awesome! Lastly, here are some of the most popular recipes on the site: &

  15. the art of tidying up was a waste of time to read, it’s for people who have NO children or pets…. it’s also for people who live in warm weather climates year round as she suggests things that only people who have decks and warm weather can do…
    she also doesn’t cover how to get rid of everything just some things so it’s a little hard to follow, but i did like that she had you group all things (get all your books or all your clothes) and then decide what to keep.  Its also not for people who might have children since  your wardrobe changes dramatically for years.  She seems young and naive and not very wise, I’m surprised her book is doing so well.