My Thoughts

My Thoughts | My Favorite Summer Reads For 2023

June 8, 2023


I love to read. I always have. I used to sneak out of bed late at night, crawl into the hallway, and turn on the light to read books without waking up my sister, who I shared a room with. 

Now, I spend about 20 minutes reading every morning, and I’ll read again right before bed. 

Whenever we travel, I grab a book (or two, or three) from a local shop as my ‘souvenir’. Books in my opinion have always been a better souvenir option than magnets, keychains, or shot glasses. 

With lazy afternoons spent floating in the pool or with my toes in the sand on the lake, I spend even more time with my nose in a book during the Summer. 

Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite reads. 

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

I’ve read this novel three times. The first was as a 14-year-old when I found an old copy while rummaging through some of my stepmom’s old college things. The second was a senior in high school, and I just finished for a third time this year when I picked up a copy while on a trip to New Orleans. 

Every time I’ve read the book my thoughts on Edna, the main character, have changed. Likely because every time I’ve revisited the book I’ve been in a different phase in my life. 

The summary on the back of the book reads: 

“Edna Pontellier, mother of two and devoted wife, and her family set out for a family vacation in Grand Isle. There, Edna meets Robert Lebrun, and the two fall in love, but their love is short-lived as Robert hastily leaves Edna. After the vacation, Edna goes back home to New Orleans, Louisiana, only to discover how she longs for her own independence. Thus, she begins to focus on her happiness at the expense of her maternal duties.”

The Awakening is an easy read, it’s fairly short, and I highly recommend adding it to your list if you haven’t read it already or revisiting it if you’ve read it in the past. 

You can grab your copy from Amazon here for $10.

Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood

When someone asks me about my favorite book, Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood is likely my favorite. 

I was first introduced to this book, which is a collection of short stories, in college and it’s stuck with me since. 

The stories haunt you in the sense that they stay with you in your thoughts long after you’ve finished them. I recommend this book to all of my friends and think every woman should read it. 

You can grab your copy here.

Elsewhere by Alexis Schaitkin

Another short and easy read but I LOVE this book. The cover stood out to me as I was exploring Book Culture (a small shop in Pittsford, NY. If you’re local I highly recommend checking this gem out!) and looking for some new reads. 

I took it home and finished it in a handful of days. 

I’ll leave it at that; it’s a must-read. 

You can grab your copy from Book Culture here.

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

This book is not a short read, but it’s definitely worth it. I picked this book up at Goodwill while I was broke and in college, which is the perfect way to shop for books sustainably and cheaply. 

I read this book while in a bad relationship, struggling with changing my major and being broke. It was such a blessing. 

This novel is really, at its core a story of inspiration and I would recommend it to anyone who is struggling. 

You can grab your copy from Book Culture here.

Brood by Jackie Polzin

Another book purchased from Book Culture where the cover stood out to me; seriously, it’s beautiful. 

The summary on the back of the book reads: 

“Over the course of a single year, our nameless narrator heroically tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive despite the seemingly endless challenges that caring for another creature entails. From the 40-below nights of a brutal Minnesota winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined.

Intimate and startlingly original, this slender novel is filled with wisdom, sorrow, and joy. As the year unfolds, we come to know the small band of loved ones who comprise the narrator’s circumscribed life at this moment. Her mother, a flinty former home-ec teacher who may have to take over the chickens; her best friend, a real estate agent with a burgeoning family of her own; and her husband, whose own coping mechanisms for dealing with the miscarriage that haunts his wife are more than a little unfathomable to her.”

This story is full of insightful one-liners and reads like poetry. Definitely a favorite of mine. 

You can grab your copy from Book Culture here.

Whether you take these books with you on vacation, to the pool or to lay out with on a hammock, I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I have! You can check out some of my other favorite reads here.



At home near the Lake. Ever-focused on the beauty of life's simple moments. 

I’ve spent years refining an approach that allows me to sincerely honor the moment — knowing when to step in and adjust a subject or environment, and sensing when to stand back and allow a moment to just be.

With me, your photographs will be an intentional representation of this time of your life — imagery that will make you feel like it was just yesterday, and yet, feel forever untouched by time.



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