Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Plan to Read This Summer
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!
This week’s TTT topic is Books I Plan to Read This Summer. I’m a mood reader and, on top of that, I’m also ridiculously indecisive so putting together TBR lists is always challenging for me. Needless to say, what I’m sharing is a tentative list and it’s more than ten because I just couldn’t narrow down to just ten I’m excited about. I’m also still actively working on my backlist challenge so my list is a mix of ARCs and older books I’m planning to read.
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Books I Plan to Read This Summer
1. MEXICAN GOTHIC by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic artistocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .
From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico—“fans of classic novels like Jane Eyre and Rebecca are in for a suspenseful treat” (PopSugar). After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. (Read more...)
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2. WHAT YOU WISH FOR by Katherine Center
From Katherine Center, the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.
Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.
When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.
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3. 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY by Sandhya Menon
The follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie follows Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date—with disastrous and hilarious results.
Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe. Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.
Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they’ll never forget.
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4. PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA by Jenn McKinlay
It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most talented fundraiser is unquestioned.
When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died, and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her gap year. Inspired to retrace her steps–to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy–Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again.
From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.
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5. BLACKTOP WASTELAND by S.A. Cosby
A husband, a father, a son, a business owner…And the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi.
“Sensationally good—new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended.” —Lee Child
Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast. He thought he’d left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can’t-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver’s seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.
Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland…or die trying.
Like Ocean’s Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime.
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6. WHEN WE LEFT CUBA by Chanel Cleeton
In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life–and heart–to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.
Beautiful. Daring. Deadly.
The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez–her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.
As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future–but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything–not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart…
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7. THE GIVER OF STARS by Jojo Moyes
From the author of Me Before You, set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.
Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically. The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.
What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.
Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic–a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.
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8. THE GARDEN OF SMALL BEGINNINGS by Abbi Waxman
In the spirit of A Man Called Ove and Good Grief–a poignant, funny, and utterly believable novel about life and loss.
Give grief a chance . . .
Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years–ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing. She can now get her two girls to school, show up to work, and watch TV like a pro. The only problem is she’s becoming overwhelmed with being underwhelmed.
At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks–like actually being called upon to draw whale genitalia. Oh, and there’s that vegetable-gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently, being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally. Wallowing around in compost on a Saturday morning can’t be much worse than wallowing around in pajamas and self-pity.
After recruiting her kids and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles botanical garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover–with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners–is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not…
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9. WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo
With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.
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10. THE HAMILTON AFFAIR by Elizabeth Cobbs
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of iconic characters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from tremulous beginning to bittersweet ending—his at a dueling ground on the shores of the Hudson River, hers more than half a century later after a brave, successful life.
Hamilton was a bastard son, raised on the Caribbean island of St. Croix. He went to America to pursue his education. Along the way he became one of the American Revolution’s most dashing—and unlikely—heroes. Adored by Washington, hated by Jefferson, Hamilton was a lightning rod: the most controversial leader of the American Revolution.
She was the well-to-do daughter of one of New York’s most exalted families—feisty, adventurous, and loyal to a fault. When she met Alexander, she fell head over heels. She pursued him despite his illegitimacy, and loved him despite his infidelity. In 1816 (two centuries ago), she shamed Congress into supporting his seven orphaned children. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton started New York’s first orphanage. The only “founding mother” to truly embrace public service, she raised 160 children in addition to her own.
With its flawless writing, brilliantly drawn characters, and epic scope, The Hamilton Affair will take its place among the greatest novels of American history.
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Question: What are you planning to read this summer? Are we planning to read any of the same books?
Great list, Suzanne💜 Enjoy!
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) | Blue Mood Café recently posted…Blog Tour: The Bitter and the Sweet of Cherry Season by Molly Fader
When We Left Cuba and The Giver of Stars were such good reads! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
I’m really excited for When We Left Cuba. I just finished an ARC of her latest and completely fell in love with her storytelling.
I have several from your list that I hope to read: Paris is Always a Good Idea, Mexican Gothic, and the new Katherine Center novel.
Hopefully we’ll both enjoy them all. 🙂
I want to read Mexican Gothic, too!
My TTT .
Lydia recently posted…Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Favourite Poems and Short Stories from Black Writers
I’ve heard really good things about it!
This is a glorious list, Suzanne, filled with heaps I didn’t know about. I like that this is such a mix of different genres too!
Hopefully a little something for each of my many reading moods, lol.
I’ve seen Mexican Gothic on so many lists now but also I’m super intrigued by Blacktop Wasteland. Haven’t heard of it before so thank you for adding it to this list!
Tracey @PrintedWords& recently posted…Top Ten Books I Want To Read During Winter
You’re welcome! 🙂
Great list! Mexican Gothic made my list this week too, and I’d really like to give With the Fire On High a try. I’d like to try Chanel Cleeton’s work, too. Happy reading!
Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday | My Summer 2020 TBR
Happy reading to you too!
I really liked With the Fire on High! I have her newest book Clap When You Land ordered, so I hope that comes in soon.
ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Review: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Glad to hear you enjoyed With the Fire on High. I’ve heard good things about it. 🙂
This seems like a great mix of genres! This is the second time today I’ve seen Blacktop Wasteland on a list, so now I’m very curious😁
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…HELLA by David Gerrold – Review
I’m very curious about that one as well.
I would like to read Mexican Gothic too. The cover is stunning! I also love the sound of With the Fire on High.
I’ve read and really loved When We Left Cuba! I think you’re going to adore it!
I’m really excited about When We Left Cuba. I just finished her latest book and it was a 5 star read for me.
It’s been too long since I’ve read anything by Jojo Moyes and The Giver of Stars has been on my radar for quite a while. I can’t wait to see what you think of it!
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR
I’m excited for that one. I usually really enjoy her books.
I have already read three of these (Acevedo, Waxman, Cleeton), and all were hits for me. I hope they are for you too. I will also be reading the Center and McKinlay books. I have read three of Center’s books, and all were rock solid hits, so I am especially excited about her book.
Sam@wlabb recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Reading
I’m really looking forward to Center’s books. I just finished How to Walk Away earlier this week and thought it was fantastic!
I’ve read good things about Abbi Waxman. I’ve been seeing The Garden of Small Beginnings at my local bookstore. So I’ll probably grab that at some point. Hope you enjoy your tbr books!! 🙂
czai recently posted…[REVIEW] Divergent
I’ve read a couple of hers so far and loved them both, so I have high hopes for The Garden of Small Beginnings.
Oh, I LOVED The Giver of Stars so much! The audio for it is absolutely fantastic. I can’t wait to see what you think of the story.
The Katherine Center is also on my summer TBR.
Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Angie Elle recently posted…ARC Review + Excerpt | The Dare by Elle Kennedy
I’m so glad to hear how much your enjoyed The Giver of Stars. 🙂
When We Left Cuba has such a great cover. I hope the story is just as great.
Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.
Astilbe recently posted…Stalked by Sam Crescent
I hope so too. 🙂
Great list, I hope you’ll be able to get to all of them! I’m hoping to get to Mexican Gothic as well! 😊
Lucie @ Wishes and Pages recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday | Books on my Summer TBR 📚☀️
The Giver of Stars sounds so good!
Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…Top Ten Books on My Summer 2020 TBR
Doesn’t it? I’m really looking forward to that one.
I loved What You Wish for an When We Left Cuba. Both are such great books by amazing writers. I hope you love them!
Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse recently posted…Review: The Dare (Elle Kennedy)
I’m glad to hear how much you enjoyed them. 🙂
It sounds like a lovely list – I’ve read and loved The Giver of Stars and Mexican Gothic and I hope you love them too, Suzanne:))
Thanks, I hope so too. 🙂
I so loved What You Wish for and The Giver of Stars!!!
Sophie recently posted…Top 10 books I will REALLY read this summer (blood oath, pinky promise and all guys!) Top Ten Tuesday 06/5/15/2020
I’m glad to hear that!
Mexican Gothic seems to be everywhere and honestly I want to get it too haha! PAris Is Always A Good Idea sounds fun too.
Greg recently posted…Tuesday Tagline #194
I keep hearing good things about Mexican Gothic so I’m excited to start that one soon.
I need to pick up a copy of Mexican Gothic. It sounds like my kind of book. I hope you enjoy all these!
Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Reading List
A great list. Love the covers. Paris is always a good idea sounds like a fun read.
Here is my TTT.
Danyelle AKA Cowgirl recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday
Great list! I hope you’ll enjoy all of these when you get to them!
I’m really hoping to read some books Chanel Cleeton and Elizabeth Acevedo soon as well, I’ve heard so many great things about them!
Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads recently posted…Books By Trans or Non-Binary Authors You Need To Check Out
Thanks, I hope so too!
Mexican Gothic is so good. I hope you will love it too!
Annemieke recently posted…The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water| Book Review
I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it!
Fabulous list of books, Suzanne. I’ve already added some to my TBR. I’m particularly fascinated by the first choice and the last one! But a few in between also captured my interest. Happy summer reading! 🙂
lisa thomson recently posted…If You’re an Empath