10 Must-Read Books for Summer

I’ve tried to be an all-digital girl, but I’ve discovered it’s just never gonna happen. I need books, as in real books with pages that you can turn. That will never change 📖

Okay, so maybe only a few of these books are new, but the list stands! The following are some books that make for great beach or poolside reading 🌴 I’ve blogged about a few of these, as well. Please forgive any overlap.

Beautiful cover.

The Soul of an Octopus (2015): Just published, this looks like a great book about animal cognition. I’ll admit I haven’t read it yet 🐙 Picking it up once I finish a few others.


Dandelion Wine (1985): A classic from my literary hero, Ray Bradbury; a fantastic novel about a magical summer ☀


Farewell Summer (2007): The sequel to Dandelion Wine; some nice semiautobiographical writing about where Bradbury grew up in Illinois.

“But there was only silence and the clock, a mindless ghost, hanging in the sky with limp, dead hands, saying naught, doing nothing. Silence and yet another long silence, while all about lights blinked on in houses, bright winks stretching out into the country, and people began to come out on porches and wonder at the darkening sky” (109).


The Secret Life of Lobsters (2005): Another animal cognition book, filled with lots of great details; everything from lobsters’ lives and biology to how lobster traps are set 🐚 I had fun reading this on the beach last summer.


The Whale (2010): Philip Hoare is AMAZING, and this is a must-read for anyone who adores whales or marine subjects. I really can’t recommend this book enough. Hoare has a way with words, and I appreciate the British punctuation throughout. One chapter includes a real-life account of a sailor actually being swallowed by a whale; he went crazy for a few weeks, but he survived 🐳

“The idea that the victim might have been aware as he was swallowed was too terrible to contemplate; although in secret his fellow sailors may have wondered what it was like to be within the belly of the whale, to slither down its gullet like a whiting down a gannet’s neck and into the nameless horror of the leviathan’s maw” (155).


The Sea Inside (2015): A wonderful travelogue by Hoare; very intimate writing about his journeys around the world, which he connects with personal struggles. One chapter includes descriptions of dolphins jumping through the waves while mating. What could be very dry descriptions of ocean life are infused with Hoare’s humor and charm. A really lovely book 🌊

“The water is so clear it scares me. Fish leap up as though they’d dropped out of the clouds. Everything is rising to the surface, summoned by the light, slowed to the sea’s heartbeat. The water brims like an overrun bath. I push out through the stillness of the standing tide, my hands creating the only ripples” (5).


Green Mansions (2010): A mysterious love story set in the jungle 🌱 Provocative! The language in this novel is beautiful. I found this novel in a used bookstore by the boardwalk in OC, MD last summer. Aren’t those always the best finds?


The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Vol. 10 (2014): An anthology of women’s writing from locations like Burma, Uganda, Guyana and lots more.


The Genius of Dogs (2013): Yet another animal cognition book; a great read for dog lovers 🐶


The Jungle Books (1985): Another classic 🐒 This should be required reading in schools, so students can learn that there are…you know…other countries out there 😛

Happy reading!

🌻 J


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