Steph's Summer Book List 2013 | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

June 10, 2013

Steph's Summer Book List 2013

Many things fall to the wayside when kids come along: fashion, hygiene, sex and hobbies. As kids grow, as you adjust to life as a parent, you start living your New Normal. And slowly, if not surely, you start picking things up where you left off.

When I was a kid, I was a bookworm. And not in that, "Oh isn't she cute, what a voracious reader!" kind of way. But in an awkward, nerdy, "Lawdy, girl, put the book down and get outside once in a while before you turn into a vampire" kind of way.  I. Loved. Books. And that's all there was to it. Early on, I took on Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Children, and I developed a special love of The Babysitters Club. I found it hard to enjoy a meal when my parents made me put my book down.

Bibliophilia: It's a sickness.

Now I am an adult. I married into a family of readers and my husband is a book-loving teacher of English. But reading was one of those hobbies that quickly fell to last on the list when kids came along. Now that they are older, I am finding more time to fit in a quick read. I've learned that my reading obsession hasn't faded, it was just dormant (see my post on my Twilight and getting disturbingly involved in the books I read).

I believe reading is a hobby that is beneficial. My husband says that reading more helps you improve your writing. I'm pretty sure there are countless PSA's out there about how reading gives your brain wrinkles and makes you a genius.  So I'm motivated to make reading a priority this Summer (because, let's face it, there is hardly anything to watch on TV, amiright?). I've already read 3 books in the past 3 weeks, and I'm close to finishing my 4th. I figured I'd better compile a Books to Read list, and then I figured I should share it with you.

Since, that's what bloggers do an all.

I tend to get seriously overwhelmed at the library (since I'm not spending money on these books, people). To make my weekly library trips easier, I made a Books to Read Pinterest Board. That way, when I go to the library, I can pull up the board on my phone and check to see if the books I want are available. Smart, right? Also? I am lucky to have awesome bookwormy bloggy friends who make awesome book lists, and I found quite a few good ones from their recommendations.

Here goes.


I just finished this book by J. Courtney Sullivan. I was drawn into the story about the Kelleher family, a family marked by stories of love, loss, regret, guilt, loyalty and faith. I loved that each of the characters was lovable and despisable, and I found a little of myself in each of them. It's a story that doesn't wrap up perfectly, and I am learning to like books that have loose and unresolved endings. This is a great read.

Silver Linings Playbook

I had already seen the movie before I knew it was a book by Matthew Quick (I have a thing about reading the book before seeing the movie, which made me regret I'd seen the movie first)). Since my mother-in-law recently finished the book, I borrowed it from her and read it in about 24 hours. The book is quite different than the movie, and I believe it gives a more honest portrayal of living with mental illness. The characters, while flawed, are endearing. And I think if you've seen the movie you owe it to yourself to see where it started. I liked both the book and movie equally, but both for different reasons.

Family Portraits

I am 3/4 of the way through this Jane Green book. A lot of my friends rave about Jane Green, so when I saw this at the library, I thought I'd give it a whirl. I felt the storyline was a little transparent (I saw where the book was going to go somewhere in the first chapter), but I'm still hooked, anxious to see how the book ends. If you are into tales of secret lives and mystery, this book is for you. This would be a great and easy beach read.

Follow Me

This is next on my To Read list. I saw it on my friend, Diane from Knitting Zeal's, Summer Reading post, so I added it to my list. Being from Pennsylvania, I am intrigued that the book is set here. Described as a woman's "daring journey to self-creation," I am very much looking forward to checking this out (most likely later this week).

Revenge Wears Prada

I didn't even know there was a sequel coming out to Lauren Weisberger's fantastic The Devil Wears Prada!  I'll admit, I've never read teh first book (although I confess: I did see the movie. Bad Steph! Bad!). I saw this on Steph, from A Grande Life's, 10 Books For Your Summer Reading List post, and knew I had to tackle it this Summer (although it just came out and there are holds upon holds on it at the library).

The Great Gatsby

A classic, right? This is Hubby's favorite book. Like, in the entire world. I was supposed to read it in high school and never got around to it. When we saw the movie was coming out, I promised to read the book before we saw it. We never got a chance to see it, so I've put it off. But as it is considered one of the great American novels, I look forward to reading it.

Certain Girls

I've never read anything by Jennifer Weiner, but I hear good things. The synopsis of this book seems quick, interesting and a good Summer read. The main character, Cannie, is introduced in a previous book called Good in Bed, which I may have to add to the list after I read this one. Any other Jennifer Weiner recommendations?


I've seen this book by Marjorie Celona acclaimed in several places, and I've been wanting to read it for a while. Having been a social work in my pre-kids life, I am attracted to tales of survival. The story of Shannon has me gripped just from the Good Reads write up! This one looks a bit more intense, so I need to carve out time to read this when I can enjoy it slowly and take breaks. Intense books are like that.

Still Alice

I came across this book on Julie, of Juliverse's, 5 Books to Inspire post. After glancing over the write up, I confess that while I am intrigued, I am afraid to read something that I know will pull at my heartstrings. This book revolves around the story of Alice, a middle-aged woman struggling through life with early-onset Alzheimers. It's hard to start books that you know will be emotional, but those are the books we learn so much from. So it's on the list, but like Y, I think I'll need to carve out time for this one to read it slowly with breaks.

The Witches Daughter

Something about this book by Paula Brackston, caught my eye on Pinterest one day. Sometimes the supernatural makes for an interesting plot, and this book about Elizabeth, a nearly 400 year old witch, has my attention. She promises to regal readers with tales "of magic and love and loss. [Stories] of how simple ignorance breeds fear, and how deadly that fear can be." Alright. I'm sold.

These are the 10 on my list, which is rapidly growing. I'll be adding more pins to my Books to Read interest board, so be sure to check it out, as well as the Summer Reading posts from my fave bloggers that I've listed above.

I'd LOVE more recommendations! Help me fill up my pinterest board! 

Leave a comment with YOUR Summer Reading recommendations. 

I'm an equal-opporunity reader: as long as it comes with a strong recommendation, I'll give it a try!


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