Hey y’all-Happy Friday! Hope y’all have some fun weekend plans. I’m actually going to be checking off an item on my summer bucket list that I shared the other day. My friend and I are going to Carowinds this weekend! I’m so excited to conquer as many roller coasters as I can. (There will definitely be a recap and tips from our adventure.) The point of today’s post, however, is to elaborate a bit on one of my other summer bucket list items: read as many books as I can. So in case y’all are also wanting to read a lot this summer, I’m sharing a handful of book recommendations. A lot of these are books I’ve personally read and enjoyed. There are a few on this list I haven’t read quite yet, but they are at the top of my reading list because I love the author.
Read on to find your perfect beach read. (Or if you’re not a beach person, wherever you like to relax and curl up with a book, either on vacation or at home.)
I’m not including plot synopses because a) it’s been awhile since I’ve read some of these and I’m a bit fuzzy on the details (I remember enough to know that they’re good though!) and b) this post would be way too long if I included a plot description for all of them. You can click on the pictures to view a complete description on Amazon.
(Note: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission on clicks or purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you.)
(Photo by Amelia Cassar Photography)
To the Moon and Back by Karen Kingsbury
Karen Kingsbury is my favorite author, and To the Moon and Back is her newest novel and part of her Baxter Family Collection. Although the novels in this collection can be read individually, I highly recommend reading them in order. The first three books in the Baxter Family Collection are A Baxter Family Christmas, followed by Love Story, then In This Moment.
However, a mega-series of Baxter Family books precedes the books in the Baxter Family Collection. If you want to start at the very beginning of the Baxter Family story, then read Redemption. The order of the different series that make up the Baxter mega-series is: Redemption Series, Firstborn Series, Sunrise Series, Above the Line Series, and Bailey Flanigan Series. There’s also an additional stand-alone novel called Coming Home between the Bailey Flanigan series and Baxter Family Collection. (Note: A Baxter Family TV series is currently in the making and I couldn’t be more excited!)
Once again, please note that it’s not necessary to read all the Baxter Family books prior to reading To the Moon and Back. You will still be able to follow the story if you read To the Moon and Back first, but it might contain some spoilers if you go back and read the earlier Baxter Family books afterwards. There’s about 27 Baxter Family books total, so reading those could keep you busy all summer and beyond! I haven’t read To the Moon and Back yet, but look forward to reading it soon!
Dixie Series by Lisa Patton
I read this trilogy a few years ago and highly recommend. “Chick lit with a southern flair” is the best way to describe it.
Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter
Yankee Doodle Dixie
Southern as a Second Language
Peachtree Bluff Series by Kristy Woodson Harvey
I’ve read the first book in this series, and am planning to start the second one soon. Kristy Woodson Harvey is from North Carolina and a UNC alum, which I think is neat!
Slightly South of Simple
The Secret to Southern Charm
Southern Living actually included The Secret to Southern Charm on their “Most Anticipated Beach Reads of 2018” list. I can’t wait to read it!
Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Woodson Harvey
I read this stand-alone novel by Kristy Woodson Harvey last summer. She is definitely one of my new go-to authors.
Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank
Dorothea Benton Frank is another one of my favorite authors who writes entertaining Southern “chick lit” ideal for a day at the beach or by the pool. This is one of her more recent novels and I read it last summer. I love that most of Dorothea Benton Frank’s books are set in South Carolina.
The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
Mary Kay Andrews is another “Southern chick lit” author I enjoy. Any of her books would be a welcome addition to your pool bag or beach bag this summer. I read The Weekenders last year.
The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
Since I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Mary Kay Andrews, I am adding her newest novel to my summer 2018 reading list.
Sensible Shoes Series by Sharon Garlough Brown
This four-book Christian fiction series is a new favorite of mine. One of my co-workers gave me the first book in the series, Sensible Shoes, for Christmas in 2016. I enjoyed it so much that I had to also read the second and third books in the series last summer. The fourth and final book in the Sensible Shoes series debuted earlier this year, and I just finished it last weekend. In this series, four women of different personalities and backgrounds meet at a spiritual formation retreat, where they forge an unlikely friendship with one another. They dub themselves “The Sensible Shoes Club” and the series chronicles their spiritual journeys as well as different life issues over a nine month period. The plot line is very entertaining, and I found myself wanting to know what would happen to the characters next. In addition, Scripture references and the characters’ different walks with the Lord encouraged me in my own faith as I read. Here are the four books of this series in order:
Two Steps Forward
An Extra Mile
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
This book is nothing short of amazing! Although it’s a work of fiction, it is based on the book of Hosea. The story is set in California gold country in the mid-1800s. It’s a riveting and soul-stirring story of God’s love- how He continues to pursue us even when our hearts are closed off to Him.
I hope that y’all enjoyed this post and that some of these recommendations piqued your interest. I could go on with even more book recommendations, but this list could keep you busy for most of the summer. (Especially if you decide to tackle Karen Kingsbury’s entire Baxter family mega series!). Now that I am blogging, I will try and jot down plot synopsis and general thoughts when I’m finished reading a book so that I can share additional details on here.
Have y’all ever read any of the books on this list? If so, which ones are your favorite? Are there any books not on this list that I should check out? I always love getting good book recommendations. Finally, where is your favorite place to curl up with a good book in the summer?