We’re sharing some of your reviews of your Summer Reading 2022 books here–you may find ideas for your next read. Looking for more ideas? Take a look at reviews from 2021 and 2020!
Log your own reviews here!
Books not owned by the Library may be requested through interlibrary loan.
Reviews may be edited for length.
How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie
Interesting storyline, title grabs your attention. Story is good, just seems impossible in times of high tech technology, and tracking of cell phones. However, it made for a good and easy read.
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
The power of this exceptional novel is the story of the way tragedy hits every living being. One character responds to the statement that life isn’t easy replies, “It’s not supposed to be.” A small town in Sweden is examined through its hockey league for young men and the way a simple game impacts each and every person in the town. The story is powerful, sometimes hard to read, but the journey through the book leaves you both drained from the emotion and empowered by redemption. Well worth the read.
The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America
A must-read during this time of heightened concern about immigration. Distorted view of eugenics + fear & hatred of foreigners led to a slashing of allowable numbers, but only from certain countries, like Italy, Greece, and Russia (Jews!). No Asians allowed; at least 1 war hero was lost citizenship. Nazis at Nuremberg relied on statements from Americans!
Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King
Good quick read (novella). Got me hooked early on and now I want to read the subsequent two books. Interesting storyline only Stephen King could muster, but nice light read.
On a Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass
Best book I read all summer! Intriguing stories about three neighbors and their connecting lives. Lots of twists and turns which definitely held my interest.
Killing the Killers by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard
Great book. I learned a tremendous amount about terrorism. I will warn readers that this book is very graphic and gruesome.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Excellent story of the life span of a friendship and how it changes over time and circumstances.
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
A comprehensive piece of narrative history which traces the great migration of Afro-Americans from the deep South to the North and West. The author follows 3 families who leave their southern roots to find a better life in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The reasons for this geographical shift shed light on the deplorable conditions for these 3 families in the South as well as the incentives offered by the North to facilitate this movement. The book gives the reader an excellent picture of how and why the demographics of 20th century America was transformed.
Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow
I thoroughly enjoyed this story of several women’s tenacity to stay the course in their journey to survive abandonment, racism and the conflict to hold onto their relationship with God tragedy after tragedy!!!
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
Asha was a fierce dragon slayer whose beliefs were constantly challenged as she inched herself out from under her father’s thumb. Her final task before her unwanted betrothal opened her mind and heart to a world of information and unlikely allies. I admired Asha’s bravery, skill, loyalty, and determination. She grew tremendously along her journey for the truth and freedom. I also adored kind, quiet, defiant, and thoughtful Torwin. He saw past Asha’s scars, title, and reputation, to her goodness. Theirs was a forbidden, angsty romance. I loved their banter, action-packed adventure, and their dragons. Cheers, also, to strong female friendships and a fantastic audiobook reader!
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Great book. Easy read with a good storyline and well developed characters.
The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Second in the series. Builds on the previous book in an unexpected way. A riddle, a little mystery, and a lot of family drama! Can’t wait for the third book!
Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World’s First Computer by Kathy Kleiman
Excellent and well-researched history of the women who were responsible for programming one of the first computers during WWII. Well-written and presented in a readable and interesting style.
The Terminal List by Jack Carr
Such a good book. Very detailed and knowledgeable author (former Navy Seal). Gripping read that’ll have you on the edge of your seat! Great for those interested in thrillers and military storylines.
Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
An excellent choice for historical fiction readers.
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
I only recently began reading Elin Hilderbrand’s books and they’re truly the best type of summer read. A few weeks ago I finished Golden Girl (which was incredible) and The Hotel Nantucket was a great follow-up! The novel really made me want to go visit and there was a perfect mix of love stories and adventure.
Predictable but still a cute romance. Even better then the plot is the setting of a sailing trip around the Caribbean.
I didn’t think I would like this book as it’s dystopian writing, but I couldn’t put it down and enjoyed it!
The First Kennedys: The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty
Good change of pace if you enjoy reading about the Kennedys. It was slow at times with too many details but overall was interesting to learn about JFK’s immigrant relatives.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Started off a little slow but it ended picking up and went full steam ahead! Every Chapter leaves you wanting to read the next one until its 2am and you force yourself to sleep.
The Red Path by M. Daniel Smith
A narrative about a British officer during the French and Indian War. He finds a complex web of societies in the colonial and native populations that affect his view of the war and ultimately his place in the world.
Orion in the Dying Time by Ben Bova
This is the third book in this series. I have been reading this series since I was a kid and keep going back to it. It’s a mesmerizing combination of time travel, ancient history, and science fiction. I finished one book in two days! The imagination of the author is so vast; every time I think I’ve read it all, he comes up with something new! He takes historical events like the fall of the dinosaurs and puts the protagonist right in the middle of them. It’s just so cool!
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown
I really enjoyed this read. Concise and a resource for anyone. Dives in to our sense of belonging and what we think we know or what we think that even means.
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
This was one of the best books I have read!
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World by William H. McRaven
Outstanding! A quick read with a great message.
The Rose Code provided an inside look at Bletchley Park, the center of Allied code-breaking during WW2, through the eyes of three women: Oslo, Mab, and Beth. Their top secret work for England connected them, separated them, then rallied them again to expose a traitor. We went along on the slow-paced, complicated journey. Overall, this was an interesting book with likable characters and bits of history, romance, and mystery. I especially appreciated the mention of Errol Flynn, and the appearances of Alan Turing and Prince Philip of Greece. Also, I think the audiobook reader did an excellent job! I was engaged throughout. Quinn is a master of making history easily digestible and entertaining, so I look forward to reading more books by her!
Very quick, and fun YA graphic novel. I enjoyed the story, and was even caught off guard by the ‘reveal’ in it (I was expecting witches)!
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Towles’ first book led the way for his continuing successes. The story of America’s wealth in the ’30s and beyond offer a fascinating picture of those who live a totally different life from the rest of the world. Characters are charismatic, the plot engrossing, and written with a deftness and intelligence that is rarely seen in today’s novels. Towles uses words like a magician. He draws upon his imagination and the reader’s to tell a love story, a mystery, and a history of the times. Excellent read!
…a wonderful tale of women who are courageous humanitarians during slavery in America and the Caribbean.
An Unlasting Home by Mai Al-Nakib
A wonderful tale of independence, capitalism, cultural tolerance and intolerance, governments that threaten human rights. Mai Al-Nakib eloquently created a story that crossed timelines and geographic borders.
Everybody Thought We Were Crazy by Mark Rozzo
A fascinating read for anyone interested in the 60’s zeitgeist. Rozzo’s book centers on the lives of Dennis Hopper and Brooke Hayward, whose L.A. home became a mecca for artists, actors, musicians who influenced West Coast culture during this turbulent decade. The Fondas, the Byrds, Warhol and many other 60’s notables who epitomized the time make their appearances in this carefully researched book. The book particularly appealed to me because I enjoyed Brooke Hayward’s 70’s memoir Haywire and Rozzo’s work skillfully fills in parts of her life she chose not to cover.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Black Cake is written a bit like it is made; a slow process of components marinating together to make an exquisite product. You’ll feel like you’re home again with family you’ve known forever, but have you *really* known them? Can we ever know all of someone, or just the parts they tell us? I am looking forward to reading more from Charmaine Wilkerson and will be thinking of these characters for years to come.
The The War Man: The True Story of a Citizen-Soldier Who Fought from Quebec to Yorktown
Excellent narrative of a Revolutionary War soldier skillfully pieced together from surviving documents and field investigations. Reads like a novel that keeps you interested in what happens next to the main subject and those in his life. Also serves as a snapshot of early American society, its admirable and less than admirable traits warts and all.
The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister
Beautifully written, moving. Descriptive. Enjoyed it very much.
Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
Part two of Pip’s story was a must read after finishing a A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. The twist and turns of getting to know everyone in Fairview kept me on my toes right till the very end of this second mystery.
Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
Thoroughly enjoyed reading Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone. It is the ninth book in the Outlander series. I am looking forward to the tenth book to see what happens next in the lives of Jaime and Claire. Although the books are long, I highly recommend them.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I absolutely loved this book. Not what I was expecting when I first picked it up. I became obsessed with Evelyn–even after I finished the book, I couldn’t stop thinking about her or her life. Truly great read.
Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
Sequel to Finlay Donovan is Killing It, this book was such a fun read!
Perfect beach read. Surprise ending and lots of fun.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Loved the writing and Elizabeth’s character and her no-nonsense approach to life.
A deeply honest and interesting autobiography. There are some hilarious and frankly shocking stories of Molly’s free range childhood that certainly wouldn’t happen these days.
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Overall the story was pretty engaging if I [just] read the summary of it. I felt like the book itself dragged a little though. I found myself just wanting to finish it instead of being excited to read what was going to happen next.
The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
This book was amazing. The Witch’s Heart was a reimagining of Norse mythology- all your favorites show up (whether they are good, or most often not). The story was epic and gorgeous and I wish I could read it again already! Highly, highly recommend!
By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank
Entertaining story of two different women, their lives and dealing with an upcoming wedding. Well-written and held my interest.
Origins of the The Gods: Qesem Cave, Skinwalkers, and Contact with Transdimensional Intelligences by Andrew Collins and Gregory I. Little
Highly speculative but entertaining read with a mix of archaeology, mysticism, cutting-edge physics and the origin of religion. Take it with a healthy dose of skepticism, but enjoy the intriguing questions it raises.
Tom Clancy Zero Hour by Don Bentley
Book was amazing and a thrill ride. Loved the military knowledge and attention to detail by the author. Allowing us to get insight of our military and feel like we’re actually on mission with them.
Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits! 4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential
Good primer for small-medium business owners, or those aspiring to be. Detailed explanations of core business concepts with a lean towards accounting; simplified but not dumbed-down.
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughn
A page turner. The plot carries you through students at Oxford continuing through their adulthood. Bright, entitled, beautiful, yet some have secrets behind their masks. We are brought to a trial of rape against one of the winningest young Oxfordians. The case is viewed from all angles, leaving you with the question “What is the truth?” and what will people sacrifice for revenge. Excellent read.
Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner
Greenwich Park is a story of three siblings, their partners and shared history. It is a three-part narrative told from each woman’s perspective. Helen and her sister-in-law are pregnant and Helen makes an unlikely friend in her first prenatal class as she ends up unexpectedly attending alone. As the story goes on we realize no one is really quite who they seem and this unlikely friend Rachel isn’t quite a stranger after all. I think my biggest complaint would just be simple believability. The lack of interest in her pregnancy from her husband and others and the fast-paced and awkward friendship with Rachel are all explained later but it just isn’t believable. Some of the plot reveals were a bit predictable but there were a few twists I hadn’t anticipated. I enjoyed the book though and look forward to reading others from this author.
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
A must-read if you are looking to improve your life daily! Digestible information, practical action items, and compelling stories. I especially appreciated the reader-friendly chapter summaries. Overall, this was a quick and helpful book that I will reference again!
The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream by Samson Davis
This was a great story about 3 men who lived in not so great areas and made a pact to go to college to become doctors. They had a lot of misdoings along the way but they succeeded and became doctors and opened up a not profit organization to help others. A must read.
Seed by Ania Ahlborn
I enjoyed this one! I’ve read a few of Ania Ahlborn’s books and they’ve all been a good time. This one I found extra unsettling to the point where I had to make a point to finish it during the day- nothing like creepy kids and the devil, ya know?! Give it a read if you’re into horror novels! Or check out any of her others (Within These Walls was my favorite)!
An intimate view of the clash between Muslims and Hindus in modern India. The horrors of poverty, juxtaposed against the wealth of the Indians who are fortunate enough to be educated. With all the graphic images of the bad and good of the nation, those who live there in comfort find their home and culture comforting and impactful. All is ancillary to the love story of an American who left India and will return to be with the man she loves. An engrossing read.
Where I Left Her by Amber Garza
A fast paced thriller and a quick easy read. The story took off right away and grabbed my attention immediately but had some lulls throughout as it alternates between past and present. Some characters didn’t necessarily lend themselves to the story line either. I liked the ending but as with most thrillers you sort of need to suspend your disbelief and let the book take you on that ride no matter how far fetched it may seem. It left a few questions unanswered but overall I enjoyed it. Not sure that I would recommend it to a friend necessarily but someone who enjoys thriller may like it as a “beach or lake day read.”
The Friday Night Knitting Club
Charming tale tying knitting to the dynamics of life and family. Every knitter can equate to the dynamics of integrating crafting into daily life and relaxation as it affects life, health and relationships.
C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton
The third book in the Kinsey Millhone mystery series continued the story well but was not as gripping as the first two books. I would have preferred it to be more edge-of-the-seat adventurous.
The Good Man of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe, edited by Erwin Rickert
Here is history we don’t learn about: John Rabe, a German businessman representing Siemens, found himself in Nanking, China in 1937, when Japan invaded China. The Japanese armies swept through China, burning, looting, raping and murdering. The Europeans and Americans in China had a measure of protection, from their foreign governments. Rabe, who had lived in China for thirty years and had always been well treated by the Chinese, felt he could not abandon these people to be slaughtered in this fashion. Although he could have left, as almost all foreigners did, he remarkably stayed behind to offer as much protection as he could. He kept a diary in order to provide a first-hand account of the crimes committed by the Japanese Imperial Army. He is credited with saving the lives of 250,000 Chinese civilians.
Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose
An interesting look at the behind the scenes intelligence operations in the Revolutionary War. Goes into good character sketches of various people and also into the intrigues regarding Benedict Arnold.
A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin
It was good!
The Next Ship Home: A Novel of Ellis Island by Heather Webb
Interesting read about an immigrant woman and the obstacles she faces traveling to Ellis Island and living in NYC. I like how it was inspired by true events. It was full of history and drama.
Billy Summers veers from King’s traditional creepy background towards a more James Patterson-esque genre. The book follows Billy Summers during his “last job,” which is just as cursed as any cliched film would have you believe. A lot of Stephen King shines through here – from nods to The Shining to his political stances and thoughts on the act of writing – which is interesting to observe, if not a tad kitschy. Overall an easy enough summer(s) read, but not something that had the gravitas or high stakes of some of King’s more popular works.
Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens
Very cute rom-com about looking all over for something that is right in front of you all along. Quick read that kept me laughing and smiling throughout.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Great read. The story held my interest and was loosely based on true life events in 1930’s -50’s.
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
Fun, cute, easy romance read–perfect for summer.
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
This book was intriguing from the first page and combines a unique plot with beautiful writing. I couldn’t wait to pick it back up each day to see how it would end. I’m looking forward to reading what Stacy Willingham writes in the future!