Ah, summertime! Our favorite time to read, right?! My best books of summer for this year are a combined pair of months. I struggled to find books in July and August that held my attention! I gave up on several and skimmed several.
Eventually, I did find a few that were spectacular- so here you are — My Best Books of Summer 2022 (July and August)!
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Take my Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
It’s 1973 when a young black woman, Civil Townsend, begins working for the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic as a nurse. She soon discovers an alarming scene in a rural one-room shack where two pre-teenage girls live with their father and grandmother.
The girls are poor, black, and have had few experiences. And yet, they are visited monthly by the Planning Clinic and receive doses of birth control medicines. The girls, Erica and India, become the patients Civil is determined to help.
The book is based on a true story of welfare misdeeds in Alabama that included sterilizing and treating young women even if they were not sexually active. Nurse Townsend went on to become a doctor and raised a daughter herself. An eye-opening account of wrong-doing that one woman attempted to right. I give this book 5 stars for its beautiful wiring and story that is astounding
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
His plan is to completely refurbish the hotel and make it quite a showplace. The ultimate goal is to attract a very popular Instagram influencer to give the hotel her first ever five-star rating. Entering the story is Lizbet Keaton who becomes the general manager tasked with creating a perfect and lavish hotel.
… there is a ghost. Grace Hadley was a young maid at the former hotel and mysteriously died in a fire. She now haunts the hotel wanting the true story of her death to be found.
I gave this one 4 stars because of the ghost part. I just don’t care for that playfulness and “spookiness” being part of a story. It was entertaining nonetheless! And you will have to read it to find out if the hotel ever got that 5-star rating!
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Growing up these two were inseparable and eventually became romantically involved. Percy spent many days and nights with Sam and his family and was especially dear to Sam’s mother. After something happens to split Sam and Percy apart, Percy moved away and has not returned to her former home or contacted Sam.
Then Sam’s mother dies and Percy decides to go back for the funeral.
You can guess where this might be headed. I gave this one 4 stars! It was a fun summer read!
Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan
This is perhaps the perfect audio book! I will listen to anything narrated by Julia Whelan and she also writes books.
This one has a main character that narrates audio books!
Sewanee Chester is a former actress turned book narrator. Her acting skills probably help create the perfect narration. but she is reluctant to narrate romance books. Then her favorite romance novelist specifically requests, as a dying wish, that Sewanee narrate her last book.
The catch is that she must share the narration with Brock McNight. (Could there be a more perfect name for a romance book character?) There’s a backstory surrounding these two that I will not share with you. And, I think you can totally figure out where this story is headed. I gave this one 4 stars and loved it. I do recommend that you listen to it, of course!
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
This is one of only 2 books I read all summer that I will remember and love. It is, however, heartbreaking.
It’s the story of Kiara and her brother Marcus, living in a rundown apartment in Oakland.
Their mother is in prison and the two barely scrape enough together to pay their rent and exist. Marcus rarely works in order to pursue stardom as a rapper.
Kiara is only 17 but takes on the care of her older brother and that of a neighbor’s 9-year-old son. The neighbor is rarely home and Kiara feeds and cares for the young boy.
Kiara’s desperation forces her to the streets one evening and the quick money of prostitution is too tempting. She thinks this will be temporary and Marcus will help with the bills. Her problems are just beginning.
She is soon picked up by the police and enters a world where she is clearly taken advantage of by those who should be protecting her.
I gave this one 5 stars. It is quite beautifully written. I listened to it and advise you to do the e same. The narrator was exquisite.
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
It’s the story of Owen Meany, a boy that never grew very big and had a high squeaky voice. A boy that lived his life for the one purpose or fate that he knew would one day come.
One of the first scenes of the book occurs during a little league baseball game when Owen is 9 years old.
It is the summer of 1953 in Gravesend, New Hampshire. Owen hits a foul ball that kills his best friend’s mother. Owen and his friends from childhood remain friends throughout the book even as they become adults and live apart. Even the friend whose mother dies remains close to Owen. You will love them both.
Pay attention because everything that happens circles back to the ending. And it’s a perfect ending.
It’s a perfect book. 5+ stars. Read this one!
You might also enjoy these books from last summer or earlier this year!
- April’s Best Books (2022)
- May’s Best Books (2022)
- June’s Best Books (2022)
- Top Ten Books for Summer (2021)
My rating system: 5 stars- perfection, the book was written well, held my attention, and I did not want it to end. 4 stars- the book was really good, but I had questions or concerns about parts of it. This might include the way it ended. 3 stars- the book was okay, but I just didn’t like it much. 2 stars- I skimmed most of it. 1 star- I could not finish it.