Summertime is for reading. Okay, really, I think every season is for reading. But it’s a little easier during the summer when the days are longer and schedules are a little more relaxed.

When I told my friend Amanda that I was posting my summer reading list, she immediately asked if every book was YA. No, of course not! I replied.

But, okay, fine. A third of them are.

I still feel like it’s a pretty diverse list. On top of the young adult novels, I’ve got some spy novels, inspiring non-fiction, the ultimate book on writing and a pick from my list of classics. You might find something here to add to your summer reading list – or perhaps you have a suggestion for us! Either way, I hope you’ll share what you’re reading in the comments!

Young Adult (YA) Fiction

  • The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare: My friend Becky recommended these books, and I am solidly hooked. Granted, the story borrows heavily from other YA and paranormal series. But the teen angst! And the imaginary world! I love it and am anxiously awaiting the third book in the series right now.
  • Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough: I have to admit that this book’s cover is a little lame. But it’s YA and it’s paranormal and – most importantly – it’s written by my favorite grammar geek in the world. I love Martha Brockenbrough and everything she writes, so I’m sure this will be no exception.
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth: I have two friends named Amanda who share and encourage my love for YA books. Amanda B. recommended this series, and I am so glad! Insurgent is the second book in the series, and I can’t wait to see how the world and the characters are developed.
  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore: Another series I started reading after Amanda B.’s recommendation, this is probably my favorite YA series after Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. It’s been several months since I read Graceling, the first Cashore book, and I was so excited to pick this one up at the library this week!
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green: The only non-dystopian and non-paranormal YA book on my list, I’m hoping this is as good as the other books I’ve read by John Green. I realize that coming-of-age novels about teen boys might not seem like my thing. But what can I say? Green writes darned good books!

Spy Novels, a Classic & Other Grown-Up Fiction

  • The Innocent by David Baldacci: I read this one in about two days. Maybe less. Partly because it was good. Partly because I wanted to let my dad read it before returning it to the library. But mostly because it was good. Baldacci is one of my favorite authors and while I missed the characters from his most recent books (the Camel Club books), I liked the introduction of a new guy – and I hope he’s back in the next book!
  • Map of Bones by James Rollins: I already read this one. It’s the second Sigma Force book I’ve read, and I’m just not sure it’s going to make it to my list of favorites. While the last one was reminiscent of Indiana Jones, this one was similar to the Da Vinci Code. It was certainly interesting, but I got a little tired of the details. Oh, the details! And the history! And the historical details! I realize I may simply be out of practice reading grown-up books, but this was hard for me to power through.
  • The Expats by Chris Pavone: I’ve seen this book on several must-read lists, and I’m hoping it lives up to the hype. The description of a working mom who moves overseas and somehow gets mixed up in some shady (spy?) business reminds me of the Ashley Judd TV show, Missing. The one that was awesome and then got cancelled. That one.
  • The Chase by DiAnn Mills: I love it when a meet cute involves a mystery. When the guy and the girl involved in the romantic mystery-solving are also solving a crisis of faith? I love it even more. That’s why I read everything by DiAnn Mills (and Irene Hannon – they’re very similar). This book starts a new series, and I was glad to pick it up at the library this week, too.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: This is the classic. From my list of 35 books to read before 35, remember? It’s highly unlikely that I’ll read all 35 of those books in the next year and a half. But since this one is coming out as a movie later this year, I thought I’d make sure to read it now.
  • The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen: I feel like one of the other (in)courage writers recommended this one, but I can’t remember who. Whoever it was, thank you! This real, live grown-up book was so good. It had a little bit of mystery, a little bit of romance, a lot of friendship, and it was all so warm and inviting and satisfying. This is a very good book. You should read it, too.

Very Serious Non-Fiction

  • The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson: The church staff I just joined has been reading this book about prayer. I just got my copy and am looking forward to catching up with them. I certainly need to pray more and probably need to pray differently. I’m sure this book will be challenging.
  • 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker: Speaking of challenging, I am terrified to read this one. I’ve heard it’s life-changing, and to say that makes me nervous is an understatement. But I bought it. And I’ll read it. Eventually.
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: Ohhhh, I have so loved reading this book. I have been putting off reading the last two chapters because I don’t want it to end. Unfortunately, the library kind of wants it back. Fortunately, I’ve already decided to buy my own copy so I can read it again and mark it all up.

Now it’s time for me to change laundry, feed the cats and head to bed – so I can read before falling asleep! All this talk of books has me itching to pick up a new one. Good thing I have such a great stack waiting for me.

What are you reading this summer?

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