Summer Reads + My Nightly Routine
As I mentioned last week in my new vacuum post, I love having an amazing group of women at my fingertips via Insta Stories. When I was packing for my family reunion to Kansas City and downloading new books to my Kindle, I asked you guys on Insta Stories if you had read anything good this summer.Holy smokes…we have a lot of bookworms out there! I got HUNDREDS of recommendations for your favorite summer reads. So many amazing books I had never even heard of, and a few that I had read myself. People also said that they wanted me to share what others suggested, and that’s exactly my plan for today.
Our Readers Share Their Favorite Summer Reads
It took me a good hour to go through all of your recommendations and I tried to group them so the list wouldn’t be too overwhelming (although this list is soooo long!). I also included any tidbits (in quotes) that you guys shared about those titles.
Let’s start with books that had multiple recommendations from you guys!
Most Recommended Books
- The Last Mrs. Parrish
- Next Year in Havana – “It’s incredible!”
- The Alice Network
- The Woman in the Window – “Hard to put down and lots of plot twists if you’re into it.”
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – “It’s an odd name, but a great book!”
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
- All We Ever Wanted
- An American Marriage
- The Perfect Couple
- Something in the Water – “Soooooo good!”
- Girl, Wash your Face – Funny story about this one, at first I thought people were talking about my face on Insta Story. I had to go back to make sure I didn’t have food on my face when chatting to the camera. Palm to forehead.
- When Life Gives You Lululemons
- Little Fires Everywhere
- The Nightingale
- The Great Alone
- I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
- Sharp Objects
- The Goldfinch
- The Light We Lost
- The Selection “It’s a fun 4 book YA series. Think the Bachelor, meets Hunger Games”
- Before We Were Yours
Other Books You Guys Loved
- Second Born – “It was a little like Hunger Games, but with a political scheming component.”
- One True Loves
- The Breakdown
- November 9
- My Oxford Year – “Similar vibe to Me Before You. It’s a good vacay read!”
- I Am Watching You – “So suspenseful and so good!”
- The Death of Mrs. Westaway
- Salt Houses
- Shotgun Lovesongs
- The Marriage Lie
- The Woman in Cabin 10
- The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go
- Still Missing
- The Hate U Give
- Truly Madly Guilty
- The Red Sun Rises Trilogy – “I describe it as Game of Thrones mixed with Hunger Games.”
- Beneath a Scarlet Sky – “Not a typical beach read perhaps, but so good!”
- The Immortalists
- Firefly Lane
- The Couple Next Door
- Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One
- The Great Believers
- This is How It Always Is
- The Magpie Murders
- The Wife Between Us – “Reminds me of Gone Girl a bit. Keeps you guessing!”
- Maybe in Another Life
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore
- Dear Mr. Knightley
- The Last Time I Lied
Books I’ve Read Lately
- Ready Player One – Read this before you watch the movie. The book is way better in my opinion!
- Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult is my favorite author. I just started this one, but I already know I’m going to love it.
- Crazy Rich Asians – I read this book in a couple days and was utterly fascinated by the Asian culture they depict. I’m on the second book and cannot wait to see the movie!
- What Alice Forgot – Loved this book…another quick read. I’m trying to read more from Liane Moriarty because this was fantastic!
- Big Magic – Honestly, not my favorite. I only like non-fiction when I come away with tangible ways to improve my life. This felt a little too “woo woo” for me.
My Nightly Routine
Growing up, I was a huge reader and was always devouring books. But as an adult, I’m sad to say that I’ve gotten away from reading regularly. Mostly because when I was working full-time, all my hours at night and on the weekend were spent working on the blog.
Now that I’m blogging full-time, I have a life again (yay!) and I’m trying to get back into my reading habit. I feel like my vocabulary improves when I read, and I sleep better when I read before bed instead of scrolling mindlessly on Instagram.
I’ve also started a new nightly routine that’s really improved my sleep and overall wellbeing.
Hop Into My PJs
I try my best to stay in “real” clothes until Finn gets home from work (or else he may start to think that I wear them all day long). After we have dinner, I hop into my pajamas and lay my clothes out for the next day (yes, I’m like a 4-year-old).I used to be the kinda girl who wore a t-shirt and sweatpants to bed, but over the past few years, I’ve gotten into the nice pajama game. Now, there is no going back. Finn makes fun of my ensembles because he says it looks like I’m wearing a suit to bed. Oh well, I like them and that’s all that matters!During the summer months, I reach for this pair of pajamas. Whereas in the winter, I go for these ones to stay warm! I love these pajamas because they’re soooo incredibly soft and they get softer with each wash. Yes, they’re pricier than throwing on a t-shirt, but the quality can’t be beat!
I then try to brush my teeth and do my skincare routine at this time (even if I’m not going to bed for a few hours). I find that if I put it off, I’m more likely to skip it. Plus, if I brush my teeth early, I don’t snack at night!
My fertility meds have greatly disrupted my sleeping habits, so I’ve been going above and beyond to relax before bedtime. I’m not a big tea drinker, but I recently started drinking this Sleepytime Tea at night. It’s actually really good and the smell is heavenly. Speaking of which…
Add Relaxing Aromas
A few years ago, I purchased this lavender linen spray and I still have a bottle going strong. I mist my pillows at least once a week and it makes them smell so fresh and peaceful. I highly recommend getting one of these, because it will last you forever.I’ve also been diffusing oils on my nightstand in a diffuser I picked up from Michaels. I’m still learning about the world of oils (it’s incredibly overwhelming), but I use a lavender calming concoction at night to make our bedroom as peaceful and relaxing as possible.
Next, I set my alarm, turn my ringer off, and plug my phone in. I try not to touch it for the remainder of the night and instead I grab a book. I usually read for about 30-45 minutes and to keep myself in check, I have our Alexa set a timer for 30 minutes. Once it goes off, I turn the lights off and it’s sweet dreams for me!My new nightly routine has been a welcome change for me and I’m feeling less tired and happier when I wake up.
Now, I know that list of books was loooong…but did I miss any of your favorite summer reads? Let me know in the comments below! And wow, I read through most of the plots as I linked each book…there are some amazing books in the group. I have so many on my list to read next!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.