I’ve been so bad about keeping up my blog this summer–okay, for always is a truer statement. The one thing I thought I could reliably do is a post about all the books and audiobooks I’ve loved. Well, I have no excuses. I’m reliably unreliable and you should know that about me.
So here is a really, really, long list of my summer reading. As you can see, I did do some series binge reading (or listening), so there are a number of book series listed. I even managed a couple of nonfiction books.
Next Girl to Die (The Calderwood Cases #1) by Dea Poirier
Solving the case will avenge her sister—unless the killer finds her first.
It’s been fifteen years since Claire Calderwood’s sister, Rachel, was brutally murdered in their small hometown in Maine. Claire has finally carved out a life for herself as a homicide detective in Detroit, but the past comes calling when the local police back home ask for her help with a murder eerily similar to Rachel’s.
Still haunted by Rachel’s cold case, Claire returns home, hoping to solve the crime and finally put her grief to rest. As she starts investigating, the last thing she needs is tenacious journalist Noah Washington asking questions she’s not ready to answer. But like her, Noah won’t give up until he finds the truth—and Claire reluctantly finds herself relying on him more and more when disturbing new details about Rachel’s death come to light.
When the killer strikes once again, Claire knows he’s not done. Now he’s set his sights on Claire, who will have to find the courage she needs to survive a deadly confrontation years in the making.
Beneath the Ashes (The Calderwood Cases #2) by Dea Poirier
A troubled detective learns that the fires of the past are still burning in this haunting, emotional thriller.
When detective Claire Calderwood is called to a grisly murder scene, she’s haunted by memories of her murdered sister. The victim is tied to a motel bed, her head covered in plastic and her body sprinkled with ashes. Claire’s dealt with vile crime scenes before, but this one strikes close to home.
Claire’s boyfriend, reporter Noah Washington, once helped find her sister’s killer, but now he’s a distraction to this new investigation. She wants to help him resolve the mysteries of his past, but Noah has been distant, and Claire knows he’s keeping something from her.
When another girl is murdered like the first, Claire suspects the work of a serial killer. As the case heats up and evidence mounts, she finds herself in profound danger. Claire’s been burned before; now she must decide if she can trust Noah to help her solve the case and uncover the truth that lies beneath the ashes.
by Kim Chance
When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.
After consulting a psychic, Lainey discovers that she, like her mother, is a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous but powerful spell book. But there’s a problem. The Grimoire has been stolen by a malevolent warlock who is desperate for a spell locked inside it—a spell that would allow him to siphon away the world’s magic.
With the help of her comic-book-loving best friend and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter, Lainey must leave her life of college prep and studying behind to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book.
Seeker (Keeper #2) by Kim Chance
Lainey’s normal, bookworm life no longer exists. With her family murdered by the Master, she joins forces with a group of Supernatural rebels. But as she struggles to cope with her new role as Keeper and the uncontrollable power it gives her, Lainey realizes that magic does indeed leave a mark—but it’s not always physical.
Ty isn’t one of the good guys. He’s done terrible things, and he won’t stop until he gets what he wants. Even if it hurts. Even if it means betraying the girl he loves . . . again. For Maggie, all her comic book dreams have come true, and her new life as a Shifter is just beginning. But with war closing in, is it truly a dream or a death sentence?
In the ultimate battle for power, Lainey, Ty, and Maggie must face-off against the Master, and work together to discover the greatest weapon of all.
Seek and you will find.
A Life Without Living (The Strega Series #1) by SC Alban
How long would you wait for true love?
Kate Martins appears to have it all; a good career, a beautiful home, and an amazing husband. What more could anyone ask for? But when Kate’s recurring nightmares begin to cross over into her waking hours, she discovers her perfect life is not at all what it seems. It isn’t until she meets a mysterious stranger that Kate begins to question who truly she is and where she comes from.
For the past four centuries, Giovanni Rossi has faced the dark powers of the Strega Negri in search of the one woman who can lift his curse of immortality. The problem? His enemy always seems to be one step ahead. Desperate to be free, Gio races against the clock to find his true love. Will he find what he is looking for in Kate, or fail once more and be doomed to another lifetime of loss?
All Boy by Mia Kerick
Seventeen-year-old Callie Canter knows all about screwing up—and being screwed over. After her so-called boyfriend publicly humiliated her senior year, taking a fifth year of high school at Beaufort Hills Academy is her second chance to leave behind a painful past. But her need for social acceptance follows, and going along with the in-crowd is the difference between survival and becoming a target. Staying off the radar is top priority. So, falling for an outsider is the last thing on Callie’s “to-do” list. Too bad her heart didn’t get the memo.
With his strict, religious upbringing and former identity far away in Florida, Jayden Morrissey can finally be true to himself at Beaufort Hills Academy. But life as a trans man means keeping secrets, and keeping secrets means not getting too close to anyone. If he can just get through his fifth year unnoticed, maybe a future living as the person he was born to be is possible. Yet love is love, and when you fall hard enough, intentions crumble, plans detour, and secrets are revealed.
From multi-award-winning author Mia Kerick, comes a powerful, timely, and life-changing novel, which follows two teenagers nursing broken hearts and seeking acceptance, and who together realize running away isn’t always the answer.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
MEET THE DOG
WHO WILL SHOW THE WORLD
HOW TO BE HUMAN
The New York Times bestselling novel from Garth Stein—a heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope—a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.
Contagion by Erin Bowman
After receiving a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is sent into deep space to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.
When they arrive, they find the planet littered with the remains of the project—including its members’ dead bodies. As they try to piece together what could have possibly decimated an entire project, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . . . ” This is how Abby Whitshank always describes the day she fell in love with Red in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate an indefinable kind of specialness, but like all families, their stories reveal only part of the picture: Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s parents, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to the grandchildren carrying the Whitshank legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn house that has always been their anchor.
The first edition of Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene and revolutionized the way millions of people communicate when stakes are high. This new edition gives you the tools to:
- Prepare for high-stakes situations
- Transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue
- Make it safe to talk about almost anything
- Be persuasive, not abrasive
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?
Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.
One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.
And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.
Ronan is one of the raven boys – a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface – changing everything in its wake.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.Friends can betray.Mothers can disappear.Visions can mislead.Certainties can unravel.In a starred review, The Bulletin called The Dream Thieves, the previous book in The Raven Cycle, “a complex web of magical intrigue and heart-stopping action.” Now, with Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the web becomes even more complex, snaring readers at every turn.
The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Kirkus Reviews declared: “Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close.”
Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold―a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.
Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite―and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.
Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.
Siege and Storm (Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Alina Starkov’s power has grown, but not without a price. She is the Sun Summoner―hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Shadow Fold. But she and Mal can’t outrun their enemies for long.
The Darkling is more determined than ever to claim Alina’s magic and use it to take the Ravkan throne. With nowhere else to turn, Alina enlists the help of an infamous privateer and sets out to lead the Grisha army.
But as the truth of Alina’s destiny unfolds, she slips deeper into the Darkling’s deadly game of forbidden magic, and further away from her humanity. To save her country, Alina will have to choose between her power and the love she thought would always be her shelter. No victory can come without sacrifice―and only she can face the oncoming storm.
Ruin and Rising (Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo
Soldier. Summoner. Saint.The nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
The Darkling rules from his shadow throne while a weakened Alina Starkov recovers from their battle under the dubious protection of the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Now her hopes lie with the magic of a long-vanished ancient creature and the chance that an outlaw prince still survives.
As her allies and enemies race toward war, only Alina stands between her country and a rising tide of darkness that could destroy the world. To win this fight, she must seize a legend’s power―but claiming the firebird may be her ruin.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo returns to the breathtaking world of the Grishaverse in this unforgettable tale about the opportunity—and the adventure—of a lifetime.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets—a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Face your demons…or feed them. The dashing young king, Nikolai Lantsov, has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war―and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, Nikolai must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha general, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried―and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The wildly popular novel by Stephen Chbosky about a freshman named Charlie (Logan Lerman) who is always watching from the sidelines until a pair of charismatic seniors takes him under their wing. Beautiful, free-s pirited Sam (Emma Watson) and her fearless stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller) shepherd Charlie through new friendships, first love, burgeoning sexuality, bacchanalian parties, midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the quest for the perfect song.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
William Golding’s compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At first it seems as though it is all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behaviour collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them-the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories-and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible.Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic.
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
Here’s what started the phenomenon: the best seller, for over 15 years, that’s been used by screenwriters around the world! Blake Snyder tells all in this fast, funny and candid look inside the movie business. “Save the Cat” is just one of many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying, including: The four elements of every winning logline The seven immutable laws of screenplay physics The 10 genres that every movie ever made can be categorized by ― and why they’re important to your script Why your Hero must serve your Idea Mastering the 15 Beats Creating the “Perfect Beast” by using The Board to map 40 scenes with conflict and emotional change How to get back on track with proven rules for script repair This ultimate insider’s guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a showbiz veteran who’s proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat.
The Hollow Queen (Stolen Empire #5) by Sherry D. Ficklin
As a princess of the Romanov Empire, Elizabeth has enjoyed a life of luxury and privilege. But the sudden deaths of her parents leaves her unprotected—awash in the dangerous tide of her family’s political rivals.
When the supreme council crowns her half-nephew Peter II in her place, Elizabeth is left with no title, no power, and no allies. Now little more than a bastard in the eyes of the world, she is sent to serve in the palatial home of Prince Menshikov—the real power behind the boy king. But Elizabeth refuses to fade quietly into the background. Determined to uncover the truth behind her mother’s murder and expose the men who mean to rule Russia in secret, she grows closer to the handsome young king and swears to protect him and his rule at any cost. But the forces that oppose them are as dark as they are far-reaching—and this time, Elizabeth could lose more than just her title…