July 8, 2022
Find Your One “Must Read” Book of Summer 2022!
Are you pondering what book to choose for your vacation or staycation?
Are you in limbo trying to decide what ONE great book to read this summer?
Do you ever wish someone would just TELL you what book to read?
Are you looking for a list of trusted book review bloggers?
Do you spend more time thinking about which book to pack for your vacation than packing the clothes? (oh…just me?)
If you only have time to read ONE more book before summer’s end, what would you choose?
This is the time of year when readers in my hemisphere are looking for “Beach Reads.” (If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, happy “winter reading!”) The term “Beach Read” is puzzling to me because I think any book you read at the beach or the pool is a beach or pool read (similar to a body at the beach is a beach body!). Furthermore, “beach read” means different things to different readers: some want easy reading/light/fluffy, some want escapist, some want romcom, some want thrillers/suspense/mystery, while others are looking for heavier or longer reads that they might have more time for in the summer. During the summer, I look for the same types of reads I look for all year long: something substantial, engaging, memorable, unputdownable, and thought-provoking. What is your ideal beach or pool read?
***I have not read most of the following recommendations (except my own of course!), so I encourage you to read additional reviews to decide which book is to your exact taste.
Some things bring joy to a blogger’s heart and this collaborative post is definitely at the top of the list! These are the bookish folks I “hang out with” throughout the year.
As Gina describes our project: “A worldwide summer reading multi-blogger extravaganza!”
I am thrilled to publish this post today! I asked several experienced and trustworthy reviewers from a variety of geographical locations what they would recommend as their ONE “Not-to-be-Missed” Summer 2022 Reading Recommendation.
Today, I’m exceptionally excited to introduce you to a few of my blogging friends who chose ONE recommendation for YOU (listed in alphabetical order by blogger’s first name). I want you to notice that these bloggers are an international group! One of the greatest joys of blogging is making book friends around the world and country (better than pen pals!). Please take a look at their recommendations, check out their blogs, and give them a follow!
I think you’ll enjoy the following “recent releases” recommendations that include some diversity and represent a mix of genres that will appeal to a variety of tastes (from women’s fiction to historical fiction to murder mystery to up-lit to multigenerational family to own voices to literary fiction to gothic historical fiction to friendship fiction to contemporary romance to YA fantasy/romance to thriller to cozy mystery to family life……).
We hope at least one matches YOUR reading taste!
***Titles are Amazon affiliate links and full review links have been included when available.
In Carla’s words:
As summer is in full swing here in the northern hemisphere, I love sitting outside and reading beach reads. For me, The Summer Getaway fits that description. Susan Mallery, one of my go to authors, has penned a wonderful story about family and finding your way.
Being a mother, I know how I often passed on what I wanted to do to be there for my children and help them out, but sometimes, we can give too much and lose a piece of ourselves. Robyn Caldwell does what I think we have all wanted to do at one time or another, she runs away to figure out what she wants for a change.
Picking up The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery introduced me to a family with flaws and issues, as well as showing me a character as she found her feet, encouraged her family and friends and was ready to move forward into her new life, setting her own path. A great women’s fiction story with an uplifting end.
Joining us from Israel,
Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog recommends an untold story of rescue, perseverance, and bravery.
In Davida’s words:
“This is an emotion packed novel that isn’t getting nearly enough publicity, and I’m sure that if historical fiction lovers would give it a chance, it would immediately go to the top of their favorites of 2022! The novel is about the Titanic, but rather than your usual Astors and Molly Brown and all the famous first class survivors, we get to see passengers from steerage – mostly from Ireland, and in particular, one Kate Connolly (no relation to the author, but a real survivor, chosen because of her name). At the same time, we watch the rescue unfold through the eyes of Captain Arthur Rostron of the Carpathia, the only ship that answered the Titanic’s SOS call. It is a tragic story, but the bravery and perseverance of Rostron and his crew (as well as his own passengers) is a story that has been far too long overlooked, and it is beautifully written. Yes, I cried several times while reading it, and it got a full 5/5 stars from me!”
Joining us from Australia,
Deb at Deb’s World recommends a compulsively readable murder mystery.
In Deb’s words:
“This was a very entertaining and compulsive book to read which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a mystery with a twist so I can’t say too much otherwise I might give something away. I couldn’t put it down and admire Sulari’s talents even more than I did before. The Woman in the Library was very cleverly written and I didn’t pick the murderer until very near the end as events in the story kept changing my thinking. A great whodunnit very cleverly executed.
I happen to know Sulari and her family and this added to my enjoyment. I’ve been to many author talks where Sulari has been a guest and I am looking forward to the local launch of this in the Tumbarumba library in the near future.”
Joining us from Illinois,
Gina at Gina Rae Mitchell recommends a favorite light-hearted story.
In Gina’s words:
“What makes the perfect summer book to read? I think it should be light-hearted with a storyline that keeps you involved without making you frantic to finish. The Brighter the Light does just that with its dual timeline set in the Outer Banks. The story is told through the perspectives of young Ruth in 1950 and her granddaughter Ivy in the present. With uniquely descriptive writing, the author slowly unravels family secrets long hidden, just like the shipwreck off the North Carolina coast. Sometimes it takes a perfect storm to reveal the past.”
Joining us from Rome, Italy,
Jo at Jo Linsdell Books & Blogging recommends a fav murder mystery.
In Jo’s words:
“I purchased a copy of this book after a fellow book blogger recommended it to me and I was not let down. It was awesome! I now can’t wait to read more books by the author. If you like psychological suspense this is a must read. Also great for those who like a literature connection to their stories.
In the book, book seller Malcolm, creates a list for his bookshops blog where he lists books that contain perfect murders, including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Deathtrap, A. A. Milne’s The Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. MacDonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History (as a side note I’ve now got myself copies of most of these too).
An FBI agent working on some cold cases comes to visit him thinking he can help her solve the cases as they seem to be based on his list. Malcolm has his own secrets that he wants to keep under wraps too. The book is told by Malcolm as he tries to find the killer before the FBI whilst protecting himself and his secrets.
I can’t recommend this book enough. A must read for fans of murder mysteries.”
Joining us from Scotland,
Joanne at Portobello Book Blog recommends a multigenerational family story.
In Joanne’s words:
” Little Wing is a book which reveals long hidden secrets of two families across three generations, just the kind of book I love. I was really attracted to the setting with much of it being set in beautiful Harris, an island I have visited, and I really enjoy reading about places I know. The sense of place and the way the landscape of Harris is described is just wonderful. Freya North also writes about the relationships between the characters so well. It is a beautifully written novel and I found that I was equally interested in the three main characters’ stories and how they all found somewhere they belonged. This was one of the first books I read this year and I still think about it.”
Joining us from North Carolina,
Jonetta at Blue Mood Café recommends a story of redemption and forgiveness.
In Jonetta’s words:
“Reminders of Him is an excellent story of redemption and forgiveness and the toll it takes to hold that back even when you feel justified. I’ve heard it stated by those who have forgiven the people responsible for having harmed them that it was the only way they could move forward. It is illustrated graphically and impactfully here as I experienced the emotional toll it took for Scotty’s parents to hold onto their anger towards Rowan, the girl responsible for his death.”
Joining us from Yorkshire, England,
Julie at A Little Book Problem recommends a favorite “own voices” women’s fiction.
In Julie’s words:
“Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? is a must-read for so many reasons that it is going to be difficult to condense them into a short paragraph. Following the desperate search by Yinka for a husband to satisfy the demands of her insistent Nigerian family, it is both a joyous, fun-filled romp through the intricacies of Nigerian families, and a thought-provoking look at the pressures society still puts on young women to conform to an unrealistic set of ideals. Yinka is a modern woman who still feels the need to do what is required to make her family happy, even when their needs conflict with what she really wants for herself. Whilst laughing at the ridiculous and unwise antics Yinka gets up to in pursuit of marriage, I also felt her pain and despair at not being able to do the one thing she knows they want from her and horror at the tortures she is prepared to inflict on herself to try and make herself a ’suitable’ bride-prospect. Peopled by a delightful cast of characters, Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? is one of those perfect books that strike the ideal balance between humour, heartbreak and insightful social commentary. A book that has it all for the discerning summer reader.”
Joining us from Wales,
Karen at Booker Talk recommends an Irish literary fiction novella.
In Karen’s words:
There’s a moral dilemma at the heart of Keegan’s novella about a coal merchant who becomes uneasy about the girls he encounters at the local convent. On a bitterly cold day just before Christmas he finds one of the girls locked inside the coal house. Does he turn a blind eye like others in his community about how these girls are treated? Or does he go head-to-head against the all powerful Catholic Church? This is a thoroughly brilliant novel of one unremarkable man confronted with a decision.
In Kayla’s words:
“Anatomy A Love Story by Schwartz offers a darker and older time period to balance out the light, contemporary fanfare of summer. Hazel aspires to become a surgeon in 1817 Edinburgh and finds an undercover way to help people as she studies in real time. Meanwhile, she starts to uncover a sinister situation beyond the Anatomist’s Society classes and meets a boy noticing buried bodies missing parts. Reading Hazel’s story made me root for her to reach her goal, particularly because she had positive motive for her aspired role. I appreciated that the macabre went beyond the obvious superficial creep factor to show the underbelly of the early days of surgery and the need for ethical accountability in the health field. Seeing characters facing adversity still use their resources to benefit their community gave me hope. This story makes a fun escape for a getaway spent indoors, maybe as you hide from the summer heat.”
Kendra at Kendra Nicole recommends an epistolary novel of food and friendship
In the fall of 1962, 27-year-old Joan Bergstrom (a young food writer living in Los Angeles) sends a fan letter and accompanying gift of saffron to Imogen Fortier, a woman thirty years her senior who writes a monthly magazine column from her home in the Pacific Northwest. Imogen replies to Joan’s note, and the two form a strong yet unlikely friendship, played out largely in letters that follow them through national crises and unexpected life changes. Bolstered by this friendship that radiates mutual admiration and affection, Joan and Imogen tap into parts of themselves that had long remained buried beneath insecurity, failures of imagination, and societal expectations. And as Joan and Imogen bloom into their fullest, most vibrant and fulfilled selves, they (along with us, their readers) embark on cultural, culinary, and creative adventures beyond what either woman could ever have imagined.
Oh, I adored this book! I am always a sucker for a good epistolary story; throw in a cross-generational friendship, evocative food descriptions, and an exciting historical backdrop, and I was utterly smitten. This nostalgic little novel is high on the comfort scale, exuding vibrant reflection, bittersweet undertones, delicate humor, and oodles of charm. It may be just the nourishment your bookish soul is craving this summer.
Kimberly at Roaming the Pages shares a favorite contemporary romance.
In Kimberly’s words:
“I don’t read much contemporary romance novels, preferring historical romance above all other genres, but The Homewreckers slayed me! Andrews gives us a fantastic premise for a love story but embedded in that romance is an old mystery that comes to light through the course of the book. I fully admit that the beginning rocked me because it wasn’t what I expected at all. My confusion reigned above all else, but it made more sense as I went along. I fell in love with Hattie right from the beginning and wished for nothing more than for her to have a happy ending. Of course, the beauty of Savannah, Georgia and Tybee Island comes out strong. I could picture myself walking down the historic district and frolicking on the beach. The Homewreckers is one of those great summer reads that will keep your focus from beginning to end. You won’t want to put it down!”
Kristin at Kristin Kraves Books recommends a YA fantasy/romance.
In Kristin’s words:
“This Vicious Grace is a 2022 release, a debut, and the start of a YA fantasy series. It was one of my most anticipated releases of the year but it still managed to exceed all of my expectations. The “her touch kills” trope is nothing new, but the way that Emily Thiede handled it felt like something special. The lore and world-building are incredible and this is the “found family” trope at its best. It is also a bodyguard romance and is a slow burn. The banter!! There are strong Italian influences in This Vicious Grace, which feels summery to me. The atmosphere is strong here and there are a lot of layers when it comes to the politics at play. I fell in love with these characters and I feel comfortable recommending This Vicious Grace to pretty much any reader.”
Joining us from Ohio,
Lisa at Hopewell’s Public Library of Life recommends a favorite contemporary women’s fiction.
In Lisa’s words:
“So much to love–let’s see: In the UK, but not in London; someone who works a normal job and has a normal life but rises to a challenge that helps reach a goal she maybe thought was now unreachable. I’m in! That she isn’t a 20-something, but a 40-something married with two young adult kids is just gravy.
I loved Liv, Essie, Jake, and Anthony–they were so real and believable. Liv and Jake truly cared for each other and for their boys. Anthony’s emotion was real and raw. Liv was sincere and hardworking and for once that was handsomely rewarded. While she was only around 40 or 42, (says I from the lofty perch of “only” 60) I loved that an “older” writer got a break in a story–that was so encouraging to me even if she is fictional.
I’ve enjoyed each book by this author that I’ve read so far–so much so that she has become a “must-read” author for me.”
In Lynne’s words:
“The Keeper of Stories is a debut novel about human nature with all its flaws and inconsistencies. A fabulous story about storytelling and about guilt. It showcases people who are selfish and narcissistic as well as people who are kindness personified. It also portrays the blessings of friendship, and the influence parents have over their children, both good and bad, and the love of a good dog.”
Joining us from Ireland,
Mairéad at Swirl and Thread recommends a story of friendship.
1986: Adrien, Etienne and Nina are 10 years old when they meet at school and become inseparable. They promise each other they will one day leave their provincial backwater, move to Paris, and never part.
2017: A car is pulled up from the bottom of the lake, a body inside. Virginie, a local journalist with an enigmatic past, follows the case. Step by step she reveals the extraordinary bonds that unite the three childhood friends. How is the car wreck connected to their story? Why did their friendship fall apart?’
In Mairéad’s words:
“With an exquisite pen Valérie Perrin explores the intricacies of life in its finest details. Bullying, first loves, dreams, music, secrets, guilt, pain, anger, jealousy, abandoned ambitions, discontent, death all play vital roles in this epic tale. Bewitched is a word I would use to describe my experience of reading Three. I reminisced and felt nostalgic for my teenage years and I was completely enchanted by the vividness of the scenes set throughout. Three encapsulates everything I love about a book. At over 550 pages of quite small print, it is a book that may look daunting but trust me when I tell you that this is one that you do not want to miss out on. Exceptional in every way, Three is a wonderful investment of your time. Savour it. Do not rush it.
Rich in illuminating passages, complex in character descriptions, eloquent in dialogue and expression, Three is a magical and captivating read, proving once again that Valérie Perrin is a master of her trade.”
Joining us from Jersey, Channel Islands,
Nicki at The Secret Library Book Blog recommends a thriller by a favorite author.
In Nicki’s words:
“Wow this was so good! I almost read it in 24 hours, but of course life got in the way! This book is all about Jen hoping to stop her teenage son, Todd from committing murder, before it’s happened and it’s addictive. I loved Jen and I loved the way the story went from the day of the murder and then backwards in time. As you can imagine Jen was so frustrated in the beginning not knowing what was going on, thinking she was going mad! I won’t write any more for fear of spoiling the book for you, except to say there are some fab twists, and plot developments. I love time travel and timeslip books, I love thrillers, this is both and it’s brilliant! Gillian McAllister has definitely out done herself this time, and I agree with all the buzz surrounding this book. It’s definitely one of my favourite thrillers this year and I highly recommend it!”
Joining us from Arizona,
Susan at Bloggin Bout Books recommends a cozy mystery.
In Susan’s words:
“Cozy mysteries are a dime a dozen, so it’s always fun to discover one that stands out from the crowd. BURIED IN A GOOD BOOK, the first book in a new series by Tamara Berry, definitely does that by bringing to life a quaint, small town setting; introducing likable, quirky characters; infusing the story with a funny, upbeat vibe; and creating a plot that is exciting and compelling. The book isn’t just fun (which most cozies are), it’s hilarious. While it’s a teensy bit gorier than most novels in this genre, it’s still a mostly clean tale that’s entertaining and enjoyable. In fact, BURIED IN A GOOD BOOK just might be the best cozy I’ve ever read! If you’re looking for a lighthearted, diverting mystery to indulge in this summer, you’re going to want to pick this one up.”
Joining from California,
Carol (yours truly) at Reading Ladies recommends a favorite compelling and page-turning historical fiction.
In Carol’s words:
Quote: “Many German men would argue that they had only done what they felt they had to in order to keep their families safe. Does that rationale hold out in the face of unfathomable suffering and death? Is there a point where we are morally obligated to take a stand, whatever the cost?”
“I’m fairly certain that The German Wife will be on on my most memorable reads of 2022 year-end list!
It’s everything I love in historical fiction: compelling plot, interesting historical information (Operation Paperclip), well researched, dual timelines and perspectives that blend into one cohesive compulsively readable story, complicated characters, thougt-provoking themes, engaging from page one, and character-driven/plot-driven balance.”
Thank you to each blogger who participated in this post and for your ONE GREAT recommendation! Do you agree that this is a splendid international group?
Readers, I hope you have enjoyed this collaborative post! I love that in our initial planning, we didn’t have one duplicate. The choices represent a variety of tastes and reading experiences and are as unique as the bloggers themselves. We hope you find one recommendation to match your reading taste!
Please share or pin this post so that others looking for ONE wonderful summer read can hear about these recommendations! Let us know in the comments if you choose ONE of these books for your summer read! Our greatest joy is hearing that you read one of our recommended books!
In The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, Mitch Albom says that “Everyone joins a band in this life.” In the noise of the World Wide Web, I have found my people (band)! Each of these bloggers has shown personal support, inspiration, and encouragement to me, and I urge you to click through to their blogs and kindly give them a follow!
Did you choose one of these books to add to your TBR this summer?
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book covers and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.