Relax this summer with a book you won’t be able to put down

by Ashley Dobson Contributing writer

Still searching for that perfect page turner to dive into this summer? Whether you are planning on being a beach bum, sitting poolside or relaxing on a staycation, we have a range of options to help make your next vacation even better.

So before you finalize your packing list, take a look at our top-five summer reads for this year.

“The Bette Davis Club”


by Jane Lotter Lake Union Publishing

You’ll fall in love instantly with the hilarious Margo, the heavy-drinking, old-Hollywood-obsessed, 50-year-old narrator of “The Bette Davis Club.” The past few decades have been rough for Margo, so when her half-sister offers her fifty grand to chase down a family heirloom and her runaway bride of a niece, she jumps at the chance. In what has to be the most unique road trip of all time, she rides with the bride’s jilted fiance in a borrowed 1955 red MG and makes more than a few discoveries about her family and herself. Couple this brilliant story with the book’s own unique tale to publication the author self-published it to fulfill a lifelong dream but died before seeing a publishing house buy the rights to it and you are in for one amazing ride.

“The Perfect Son”


by Barbara Claypole White Lake Union Publishing

Ella Fitzwilliam and her husband, Felix, have perfectly split their family duties. Ella is in charge of the home and their teenage son, Harry, who struggles with Tourette’s Syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety. Felix brings home the bacon. But when Ella is hospitalized after a life-threatening heart attack, the family dynamics must shift.

Told from the perspectives of all three family members, “The Perfect Son” is a heart-warming story about acceptance and love. It elegantly negotiates tough issues as it paints a picture of a not-so-perfect family. You’ll fall deeper and deeper in love with these flawed characters with each passing page.

“The Restaurant Critic’s Wife”


by Elizabeth LaBan Lake Union Publishing

Lila Soto once had it all a successful career, doting husband and great kids. But now, she has been uprooted to a new city for her husband’s dream job as a restaurant critic, a role he might be taking just a little bit too seriously. Her husband’s quest for anonymity leads to a lot of hilarious stories and a lot of soul searching for Lila. “The Restaurant Critic’s Wife” will delight you at every turn. The many facets of Lila’s life offer something relatable for everyone and make you feel like you are taking her journey along with her. Like a delicious four-course meal, this is one book you simply must devour this summer.

“The Unexpected Everything”


by Morgan Matson Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

While not everything about this young adult novel is unexpected, I was surprised at just how quickly I got sucked into the world of Andie Walker and her friends. When Andie’s politician father finds himself at the center of a scandal, her entire world changes. But she comes to find out that not having her entire life go to plan might have been what she needed all along. The characters in “The Unexpected Everything” are lovable and engaging. Plus, this easy read has dogs, a first love and a political scandal. What more could you need?

“The Woman Who Upped and Left”


by Fiona Gibson Avon

Between being a mother and working two dead-end jobs, Audrey Pepper never gets to put herself first. But after her 18-year-old son asks for a list of gifts for himself on her birthday instead of getting her a gift or acknowledging her day, she has absolutely had enough. Audrey knows it is time for a change. Though the change isn’t exactly what the title would suggest, “The Woman Who Upped and Left” will have you smiling from beginning to end, and you’ll definitely catch yourself laughing out loud more than a time or two.

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