As of Friday, June 21, it is officially summer. Time for trips to the pool, beach, and outdoor adventures. For many people, relaxing on the beach, by the pool, or just sitting outside is not complete without a good book. I am one of those people. My book choices during the warmer months consist of anything I can get my hands on and I can easily read multiple novels each summer. My list of favorite reads is always growing and includes the ones below.
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
If you read May’s column, you’ll know that I love Nicholas Sparks’ books. A perfect summertime novel is Sparks’ sixth book, Nights in Rodanthe. Published in 2002, the love story of Adrienne Willis and Paul Flanner is told. Willis is a divorced mother, living in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. In 1988, she travels to the coast to the town of Rodanthe. While there, Adrienne visits her friend, who runs an inn. When her friend needs to go out of town, Adrienne decides to help manage the business. One of the guests soon turns out to be Paul Flanner, a divorced father and successful surgeon. As a big storm approaches, he is the only guest in the inn. The two bond together and fall in love as they weather out the storm. After a few days, Paul and Adrienne realize they must return to their separate lives, but promise to keep in touch. However, Paul joins his son on a medical mission to Ecuador, where things don’t go as planned. If you have read any Nicholas Sparks’ books, you can probably guess the ending. But I won’t spoil it for those readers who haven’t. Let’s just say, Nights in Rodanthe is a great read for this time of the year.
Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On!: What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters that the Rest of Y’all Should Know Too by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
When you have a Southern mama, you have probably heard the phrases “suck your stomach in” or “put some color on” at least once or twice. I know I have and to this day, I never leave the house without color on my lips. However, author Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, who is also host of the radio show All Things Southern, gives readers a humorous lesson in all of the important lessons that daughters, Southern or not, need to know. While reading, Tomlinson provides insight into learning manners, social graces, raising children, creating the perfect recipe, and other Southern secrets. Trust me, if you want a light-heartened, funny read, this one is for you.
Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton
No matter how many years have passed since her death, Diana, Princess of Wales, will always remain timeless, just like her story. Andrew Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story, pens a shocking biography that is based on facts and private photographs. Princess Diana’s closest family members and friends retell their accounts of Diana’s life, her problems, and her happiness. Readers receive insight into Princess Diana’s life growing up, how her royal marriage to Prince Charles was doomed from the beginning, her efforts in raising her two sons, and Diana’s work with endless charities. Morton’s words paint a picture to readers of a woman who was strong on the outside, but on the inside was struggling with a loveless marriage, chronic illness, and the desire to create a new life for herself. A must read for sure!
Don’t forget to pick up a book or two to read as you head out this summer. After all, novels make anything better.