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What I Am Reading This Summer

Coffee Time with Kay
June 8, 2023

Do you enjoy reading? I absolutely do, but I don’t do nearly enough of it. However, each summer I try to focus on reading for enjoyment. Maybe it’s a result of all those years in my childhood that my mom enrolled my brother and me in the summer reading program at the library. You, too? Summer just seems like a great time to get lost in some good books. So today I’m sharing what I am reading this summer.

My Summer Reading List 2023

Now since these are books on my “to read” list for Summer 2023, you need to understand that I’m not endorsing them, just sharing. I may have read one or two of them by the time this post goes live. (I’m sharing it while I’m on vacation!) But as I write this I have not read any of the books in this first section. I’ve purchased them on the recommendations of others and after reading the summaries.

Nancy Thayer's All the Days of Summer
Nancy Thayer’s All the Days of Summer // market tote

I try to read mostly fiction during the summer simply because I tend to read more non-fiction books the rest of the year. And I like light reading at this time of year, too, especially while I’m on vacation.

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle
One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle // Wren progressive glasses by Peepers

While I prefer Christian fiction or at least books that are not filled with bad language or illicit scenes, I do have some books on my list that probably are not squeaky clean. I tend to appreciate writers who are a little older and who write about more seasoned women, too. But I do occasionally read books by younger authors and with younger central characters.

Nora Roberts' Summer Cove
Nora Roberts’ Summer Cove

My favorite Christian authors are Lynn Austin, Francine Rivers and Elizabeth Musser. But I think I only have a book by Austin on my personal list for the summer. I’ve not read any of her biblical sagas, so this summer I’m opening Return to Me, based on the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah. My absolute favorite of Austin’s novels is A Woman’s Place, which takes place in the states during World War II.

Return to Me by Lynn Austin
Return to Me by Lynn Austin // candle (sold out, but they have other great selections)

I’ll be reading Nancy Thayer’s All the Days of Summer and Nora Roberts’ Summer Cove. I’ve read several books by each of these authors and know somewhat what to expect. But Rebecca Serle (One Italian Summer) and Denise Hunter (A Novel Proposal) are new to me authors. Have you read anything by them?

A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter
A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter // earrings // Wren progressive glasses by Peepers

Honestly, I tend to judge a book by its cover. Doesn’t the cover of Denise Hunter’s A Novel Proposal look fun?

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
wall art // top // earrings // Peepers’ Flower Child blue light reading glasses

I’ve also downloaded the Kindle version of Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge. I’d heard good things. I read the first chapter before I ordered the book, and I was quickly hooked on this very gentle, easy read. At least that’s how I’d describe it so far. I could be very, very wrong. Ha! Anyhow, this is actually the first book I’m reading this summer.

The Second Mrs. Astor
The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe

I do read some books through the Kindle app on my phone. It’s definitely convenient. But I really prefer to hold a book in my hands. I read The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe a few months ago and really enjoyed it. So I wanted to mention it in case you’re looking for a good fiction book based on a true story. I thought it was masterfully written and very interesting. I had never even heard this story before, but it was quite scandalous and yet sweet somehow, too. And of course there’s the tragic ending. Hm…

My Books for Summer 2023

So these are the fiction books I’ve taken with me to Maine. I certainly won’t get through them all. I’m a slow reader…quite intentionally. I sound out the voices in my head and savor the scenes. Anybody else???

Summer Reading List 2023
Nancy Thayer’s All the Days of Summer // market tote

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You can shop the look through the links in the copy above or through the shopping widget below. Sale prices are not always reflected in the widget, so click through to get pricing info. Remember, if you purchase anything through these links I potentially earn a commission, but at no cost to you. Thank you for shopping through Dressed for My Day. I am grateful!

I’ve filled the shopping widget with the books I’m reading this summer (I’ve shown or mentioned them all above), but also a few extras that I’ve already read and highly recommend. And I did indeed include a few of my favorite non-fiction books here, too. Happy reading!

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Blessed for My Day

I tend to drink books in. I guess that’s another reason I read a little slowly. I have to stop and think about what I’ve read occasionally. Yes, that even applies when I’m reading fiction. And I tend to be a little sad when a book is over. What about you?

But there’s one book that doesn’t just move me or cause me to pause; it absolutely changes me. I don’t read the Bible to check off a “to read” list. Nor do I read it out of compulsion or even just curiosity. I want my time in the Word of God to transform me. That means I have to yield to it. I have to read it with the aid of the Holy Spirit and I need to read it humbly, desiring to be challenged, guided and even convicted. This summer I definitely encourage you to read fun and light fiction books. We all need a little escape. But don’t neglect the one Book that can absolutely transform your life.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. ~ James 1:22

xoxo, Kay
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21 thoughts on “What I Am Reading This Summer

  1. Thank you Kay for the book recommendations. I will check some of these authors out. Lynn Austin happens to be one of my favorites, and I believe I have read most, if not all, of her books. I too, enjoy reading fiction during the summer; especially when relaxing at our neighborhood pool. I often get a devotional on a particular book of the Bible and focus on that as well. If you are looking for another author, consider Kristy Woodson Harvey. She has a new book coming out “The Summer of Songbirds”.

  2. What a great idea to share your summer reading list with us! I too have always loved to read, and your preferences are exactly the same as mine. My husband and I always have a book with us, just in case we’re early for something, or waiting for something. In the summer take a walk or a swim at various parks, and then set up our camping chairs on the sand or the grass and sit and read for an hour. I will try some of the titles you mentioned. For very light reading, I also enjoy Ann B. Ross’ ‘Miss Julia’ series. Julia is a woman of my age group, her adventures are far-fetched, and her wit makes me smile.

  3. Kay,
    I hope you are enjoying your vacation. I love to read and have since I was a child. I tend to read too fast , I think because I want to find out what happens.
    I have the books by Nancy Thayer and Rebecca Serle and enjoyed both of them. Thank – you for the good selections.

  4. A. Christian author you might enjoy is Irene Hannon. She is from my home state Missouri and many of her books are set in Missouri. I am the opposite of you in reading, I am a very fast reader, I am on my 55th book for this year. I am saving your blog with the books so I can check out ones I have not read.

  5. I second your suggestion for Olive Kitteridge. I am currently reading The Second Mrs. Astor. My book club chose it, but I couldn’t go to the meeting last night. I just read One Italian Summer. It’s well written, but I couldn’t accept the premise. And The Nightingale was recommended to me by a friend so I bought it. My own pile is high, but I look forward to it. My church group is doing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe so I’m reading it to my grandchildren as well. Isn’t that fun?

    Happy reading to all!

  6. I have read olive Kitteridge, and I highly recommend it! I believe you will truly enjoy it. There’s also a sequel, called Olive Again. I enjoyed it too, so I highly recommend both. We I completely agree with reading the Bible on a daily basis! Since I’ve begun to do that, I have gotten a much deeper understanding of our wonderful God, and all he has done for us. Enjoy your vacation in Maine!

  7. Kay, have you read The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell?? Check it out on GoodReads. Lots of great books out there, but this one is quite special!!

    Love your posts and appreciate the hard work you put into each and every one!

  8. The best book I have read this year is The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold. It is a Christian book.

  9. Hi Kay. Hope you are enjoying your vacation. I know Shanna Abe personally. We met many years ago when our husbands worked together. We met on a company trip to Hawaii. She is a delight. So glad you enjoyed her book. Have a great day.

  10. My favorite Christian author Is Francine Rivers. My daughter and her family for 1 of my mother’s days gifts Gave me her book The Masterpiece. I really enjoy this book. I am almost through with it and will be sad when I am. My favorite book of hers is Redeeming Love. If you have not read this book yet put it on your reading list. You will cry many times Reading this book. So good!

  11. Thank you! I love book recommendations! My 2nd cousin recommended one I never would have picked but now I am recommending it. “ When Breath Becomes Air” by PaulKalanithi. Quick read and so worth it.

  12. I read One Italian Summer last year before we went to Italy. I loved it. I’ve read all
    Francine Rivers books. Also loved the Second Mrs. Astor! You would probably enjoy the Switchboard Soliders.

  13. Thank you for the book suggestions, Kay. I enjoyed reading the Lynn Austin “Chronicles of the Kings” series. I have several authors I enjoy reading and enjoy books that are part of a series. The Ann B. Ross “Miss Julia” series makes me laugh out loud! Beverly Lewis books are sweet and wholesome. One of my favorites is “To Dance with the White Dog” by Terry Kay. Happy Summer Reading!

  14. I enjoyed The Nightengale! For others who liked it, I recommend The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict and A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, both based on true stories, and set in the same time period.

    1. Hi! I love this post Kay! I love to read and enjoy holding a book in my hands, and listening to them on audio. I’m always looking for new authors to try, and between you and those who commented, I have a few new on my list! Thanks everyone!

  15. I love Elin Hilderbrand’s books. I also love Nora Roberts books. Not a fan of romance novels though. I will check out your summer reading list. I wonder how many people plan out their reading list or just find a book and think, “This looks good” and read it. I like series because I too am sad when a book is over.

  16. Thank you, Kay! I have always loved to read, and remember my trips to the school library and book mobiles the clearest when I take a trip down memory lane! I trust your recommendations, and really enjoyed the two Lynn Austin books I read last fall. Now that we have a granddaughter and I get the GIFT of caring for her, my reading moments are few and far between. Still starting the day with God’s Word, can’t live without that one! Let us know when you finish some of these…I am looking forward to your reviews!