Summer Reading Spotlight- Mood Reading

I started out the summer with reading goals. I read through several summer reading guides and suggestions, and had great plans to get through a variety of new books. I’m still in the midst of a reading slump, but I had high hopes. Then the summer got busy with church activities, travel (so much travel!) and trying to keep up with the other aspects of life.

I’m also a mood reader, so I don’t stick well to reading plans. I’m also a rebel at heart, and a collector of seasonal books that I always wait until the season is over to read. I started several beach reads, butI ended up with a bunch of half-finished books that I moved on from, not because I was abandoning them, but because I just didn’t feel like finishing them at the time. I kept seeing some other new (or not-so-new), shiny book that called to me. Here are my favorites that I finished this summer:

Anxious People by Fredrick Backman

I’m new to Fredrik Backman, but I’m a fan now. Bachman tells the story of a would-be bank robber who ends up in an apartment with eight (anxious) people, then disappears into thin air. The characters are interesting without being over-the-top. I liked the interplay and how each of their stories are revealed. It’s just the right mix of wacky and understated, and doesn’t veer into zaniness. It’s a mystery in that read the book trying the whole time to figure out what how she disappears from the police with no one seeing her. I wasn’t disappointed.

I read this in two sittings and would recommend this for anyone who likes character studies and puzzles. Four stars.

Counterfeit by Kristin Chen

What a fun book! In it, a pair of Chinese-American women who were long-ago roommates at Stanford end up working together on a designer handbag fake-switcheroo scheme. I’m a big fan of designer handbags so this gave me some interesting insight into the way bags are manufactured and duplicated. I liked the twist and loved the ending. I read it over three days so that’s saying something for me, because I am a slow reader. Overall, really great premise and very enjoyable. In my top five for the year, and makes my list of books to reread. Five stars.

Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott

I rarely give five stars to a book, but this collection of essays was outstanding in so many ways. Mary Laura Philpot uses her experiences to connect with her audience and give them a look behind the curtains of her life.

The essays are all tied together by her son’s experiences with epilepsy. She travels between her childhood experiences and the current (at the time she wrote it) lives of her family. She uses the thread of bomb shell moments to give the reader (listener) a look into her family’s lives and her reactions to all the things happening around her.

I love Mary Laura Philpot’s writing style, and I like her books even more when I listen to them. I took this in as an audiobook, and was not disappointed. The author’s narration made each essay feel like I was making the journey with her through her life. It all felt personal, like she was a close friend sharing her life with me. From the beginning, I was invested.

Death by Beach Read by Eva Gates

Summer beach read + cozy mystery= My happy place

I love beach reads. I spend my summer flipping through (and sometimes abandoning til fall) at least five beach reads each summer. I don’t like reading heavier stuff when its blazing hot outside and I just want to rest my brain. This is the book I finished before summer ended (watch for other beach reads in future posts).

This is the ninth book in the Lighthouse Library Mysteries series and follows our inquisitive librarian/amateur detective Lucy as she and her fiance Connor are fixing up an old house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The house has a history that comes back home to roost when a man who lived there as a child turns up dead on their kitchen floor. Lucy gets involved in the investigation, which brings out family secrets and leads her into danger.

The mystery aspect is twisty and fun. The story has lots of intrigue, both past and current. Some of the storylines stretch the imagination, but the author makes them work. I read this in three days, and while I wouldn’t call it riveting, it kept me turning the pages.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an electronic copy for review. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 stars

Check out my featured review of my favorite book of the summer: Carrie Soto is Back (purchase here)

Find these books (and more!) on my Bookshop page and support your favorite indy book store. (I’m an affiliate so you’re also supporting me at no extra cost to you. Thanks! )

Do you use a summer reading plan? Or are you a mood reader? Comment below.

Happy reading!

–Amy

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