25 Books on My Summer Reading List

Is it Summer yet? Because my summer reading list is here!

It’s hard to tell the start of summer when you live in the tropics, but a little birdie told me everyone’s ready for summer reading! I try to make a reading list every summer, not that I adhere religiously, but because it just helps me remember which books I’d like to get to sooner. This year, I’ve been reading much more than I ever have, thanks to Scribd! Audiobooks have been an effective way to get through more middle grade fiction especially.

My favorite thing about book lists is that everyone can usually find at least ONE book they’d like to try. So, even though I know the kind of books I enjoy, I’ve tried to mix up my picks as much as possible. Most of the books are literary fiction, but there are a couple of mystery picks, crime fiction, non fiction and of course kid lit! I also have a great mix of new, not so new and forthcoming titles (all out before summer ends). Here they are:

Backlist Fiction

Monday’s Not Coming

I guess summer starts June 15 in my book, because I’m kicking things off with this! When teenager Monday Charles disappears, only her best friend Claudia seems to notice. Monday’s mother and sister prove unhelpful and it is up to Claudia to investigate her best friend’s disappearance. Everyone in my goodreads and bookstagram circle who’s read MONDAY’S NOT COMING by Tiffany D. Jackson so far has had such intense (positive) responses. I’m hoping to join the bandwagon!




Convenience Store Woman

By Sayaka Murata. Thirty six year old Keiko is content to work at a convenience store, even though she’s been there since she was eighteen. She’s also never had a boyfriend and doesn’t really understand many social behaviors. Until a cynical and bitter young man comes to work at the store and upsets Keiko’s contented stasis.

I’m starting this TODAY! So pleased to have received a digital Advance Reader’s Copy via Netgalley. I have a distinct feeling it may be similar to Eleanor Oliphant, which I LOVED, but I’ll be sure to report my findings.




The Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane

I am utterly intrigued by this book and cannot wait until I am able to read it! THE TEA GIRL OF HUMMINGBIRD LANE by Lisa See tells of young Li-yan who shirks tradition to save her daughter. Her daughter, when later adopted by American parents wonders about her history, as Li-yan longs for her in return. This book reportedly “delivers both in poetry and plot”. Already raved about it on this list.





Mambo In Chinatown

I read Jean Kwok‘s debut novel, GIRL IN TRANSLATION, a few days ago and really liked it. How unfortunate that I found it after compiling my list of books by authors of Asian Descent! MAMBO IN CHINATOWN is her sophomore novel about an American Born Chinese dishwasher who discovers the world of ballroom dancing.





Lagos Noir

This anthology edited by Nigerian author Chris Abani features stories from some of my favorite Nigerian authors, including ‘Pemi Aguda, Uche Okonkwo and Adebola Rayo. I’ve never read any of the noir series, so it’s only fitting that I start with Lagos.



Forthcoming Fiction




If You Leave Me

Crystal Hana Kim‘s debut novel, IF YOU LEAVE ME is at the top of my summer reading list. A love story interspersed with Korean history and “heartbreaking choices” sounds right up my alley. Also, what a stunning cover! I’ve been saving this one until at least July when I can savor every single word! It’s out August 7th.





A River Of Stars

A RIVER OF STARS is the “entertaining, wildly unpredictable adventure” of a Chinese woman shipped to America by her lover in order to secure The American Dream for their offspring. Vanessa Hua‘s debut is out August 14th.





The Lost For Words Bookshop

I received a digital Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book via netgalley because I like to read books about books and bookstores.

“Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.

Into her hiding place – the bookstore where she works – come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?” It’s out June 19.



Fruit of The Drunken Tree

Digital Advance Reader’s Copy received via edelweiss.

“Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to their gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.
When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal. ” Out July 31st.




Three Things About Elsie

Digital Advance Readers Copy received via edelweiss.

“Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she thinks about her friend Elsie and wonders if a terrible secret from their past is about to come to light. If the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?” I love a good mystery and this books has received rave reviews so far, so yay! Out August 7.


Non Fiction



Reading People

As a massive fan of Anne Bogel‘s podcast, What Should I Read Next, I was a bit disappointed that her book isn’t a lot like the podcast. Still, though after listening to her on the Reading Women podcast, I became a tad interested in reading READING PEOPLE.

“For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), popular blogger Anne Bogel has done the hard part–collecting, exploring, and explaining the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others. She explains to readers the life-changing insights that can be gained from each and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life.”




Longthroat Memoirs

Yemisi Aribisala’s collection of essays about Nigerian food and life has been on my TBR list forever! Imagine my glee at finding it on Scribd! I’m ready to read this slowly, especially since Yemisi was a guest on BOOK’D. Did you know? You can read her interview here.






Deep Work

After Ojima‘s recommendation and more recommendations from people on social media, I’ve decided that Cal Newport‘s book on enhancing focus in a distracted world is worth a read. I’m not a fan of non fiction, but I think some books are worth a shot, at least.






Another book that I’ve wanted to read for a while now is Greg Mckeown’s ESSENTIALISM: The disciplined Pursuit of Less. In a world where everyone wants more and more, I’d like to read a book with practical information on how to live with less. I’ve seen snippets on social media and know that it’s helpful even with things like social media use and relationships.


Middle Grade & Children’s



Amina’s Voice

In AMINA’S VOICE by Hena Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community. I’ve had this book for a couple of months now, but after seeing that the DBC added it to their summer reading guide, I’m extra motivated to read it!







 Stella Diaz Has Something To Say

“Stella Diaz loves marine animals, especially her betta fish, Pancho. But Stella Diaz is not a betta fish. Betta fish like to be alone, while Stella loves spending time with her mom and brother and her best friend Jenny. Trouble is, Jenny is in another class this year, and Stella feels very lonely.

When a new boy arrives in Stella’s class, she really wants to be his friend, but sometimes Stella accidentally speaks Spanish instead of English and pronounces words wrong, which makes her turn roja. Plus, she has to speak in front of her whole class for a big presentation at school! But she better get over her fears soon, because Stella Díaz has something to say!”




  Love Double Dutch

In North Carolina for the summer, Brooklyn middle schooler MaKayla is adjusting to life in the South. When she realizes that her sport of choice, Double Dutch is huge in the South, she’s all in! LOVE DOUBLE DUTCH is from the creator of the movie, JUMP IN and is the perfect mix of sports, summer and friendship! I was gifted a free copy of this book from the lovely people at Random House Kids and I can’t wait to read it this summer!





The Ethan I Was Before

This is one of those books with SO MANY RAVE REVIEWS! I’m so afraid I’ll be disappointed. THE ETHAN I WAS BEFORE by Ali Standish is the coming of age story of Ethan who finds friendship and hope after his best friend dies in an accident. It’s compared to Ali Benjamin‘s THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH which I really enjoyed, so I’m really crossing my fingers for this one.






You Go First

After BOOK’D guest Mae Respicio raved about author Erin Entrada Kelly, I decided to read her newest novel. YOU GO FIRST follows two children who play scrabble online together and the ways their lives intersect as they navigate middle school. I really like books that explore the dynamics of children and the internet/social media because nearly every kid today is on the internet!







I have a strong feeling that the movie adapted from this book might be “better” than the book, but I really, really want to read the book first. Yes, I still haven’t watched the film. WONDER follows young Auggie Pullman – a boy with a facial difference –  and how he teaches his classmates to choose kind. I hope this summer is the one. Otherwise, I’ll just watch the film.





 Counting Thyme

“When eleven-year-old Thyme Owens’ little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn’t exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary.

After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing.”



The Penderwicks

Another very raved about series, The Penderwicks (#1 in the five book series) by Jeanie Birdsall follows the summer adventures of The Penderwick girls. Joining them are “two rabbits and a very interesting boy”. Who doesn’t like an adventure? I honestly haven’t read a single bad review about this book, so I’m looking forward to immersing myself in book one, at least.




The Night Diary

I’ve never read a novel in verse before but I hope to change that this summer. “It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.

Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together.

Told through Nisha’s letters to her mother, THE NIGHT DIARY is a heartfelt story of one girl’s search for home, for her own identity…and for a hopeful future.”




Another novel in verse by an author I’ve heard plenty good things about. Blade resents being the son of drug addict and former rock star, Rutherford Morrison. The only thing they share in common is their love of music. But even that is threatened when old family secrets come to light.






Love, Hate and Other Filters

I just finished THE LINES WE CROSS, a Young Adult novel I reckon will be quite similar to this DBC summer reading guide pick. Still, I’m intrigued by the premise of an Indian-American Muslim teen caught between cultures whose life changes after a crime in the community.





Start summer right with this list of 25 books - literary fiction, mystery, middle grade and young adult novels - to read! Click To Tweet


Forthcoming Middle Grade & Children’s

Stu Truly

I’m expecting an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book and I CAN’T WAIT! This coming of age story promises to be laugh-out-loud funny. Twelve year old Stuart meets the new girl, Becca and develops a fast crush on her. He also makes the huge mistake of pretending to be vegetarian (as she is) to impress her. Things are destined to go awry because Stu’s family owns a butcher shop. See what I mean?!