Here in the US, the three-day Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff of the summer season. Yes, the official first day of summer is nearly a month away, but in most of the country, temperatures are already rising, vacations are on the calendar, and list upon list of summer reading recommendations are splashed across newspapers, magazines, and various and sundry corners of the internet.
Most of us here on the blog are avid, year-round readers, so we hardly need an excuse to pick up more books. But it is fun to check out curated lists and find some books that are hot and trending, cool and refreshing, or just downright emotionally satisfying. This weekend, in between family cookouts and sipping mango margaritas, I came across some lists that have put me into a book-buying frenzy. The side effect of this is, of course, that a reading frenzy will soon ensue. #readerproblems
Let’s start with something fun over at the Your Tango website. There are a lot of ways to pick your next romance book, but how about by using your astrological sign? Using this system, my Virgo ‘best fit’ romance is Julia Quinn’s The Other Miss Bridgerton. But I must have some Leo and some Scorpio in me as well, because I’m also looking forward to The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang and After the Wedding by Courtney Milan.
Elle Magazine has put together an eclectic list of summer reading recommendations, with everything from women’s fiction and romance fiction, to non-fiction, essay collections, and poetry books. While I plan to add several of these to my TBR pile, a few that I hope to get to soon include:
The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll (a dark thriller set against the backdrop of a reality TV show)
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (a ‘strange young woman’ trying to mold herself into society’s idea of normal)
I Can’t Date Jesus by Michael Arceneaux (a collection of essays about navigating the world as a gay black man in Texas)
Open Me by Lisa Locascio (set in Copenhagen!)
I was thrilled to see PW has a reading recommendation list just for romance lovers! Excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I realized they only included five books on that list. Seriously, PW?
Still, I’m excited at Madeline Hunter’s second installment in her Decadent Duke’s Society series, A Devil of a Duke. We romance readers (and writers) are well aware that there aren’t nearly enough dukedoms to support our insatiable appetites for bad-boy duke stories, but we adore the fantasy of duke after duke starring in our historical romances.
I’m also intrigued by the idea behind A Wedding on Bluebird Way, with four different romance authors each taking a turn writing a love story about a different couple, with each character “somehow linked to the ill-fated wedding.” (Hmm, that could be the kind of fun project the Eight Ladies attempt some day!) With or without sand, that’s one beach read I expect I’ll enjoy!
While there aren’t many romance books on most summer reading lists, I’ve found a few, and have rounded out my own reading list with all kinds of books I can’t wait to read over the next few months. That’s how I’ll be spending big chunks of quality time during the dog days of summer, whether I’m home enjoying air conditioning and margaritas, or off on vacation enjoying new adventures and margaritas. (There might be a pattern developing here…)
Do your summer reading loves tend to be romances, or do you look for something else to add to your summer TBR pile? If you’re taking a vacation sometime in the next few months, which books will you pack for your trip/load on your e-reader?