Big Fat Ambitious List of Books to Read This Summer

My “have-to-read” list is always never-ending. I won a gift card to Books-a-Million the other week at work through a trivia challenge (apparently I know a lot of useless facts) and rather than spending it immediately, I walked out of the store with some major anxiety. My problem is that I always want to read too many books at one time! It gave me heartburn to think about purchasing just one. I eventually went back and bought The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder by Rebecca Wells and Getting Warmer by Carol Snow, but haven’t gotten around to reading either quite yet. Therefore, these will be the first two pieces on my “big fat ambitious list of books to read this summer.” I started off just wanting a nice top ten (apparently having a “Top Ten Tuesday” is the thing to do on blogs?) but my list eventually kept growing. So here it is…my Big Fat Ambitions List of Books to Read This Summer, the BFALBRTS. Interestingly enough that looks like “Big Fat Alberts.” Anyway….here it is (*HINT!* Roll over the titles to be redirected to the authors’ websites!):

  1. The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder by Rebecca Wells
  2. Getting Warmer by Carol Snow
  3. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
  4. Sisterhood Everlasting by Anne Brashares (the girls from Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants all grown up!)
  5. White Girl Problems by Babe Walker
  6. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
  7. Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal (Remember the Sweet Valley Twins? This is them in their adult lives!)
  8. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson (I’ve read Dragon Tattoo and Fire and loved them, but I needed a break from the intensity before reading this one.)
  9. Dancing on my Grave by Gelsey Kirkland (memoir of a ballet legend.)
  10. I’ve Got your Number by Sophie Kinsella
  11. Skinny Dipping by Bethenny Frankel
  12. Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West
  13. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  14. The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes (I cannot believe I have not read this yet!)
  15. Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans
  16. The Best Little Girl in the World by Steven Levenkron (another ballet book.)
  17. Girlbomb by Janice Erlbaum
  18. A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown
  19. Pretty Little Dirty by Amanda Boyden
  20. Bumped by Megan McCafferty
  21. 40 Love by Madeleine Wickham
  22. Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
  23. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult (really, I want to read all of the Jodi novels I haven’t yet gotten to. She doesn’t write a bad book.)
  24. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close (this pretty much sums up my life right now.)
  25. Bless Your Heart, Tramp by Celia Rivenbark
  26. There’s a Slight Change I Might Be Going to Hell by Laurie Notaro
  27. This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
  28. Another Piece of my Heart by Jane Green
  29. Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews (and Savannah Breeze!)
  30. Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger

Okay, that was only 20. Not too bad. But then I also have the addendum to the list, which includes the new authors who I would like to try. I’m not sure which books to start out with, but I have always wanted to read something by the following:

  1. Jennifer Weiner–yes, I know she is the reigning queen of chick-lit. I admittedly could not get through the one and only book I have read from her, In Her Shoes. But I think she deserves a second chance.)
  2. Kim Gruenenfelder—I’ve recently seen her books showing up a lot. She seems to have a similar style to one of my favorites, Sophie, so I am anxious to pick up one of her novels.
  3.  Beth Harbison—The Shoe Addicts, Anonymous author has many others outside of this.
  4. Brenda Janowitz—Jack with a Twist and Scott on the Rocks, could there be any cuter titles?
  5. Kristin Hannah—She has nearly a million books. She must be good.
  6. Cathy Lamb—Her chick-lit sounds entertaining, with a little more substance than most.
  7. Sarah Dessen—Okay I know she mainly writes YA fiction. But her story lines just sound too good to pass up!
  8. Candice Bushnell—No, I have not read any. I have not read anything from the creator of chick-lit herself. ‘Tis a shame, I know.
  9. Elin Hilderbrand—Beachy, summer reads are always great!
  10. Jennifer Crusie—Again, she has a million books. And they’re all romantic comedies, what could be better?

Like I said, it’s ambitious. Especially considering it is almost the end of June already! But this is a constantly running and revolving list, and I hope that I can get around to these at some point, if not by the end of August 😉 Has anyone out there read any of the above mentioned? I would love to hear feedback on your favorites, as well as any books to start with from the new authors.

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18 thoughts on “Big Fat Ambitious List of Books to Read This Summer

  1. Are you on Goodreads? I am so addicted to adding books on my goodreads page, and the feature that counts how many books you have read in the year and your goal number of books is super fun, too!

    1. I’ve never heard of that! What a great idea though, I’ll check it out. Sometimes I do wonder how many books I read each year, I’m sure I forget about so many. That’d be really great to keep track of it. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I’ve read most of Jennifer Weiner. I’d say begin at the beginning with Good in Bed and see how that grabs you. I’ve read Shoe Addicts, but nothing else by Harbison.
    I thought Twenties Girl was a lot of fun…the Keyes will make you cry/be outraged..and I’m at the same place you are with Lisbeth Salander…read one and two…but haven’t gotten to three.

    1. Thanks, Zo. I think I actually purchased Good in Bed at some point, I’ll have to search for it. I have only ever heard good things about her, so I’ll try again.

  3. Twenties Girl is a great read! I actually listened to it on a road trip, and it was very entertaining.

    Also am SO EXCITED to find someone else who’s excited about reading Sisterhood Everlasting. I’m jealous that you haven’t read it yet, because I’d love to get to experience it again!

    I had no idea Emily Giffin had a new book out. I will have to add that to my TBR list.

    Totally agree with #8, and listed it in the same way on my Top Ten.

    I tried the Uglies and couldn’t get into it.

    Keeping Faith is one of my favorite Picoult novels.

    Happy reading!

    1. I absolutely LOVED the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series so I can’t wait to read about them “all grown up.” I often wonder what happen to my favorite characters in books once the story is finished, so I am glad that the author has given us a glimpse. Have you read The Last Summer of You and Me also by Ann Brashares? It took me a while to get into it (I actually quit on it once, then luckily tried again) and ended up loving it. Very different from Sisterhood, but still a great story portrayal of female relationships.
      Thanks for your feedback, I always like to know others’ opinions, though it sounds like we have the same taste 🙂

  4. Loved Sisterhood Everlasting (it was a tough read at times, tho). I had heard about Sweet Valley Confidential, but have not read it- it’s on my “to read” list. I have not read I’ve got your number- but I have it on my Kindle. Loved Bless Your Heart, Tramp- Celia R is funny- if you haven’t read any books by Jen Lancaster- I recommend her books, as well. Last Night at Chateau Marmont- for Lauren W books- this is my least favorite; but still worth a read. Quite an ambitious list- Happy Reading!

  5. Thanks for commenting on my new blog. Your list is great! I have read quite a few on your list and several are on my list to read. Good in Bed was fantastic. Then came you by Weiner is my favorite so far from her. I’ve got your number is one of my favorites from Kinsella. Twenties girl is a bit weird at first but overall a great book. Do you know if 40 love is just a reprint of The tennis party (one of wickham’s early books published in the UK)? Today I just started A total waste of makeup. Looking forward to your review of 50 shades of grey. I am just about to finish that book.

    My blog is not just about books or chick lit. It’s pretty random. But if you like to travel, check out my latest post on travel advice for a trip up the California coast.

    1. I am excited to try out Good in Bed and hopefully redeem my opinion of Weiner. Yes, 40 Love is just the American version of The Tennis Party. Have you read it already?
      Random is good 🙂 I do love to travel but unfortunately do not get to do it as much as I would like. But I will check out your post, thanks!

      1. OK, that’s what i thought. No I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list. I’m reading “A total Waste of Makeup” right now.

        I do not get to travel as much as I would like either. I plan to post a follow up to my California Road trip post on the places I want to visit.

  6. I bought a copy of The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder a few months ago and haven’t started it yet…even though I am a HUGE HUGE Rebecca Wells fan. I will definitely tackle it after I finish the 50 Shades series. P.S. So happy you’re back on to blogging! Now that the masters is finished you’ll have lots of time to get to that book list! Love you little!

    1. Big I’m very interested in hearing your opinion on 50 Shades…I’m reading the last one now but it’s taking me forever to finish, I’m not as into it as I was the first two. Review soon 😉
      Yay I’m glad you’re blogging too! Shout out to Wendleken!

  7. That is a lot and mostly i do not know those books but since you have rave reviews on them, i might as well copy it and try to read it too! but yes like you i have my lists of books i want to HAVE and read but i cannot as its a tight budget lately.. one of those books i want to read is the Hiding Place.. i am on good reads too and been listing what books i had read before, you can check it on my blog Sarah

  8. I absolutely recommend Sarah Dessen, she is painless YA, she’s actually probably my favorite YA author right now. She writes such real characters with real problems, for a first read I would recommend Dreamland by her, but Along for the Ride is a nice beach read and Lock and Key will pull at your heartstrings but it’s a bit less realistic. Dreamland’s my favorite though, it’s really good, and once you get into the middle it gets real, but I won’t say much else because I don’t want to ruin it!

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