This summer was a particularly productive one in terms of reading. Fortunately, I read some of the BEST books of my life this summer. It would seem selfish to keep these novels all to myself, so I’m here to share them with you. Below is a list of not-to-be-missed books that I hope make it onto your 2020 reading list.
Daisy Jones and The Six- Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book received much attention at the beginning of the summer as it was on many celebrities' reading lists. I originally heard of this book from the ladies on The Social, and I was immediately intrigued. This novel follows the story of Daisy Jones and The Six, a fictional rock ‘n’ roll band, who hits it big in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The story is told in an interview question-answer style and I fully believe that is what makes this story so captivating. The dynamics of the group and the events that unfold are juicy enough on their own, but by reading the story from every character’s point of view allows you to feel every gut wrenching and heartbreaking turn this novel takes to its fullest. This book is one of my most favourite that I have ever read.
A Gentleman in Moscow- Amor Towles
What caught my attention with this novel was actually the cover. I was in the bookstore walking towards the door when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it sitting on the display table. I picked it up, turned it over, read the synopsis, and I knew this was a book I wanted to read. This one follows the life of Count Alexander Rostov, a prominent member of Russian aristocracy, after he is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol Hotel while some of the most important moments in history and tumultuous years pass by. To be completely honest, this is not an action packed book, but the author’s writing style and Count Rostov’s relationship with a young customer at the hotel kept me captivated until the final words. Amor Towles also has another novel called Rules of Civility, which is currently on my reading list.
The Summer List- Amy Mason Doan
I cannot give this novel enough praise. Amy Mason Doan is hands down my new favourite author. Her writing style is unlike any I’ve read and she truly is a master of mystery; she drops subtle clues throughout the novel, but only unveils her breathtaking plot twists in the final pages. Her technique really has a lasting affect on me and leaves me yearning for more. Anyways, this novel tells the story of best friends Laura and Casey, the night it all fell apart, and the breathtaking secret behind the whole story. It flashes back from the present to the early to mid ‘90s, and I guarantee that this book will keep you enthralled for its entirety.
Summer Hours- Amy Mason Doan
After finishing her first novel, I was hungry for more. I found the author’s website and was relieved to learn that she had a new book being released June 4th, 2019. I picked my copy on June 5th and I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it. I ended up finishing this book in just over 2 days. Not unlike her first novel, this novel flashes back and forth in the late 90s and 2008 and follows the story of Becc, her college years, the mistakes she made, and her present life after it all. Amy Mason Doan has truly mastered the art of mystery and keeps every detail wrapped up until the end only offering readers tidbits of information throughout. I believe this is why her novels are so captivating; I need to keep reading to uncover the secret. I truly don’t have a bad word to say about her books and I urge all readers to give them a try.
The Gatekeepers- Jen Lancaster
Disclaimer: the subject of this novel is teen suicide which may be a distressing or triggering subject for some.
This novel features the teenagers of a ritzy Chicago suburb; their parents are simultaneously an overbearing presence and rarely present in their children’s lives. The teens attend a high school that accepts no less than perfect and the pressure these teens face at home and at school to not only succeed but be the best at everything, is too much. Many students from the high school have taken their own lives by jumping in front of the commuter trains. When it happens to students in their own grade, teens from every clique and every background unite to make sure it never happens again. This novel perfectly captures the essence of what it’s like to be the subject of unrealistically high expectations and discusses important issues concerning mental health. This book was amazingly written and the story was not only enjoyable, but it served an important purpose.
The German Midwife- Mandy Robotham
This novel is the author’s debut, and it is quite good for a debut novel. This is a fictional story set in WW2 Germany about Anke, a midwife brought out of the prison camps to act as a midwife to Eva Braun as she is pregnant with the Fuhrer’s baby. The author is a midwife herself and the accuracy in detail she includes in this novel makes it much more realistic. As WW2 is in its final hours and is going badly, close friends of Eva Braun’s believe that this baby, Hitler’s heir, is the fuel needed to ignite the fire for Germany to win the war. With her country falling apart and her family’s lives at risk, Anke must decide whether she safely delivers this baby just as it was any other baby, or to sacrifice it to help save her country. This novel features a twist ending which absolutely enthralled me! The author carefully crafts her story in a way that questions whether this actually happened or not.
The Lost Daughter- Gill Paul
I read one of Gill Paul’s other novels last year called The Secret Wife. This is another author who tells their story by flashing back and forth in time. This novel spans from 1917 to 1979. Gill Paul creatively considers what might have happened had Grand Duchess Maria Romanov escaped the night that her family was horrifically murdered. In 1979, we learn about Val who is trapped in an abusive relationship. Once her father dies Val begins investigating his shady past and eventually discovers something she never imagined. I absolutely love Paul’s style and her novels about the Russian Imperial family never disappoint. I became so emotionally invested in this book that I felt every high and low alongside Maria. Gill Paul is another author that has mastered the art of mystery and I’m always rushing to the end to uncover the shocking secrets.
Another Woman’s Husband- Gill Paul
This is the 3rd Gill Paul novel I’ve read. But unlike her other two, this one is not about the Russian Imperial family. Instead, it is set in 1997 and the early-mid 1900s and involves Princess Diana’s death and the scandals of the British Monarchy. In 1997, Rachel and her fiancée are in the cab behind Princess Diana’s when the accident occurs. In the early 1900’s through to the 1940’s, we learn of the friendship between Wallis Simpson and Mary Kirk, the betrayal that broke them, and the scandal that rocked the Crown. This novel was enjoyable and I was able to get through it in a few days. The one thing I love about Gill Paul’s novels is that, in between the fiction, they serve as excellent history lessons!
Well, that’s all from me! Hopefully you get to enjoy some of these books as much as I did. Happy reading!