I’m a sucker for a good ‘best of’ list, and I’ve been scouring lists all year for audiobooks, so here we are during the summer season, so today I’m sharing 12 of the best audiobooks on my summer 2020 listening list. Why 12? Well, I figure there are 4 weeks per month, 3 months of summer, so 12 books.
Last summer I shared a summer Audible listening list and kept coming back to the list throughout the year. I also share what I’m reading weekly in Catching Up With The Kelnhofers and love hearing from you what you’re reading. So please message me if you’re ever reading or listening to an amazing book.
As I go through them I’ll come back and leave stars (just personal ranking based on what I think of the book) and flames indicating if they are steamy romancy audiobooks 😉 – a 1 flame means there’s a little steam, like a kiss or implication of something happening, and it goes up from there. I’d say 5 flames would be very descriptive bedroom scenes.
Let’s dive in:
- Beach Read by Emily Henry – 5/5 stars, 3/5 flames -A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.
- Summer Longing – 3/5, 1/5 flames –Ruth Cooperman arrives in beautiful beachside Provincetown for her retirement, renting the perfect waterfront cottage while she searches for her forever home. After years of hard work and making peace with life’s compromises, Ruth is looking forward to a carefree summer of solitude. But when she finds a baby girl abandoned on her doorstep, Ruth turns to her new neighbors for help and is drawn into the drama of the close-knit community.
- The Happily Ever After Playlist – 5/5 stars, 4/5 flames -Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.
- Oona Out of Order – 4/5 stars, 1/5 flames – Oona Out of Order is a remarkably inventive novel that explores what it means to live a life fully in the moment, even if those moments are out of sequence.
- All Adults Here – When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three now-grown children. But to what consequence?
- The Two Lives of Lydia Bird – 3/5 stars, 1/5 flames – Written with Josie Silver’s trademark warmth and wit, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a powerful and thrilling love story about the what-ifs that arise at life’s crossroads, and what happens when one woman is given a miraculous chance to answer them.
- The Vanishing Half – 5/5 stars, 1/5 flames -The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, Southern Black community and running away at age 16, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her Black daughter in the same Southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?
- Big Summer – A sparkling novel about the complexities of female relationships, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.
- I Owe You One – 5/5 stars, 2/5 flames – Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first”. And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?
- The Bride Test – 5/5 stars, 4/5 flames – As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
- Flat Share – 3.5/5, 1/5 flames –What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good audiobook about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.
- Untamed – Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table. And it is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There she is.
Other audiobooks I’ve listened to this summer:
- The Bromance Bookclub – 4/5 stars, 4.5/5 flames – The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club. Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: His wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
- Meet Cute – 5/5 stars, 4.5/5 flames– Kailyn Flowers was always calm, rational, and controlled – until she ended up sprawled all over Daxton Hughes, the former actor she totally crushed on as a teenager. Then she did the unthinkable: She became a mortifying fangirl in five seconds flat, which may or may not have included professing her undying love. And oddly, he didn’t run away. In fact, their meet-cute led to a friendship she never saw coming. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming, either….Now, Dax needs her help. As guardian to his 13-year-old sister, he’s in way over his head. And though Kailyn hasn’t forgiven Dax, she isn’t heartless enough to make him fend for himself, either. Soon, their friendly meetings turn into flirty dinner dates, and Kailyn can feel their chemistry is as explosive as ever. But how can she possibly let down her guard again to a guy who has heartbreak written all over him?
- Dear Edward – 2/5 stars, 0/5 flames – One summer morning, 12-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.
- You Deserve Each Other – 1/5 stars, 1/5 flames –Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him. Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.
- Get A Life, Chloe Brown – 5/5 stars, 4/5 flames – Talia Hibbert, one of contemporary romance’s brightest new stars, delivers a witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who’s tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her experience new things – perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang!
I get lost in books, and especially love the escape Audiobooks provide (I use Audible, but there’s Kindle and many other audiobook formats.)