Friday, May 20, 2022

Five on Friday - Five Books on My Summer Reading List

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Whew.  What a week, y'all.  What a week.

I do the majority of my reading for the year during the summer.  During the school year I rarely make the time to read because we have so much going on, but during the summer, we spend lots of time outside, and there’s nothing better than laying out in the sun by the pool or ocean and reading a good book.  Summertime is officially heeeere for our family starting today at noon, so I thought it would be fitting to share the books on my summer reading list.  Who knows if I’ll get to all of them, and who knows if I’ll stick to this exact list, but these are the ones at the top right now…

O N E – Meant to Be by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin is my favorite author of all-time and she can do no wrong in my opinion.  I own every single one of her novels and I always look forward to reading new ones as soon as they come out.  That said, I am highly anticipating the release of this novel and it’ll probably be the one I reach for first on our beach trip. 

From Amazon…

The Kingsley family is American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. In 1967, after Joseph S. Kingsley, Jr. is killed in a tragic accident, his charismatic son inherits the weight of that legacy. But Joe III is a free spirit—and a little bit reckless. Despite his best intentions, he has trouble meeting the expectations of a nation, as well as those of his exacting mother, Dottie.

Meanwhile, no one ever expected anything of Cate Cooper. She, too, grew up fatherless—and after her mother marries an abusive man, she is forced to fend for herself. After being discovered by a model scout at age sixteen, Cate decides that her looks may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, Cate’s face is in magazines and on billboards. Yet she feels like a fraud, faking it in a world to which she’s never truly belonged.

When Joe and Cate unexpectedly cross paths one afternoon, their connection is instant and intense. But can their relationship survive the glare of the spotlight and the so-called Kingsley curse? In a beautifully written novel that captures a gilded moment in American history, Emily Giffin tells the story of two people searching for belonging and identity, as well as the answer to the question: Are certain love stories meant to be?


T W O – Rivals (American Royals III by Katharine McGee)

I have loved the American Royals books, and I’ve been dying to know what happens since I finished the second book a couple of years ago.  This third book in the series is going to be released on May 31 and I am here for it!  I need some closure for these characters!

From Amazon…

Beatrice is queen, and for the American royal family, everything is about to change.

Relationships will be tested.
Princess Samantha is in love with Lord Marshall Davis—but the more serious they get, the more complicated things become. Is Sam destined to repeat her string of broken relationships…and this time will the broken heart be her own?  
Strangers will become friends.
Beatrice is representing America at the greatest convocation of kings and queens in the world. When she meets a glamorous foreign princess, she gets drawn into the inner circle…but at what cost?
And rivals will become allies.
Nina and Daphne have spent years competing for Prince Jefferson. Now they have something in common: they both want to take down manipulative Lady Gabriella Madison. Can these enemies join forces, or will old rivalries stand in the way?


T H R E E – Beach Read by Emily Henry

I’ve had this book on my wish list ever since it came out two years ago.  It has received high praise from many bloggers who I follow as well as a couple of my friends.  It also has 25,000+ reviews and 4.4 / 5 stars on Amazon, so I have high hopes for it.

From Amazon…

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.


F O U R – Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane

I’ve seen a few different people mention this book, and all of them couldn’t say enough good things about it.  I read the synopsis on Amazon and I was sold, so I couldn’t add it to my wish list fast enough. 

From Amazon…

Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.

But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.

In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction...

They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?

F I V E – Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

My friend, Jeannine, is a librarian, and she mentioned this author to me in a conversation a few months ago.  I’d never heard of him, so I made a note in my phone, so I could check out his work.  Shortly after that, I saw a friend mention this book on social media, so I added it to my reading list.  This book has over 40,000 reviews with 4.4 / 5 stars on Amazon, so it has to be a winner, right? 

From Amazon…

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Proving once again that Backman is “a master of writing delightful, insightful, soulful, character-driven narratives” (USA TODAY), Anxious People “captures the messy essence of being human….It’s clever and affecting, as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to make you cry” (The Washington Post). This “endlessly entertaining mood-booster” (Real Simple) is proof that the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope can save us—even in the most anxious of times.


B O N U S – Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

And because I couldn’t narrow my choices down to just five, I had to add Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore.  This was highly recommended from one of the bloggers I follow, and she specifically said that if you enjoyed The Midnight Library by Matt Haig that you’ll love this book.  Well, I loved The Midnight Library, so this one sounds like it’ll be right up my alley. 

From Amazon…

It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order...

Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Margarita Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.


Friday Funnies


On the Blog This Week

2022 Disney World Vacation Day 6 - Epcot

Our Week – The One with a Swim Date with Friends and Olivia's Dance Recital

My Favorite Young Living Products and How We're Ditching the Chemicals in Our Household


Happy Friday, y’all!


  1. Meant To Be and Rivals are on my summer list too. I have read Beach Read and Oona Out of Order and I loved Anxious People!

  2. Meant to Be is on my Summer list too.

  3. I am currently reading just last night. And beach read was really good. Great funnies, happy weekend

  4. These are amazing book recommendations. That first one and also the last one sound sooo good, well, I mean - they all sound good!!! Also, that "I'll let you know." That's my go-to. Why can't I just say "no?!" Hahaha!

  5. I had no idea the 3rd American Royals book is coming out next week!!! It's on my list now, too!

  6. Lucky you to be on summer vacation already! That's wonderful. I enjoyed Anxious People but I preferred a Man called Ove more; but I do like most of Backman's books. He has a writing voice that is like no other. Emily Giffin's new book sounds great.

    1. I've heard good things about a Man Called Ove, too. I think that one is on my list as well!


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