CFL Book Club - Summer Reading List

CFL Book Club - Summer Reading List

The CFL Team's Must Read Summer List! 

Summertime is when I squeeze in a majority of my reading! I seem to have more time by the pool, on the beach or stuck in the playroom with the kids looking for an escape. You feel me, mamas?

Since we all have different tastes in books, I wanted to get some recommendations from our girls at CFL! Robyn and I tend to read similar books but Kathryn has a different style and they sound so fun. 

I discovered Emily Henry a few years ago and she easily got me back into reading. I loved her wit and humor and the love stories in her books. I wholeheartedly recommend all of them! My least favorite book by her is Happy Place, but I know a lot of people who loved it. 

Elin HIlderbrand is a MUST for a summer read. Her style of writing is kind of different but once you get used to it, it is hard to put her books down. One of my favorites that Robyn also put on her list is 28 Summers. And I chose her more recent one: Five Star Weekend. I loved it. I love the scenery and descriptions of Nantucket and I hope one day I will make it there on a little summer vacay. 

My most controversial pick is Paper Palace. There is something about this book that I just loved. I will warn you, if you are easily triggered by certain things I would not read it. It has some very difficult scenes. The characters and the idea of growing up and summering in a place like that was just so magical to me. 

Check out our book club collection here


28 Summers By Elin Hilderbrand 

Promising Review: I am now officially a die-hard Elin fan. This is an unconventional love story, and yes it covers the adult life of an amazing woman who lives and teaches English on Nantucket. It was good to get those recaps at the beginning of each chapter: “What were we thinking about in 1997? In 2015?” But mostly it was inspiring to believe in expansive and profound love, and the ability of that type of love to redeem itself with family, friends, lovers, wives, husbands…nothing else really matters does it? Just love.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt 

Promising Review: What a wonderful surprise this was! I thought Remarkably Bright Creatures was a story about a woman and an octopus, but it turned out to be so much more than that. This is Shelby Van Pelt’s first book, and I don’t think a debut has affected me like this since I read Hollow Kingdom, another story that unfolds through the eyes of an animal. The story has a bit of magical realism to it, in the sense that parts of it are told from the octopus’s point of view, but otherwise it’s simply a delightful tale about family and connections that had me ugly crying by the end of the book.

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune 

Promising Review: As other reviews have already pointed out, it’s a love story. A brilliant written and heart-warming love story, which gripped me right from the very beginning, when Percy tells us about the dangers of a hair cut right after a break up. The writing is elegant and agile. The story is timeless and warm, but never getting cheap. I felt I was right there, by the lake in those hot summer months with the adorable characters.


People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry 

Promising Review: I love this book. It hooks you in from the beginning - you know something went down between the main characters, but you get only bits and pieces during time jumps. I love a good friends to lovers trope, and I especially love how Emily Henry shows character development. I feel like her books are very relatable, very funny, and just overall amazing.

Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller 

Promising Review: I found that The Paper Palace is a meticulously detailed and constructed story, that paints a vivid picture of life and emotion. It takes you through the deepest perspectives that the protagonist/her family experience throughout their lives, back and forth in time. The author creates an atmosphere that feeds a deep sea of emotions, nostalgia, and heartbreak, all while wanting to be left with hopefulness. The characters are raw, realistic, and make you question different decisions/perspectives/situations.

The Five Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand 

Promising Review: EH is back! The book is dedicated to her agent & their 29 books together & it's the real deal - a great summer read, on Nantucket, name-dropping, a good storyline, distinctive characters, & an escape. It's comparable to her early standouts.



The Happy Life of Isadora Bentley by Courtney Walsh

Christian Women’s Fiction 

Promising Review: Isadora is real, hilarious (although most of the time that's accidental) and is loveable in all her awkwardness. She sets out to disprove a tabloid magazine writer wrong about finding happiness in 31 steps. Her research, however, proves that possibly, just maybe, she could be wrong. Isadora's ability to say exactly what she's thinking is priceless and something that I believe all introverts can relate to. This is a brilliant novel about finding happiness, not just with others but within yourself. I was moved to tears a few times and laughed out loud many more. This is, by far, the best book I've read this year.

At Home in Milford by Jan Karon 

Promising Review: If you're looking for gentle wit, a bit a sarcasm, likeable characters, lovable dogs (a few cats), great storylines including some nice love stories, as well as great spiritual messages without it becoming preachy, you will love reading about Mitford and Father Tim.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear 

Promising Review: I tend to read a novel series, especially mysteries, from all types of writers and with a wide variety of settings, writing levels, and plots. I find Ms. Winspear's 'Maisie Dobbs' series to be one of the better mix of characters and storylines, than many other writers' works. The writing level is higher than some series and the plots are more complex and very entertaining. The action is never dull nor are the people in the plots. And the settings of early 20th century Britain and war torn France are interesting and echo well-researched facts by the author.

Back to blog

Leave a comment