FP Book Club: 5 Must-Reads This Summer

I have a lot of friends. It’s just that they are mostly fictional and bound inside a 300-page book. We hang out a lot. Like, every night.

So, I can’t stop reading. The seasons don’t make a difference for me. I’m a total book nerd. Like, a holy.moly.did.I.really.spend.fifty.dollars.this.week.on.books. kind of book nerd. If you aren’t, that’s okay. But, you should be! For me, reading provides an opportunity for escape. It eases my mind, steps up my creativity, and allows me to dream. If you are looking to read more, summer is a great time to start. Go grab one (all) of these books, sit outside under the warm sun, and let your mind float into the pages.

I’ve read all of these books. Some up to three times. Each is different, but all have strong character development that just might beg you to know more and more. Here we go.

The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls. One of my all-time favorite memoirs. It’ll make you laugh, cry, cry, cry and think. Man, is this book deep. If you haven’t given it a shot yet, please go get in your car, hop on your bike, and ride to the closest book store. It’ll stick with you forever. Read this one tucked away in bed, where nobody can see you feel all the feels.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith. Another classic on my shelf, this book brings nostalgia to my heart in the best of ways. You’ll fall in love immediately with this tucked-away-in Brooklyn family. It will whisk you back to those “good ol’ days,” when you would chase after the ice-cream truck (let’s be honest, I did that last week), but y’all catch my drift. Read this one on your fire escape, nestled up among the trees.

The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. I just read this book last month and loved its warmth — in addition to being funny, dramatic, and big-hearted. Keep this one snug in your bag, and catch up on it when you have a couple minutes. It’s easy to get sucked back in.

The Nightingale,  Kristin Hannah. Oh, oh, oh! I read this in 24 hours. (I had to call off work that day.) I’m a bit obsessed with World War II books. This fictional tale is a total page turner. It will transport you back in time, and command you to seek the bravery that many woman within that time period had to possess. Read this over the weekend, or tell your boss you just can’t.

F*Words, Jeanne Field. Let’s kick it back to the era of bell-bottoms and Woodstock, and back to present day. Jeanne, (or Aunt Jeanne, to me), lived one hell of a life. “I hope I’m talking to young women who will see that your life’s journey doesn’t have to be planned, that you can stay open and resilient and let nothing bring you down.” — Jeanne Fields. She’s worked brilliant jobs, lived in beautiful places, found true love, managed Neil Young on tours, helped with the Woodstock Documentary, can whip up the most delicious meals, all while being humble, welcoming and a kindred spirit. She is an inspirational voice for woman of our generation, and her story should be heard. Grab this book, pack it in your beach bag, and read it next to the sea. Life is beautiful.

+ What 5 books do you suggest for me to add to my end-of-summer reading list? What book do you suggest for the next FP Book Club? Let us know in the comments!

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4 years ago

This post is so poetically written :). There seems to be a good range here – I can’t wait to check some of these out!

Nicky xx | http://www.curious-journeying.com

4 years ago

I need to read The Glass Castle! I picked up another Jeanette Walls book, The Silver Star, on a whim at my local library and I am so glad I did. Her writing style is simple and easy to read, but packed with feelings. Also, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn might be my favorite book of all time. I kinda want to read it again now. Have you ever read any of Betty Smith’s other novels? I’ve read them all and her style is so… powerful. All of her books have this raw human feel that you can’t help but understand in it’s entirety. Definitely recommend, especially Joy in the Morning!


4 years ago

I just finished The Nest a couple weeks ago and loved it. I liked how you gave locations for us to try out these books…I would read The Nest on my commute into work. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and F*Words sound like my next reads. Thanks!

4 years ago

Thank, I have definitely added some of these to my reading list! Have you done the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series? Love it so much! Also a big fan of Margaret George who writes amazing historical fiction (although they are very long books!) I’m always reading and always looking for suggestions! thanks!

4 years ago

Thank you! I am beyond excited to get my hands on F*word.

If you are on the Woodstock train, I seriously suggest you read The Road To Woodstock by Michael Lang. It is non fiction,as Michael Lang was one of the organizers of Woodstock and it is his story of how it all came together. I am absolutely obsessed with the Woodstock era, I believe our generation is the next generation to revolve like this, and have read this book 4 times now!!
As for non fiction, Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden will remain one of my all time favourite stories. The one that I always come back to. It is based on Boyden’s grandfather’s experience in WW1, but his novel situates around 2 Cree brothers who become snipers in that war. Niska, an Oji-Cree medicine woman has efused to assimilate in the 19th century European beliefs and continues to live in the bush traditionally. She hears that one of the brothers is coming back from war so she paddles the 3 day journey to meet him. It ends up being a different boy than she thought but she still pursues him to heal him from the war that hardened his soul. She recounts stories from her past as most of the narrative.

Hope this helps anyone in their story needs!

Peaceful reading to everyone :)

4 years ago

The Glass Castle has been on my list forever! It’s currently on my bookshelf, I’ll need to read that after I finish my current book, “The One and Only” by Emily Griffin!

xx Chelsea

4 years ago

I’ve had The Nest on my wish list since it first came out at Barnes & Noble. Admittedly, I only wanted it as shelf candy because it’s so pretty (I LOVE decorating with pretty pastel books). I’m glad to know it’s actually a good read, too! It sounds like a perfect one to pick up for airplane travel.

My goal is to read at least one notoriously challenging book this summer, like Infinite Jest, 2666, or Gravity’s Rainbow. Essentially, something that’s the antithesis of a “beach read,” haha.

4 years ago

I’ve come into a book obsession over the past couple of years and I am always out buying way too many books or bringing too many books home from the Library, knowing that i’ll never have enough time to read them. I just bought A Tree Grows in Brooklyn from a thrift store a few weeks back, and I can’t wait to start reading it. I’m currently reading Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood, and it’s packed with short stories that intertwine with each other.

4 years ago

In Cold blood by Truman Capote! It’s a murder mystery documented by Truman himself. It truly picks the brain of one of the murderes in particular. It’s leaves you wanting to know more about psychological disorders.

4 years ago

I just, literally just, wrote a post on my blog outlining the books I read this summer!!! (I think they say something about great minds…)
I would seriously appreciate a read from you; you have my dream job.


4 years ago
4 years ago

I loved loved loved “The Nightingale”!! I tried to find other books like it but they came up short (The Orphan Train).

4 years ago

So I may have just added all 5 of those books to my list of what to check out next. Although each different from the next, all sound incredibly appealing to me and I can’t wait to check them out : ) Thanks for the recommendations!


4 years ago

Just started the nightingale today and i’m already on chapter 8! I can’t stop! So very good, thank you for the recommendation.

4 years ago

I love book recommendations–I’m always on the hunt for more books! Thanks for sharing!



4 years ago

The Glass Castle is sooo good! I whipped through it in no time, couldn’t put the thing down.

Another great summer read is the classic On the Road by Jack Kerouac- it’s a great read if you’re into Beatnik style and interested in reading the crazy stories of the OG crew that essentially created the Beat Generation. Also good for any lost souls that need a little motivation.


4 years ago

All of these books sound like they need to find an empty spot on my bookcase or nightstand, if there was any space left!
If you haven’t read Martha Beck’s “Expecting Adam”, then you must. Non fiction. Wonderful story about her son.