Let's Be Adventurers

I just got back from a week in the mountains, and the hardest part about packing was choosing what books I would bring. Despite knowing that my Kindle had more than enough reading material to last me all week, I couldn't resist tossing a few... or seven... books in my bag. Because there are two things I love most about this season: 1) vacations and 2) summer reading lists. Today I'm combining both of those things!

Every year, I pair vacation destinations with the books I'd want to read at each. I usually have a mix of old and new books from my TBR, but this year I focused on 2018 releases on my radar. And, in another change, they're all adult fiction. Young adult will always have a special place in my heart and on my shelves, but I haven't been reaching for it as much recently. So, whether I'm chilling by the ocean or the baby pool, here are 15 books I'll be reading:

the extras: hat | pouch | sunscreen | sunglasses | swim suit | towel

At the beach, I'm usually reaching for contemporary fiction. I want something that's immediately engaging and doesn't require my complete attention. Pre-baby, I could tune out the world... but now I need books that I can start and stop pretty easily. Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza, When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger, and Ghosted by Rosie Walsh all seem like they would fit the bill: the price a woman pays for pursuing a political career, secrets simmering in the suburbs, and an instant connection that's disrupted by a sudden disappearance. Don't you want to dive in to each based solely on that little teaser? Sign me up!

When I'm in the mountains, I'm more likely to pick up historical fiction. I don't know what it is about that destination that makes me want to travel back in time, but I think it's the slower pace and quieter days. I'm able to sink into the details of the past more deeply! Beatriz Williams is a favorite for me, so The Summer Wives is on the top of my must-read list. I actually just finished Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce, which read like a historical Bridget Jones. So delightful! And I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos has a dual timeline and is sure to be gorgeously written. I'd be willing to go on a hike if I could reward myself with reading one of these at the end.

I can't explain why, but the lake feels like it calls for something with twists and turns. Whether it's a full-on thriller or a contemporary book with an air of mystery surrounding it, I want something that will keep me guessing until the end. The Life Lucy Knew by Karma Brown involves a woman with amnesia, and the summary reminds me of my favorite Liane Moriarty book. An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim is a sci fi book where a couple is separated by time travel gone wrong. Finally, things get out of hand in a "No Baby Club" in Those Other Women by Nicola Moriarty. I can picture myself sitting in on the dock frantically reading as secrets are uncovered in each book...

the extras: elastics | speaker | lip balm | sunglasses | bag | drink | sea spray

Let's be real: most of my summer days aren't spent at fabulous destinations. On any given day, you're probably going to find me sitting in the backyard. And with fewer distractions and my bookshelf only steps away, I don't have to predict my reading mood! I want to read A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza, the story of an Indian-American Muslim family, because it's gotten so much praise. I've enjoyed Paula McLain's writing in the past, so Love and Ruin is on my radar (even though I'm not a Hemingway fan). And Estelle recommended Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton long before Reese Witherspoon's book club picked it. But now I'm even more excited to read it!

 the extras: towel | sunglasses | mascara | tote | water | swim suit | speaker

I know this isn't the case everywhere, but our neighborhood pool is often chaotic. People are blasting music on their speakers, little kids are horsing around, and I have to protect my pages from being sprayed by water! So, I'm looking for books similar to what I'd read at the beach. Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson sounds adorable – and I love the cover! Emily Giffin can be hit or miss for me, but I'll still check out All We Ever Wanted. And honestly, the comparisons to Grey's Anatomy are the main reason I want to read The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin. All three seem like they would keep me hooked regardless of the noise level around me. 

What books will be in your bag this summer?
Any trips already booked?

This post was inspired by a past Top Ten Tuesday topic, now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
Here's a look back at my "summer bags" through the years: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2017


  1. Love the idea of splitting this up into different types of vacations! I'm definitely the same, I always bring my kindle with me and there would be more than enough reading material on there to last me the whole time, but I always insist on packing a ridiculous amount of paperbacks too. It's like I ENJOY the back and shoulder pain that comes with lugging them around.

    Holly / The Writing Finch

  2. Ah this is SO cute!! I'm adding some of these to my TBR for sure :)

  3. This is such a great idea for a post! I love how you split everything up. Thanks for all the great suggestions - I added a few to my wish list!

  4. There are so many good books here! I really enjoyed The Queen of Hearts, and I didn't realize when I read it, but it's written by an ER doctor. The insight into the medical student/medical community was one of my favorite parts - it was fascinating. A few of these I plan to check out this summer, and I also see some that I need to check out! I hope you have some wonderful vacations this summer and some good reading as well!

  5. I adore it when you do these posts! They're so delightful because I can pick up some new reading suggestions and add things to my shopping wishlist at the same time, and you do an excellent job with every destination theme every single time ;)


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