Ten Books On My Summer To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I count down my top ten choices on a particular theme. This weekly event is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is: Ten Books On My Summer To-Be-Read List.

I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m notoriously terrible at sticking to a to-be-read list. While I love the structure they provide, as a mood reader, I never know quite what I’ll feel like reading next, despite my best intentions to the contrary. That said, for what might be the first time ever, I have absolute confidence that I’ll have no problem sticking to this to-be-read list! I’ve been lucky enough to read a number of truly phenomenal contemporary and realistic fiction stories in the first six months of 2019 (You can see what I’ve read so far this year and what I rated each book here!) and in the process I’ve re-discovered my love of adult romance novels, particularly romantic comedies!

Life has felt particularly dark and difficult since 2016, and more and more often I find myself gravitating toward stories that I can escape into and that fill me with hope and optimism when it can otherwise feel sorely lacking. Summer is also the time when I’m most in the mood for an irresistible contemporary story (Especially if it has a healthy dose of romance!) so I’m feeling very good about my choice of books below. I have to give a special shout-out to Berkley Romance, who have an amazing catalogue of books being published in the second half of 2019 – They’re responsible for publishing four of the books on this list! – and who were generous enough to share advance reader copies with me of some of the ones I’m most looking forward to. I actually have ARCs (or finished copies) of every book on this week’s list, so I have absolutely no excuse not to read them. Hold me to this, friends!

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What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.

Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.

Desperation makes her open minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.

Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.

But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.

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For fans of Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Sandhya Menon, critically acclaimed author Misa Sugiura delivers a richly crafted contemporary YA novel about family, community, and the importance of writing your own history.

The author of the Asian Pacific American Award-winning It’s Not Like It’s A Secret is back with another smartly drawn coming-of-age novel that weaves riveting family drama, surprising humor, and delightful romance into a story that will draw you in from the very first page.

Katsuyamas never quit — but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.

She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

Then her mom decides to sell the shop — to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.

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A brand new romantic comedy from New York Times bestseller Tessa Bailey!

Georgette Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town, but she picked balloons instead of blueprints and they haven’t taken her seriously since. Frankly, she’s over it. Georgie loves planning children’s birthday parties and making people laugh, just not at her own expense. She’s determined to fix herself up into a Woman of the World…whatever that means.

Phase one: New framework for her business (A website from this decade, perhaps?)

Phase two: A gut-reno on her wardrobe (FYI, leggings are pants.)

Phase three: Updates to her exterior (Do people still wax?)

Phase four: Put herself on the market (And stop crushing on Travis Ford!)

Living her best life means facing the truth: Georgie hasn’t been on a date since, well, ever. Nobody’s asking the town clown out for a night of hot sex, that’s for sure. Maybe if people think she’s having a steamy love affair, they’ll acknowledge she’s not just the “little sister” who paints faces for a living. And who better to help demolish that image than the resident sports star and tabloid favorite.

Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie when an injury ended his career. Now he’s flipping houses to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days. But he can’t even cross the street without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his…bat. And then there’s Georgie, his best friend’s sister, who is not a kid anymore. When she proposes a wild scheme — that they pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job — he agrees. What’s the harm? It’s not like it’s real. But the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her…

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From the host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast comes a heartfelt debut about the unlikely relationship between a young woman who’s lost her husband and a major league pitcher who’s lost his game.

In a sleepy seaside town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house nearly a year after her husband’s death in a car crash. Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them.

Meanwhile, in New York City, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and, even worse, he can’t figure out why. As the media storm heats up, an invitation from Andy to stay in Maine seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button on Dean’s future.

When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken — and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. To move forward, Evvie and Dean will have to reckon with their pasts — the friendships they’ve damaged, the secrets they’ve kept — but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance — up until the last out.

A joyful, hilarious, and hope-filled debut, Evvie Drake Starts Over will have you cheering for the two most unlikely comebacks of the year — and will leave you wanting more from Linda Holmes.

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Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Nicola Yoon comes a novel about first love and secrets from Stonewall Book Award winner Brandy Colbert.

Dove “Birdie” Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she’s on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past…whom she knows her parents will never approve of.

When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family’s apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded – she’s also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she’s known to be true is turned upside down.

Full Disclosure: Immediately after drafting and scheduling this post, I decided to read the “first few pages” of The Revolution of Birdie Randolph, and ended up reading the entire book in a single sitting! I hope to share a detailed review of this book closer to its publication date, but suffice it to say I absolutely adored it and I can’t recommend it highly enough. This book is definitely worth a pre-order! As an exciting bonus, I’ve now already read one book on my summer to-be-read list – I’m off to a great start!

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All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

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A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a powerful duke in a love story that threatens to upend the British social order.

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke…

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The Fosters meets The Great Gilly Hopkins in this moving novel, featuring foster kid Pavi Sharma as she sets off on an important mission to save a fellow foster kid from the home that still haunts her nightmares.

Twelve-year-old Pavi Sharma is an expert at the Front Door Face: the perfect mix of puppy dog eyes and a lemonade smile, the exact combination to put foster parents at ease as they open their front door to welcome you in. After being bounced around between foster families and shelter stays, Pavi is a foster care expert, and she runs a “business” teaching other foster kids all she has learned. With a wonderful foster family in mom Marjorie and brother Hamilton, things are looking up for Pavi.

Then Pavi meets Meridee: a new five-year-old foster kid, who is getting placed at Pavi’s first horrendous foster home. Pavi knows no one will trust a kid about what happened on Lovely Lane, even one as mature as she is, so it’s up to her to save Meridee.

With help from Hamilton, brooding eighth grader Santos, and Hamilton’s somewhat obnoxious BFF Piper, they set off on an important mission with life-changing stakes. Pavi will stop at nothing to keep Meridee safe.

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Debut author Sarah Smith nails this fun and sexy rom-com where two office foes hammer out their differences to build a love that will last…

Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men. From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she’s tough as nails – the complete opposite of her easy-going real self.

One thing she doesn’t have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie’s friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can’t stop staring at his Thor-like biceps…

When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get…heated. Emmie’s beginning to see that beneath Tate’s chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real.

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The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

Now it’s YOUR turn! Which books are you looking forward to reading this summer? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

15 responses to “Ten Books On My Summer To-Be-Read List”

  1. Fix her up and Faker look so freaking cute – though I heard Fix Her Up is quite a sexy read! I’m looking forward to them either way.

    Your graphics are so stinkin’ cute.
    Melanie Parker recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #33: Books On Our Summer 2019 TBR (That You Might Have Missed!)My Profile

  2. Looks like you have some fun books on your list. Good luck on your list. My TTT Summer reading list

  3. These books certainly look like they’re screaming summer! I hope you like them whenever you get around to them.

  4. Interesting list… I love reading these even when I’m not participating (I just published another author interview on my blog instead). You might want to take a look – Jane Davis is an amazing author!

  5. Fix her up looks really good. i have been seeing it around the book community lately.

  6. Well Met seems pretty cute. I hope you’re in the mood to read them!
    Brooke Lorren recently posted…Books on My Summer 2019 TBRMy Profile

  7. Great list of books. All the covers are so virbant and happy! Your blog looks incredible, amazing graphics. Good luck with the tbr and happy reading!
    Nikki @Thenightisdarkandfullofbooks recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday || Books on my summer tbrMy Profile

  8. All of these sound so cute!! I can’t wait to see your thoughts on them and pick up some of them for myself. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Jamie @ Books and Ladders recently posted…Subscription Box #Review: May #IndigoBookBox!My Profile

  9. These look like just what you need to escape. I’m got The Flatshare on hold but it will be quite a while before my turn comes around. Oh well, I’ve got plenty of others to read before then.

  10. Astilbe says:

    This Time Will Be Different does sound interesting.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  11. Great list! Can’t wait to read many of them too!

  12. Lydia says:

    Ooh, Faker does look like it will be a good read.
    Lydia recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Summer 2019 TBRMy Profile

  13. This Time Will be Different is on my list <3 I am obsessed with the cover. On another note, I'm obsessed with the aesthetic of your blog! It looks amazing.
    Sometimes Leelynn Reads recently posted…[ARC Review] The Well of Many Worlds by Luke MetcalfMy Profile

  14. Kyra Morris says:

    Pavi Sharma’s Guide to Coming Home sounds so cute!

    My TTT post!

  15. I’m so excited for all of these!! I hope you enjoy them as you read and finish. Also, oh my gosh, your blog is genuinely the prettiest I’ve ever seen. I’m actually swooning. SO. CUTE.

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