Saturday, June 15, 2024

Books for a Brilliant Summer

Summer Reading is Brilliant

I love to read during the summer, as my schedule is more flexible, reading helps keep my brain cells active, sparks imagination, improves vocabulary, and entertains and inspires me.

When I delve into an absorbing unread novel, memoir, book of essays or poems, or self-help book that’s written from a new perspective or diverse voice, it helps expand my horizons and stimulates personal growth.


My reading goal this summer is to spend more time reading, rather than count the number of books I’ve read.

Without further ado, here are brief reviews of those books I've read so far or ones I  aim to read this summer.

The Truth About the Devlins, a great summer read

Courtesy of G. P. Putnam Sons

The Truth about the Devlins is the newest offering from the prolific writer Lisa Scottoline. Think of it as a thriller, mystery, suspense novel, psychological fiction, and legal story. 

See the author discuss details about this book that may help you decide whether you want to read it or not. 

Scottoline is the number-one bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author of thirty-five novels. Her law background and diligent research about topics, characters, and even settings makes her books so believable and life affirming.



The omen, a great summer read

St. Martin's Press, Jacket Design Michael Storrings

The Women by Kristin Hannah is a compelling historical novel, published in 2024 by St. Martin's Press. It is a story of devastating loss and epic love. The book's main character Frances "Frankie" McGrath is a woman who enlists in the United States Army Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War. 

The narrative reveals the struggles, heartache, and courage of this brave young woman and others who served in the war, yet were forgotten at home. Once started, it's hard to put it down. 

I was intrigued, because it presents many sides of the issue about America involvement in the Vietnam War. 

Memoir How to Say Babylon by Safina Sinclair

Simon & Schuster/37 Ink

How to Say Babylon is a memoir by Safiya Sinclair, published by Simon & Schuster/37 Ink. This non-fiction book, captures moments from Sinclair's childhood on the island of Jamaica, and her strict Rastafarian upbringing. 

It sheds light on the steps Sinclair takes to break free from harsh patriarchal views and repressive control, to find her own voice as a woman and poet. 

I enjoyed reading it, because it's an enigma. The style is poetic and beautiful, yet it holds no punches. It feels personal and universal, illustrating one woman's quest for equality and millions of women's courageous actions to overcome childhood wounds and come into their full power.  

This book has won the National Book Critics Circle Award, was a New York Times Notable Book, and Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick. It was honored as a Best Book of 2023 by The New York Times, Time, The Washington Post, Vulture, Shelf Awareness, Goodreads, Esquire, The Atlantic, NPR, and Barack Obama.

How to Know a Person, great summer reading

Random House, Pete Garceau Cover Design, Photo David Brooks

How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen is a non-fiction tome that offers tips about self-improvement, and provides psychological and philosophical insights for those who desire more effective communication skills, improved relationships, and a longing to be seen deeply and see others deeply. 

Rather than a lot of technical and/or tedious statistics and studies, author David Brooks’ clear, direct, and compassionate style shows readers ways he's learned to get more intimate in conversations. 

Brooks peppers the narrative with stories and illustrations of how life tasks, coming to terms with individual strengths and shortcomings, and the wisdom that comes from experience can foster empathy, and lead to improved understanding and connection with oneself and those we interact with.

I thoroughly enjoyed and was inspired by this book. I believe the world would be a better place, if people of all persuasions read it.

David Brooks is one of America’s leading writers and commentators, is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, a writer for The Atlantic, and appears regularly on PBS Newshour. He is the bestselling author of The Second Mountain, The Road to Character, The Social Animal, Bobos in Paradise, and On Paradise Drive.  


More books on my summer reading list and beyond are:


Dig In! Easy Gardening Projects Using Kitchen Scraps by Kari Cornell


A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver


Somehow by Anne Lamott


My Own Words Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams


Breaking the Mold Changing the Face of Climate Science by Dana Alison Levy


Extra Virgin Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen by Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos 

Those books I haven't reviewed in this post will probably appear in Part 2. That is, unless I lose interest in reading them or run out of time to finish them.🌞


Dear reader, perhaps you know other books not on my summer reading list that you'd like to recommend.


Please comment about your favorites in the comment section below.


If my post piqued your interest, please share that info.


Have you read books mentioned above? l sure wish you'd share what you thought of them. 

Don't be shy about sharing a link to this post on social media. 

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  1. How did I miss a book by RBG? Very intriguing list!
    best, mae at

    1. Thanks Mae. If you read any of the books mentioned in my post, I'd sure like to know what you thought of them. Happy summer reading and be well.

  2. Good broad selection. I don't know any of these, which is strange whenyou say the first author has 35 books already!! Is it a movie? It seems a little famillar (the title, not the author)? #SundaySalon

    1. Thanks Lydia. Glad I was able to give you a little food for thought. Don't believe "The Truth About the Devlins" is a movie yet. There is an audiobook of it though. Perhaps you'll get to read some of Lisa Scottoline's work. I find her books interesting, sometimes suspenseful, somtimes amusing, and sometimes just plain ringing true. Warm regards, Nancy Andres @ Colors 4 Health

  3. I hope that you get to spend tons of time reading this summer. I have been reading a lot more lately, and I have been LOVING it! I made it a point to pick out 24 books for 2024. I didn't realize that many of them have series unexpectedly. :) But that was a nice surprise!

    I like how you have read a variety of books! :)

    1. Thanks so much or this visit and comment. Wishing you a wonderful summer and many happy moments reading. Have a glorious weekend. Warm regards, Nancy Andres @ Colors 4 Health

  4. I heard David Brooks speak at an Action for Happiness event a while back ( is the link for the presentation), and I immediately looked for How to Know a Person. I enjoyed that book so much that I picked up an older book of his at a library sale. Such wisdom!

    Good luck at reading this summer. Before I retired, summer was prime time for reading for me, too.

    1. Thanks Deb for your visit, comment, and hosting the Sunday Salon. So glad you got to see and hear David Brooks in person. His writing and speaking, your reaction, and mine fascinates me. Just love how some books make an impression that lasts and lasts.

  5. The only author that is familiar to me is Kristin Hannah, I hope you enjoy them all. Have a great week!

    1. Thanks Cindy for your kindness and please enjoy reading, this summer, and today!

  6. Thank you for your summer reading suggestions. I read "The Women" and really enjoyed it. Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors. I just downloaded, "How To Know A Person" (based on your review). So far I've read the introduction and can tell I really like his writing style and will probably enjoy the book.

    1. Thanks so much Judee for your comment. Please let me know what you got from "How to Know A Person." I am doing more listening and less talking to those I hold near and dear. Wishing you a beautiful week,

  7. I really enjoyed The Women so much!

    1. Thanks Joanne. I love Kristin Hannah's style of writing and glad you enjoyed "The Women" too. Wishing you a beautiful day.

  8. Reading actually helps me with painting too! Hope you get to read a lot this summer. I am planning on doing the same. Happy Reading!


    1. Thanks so much Soma. I'm curious and wonder if you'd share more about reading and inspiration for painting. In any event, thanks for your comment and be well.

  9. Mariama@foodnuttersJuly 1, 2024 at 1:45 AM

    Interesting reading, sure worth to saving.

    1. Thanks so much Mariama. I just published Part 2 today. Wishing you a wonderful day and be well.

  10. Two of these books do sound like they would be right up my alley!

    1. Glad I was able to share this with you. If you read the books, please let me know what you think. Wishing you a beautiful day Olivia and be well.