Summer is the perfect time to kick back, relax, and escape into the pages of a good book. Whether you're lounging in the courtyard, sitting on the porch, or enjoying the comforts of your air-conditioned home, a great read can transport you to another world and provide a much-needed mental getaway. Here are some summer reading recommendations from our residents to help you escape the heat and enjoy the season to the fullest:
1. Where the Forest Meets the Stars" by Glendy Vanderah
This is a captivating and heartwarming novel that follows the journey of Joanna Teale, a bird researcher who encounters a young girl claiming to be an alien. As Joanna delves into the girl's mysterious past and forms unexpected connections with her and a reclusive neighbor, the story explores themes of love, healing, and the power of human connection. It's a tale that will warm your heart and leave you with a renewed sense of hope.
2. The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett
This is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that revolves around the lives of twin sisters, Desiree and Stella Vignes. Set in the 1950s and spanning several decades, the story explores themes of race, identity, and family secrets. After running away from their small southern town, the sisters choose divergent paths. "The Vanishing Half" is a compelling exploration of the complexities of human relationships and the enduring impact of our decisions.
3. Long Shadows" by Camilla Hunt Cole, a resident at The Blake
This is a suspenseful novel that revolves around a seventeen-year-old girl named, Chloe Bernard.She is trapped in her family's decayed and sinister antebellum mansion by horrors that her forefathers committed there for over a century. She doesn't understand why her aunt won't allow her to leave, but she's determined to escape. She must find out the secrets of the old house, which she pieces together through stories. “Long Shadows” is a thriller that will keep you on your toes and wanting more.
4. WEST with Giraffes” by Lynda Ruthledge
This is a captivating historical fiction novel set in the 1930s. Inspired by a true story, the book follows the extraordinary journey of two giraffes named Bessie and Johnny. These unlikely companions are transported across America in a cross-country road trip during the Great Depression. As they traverse the country alongside the determined Woodville Circus, the story explores themes of adventure, resilience, and the enduring power of hope. It's a heartwarming tale that combines history, humor, and a touch of whimsy.
5. The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks
This is a timeless and heart-wrenching love story that follows the lives of Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson. Set in the coastal town of North Carolina, the book takes readers on a journey through the passionate summer romance between Noah and Allie. However, their love faces numerous challenges, and circumstances tear them apart. Years later, fate brings them back together, forcing them to confront their feelings and the choices they've made. "The Notebook" is a poignant exploration of love, loss, and the enduring power of true love's impact on our lives.
6. Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell
This is an epic historical novel set during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. The story revolves around Scarlett O'Hara, a headstrong and determined Southern belle, as she navigates the turbulent times of war, loss, and societal upheaval. With a backdrop of the Old South and its demise, Mitchell weaves a tale of love, survival, and resilience, capturing the complex dynamics of relationships and the transformation of a society. "Gone with the Wind" is a timeless classic that delves into themes of identity, passion, and the enduring power of the human spirit.
7. The Baker's Secret" by Stephen P. Kiernan
is a poignant and gripping historical fiction novel set during World War II in a small French village called Vergers. The story revolves around Emmanuelle, a young baker with a secret. Despite the German occupation and rationing, Emmanuelle covertly uses her baking skills to provide sustenance and hope to her fellow villagers. As she navigates the hardships and dangers of war, Emmanuelle becomes a symbol of resilience and resistance in her community. "The Baker's Secret" is a captivating tale of bravery, sacrifice, and the strength of the human spirit in the darkest of times.
8. "It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover
This is a powerful contemporary romance novel that delves into complex themes of love, resilience, and the impact of past experiences. The story follows the life of Lily Bloom, a young woman who meets and falls in love with a charismatic neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid. However, as their relationship unfolds, Lily must confront her own past and make difficult choices that challenge her perceptions of love and self-worth. With emotional depth and a thought-provoking narrative, "It Ends with Us" explores the complexities of relationships and the strength required to break harmful patterns.
9. "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry
This is an epic Western novel that takes readers on a captivating journey across the American frontier. Set in the late 19th century, the story follows a group of aging Texas Rangers, including the charismatic Gus McCrae and the stoic Woodrow Call, as they embark on a cattle drive from the Rio Grande to Montana. Along the way, they encounter various challenges, confrontations, and adventures, all while exploring themes of friendship, loyalty, and the harsh realities of the Old West. "Lonesome Dove" is a richly detailed and emotionally charged tale that has become a classic in Western literature.
10. "Creating Moments of Joy" by Jolene Brackey
This is an insightful and practical guide for caregivers and loved ones of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The book offers strategies and tips to help create meaningful and positive experiences for those living with dementia, focusing on fostering moments of joy, connection, and engagement. Brackey provides practical advice, anecdotes, and examples to help caregivers navigate the challenges of dementia while emphasizing the importance of empathy, understanding, and person-centered care. "Creating Moments of Joy" is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to enhance the quality of life for individuals with dementia and make their everyday experiences more joyful and fulfilling.
These books offer a diverse range of genres and themes, ensuring there's something for everyone. So, grab your favorite summertime snack, find a cozy spot, and let your imagination soar with these captivating reads. Happy summer reading!