20 Must-read books for Summer 2020

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For 2020 my goal is to read 101 books. That is a lot of books. Right now I’m 4 books behind schedule according to Goodreads but I can make that up no problem. The most I’ve read In a year is just over 50 books so my goal this year is quite big. I know I can do it though.

By the way, I’m truly loving using GoodReads to track my reading. You all were right! It is really motivational to see my progress! I’m a little behind where I should be towards my reading goal but I’ve been reading a ton lately. So I’m confident I will catch up.

I have finished 49 books so far in 2020 —- which is pretty great! Here’s the best of what I’ve read so far this year:

1. Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

I loved this book and its sequel. There is a third in the series coming out next year that I’m excited to read.

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Lifeâ€, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. She also knows he’s secretly an artist because she has maybe spied on him put her window once or twice.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior.

My rating 5 stars

2. I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown

 As an effort to learn more about and support Black authors I’m commited to reading one book about race and racial issues as well as more books by black authors.

I had to learn to love blackness,” Austin Channing Brown writes near the beginning of this searing, page-turning memoir. As a black woman whose parents gave her a white man’s name, Austin grew up attending white, Christian schools and has spent most of her life navigating the choppy waters of racial inequality, gender, assimilation, and cultural conflicts that have played out at large in stories of police violence, campus unrest, and the national conversation over Black Lives Matter.

In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric—from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.

My rating 5 stars

3. I was told it Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

I was very excited to read this new novel about a distant mother-daughter duo who are forced to reconnect. Having a teenage daughter myself I really connected to this story.

Jessica is a lawyer and single mother who prides herself on always putting her daughter’s needs first. But 16-year-old Emily wishes her mother would spend more time with her, instead of working to provide for her.

Mother and daughter are oblivious to the worries they’re both facing— Jessica may lose her job; Emily’s embroiled in a cheating scandal. But then they’re squashed into a charter bus with a dozen other students/parent duos for a weeklong college tour. The result isn’t pretty, but it sure does make for entertaining reading

My Rating 5 stars

4. Lovely War by Julie Berry

This fun novel which was a book club pick in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s bookclub combines three unexpected elements to great effect: World War I, a love story, and Greek mythology. It begins with Aphrodite and Ares walking into a swanky Manhattan hotel, and soon enough Aphrodite’s husband Hephaestus challenges her to show him what love really looks like.

She obliges, and takes the reader back in time to meet four young lovers in 1917 Britain, showing her fellow gods how each couple fell in love, and what they mean to each other. It sounds unlikely but the interesting narrative structure totally works.

My rating 5 Stars

5. The Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams

I’m so glad to have found this series. It’s so funny and really an enjoyable and light read. Which I have found to be the perfect way to deal when life feels too overwhelming and stressful.

“The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about the book club. Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major-league trouble. Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner-hero and win back the trust of his wife.”

My Rating 4 stars

6. Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

This is the second book in the Bromance Book series. A third book comes out the week of my birthday in October which feels a little like a birthday present. I enjoyed book two a little more than the first book because I was more interested in the couple this book was about I guess.

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef-owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned

My Rating 5 Stars

7 The Guest List by Lucy Foley

This mystery tells the story a perfect couple, their perfect life together, and their jealous onlookers. When the couple’s dreamy wedding finally happens on an island off the coast of Ireland, everything looks perfect from the outside. But as the night goes on, the bride’s dress gets ruined, the groomsmen drink too much, and someone winds up dead.

My Rating 4 Stars

8. The Lies That Bind Us by Emily Giffin

It’s 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she’ll ever make it as a reporter in the big city—and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew. 

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, “Don’t do it—you’ll regret it.†Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours—and shots of tequila—the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn’t be worse—Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can’t seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head. 

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn’t who he seemed to be? 

My Rating 5 Stars

9.  A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

If you are a fan of murder mysteries you are going to enjoy a Good Girl’s Guide to Murder  which is about a local murder case that doesn’t add up, and a girl who’ll stop at nothing to find the killer. If you love a good murder mystery, you’ll enjoy all the twists and turns this story throws at you.

My Rating 5 Stars

10. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Add one salty infertile heroine with one firefighter hero who dreams of having a big family someday and you have a debut friends-to-lovers contemporary romance you might stay up reading until the wee hours of the night. Ahem. Josh and Kristen have some big things to overcome but there’s no denying their chemistry from the moment they meet. In a fender bender, no less. This story will make you laugh out loud one minute and cry the next. It doesn’t shy away from the hard topics and it makes the happy ending that much more satisfying.

My Rating 5 Stars

11. OOana Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

This was a book with a fun cover and it really caught my eye on Instagram. It also had a really unique plot that I was excited to check out. On her eightenth Birthday which is New Years Ooana wakes up and instead of waking up a year older she is mentally the right age but wakes up in the body of herself years older in the future.

Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever-changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met?

This was such and interesting and fantastic read

My Rating 5 Stars

12. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

I loved this book and recommended it to my daughter because I think teens would love it too. Plus the relationship between the two main characters is pretty innocent, just some kissing, so it is appropriate for a younger audience.

Jack and Pepper are classmates at an Upper East Side private school. Unlike their privileged peers—and unbeknownst to each other—they spend their leisure hours managing the social media accounts for their families’ respective restaurants. Pepper’s family owns a hugely profitable burger chain; Jack’s family owns a beloved deli on the Lower East Side. When a twitter battle about a grilled cheese recipe erupts between the two businesses, Jack and Pepper are each playing to win—but they don’t know they’re fighting each other. This breezy read features snappy dialogue and a slowburn friends-to-something-more story, while closely following the beats of You’ve Got Mail

My Rating 4 Stars

13. Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales? Red, White & Royal Blue is utterly gorgeous from the second it begins. The two to-die-for main characters, Alex and Henry, at first cannot stand each other. But in the interest of public relations, they stage a truce. A truce that starts as fake, and then turns into a real, secret romance. Back-and-forth emails, references to famous, historic letters, and hate-to-love (one of my favorite tropes), Red, White & Royal Blue is perfect romantic escapist fiction.

My Rating 4 Stars

14. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits–whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal. 

My Rating 4 Stars

15. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Galaxy “Alex†Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs†are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

My Rating 5 Stars

A Few of the Books on my List to read this Summer

16. One to Watch by Kate Stayman London

17. Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

18. Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra

19. White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

20 Beach Read by Emily Henry