The Best Summer Brain Candy

I try to read with a purpose, but in the summer I need some brain candy. Here are three I loved this year.

In the audiobook version of The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza the narrator reads out the emojis at the end of emails in an awesomely crazy voice. An can't miss audiobook if you need a laugh.

If you generally like Sittenfeld's books you'll smile at her take on the classic Pride and Prejudice. If you don't you will think it's horrible racist dribble. I fall in the first camp.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue is a delightfully gosippy book with a satisfying ending. Get ready to google search everyone in this novel based on the life of Truman Capote.

What was the best brain candy you read this summer?

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Books to read when you can't do anything else

There were mountains out there...

There were mountains out there...

I spent a good part of last week fighting hypothermia in a tent in Maine. It was much better than it sounds, actually! When you can't leave your sleeping bag, you get some good reading done. I read two books that were perfect for the occasion.

There are a lot of books that feature down on their luck women who stop doing their actual jobs and find peace by opening bakeries. These story lines annoy me (It actually takes a lot of work and skill to bake bread and run a business. It's not something you do because you can't handle your more stressful career back in the city.) However, once I get past that I usually really enjoy these books when I'm looking for some fluff. The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan was no exception - this one featured an island that can only be reached at certain times, and a sexy beekeeper from Georgia.

I somehow lucked out and was first in line when my library got the new book First Comes Love by Emily Giffin. This, again, was not Earth shattering literature, but it took my mind off the rain coming through my tent walls. It was what summer reading is all about - a light but thought provoking story line with characters that you can root for, flaws and all.

Life According to Steph

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What I read last summer...

According to my records, last summer I read thirty books! I was curious to see what kinds of books I spent a good part of my summer with. To be honest with you there are some I must have read really fast, because there are some that I barely remember. Then there are the others. The ones that I can just look at the covers and I am transported back to the sights and sounds of last summer.

We had a few kid free days while visiting relatives in Ohio, so of course I tore through a few books. I get up hours earlier than my husband, and enjoyed the time by drinking tea and re-reading Jurassic Park. I loved this book when I first read it as a teenager, and I still like it a lot now.

My summer reading wasn't all fluff. How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk ended up making a huge impact on how I interact with my kids.

I was stuck at the LaGuardia airport for about six hours last year as part of a business trip, and I had finished my book on the plane. Nightmare! Luckily I randomly bought this Sally Ride biography at a newsstand, and the time passed quickly. Amazing and inspiring.

Destiny of the Republic was a fascinating audiobook that would be perfect for a long road trip, however I clearly remember listening to it when I was doing the mounds and mounds of laundry from my son's sports camp. Another amazing part of history that I didn't know much about.

The ferry ride across Lake Champlain is beautiful, but I couldn't pay a bit of attention because I was 3/4 of the way through Doctor Sleep. A creepy Stephen King book that takes place in New England kept me from paying attention to actual New England.

The accent in the audiobook version of The Boston Girl was perfect. It made you feel like the main character was with you, talking to you, about her time growing up in Boston back in the day. A year after my grandmother died, it soothed something in me to feel like I was listening to the story of someone who would have been about her age.

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I think this is the best Books on the Nightstand Summer BINGO card I've ever gotten. There isn't a single square that I'm not excited about filling in. As of right now, here's what I'm leaning towards as far as my BINGO reading list.

A mental health memoir: Girl, Interrupted

A dark, upsetting, or sad book: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Written by an author you've met: 168 Hours

Cozy Mystery: All Shall Be Well

Published before 1900: Wuthering Heights

An audiobook: The Knockoff

From the Harvard Classics 5 foot shelf: Pride and Prejudice

That you loved as a child: Baby-Sitter's Club (one of the new graphic novels.)

Set in Australia: Wildflower Hill

With a happy ending: The Little Beach Street Bakery (I'm assuming from the cover. It has a picture of a cupcake with the beach in the background.)

A Newberry or Caldecott winner: The War That Saved My Life

Horror: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Travel writing: My American Revolution

Published in 2016: Eligible

Set at (or near) the North or South Pole: Letters from Father Christmas

Shortest book on your TBR: O Pioneers!

Mentioned on the Gilmore Girls: Ella Minnow Pea

Currently on the nonfiction bestseller list: Rise of the Rocket Girls

That spans multiple generations: The Baker's Daughter

Set in Africa: O, Africa! (I'm disapointed in the selection for this one. Why has no one written a multi-generational historical novel about Africa?)

A retelling of a classic: Northanger Abbey

Nonfiction: Grandma Gatewood's Walk

With a day of the week in the title: The Wednesday Wars

Nonfiction about your hometown or state: Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

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My summer reading list

My son is so wrapped up in sports that we don't even recognize months in this house any more. We just have soccer season, baseball season, basketball season, etc. Reading is my sport, and summer is undoubtedly my sport's season. I spent way more time than is normal this week coming up with my summer reading list.

(Need inspiration for your own list? Try Modern Mrs. Darcy's Summer Reading Guide and Summer Reading BINGO from Books on the Nightstand.)

To read's description of these books click on any of the images.

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