We asked Katherine Center—author of What You Wish For, Things You Save in a Fire (named an Amazon Best Book of the Month in August 2019), and How to Walk Away—what books she would recommend for summer reading. This is what she told us:
Wow. 2020—amirite? What even is a summer read when we’re in the midst of a pandemic—and summer itself is being redefined?
I wish that we were all gearing up for a summer vacay on a tropical island with nothing to do but page through something light and pleasant!
But my summer is likely going to be spent in my house—with my husband, two teenagers, and our very needy dog. Honestly, the closest I’ll likely get to reading on the beach will be locking myself in the bathroom and getting in the tub.
So welcome to the most un-beachy summer reading picks list ever!
Because I’m having trouble concentrating these days. And all I want is totally unputdownable books that just turn their own pages and expertly transport me somewhere—anywhere—else. Here are some reads that have done that for me. I hope they do it for you, too. —Katherine Center
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
For when you need to fall in love
The Bridgertons are being turned into their own Netflix series. Julia Quinn is a master of witty banter, romantic tension, and sweet anticipation. Romance novels can be the most delicious mood lifters—and this is one of best of the best. Start with The Duke and I and feast your way through them all.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
For when you need a sweet-hearted com-rom
This book is an unlikely all-time favorite of mine—and it’s a study in emotional courage. The hero of this story just tries so hard. He gets it wrong over and over...but he never gives up. It’s a story that makes me laugh and genuinely cry every time.
The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller
For when you need a ghost-story romance
I just...fell in love with this book. It’s a historical romance set around the restoration of a haunted house with some serious Edith Wharton vibes. But it’s the characters that got me. Our unfairly maligned heroine and our absentminded professor hero are people you can’t help but adore—and root for.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
For when you need to see courage in action
This is historical fiction about the occupation of France during World War II, and it’s hardly light reading. But it sure is gripping. It will transport you to another time and place so completely, you’ll feel like you lived it. And even though it’s maybe the last book I’d normally think of as vacation reading, it's a page-turning read about courage in action. Something we could all use right about now.
Photo by Skylar Reeves Photography
The author of "Things You Save in a Fire" and "What You Wish For" shares four "totally unputdownable books that just turn their own pages and expertly transport me somewhere—anywhere—else."