Instagram queen and book lover Janelle Janson knows what makes a good book and this summer she has crafted the perfect reading list to get her through the warm months. Catch up with her reading list below and don’t forget to follow her book journey on Instagram – you’ll be swooning over her book picks in no time.
Still Lives by Maria Hummel
Seriously, another amazing cover by Counterpoint Press. Kim Lord is an artist who has a new exhibition called Still Lives, comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women, such as the Black Dahlia and Nicole Brown Simpson. When hours go by, and Lord hasn’t shown up to the opening, people realize she has gone missing. I love being immersed in the art world and I am certainly interested in this plot. Of course, I have to read this!
The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
This book popped up on my radar long ago but once I read the synopsis, I never stopped thinking about it. It has an extremely unique dystopian premise about a man whose shadow literally disappears. The phenomenon spreads, where the victims gain powers, but at the cost of losing their memories. I am a huge fan of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, so I cannot wait to read this one.
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
The thriller genre is my FAVORITE. And a serial killer thriller is always fun! Alternating point of views, strong female characters, brilliant writing with a multi-layered plot just sounds like the PERFECT combination! This novel sounds fast and addictive! I can only imagine what fun twists Hillier has in store for us.
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
This plot centers around an Indian-American Muslim family who resides in California, where the children have to balance American culture with their parents’ faith. I’m already captivated. Then you add in that I’m a native Californian, that this is a debut author, and finally a glowing recommendation from Sarah Jessica Parker, and I’m completely onboard.
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
I read Final Girls when it was released last year and LOVED it! So needless to say, this was an automatic add to my reading list. During all of my obsessive stalking over this book, I saw it is recommended for fans of Nancy Drew, which happens to be my favorite childhood series. I love Sager’s writing style and imagination, so this is a no-brainer. Lies, haunted memories, and missing girls from a summer camp fifteen years ago…what’s not to love??
The Family Tabor by Cherise Wolas
I read The Resurrection of Joan Ashby and fell in love with Wolas’ writing, so much so I shamelessly highlighted half my book. When I heard she had another book coming out, I leaped to my computer to request it. Harry Tabor receives a prestigious award at work so he and his family return home to California for a celebration, but each family member is weighed down by a secret. On the outside, his wife is a child psychologist and their children are successful. They appear to have it all, so what’s going on behind the curtain? I can’t wait to find out!
In the Vines by Shannon Kirk
From the opening line of the synopsis: “family ties so strong you can’t escape…” Um, yes, please! This was recommended by Ashley from Amazon and also Crime by the Book gave it a rave review. Mary Olivia Pentecost is searching for closure after her mother’s mysterious death two years ago. She goes to her closest relative, Aunty Liv for answers. This looks like a book full of psychological suspense and secrets. Sign me up!
Jell-O Girls: A Family History by Allie Rowbottom
A memoir, a feminist history, and a family curse behind the famous brand is why I added this to my list of books to read this summer. I love nonfiction, especially when it involves learning about family dynamics, money, and power. I’ve seen a review or two that have called it brilliant.
Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood
One of my favorite modern classics is Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. The writing is exquisite and of course, the story is upsetting. Rust & Stardust is based on Nabokov’s inspiration for Lolita, the real-life kidnapping of Sally Horner and her captor. I don’t know much about this story outside of Lolita so I’m really fascinated by this one. I expect it will be a difficult book to read but I have a feeling it will be well worth it. Also, there is another book coming out in the fall called The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman that I’m anxious to read.
If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim
I have to admit it was the cover that caught my attention – it’s absolutely stunning. I love historical fiction, especially set in beautiful countries with interesting characters. And from the description, it appears there might be an interesting romance as well. It looks like such a lovely story and I’ve been looking for a historical fiction novel as gorgeous as The Revolution of Marina M by Janet Fitch. This one is set in Korea and sounds incredible!
Cherry by Nico Walker
This story sounds tragic, but there is something unique about it. Oh yes, it’s apparently “bleakly hilarious”. With a story about marriage, drugs, and bank robbery, I can’t wait to dive in. And have you noticed the cover?!! It’s brilliant!
The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
Domestic thrillers are always fun! The female characters are usually great in this genre, especially the obsessive mothers, and this book has a doozy. This novel sounds fast and addictive! I can only imagine what fun twists Jones has in store for us.
When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica
Psychological thrillers are the BEST, but then you add in stolen identity, insomnia, and blurred judgment, and we have a winner. Nothing messes with your brain like insomnia, so this just screams unreliable narrator. I am a fan of Kubica’s other books, The Good Girl and Pretty Baby…her writing is insanely good!