Are you an avid reader? I’ve enjoyed reading for as long as I can remember. Judy Blume was the author I followed in elementary and middle school followed by Danielle Steel in high school through adulthood. I would pick up whatever book my mom finished reading and was able to explore many authors throughout my life. I actually like all types of books from fiction to mystery to biographies and more. Below you will find my summer book recommendations for 2018, although these books are great reads any time of the year.
For the past few years I focused more on non-fiction, self-help, crafting, gardening and more. A few months ago I got back into reading novels. I’ve read some amazing books lately and thought I’d share some of them here with you today. Whether you’re home or traveling I think you’ll enjoy these as much as I did.
My Fiction Picks:
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – The minute I saw that this one was Oprah’s Book Club pick for 2018 I purchased it on my ipad. A hardback book was also sent to me from The Oprah Magazine as part of my being an OMagInsider. This book was so good that I couldn’t put it down. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it.
“Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young business executive and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are suddenly ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined when, while visiting Roy’s parents in their small Louisiana town, Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years in prison for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. “
The Letter by Kathryn Hughes – This book was one that my local neighborhood book club read a few months back. It was fantastic. This book is one that keeps you reading because you need to know what happens. It’s sort of a romantic mystery that you will have a hard time putting down.
“The Letter tells the story of two women, born decades apart, whose paths are destined to cross and how one woman’s devastation leads to the other’s salvation.”
The Eleventh Hour: A Heart Gripping Love Story by April Marie Libs – This was also one of the picks from my neighborhood book club. It took hold of my emotions, gut, heart and all like no other book that I’ve read ever. It was SO good! This is one that kept me up until 2:00 in the morning because I was captivated by the story and HAD to know what was going to happen. For me, that’s the sign of a good book. Unfortunately, I cannot find this book for sale on the internet for you. It says that it’s out of print. I read it on my Kindle device when it was available for 99 cents. I actually messaged the author to see where you can buy it. I’ll let you know if I hear back from her.
Sunburn by Laura Lippman – I just purchased this book because it is part of the book discussion on my Holland America Line cruise to Alaska in August. I plan to read it as soon as I finish my other new book from Oprah’s Book Club below.
“A superb novel of psychological suspense about a pair of lovers with the best intentions and the worst luck: two people locked in a passionate yet uncompromising game of cat and mouse. But instead of rules, this game has dark secrets, forbidden desires, inevitable betrayals and cold-blooded murder.”
My Non-Fiction Picks:
The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs – I enjoy reading memoirs and this one was right up there for me as one that was a good read. It’s a story of a woman with cancer. If this doesn’t change your outlook on life then I don’t know what will.
“Poet Nina Riggs was only 37, the mother of two young sons, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within a year she had lost her mother to multiple myeloma—and learned her own cancer was terminal as well. Riggs died last February, leaving behind this deeply affecting memoir, a simultaneously heartbreaking and funny account of living with loss and the specter of death. As she lyrically, unflinchingly details her reality, she finds beauty and truth that comfort even amid the crushing sadness.”
The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey – When Oprah speaks, I listen. She is filled with so much wisdom that it’s hard to resist being inspired by her and all that’s she’s done to make this world a better place. I bought myself a copy of this book and was also gifted a copy from The Oprah Magazine as part of the OMagInsiders.
“Organized into ten chapters―each one representing a powerful step in Oprah’s own spiritual journey and introduced with an intimate, personal essay by Oprah herself―the Wisdom of Sundays features selections from the most meaningful conversations between Oprah and some of today’s most-admired thought-leaders. Visionaries like Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, and Shonda Rhimes share their lessons in finding purpose through mindfulness and intention. World renowned authors and teachers like Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hahn, Marianne Williamson and Wayne Dyer, explain our complex relationship with the ego and the healing powers of love and connection; and award-winning and bestselling writers like Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Elizabeth Lesser explore the beauty of forgiveness and spirituality.”
The Sun Does Shine, How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton – This is the Oprah’s Book Club summer pick for 2018. I’ve just started reading this book and I think I’ll be finished within just a few days. I’m on Chapter 7 on my second day of reading. This book is the story of Anthony Ray Hinton, who was wrongfully accused of two murders in Alabama and spent 30 years on death row. I watched Oprah’s interview with Mr. Hinton on her Facebook Live last week and I was wowed by this man and his attitude. Go back and watch the recording of it. I promise that you’ll be inspired by this man as well. It will open your eyes to the racial bias that is still unfortunately a part of our society.
I get myself so involved with true stories like this that I’ve already been Googling the case to get more information. I just can’t believe my eyes on how this could have happened!
Hand Lettering for Relaxation: An Inspirational Workbook for Creating Beautiful Lettered Art by Amy Latta – I bought this book to learn how to do some pretty hand lettering. This is a good instructional book with lots of doodle areas to get you writing like a pro in no time. I play with this book from time to time to work on perfecting my skills.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis – I just bought this book and am ready to go when I finish up the two others that I’ve already started. I’ve heard good things about this book. I could use all the help I can get in the confidence department. I think this book is good for women of all ages.
“Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.”