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Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2020 Summer Reading Guide

Anne Bogel compiled her 30 favorite summer titles, with the tastes of Modern Mrs. Darcy readers in mind. Download the entire guide here!

Playlist Tags: genre: Fiction & Literature influencer-created season: summer topic: best of 2020

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Code Name Hélène

A Novel
By Ariel Lawhon
Narrated by Barrie Kreinik & Peter Ganim /  17 hours 17 minutes

"This fully animated portrait of Nancy Wake . . . will fascinate readers of World War II history and thrill fans of fierce, brash, independent women, alike."
--LISA WINGATE, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

BASED ON THE THRILLING REAL-LIFE STORY OF SOCIALITE SPY NANCY WAKE, comes the newest feat of historical fiction...
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$35.00 USD

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The Last Train to Key West

By Chanel Cleeton
Narrated by Kyla Garcia, Rachel L. Jacobs & Karissa Vacker /  9 hours 16 minutes

One of Bustle’s Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020
 
“The perfect riveting summer read!”—BookBub
 
In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys.

 
For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler’s legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to... Read more »

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$28.00 USD

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This Tender Land

By William Kent Krueger
Narrated by Scott Brick /  14 hours 19 minutes

This Tender Land

“Historical fiction in the hands of a genius storyteller. A band of vagabond children on an epic journey to find their way during the great depression. Their search for home, for peace, for family, for identity is one of the most beautiful stories I have read in a very long time. This is Mark Twain meets Dickens, and then some. Extensively researched and eloquently told, this is storytelling at its finest. Yes, I used the word “storytelling” twice. But there is no better example of this beautiful art form. The only thing missing is a crackling fire and a creaking rocker, as this tale unfolds. “Lucky us”, as Mose would say.”

Watermark Books image Robin, Watermark Books
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$28.74 USD

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The Jane Austen Society

A Novel
By Natalie Jenner
Narrated by Richard Armitage /  9 hours 55 minutes

The Jane Austen Society

“The Jane Austen Society is set primarily in Chawton, a village in Hampshire, England, where Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life. World War II has ended, and the status of the estate is dicey. The novel follows the lives of an eclectic group of characters whose mutual love for Jane Austen draws them together in a quest to save her artifacts and family home. This is an easy summer read that will appeal to anyone who loves Jane Austen. There are lots of fun references to Austen’s books, especially Pride and Prejudice and Emma. ”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Barb, Blue Willow Bookshop
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Simon the Fiddler

A Novel
By Paulette Jiles
Narrated by Grover Gardner /  11 hours 39 minutes

Simon the Fiddler

“Simon Boudlin’s passion is to be the best fiddle player there is, beholden to no one and following his muse wherever it takes him. But when he meets the beautiful Doris Aherne, his plans change. Paulette Jiles once again captures the great promise and sweeping beauty of the Texas frontier in cinematic prose as poetic and lyrical as the tunes that pour forth from the fiddler himself. Simon joins that great pantheon of strivers for a better life, and readers will root for him every step of the way. Fans of News of the World can rejoice — with Simon the Fiddler, Jiles has done it again!”

Wellesley Books image Peter Sherman, Wellesley Books
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$31.04 USD

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Lovely War

By Julie Berry
Narrated by Jayne Entwistle, Allan Corduner, Julie Berry, Dion Graham, Fiona Hardingham, John Lee, Nathaniel Parker & Steve West /  12 hours 56 minutes

Lovely War

“One of the best, most unique novels I've read recently! The story of four young lovers during WW1, as told by the Greek Gods during a trial for Aphrodite. The audio cast is amazing, bringing to life the delights of first loves, the heartaches of separation, and the brutal truth of war. Simply perfect!”

Fountain Bookstore image Kate, Fountain Bookstore
Price:

$38.50 USD

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Musical Chairs

A Novel
By Amy Poeppel
Narrated by Amanda Carlin, Matthew Lloyd Davies, Gibson Frazier, Fred Sanders, Jackie Sanders & Carly Robins /  12 hours 39 minutes

Musical Chairs

“I found Musical Chairs to be an utter delight. This is my first Amy Poppel novel and it certainly will not be my last. Bridget and Will have been best friends since they were students Julliard. They also play in a trio together. They are now in the trenches of middle age and have gone through all of life's ups and downs together. Bridget inherited an old broken-down cottage in Connecticut which is filled with memories. She had high hopes for a romantic Summer with the current love of her life, Sterling. Unfortunately, Sterling backs out and Will ends up visiting along with her two adult children. The cottage soon becomes full of activity as well as quirky characters. I found this story to be very entertaining. Poppel has a gift for creating colorful, likable characters. The narration was music to my ears. No pun intended.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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$27.59 USD

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I Was Told it Would Get Easier

By Abbi Waxman
Narrated by Lisa Flanagan & Bailey Carr /  8 hours 45 minutes

I Was Told it Would Get Easier

“Mother and daughter pair Jessica and Emily find themselves on a week-long bus trip up the East Coast visiting exclusive colleges. All Jessica wants is for Emily to attend a good school that will secure her future, but Emily's not even sure she wants to go to college. Both mother and daughter have secrets to hide and this pointed novel gets to the bottom of the relationship in a loving and very funny way.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Cathy, Blue Willow Bookshop
Price:

$28.00 USD

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I'd Give Anything

A Novel
By Marisa de los Santos
Narrated by Caitlin Kelly /  9 hours 14 minutes

I'd Give Anything

“A beautifully written story of identity lost and found, friendship, the love of a mother for her child, and what happens when decades-old secrets are brought to light. Ginny is married with a teenage daughter when her husband’s scandal threatens to bring her world crashing down around her. Strong female relationships take the lead as Ginny strives to protect her daughter and reckons with her past. Highly recommend.”

Main Street Books Davidson image Jessica Nock, Main Street Books Davidson
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$31.04 USD

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The Vanishing Half

A Novel
By Brit Bennett
Narrated by Shayna Small /  11 hours 33 minutes

The Vanishing Half

“This is an intriguing story, part family saga, part social commentary, about twin sisters whose lives diverged into two very different directions. Desiree and Stella grew up in Mallard, Louisiana, a place that didn't show up on any map and a community that in the 1960s was racist in a peculiar way: the population was almost exclusively very light-skinned African Americans, many of whom could pass for white. Fourteen years before the story begins, Desiree and Stella suddenly left home together to find work in New Orleans. Shortly afterwards, Stella disappeared without a trace. Desiree married, had a child, and in 1968 decided to return to Mallard to her mother's house to escape an abusive husband. Skipping ahead ten years to 1978, we meet Stella, who has also married and had a child, and now lives in California in an exclusively white upscale neighborhood where not even her husband knows about her African American blood. In a coincidence that the author makes seem believable, the twins' daughters meet, and Stella's secret is in danger of being exposed. Bennett's characters are well-developed and provide a clearly-drawn portrait of race, gender, and the ties that hold families and relationships together.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Alice, Blue Willow Bookshop
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$31.50 USD

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Sea Wife

A novel
By Amity Gaige
Narrated by Emily Eiden, Cassandra Campbell & Will Damron /  9 hours 45 minutes

Sea Wife

“Wherever you go, your anxieties go with you — even (or especially) if you go live on a boat to sail the world with your spouse and small children. Nothing will ever be the same for Juliet, Michael, and their family after their harrowing year at sea, and no reader will be the same after reading this taut, brilliant novel. I can’t stop thinking about it.”

Parnassus Books image Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books
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$28.00 USD

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The End of October

A novel
By Lawrence Wright
Narrated by Mark Bramhall /  13 hours 25 minutes

“An eerily prescient novel about a devastating virus that begins in Asia before going global . . . A page-turner that has the earmarks of an instant bestseller.” New York Post
 
“Featuring accounts of past plagues and pandemics, descriptions of pathogens and how they work, and dark notes about global warming, the book produces deep shudders . .... Read more »

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$31.50 USD

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The City We Became

A Novel
The Great Cities Trilogy: Book #1
By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by Robin Miles /  16 hours 12 minutes

The City We Became

“What did I just listen to and why did I like it so much? Part of falling in love with this book was the listening experience, to be certain. The narration was stellar. The production was on point. But the story... the story itself is sublime. N.K. Jemisin has written a love letter to New York City - but not the one in bright, bold letters on the silver screen - the real city, and the real people who inhabit it and call it home, even if only temporarily. And it was beyond my wildest dreams (and nightmares). The City We Became is so incredibly layered and nuanced - diving into discussions of racism and sexism and the fallacy of good vs evil. I wanted nothing more than to steep in its long chapters, and get to know its boroughs as intimately as Jemisin would allow - not mere stereotypes but fully fleshed and brilliant, blinding avatars. Witty, subversive, imaginative, unbelievable. Get on this wild ride.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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$29.88 USD

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Strike Me Down

A Novel
By Mindy Mejia
Narrated by Samantha Desz, George Newbern & Allyson Ryan /  8 hours 35 minutes

“Ingenious...sexy...carefully plotted.”—The New York Times Book Review

From the critically acclaimed author of Leave No Trace, the “nail-biting page-turner that grabs you early and never lets go” (The Real Book Spy), comes a visceral thriller where a high stakes crime triggers a woman’s complicated and potentially deadly search for the... Read more »

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$22.99 USD

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Big Summer

A Novel
By Jennifer Weiner
Narrated by Danielle Macdonald /  10 hours 54 minutes

Big Summer

“I have never read or listened to anything by Jennifer Weiner before, I thought would be a bit too fluffy for me. I was really surprised to find that I really enjoyed this audio. This story about friendship, loyalty, being comfortable with yourself and staying true to yourself, was very well written and I also really enjoyed the narration. I liked it even more once I got to the twist and realized there was a bit of a mystery thrown in! I very much enjoyed listening to this audio. I highly recommend this one to get your summer reading/listening started!!”

Gottwals Books image Julie, Gottwals Books
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$28.74 USD

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This holiday season is crucial for bookstores weathering the financial challenges of 2020—it could determine whether they remain open or are forced to close their doors.

Join the movement and #ShopLocalBookstores.

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Tweet Cute

A Novel
By Emma Lord
Narrated by Dan Bittner & Emily Shaffer /  10 hours 8 minutes

A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.

Meet Pepper
, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly... Read more »

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$31.04 USD

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Loveboat, Taipei

By Abigail Hing Wen
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller /  11 hours 2 minutes

Loveboat, Taipei

“Ever Wong’s loving, but very strict, Chinese American parents expect her to go to medical school to assume the profession her father gave up when they moved to America to provide her with a better life. But Ever, an accomplished dancer, has dreams of her own. When her parents send her to an elite summer school program in Taipei to study her cultural heritage and language, a whole new world opens up for Ever. The freedom to skip classes, break rules, and explore new friendships leads to plenty of eye-opening experiences and busting of long-held stereotypes. But will Ever figure out how to balance her life in both of her worlds and maybe even fall in love? Remember the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Despite what you might assume from a glance, this story is so much more than a teen romance novel.”

Rediscovered Books image Becky, Rediscovered Books
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$31.04 USD

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Throw Like a Girl

By Sarah Henning
Narrated by Devon Hales /  9 hours 14 minutes

Friday Night Lightsmeets Morgan Matson's The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.

When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all... Read more »

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$28.73 USD

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Girl, Serpent, Thorn

By Melissa Bashardoust
Narrated by Nikki Massoud /  10 hours 6 minutes

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

“Not just another gratifying powerful girl story: an intensely imagined, emotionally realistic, absorbing adventure, packed with rich realizations about a woman's anger, a mother's love, a young person's desire to change the world. The author has tapped the Shanameh and Zoroastrian beliefs to build a unique fantasy world in which the main character can explore issues of power and value while testing the waters of affection. Amazing descriptions of rose gardens, hidden halls, moths, and Soraya's magical power/curse. Queer and POC positive (and not pedantic).”

The Haunted Bookshop image Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
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$31.04 USD

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Tell Me Three Things

By Julie Buxbaum
Narrated by Jorjeana Marie /  8 hours 54 minutes

A New York Times Bestseller


What if the person you need the most is someone you’ve never met?

 
Funny and romantic, this tug-at-your-heartstrings contemporary YA debut is perfect for readers of Rainbow Rowell, Jennifer Niven, and E. Lockhart.

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week as a junior at... Read more »

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$32.20 USD

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