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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about the...

August 5, 2022

5 Summer Books To Read During the Dog Days of Summer

by Donna Huber


Schools in my area are already back in session - some have already finished their first week of classes! Summer went so quickly and I know I didn't read all the summer books I had hoped to get to. What about you? Perhaps you were busy entertaining kids during vacations that you didn't get to pick up one of this summer's blockbuster novels. Now they are back in school and you have the time (or at least can catch a few minutes of reading while waiting in the car pick-up line). Or maybe you are enjoying the last weeks of summer with a trip to the beach or lake. Here are 5 of the best summer books that you want to read during the dog days of summer.

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The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews

book cover of summer beach read The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews

I always look forward to Mary Kay Andrews's summer book. As the catchphrase goes "Summer Begins with MKA", her summer books are among the very first beach reads to hit the shelves in May. I listened to the audiobook (read my review) and Susan read the book (read her review). We both loved it.

From Goodreads: Hattie Kavanaugh went to work helping clean up restored homes for Kavanaugh & Son Restorations at 18; married the boss’s son at 20; and was only 25 when her husband, Hank, was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Broken hearted, but determined to continue the business of their dreams, she takes the life insurance money, buys a small house in a gentrifying neighborhood, flips it, then puts the money into her next project. But that house is a disaster and a money-loser, which rocks her confidence for years to come. Then, Hattie gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: star in a beach house renovation reality show called The Homewreckers, cast against a male lead who may be a love interest, or may be the ultimate antagonist. It's a question of who will flip, and who will flop, and will Hattie ever get her happily-ever-after.

Buy The Homewreckers at Amazon

Summer Love by Nancy Thayer

book cover of summer beach read Summer Love by Nancy Thayer

I missed Nancy Thayer's summer book this year and I love her books set in Nantucket. I'm still hoping to get to Summer Love before summer sends.

From Goodreads: When four strangers rent bargain-basement rooms in an old hotel near the beach, they embark on the summer of their lives. First there's Ariel Spencer, who has big dreams of becoming a writer and is looking for inspiration in Nantucket's high society. Her new friend Sheila Murphy is a good Catholic girl from Ohio whose desire for adventure is often shadowed by her apprehension. Then there's small-town Missourian Wyatt Smith, who's immediately taken with Ariel. The last of the four, Nick Volkov, is looking to make a name for himself and have a blast along the way. Despite their differences, the four bond over trips to the beach, Wednesday-night dinners, and everything that Nantucket has to offer. But venturing out on their own for the first time, with all its adventure and risks, could change the course of their lives.

Twenty-six years after that amazing summer, Ariel, Sheila, Wyatt, and Nick reunite at the hotel where they first met. Now it's called The Lighthouse and Nick owns the entire operation with his wife and daughter. Ariel and Wyatt, married for decades, arrive with their son, and Sheila's back too, with her daughter by her side. Life hasn't exactly worked out the way they had all hoped. Ariel's dreams have since faded and been pushed aside, but she's determined to rediscover the passion she once had. Nick has the money and reputation of a successful businessman, but is it everything he had hoped for? And Sheila has never been able to shake the secret she's kept since that summer. Being back together again will mean confronting the past and finding themselves. Meanwhile, the next generation discovers Nantucket: Their children explore the island together, experiencing love and heartbreak and forging lifelong bonds, just as their parents did all those years ago. It's sure to be one unforgettable reunion.

Buy Summer Love at Amazon

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

book cover of mystery The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

If thrillers and mysteries are more your thing, then this is a must-read book. It might actually be my favorite book of the summer. And if you are wanting to escape the heat, there are descriptions of snow as the story is set in Boston during the winter. Read my full review.

From GoodreadsThe ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman's terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who'd happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.


The Edge of Summer by Viola Shipman

book cover of women's fiction novel The Edge of Summer by Viola Shipman

I read last summer's book The Clover Girls and really enjoyed it. Susan reviewed this year's book The Edge of Summer and highly recommended it. I was hoping to read it in the pool but the pool needed maintenance so I haven't had any pool time.

From Goodreads: Devastated by the sudden death of her mother—a quiet, loving and intensely private Southern seamstress called Miss Mabel, who overflowed with pearls of Ozarks wisdom but never spoke of her own family—Sutton Douglas makes the impulsive decision to pack up and head north to the Michigan resort town where she believes she’ll find answers to the lifelong questions she’s had about not only her mother’s past but also her own place in the world.

Recalling Miss Mabel’s sewing notions that were her childhood toys, Sutton buys a collection of buttons at an estate sale from Bonnie Lyons, the imposing matriarch of the lakeside community. Propelled by a handful of trinkets left behind by her mother and glimpses into the history of the magical lakeshore town, Sutton becomes tantalized by the possibility that Bonnie is the grandmother she never knew. But is she? As Sutton cautiously befriends Bonnie and is taken into her confidence, she begins to uncover the secrets about her family that Miss Mabel so carefully hid, and about the role that Sutton herself unwittingly played in it all.

Buy The Edge of Summer at Amazon

The Best is Yet to Come by Debbie Macomber

book cover of summer beach read The Best is Yet to Come by Debbie Macomber

Macomber's summer books are always a fan favorite. While I enjoy her Christmas books a little more, I still look forward to the new book in summer. It is on my list to read, but you can check out Elisabeth's review.

For Goodreads: A new beginning in charming Oceanside, Washington, is exactly what Hope Godwin needs after the death of her twin brother. There are plenty of distractions, like her cozy cottage with the slightly nosy landlords next door, and a brewing drama among her students at the local high school.

Despite having settled quickly into the community, something is still missing for Hope. That is, until her landlord convinces her to volunteer at his animal shelter. There she meets Shadow, a rescue dog that everyone has given up on. But true to her name, Hope believes he’s worth saving.

Like Shadow, shelter volunteer Cade Lincoln Jr., is suffering with injuries most can’t see. A wounded ex-marine, Cade identifies with Shadow, assuming they are both beyond help. Hope senses that what they each need is someone to believe in them, and she has a lot of love to give. As she gains Shadow’s trust, Hope notices Cade begins to open up as well. Finding the courage to be vulnerable again, Cade and Hope take steps toward a relationship, and Hope finally begins to feel at peace in her new home.

But Hope’s new happiness is put to the test when Cade’s past conflicts resurface, and Hope becomes embroiled in the escalating situation at the high school. Love and compassion are supposed to heal all wounds. But are they enough to help Hope and Cade overcome the pain of their past and the obstacles in the way of a better future?



Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.




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