What’s On My Bookshelf – Summer Reading List 2018

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So I’m back again with another reading list. Full transparency, I’m behind on my two books a week goal. Fanfic has been treating me well lately, so I’ve been slacking on reading novels. That said, if we count completed fanfics as novels, I’m ahead of schedule. Most of the books on my summer reading list are coming from NetGalley, so they might not all be available for purchase just yet, but if you follow me on Twitter, I’ll be sharing links when they do. I know I normally give y’all ten books per reading list, but seeing that I skipped spring, I’m adding four more books tot he summer reading list!

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They Come in Call Colors by Malcolm Hansen

As Hansen’s debut book, this book offers the coming of age of a bi-racial boy, Huey, living in a small southern town during the 60s and 70s. Huey faces prejudice, otherness, and familiar strife during a time when race relations were a boiling point in the south. This isn’t a warm and fuzzy read, but it is one that I hope keeps my attention.

Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Orphaned Jasminda lives as an outcast in her homeland of Elsira because she has the gift of Earthsong. After soldiers bring a captive spy into her home, the two escape and set off on an adventure to save Elsira and fight the urge to fall for each other as the fate of two worlds falls upon them. If you are into fantasy with light romance, this is the book for you.


The Price of Inequality by Joseph E. Stiglitz

This book explores the economy, politics, business sector and how income inequality in America is higher than its ever been. Stiglitz, an esteemed economist, lays out how social norms shape inequality and how the government has failed the 99% of Americans. If you’re interested in something more serious that examines the American nation, this is for you.

If you have a Prime membership, you can borrow this book from the Prime Reading Library.

La isla bajo el mar by Isabel Allende

Technically I read this book about eight years ago(shoutout to Goodreads for the dates), but I read the English version. Since I’m trying to keep my Spanish fresh, reading is an excellent way to do that. The book offers a rich history of forbidden love, slavery,  voodoo, and family in New Orleans and Haiti. It doesn’t shy away from the horrors of slavery or the impossible decisions people were forced to make to survive. If you’re into historical fiction, this is definitely a book you should check out.

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Gut Feeling by Victoria Browne

The protagonist Ashleigh decided to stay behind in England with her boyfriend instead of embarking on a new life in America with her family. She soon goes on a downward spiral after a rough break up and is forced to look at what she wants in life professionally, personally and romantically. This is going to be one of my cute and sweet summer reads.

Inlaws and Outlaws by Kate Fulford

After finding the man of her dreams, Eve soon discovers her worst nightmare, this mother. Marjorie, who is hell on wheels,  will stop at nothing to keep this union for happening. This is like a total tropey monster-in-law book with the right amount of humour.

The Kindness of Strangers by Julie Newman

This is another NetGalley find I don’t know much about but was intrigued by the title and short blurb. From what I’ve gathered, a recent widow is coming to terms with secrets her husband left behind, while a homeless vet deals with PTSD and his estranged family. See, not much to work off of but topics that are very realistic to the current American society.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

This book has been sitting on my to-read list for almost a year. Written by a Nigerian author, Children of Blood and Bone is a West-African inspired fantasy set in the fictional world of Orisha. It gives us princesses, systematic racism, and the struggle to restore magic. If you’re looking for a good YA science fiction book with lots of world building and diversity, this is the one for you.

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An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

I have been a fan of Jone’s work for almost a decade, so this was a no-brainer for me. Having been featured on Oprah’s book club list, An American Marriage is receiving a lot of praise. This book tackles what happens when you do everything right in life and finally obtain the American Dream, only for it to be snatched away by an injustice justice system, and what happens to those left behind as they try to make sense of a new normal with a loved one wrongly incarcerated. If you’re into books about prison reform, the struggles of marriage, social class issues,  and black American life, this is the book for you.

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

This is my third reading list featuring Cole’s work, and I regret nothing. We have a black woman in STEM who grew up in the system after her parents died. With her life on track, so starts receiving emails that her long lost prince is ready to marry her. If you’re looking for a trope ridden romance with a nerd protagonist, this is the book for you.

A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

If you don’t already know, one of my many life goals is to move to Scotland and marry a redhead. So when I saw a book about a black woman running off to Scotland to get her life together in an apprenticeship with a swordmaker, I was all in. Plus I’m a huge fan of Cole’s historical fiction, so I know this won’t disappoint.

Release Date: July 31st

Lagging Indicators by Jennifer Anglade Dahlberg

This is a last minute addition I added after I requested it off of NetGalley based on the cover. From the small blurb I read, this is set after the 2009 financial crisis that Mia, the protagonist, has survived until one wrong move sends on her a downfall. If you’re interested in reading about the only senior female senior exec at a financial firm trying to make her comeback this is for you.

Release Date: July 2nd

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The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Yet another YA fantasy, where people are born with terrible hair, grey skin, and overall ugliness and depend on magical Les Belles to change their appearance and beauty. Les Belles were born with colour and spend their lives training to impress the queen with their talents. This is a good exploration of what people will endure being perceived as pretty and how it can manifest into obsessive behaviour. If you have any interest in beauty or body positivity, this is the book for you.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

This book has been all over the Internet. It’s on the most read lists on both Amazon and Goodreads in addition to being picked up by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington for a TV mini-series, so naturally, I added it to my reading list. Mia and her daughter Pearl move into Shake Heights, the upscale suburbs,  to offer Pearl some much-needed stability. Ng uses the book to explore the complicated relationships between parent and child, neighbour and neighour, friend and friend.

Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L Davis

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This book caught my attention on Twitter when I saw a giveaway for it (no I didn’t win), but I still bought it because the premise was right up my alley. After losing her mom to cancer, Tiffany leaves her hometown to live with the biological father she never knew. The book explores a young black teen dealing with mental illness, loss, and being interested in alternative things. I’m looking forward to diving into this black girl coming of age story.

These aren’t all the books I’ll be getting to before summertime is over, but I don’t want to bore you all. If you’re curious to see what else I’ll be reading as the days grow longer, friend me on Goodreads and follow me on Twitter.

Are any of these books on your summer reading list? Do you have any suggestions for me? Did you read any of my other suggestions? Drop me a line below and let me know.

Happy Reading,

Aitza B