top five reads for summer 2020

aloha friends!! it is a lovely sunny TUESDAY morning && ahhh guys I FINISHED SCHOOL FOR THE YEAR. so now I have FOUR MONTHES OFF. so so soooo excited.

yesterday I started a new painting and I LOVE how it is going. I chose some blue tones && they have been so fun to work with. I also went up to our pastures farther north and helped my dad collect up some fencing. and it RAINED in the evening !! the first official rain of the year here and it was so nice. and it smelled so good.

anywayyyys, since its officially summer break for me && everyone is sitting at home doing like nothing in “quarantine” (I still say it in ” ” because I still think quarantine is describing if you are sick and isolated and away from ppl. ) we all need a good list of books to read.

and I know I know, everyone is probably asking how they are going to get books now that the library is closed etc etc. well there’s a lot of online bookstores, new and used and also a lot of ebooks available through your library online or Amazon.

first things first

The Blue Castle – L. M. Montgomery

At twenty-nine, Valancy has never been in love, and it seems romance has passed her by. Living with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt, she finds her only consolations in the “forbidden” books of John Foster and her daydreams of the Blue Castle. Then a letter arrives from Dr. Trent–and Valancy decides to throw caution to the winds. For the first time in her life Valancy does and says exactly what she wants. Soon she discovers a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams.

this is one of the best books ever written. I read it for the first time last june and I loved it SO MUCH that I reread it again in the fall. its just the perfect book for summer and a wonderful story. pleeeeease go and read it this summer. esp if you are an Montgomery fan already. ahhhh

Projekt 1065 – Alan Gratz


Infiltrate. Befriend. Sabotage. World War II is raging. Michael O’Shaunessey, originally from Ireland, now lives in Nazi Germany with his parents. Like the other boys in his school, Michael is a member of the Hitler Youth.But Michael has a secret. He and his parents are spies.

Michael despises everything the Nazis stand for. But he joins in the Hitler Youth’s horrific games and book burnings, playing the part so he can gain insider knowledge.

When Michael learns about Projekt 1065, a secret Nazi war mission, things get even more complicated. He must prove his loyalty to the Hitler Youth at all costs — even if it means risking everything he cares about. Including… his own life.

someone recommended this to me last year and I finally got around to rereading it in January and even though i am past the target age, I really enjoyed it!! I am always down for a good WWII novel and this was no exception. I highly recommend picking this one up && reading it yourself.

i also ordered another one of Alan Gratz’s books “Refugee” and I am so excited to read it! it sounds so interesting && his writing style is amazing.

The Penderwicks – Jeanne Birdsall

DESCRIPTION The Penderwick sisters busily discover the summertime magic of Arundel estate’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. Best of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, the perfect companion for their adventures. Icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is less pleased with the Penderwicks than Jeffrey, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Is that any fun? For sure the summer will be unforgettable.

A couple of my friends recommend this series to me a long time ago and I was totally not expecting to like them. but I LOVED them so much. and have reread them a million times. a lovely whirlwind of classical, and modern day, the March sisters portrayed through the Penderwick sisters and a dose of some other gold classics like Emily of New Moon. just. so. good. a breath of air in the category of modern middle grade fiction.

A Life of Faith: Elsie Dinsmore Series – Martha Finley


Two decades before the Civil War, an eight-year-old Southern heiress longs for the love of the father she has never known–but when they meet at last, nothing is as Elsie expects. Can the proud and willful Horace Dinsmore learn to love his only child–a little girl whose first allegiance is to God?

everyone’s probablylike “you talk too much about the Millie Keith series blah blah blah” so I decided to change it up and talk about another related series that I never really talk about – the Elsie Dinsmore series. okayokay, I think this series is an absolute MUST read in the late spring/summer time. EEEEEEE I love these books. the first two are definitely not my favorite but after that, AHHHHHHH they get so good. esp books 3-4-5-6 when they get into the civil war and the KKK.

I don’t know about you but reading about the south is the summer, esp in historical fiction just makes it seem so summery because its always decsribed as being so hot. I lovvvvve those books set in the civil war era and around the underground railroad. my favorite.

Porch Swing Girl – Taylor Bennett


What if friendship cost you everything?

Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.

With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.

But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.

Okay okay so i found this one through the author because she was one of first Instagram followers on my blog account like 2-3 years ago and so i followed her back way back in the day, before she published Porch Swing Girl. And then when it came out, I bought it & loved it!! it was such a fun and suuuper summery story set in Hawaii and i just thought all the characters were so much fun!! now, next two books in the series, Sand Castle Dreams and Barefoot Memories are out and i really need to read them. hopefully sometime in May!

anyways. in May i am going to try and write down some stuff and take some more pictures so i can do a May in Review post but we’ll see how it goes. probably not much will happen since everyone is staying home, haha. or i might do a two seconds a day video and put them together. but i also think the week in review posts are a lot less work to put together. thoughts???

and also, qqotd: whats on your summer reading list?? should i share mine??


4 thoughts on “top five reads for summer 2020

  1. I loved reading this, Victoria! 🙂
    The Blue Castle sounds good!
    The Penderwicks! Thanks again for your recommendation! 😉 I hope to read the rest of the series soon.
    I have got to re-read the Elsie books this year! It’s been forever since I’ve read those last ones.
    I have Porch Swing Girl, but I haven’t read it yet!
    I’d love to see your summer reading list. One of the books I want to read this summer is Being Known by Robin Jones Gunn!


    1. Yess!! the rest of the series is just as amazing!! I know! I reread a few here and there but I want to read the series all the way through sometime this year. 😉 Porch Swing Girl is such a perfect summer book — you will love it!
      ooh yes, i really want to read that one too! thanks for commenting!


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