Welcome to the 2023 Summer Reading List. This year’s list is made up of a variety of books from family, friends and colleagues from Facebook and Linked In. There are individual books as well as series that were contributed by various people. I also added TV/Cable Series recommendations as this was requested last year.

I hope you enjoy the 2023 Summer Reading List and use the suggestions to ‘get smarter’, relax, to get to sleep on a sleepless night and to just enjoy a good read at the beach, the pool, your backyard, or a comfortable chair in your home.

Please feel free to share the list with your family, friends, colleagues, and book clubs. If you have a book or a cable TV Show you want to add, put it in the comment section and I will add it to the list. My sincere thanks to all who contributed!

Lets Get Started

I am going to kick off the list with contributions from Mary Beth Newman, a friend and colleague from my professional organization, the Case Management Society of America. She is an avid reader and has been a regular contributor to this list since its inception. This year she shared several books in various genres for the 2023 list.

My absolute favorite from the past year: Demon Copperhead: A Pulitzer Prize Winner by Barbara Kingsolver

Intensely imaginative sci-fi: The Ferryman: A Novel by Justin Cronin and Ascension by Nicholas Binge

Intriguing historical fiction: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See, The Foundling: A Novel by Ann Leary

The Golden Doves: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Contemporary and unforgettable: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro, Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

A little different but oddly enjoyable: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, The Handyman by  Bentley Little,

The Maid by Nita Prose

Another longtime friend and case manager colleague, Connie Sunderhaus shared these two books: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham

Next are suggestions from my cousin, Kate Shovlin. Kate shares the following books:

Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Loyalty  by Lisa Scottoline

Savor, A Chief Hunger for More by Fatima Ali

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver;

The Prince of Tides and Lords of Discipline, both by Pat Conroy

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

My sister in law, Trisha Douville is an avid reader and contributes to this year’s list with the following recommendations:

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby VanPelt

The Diamond Eye Kate Quinn House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

The Book of Lost Names by Kristen Harmel

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Ordinary Grace William by Kent Krueger

Before and After by Lisa Wingate

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Staying with Family, my husband, Corky shared one of the books he read this year: The Last Honest Man by James Risen.

Facebook Friend Susan Haibeck suggested:  A Death at the Party by Amy Stuart

Long time friend and CM Colleague, Diane Soule shared a couple of books she liked. They are:

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Next up is Jane Thomas Crawford, a long time friend from Quota International. Jane is an avid reader and shared her ‘best of list’ for this year’s Summer Reading List.

Lady Clementine (Winston Churchill’s wife), The Only Woman in the Room (Heddy Lamar) and The Personal Librarian (about JP Morgan’s personal librarian) written by Marie Benedict

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

The Midnight Library-Matt Haig (different, but I absolutely loved it)

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult (my first introduction to death doulas)

Daisy Jones and the Six as well as Maybe in Another Life both by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Another long time friend and Quota sister, Elaine Reyes shared her latest read: The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patty Callahan Henry. Very good

Pam Walter, Facebook colleague shared Where Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I really enjoyed it and gave it 5 stars!  I love that she took the time to write a review. We need to do more of this…..here is her review on Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2507854214   

Barbara Mackey-Zeigler, is a long time friend and case manager colleague from Ohio. Each year at Christmas, she sends a hand made card. I look forward getting tis each year to getting it. I have saved each one as they are a very special gift that I cherish. She shared a book she read and wanted to share with the 2023 Summer Reading list. The book was Dinners with Ruth; A Memoir on the Power of Friendship by Nina Totenberg

Next up are my long time best friends since 6th grade, Liz Wooster, and Grace Carr. Both are avid readers and shared their recommendations for the 2023 Summer Reading list.

Here are Liz’s recommendations:

Ernie Plye and the Story of WW II, The Soldier’s Truth by David Chrisinger

Hang The Moon by Jean Walls

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

Beyond that The Sea Laura by Spence-Ash

The Nightingale Affair by Tim Mason

Here is what Grace Shared:

As you know I read A LOT of books. That being said, what I like to read is very subjective so here goes a couple of books or series that I really like:

Deadly Engagement Veronica Speedwell Mysteries by Deanna Rayburn

A Georgian Historical Mystery from Alec Halsey Mysteries)

The Bride Wore White by Amanda Quick (and any books by Amanda Quick)

Step on a Crack, the Michael Bennett series by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland (All the books in this series are great)

One of my all-time favorites – The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Jane and a Year Without Summer by Stephanie Barron. These are Jane Austin mysteries. This might be around the 15th book I have all of them and sadly there is only one more that she will be writing as Jane Austin passes in her 40s.

Robin Guinn Kimmel long time Facebook Friend and Colleague from the National Nurse Team shared, I contribute ever year and take a lot of suggestions from your list. Here are a few I would recommend to the 2023 list.

Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things both by Cheryl Strayed;

The Last Thing He Told Me, Laura Dave;

The Librarian of Burned Books, Brianna Labuskies;

Masie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear;

The Howard Boys by Ron Howard

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V. E. Schwab;

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus;

Master Slave, Husband Wife by llyon Woo

Stefani Daniels is a long time friend and case management colleague. She wrote, according to my book diary, I read 56 books since 6/1/22. Of all of them, there are red stars next to 7 of them…..in no particular order these were my favorites:

How to Find Your Way in the Dark by Derek Miller

Lessons by Ian McEwan

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Stout

Blood Sugar by Sasha Rothchild

The Eighth Detective by ; Alex Pavesi

Sharks in the Time of Saviors; Carson McCullers by Kawai Washbourn

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Susan Black Gilpin, long time colleague and Facebook Friend shared Horse by Geraldine Brooks. I loved it because it was a beautifully written tale of strength and perseverance.

Sandra M Stimson long time friend and colleague who recently retired. Look for more contributions in 2024!  She shared the Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Patient Advocate Friend and Colleague Caryn Isaacs shared; I get all my books at garage sales. The Bartender’s Tale is a surprising Irish North American tale of hard work and love. By Ivan Doig, is a native Montanan.

Ellen Honig, long time Case Management Colleague also shared The Covenant of Water, by Abraham Verghase. He wrote Cutting for Stone quite a few years ago. It was also a fabulous book.

Maureen Ferguson, a long time Case Management friend from New England, she shared a book from Jodi Picoult that I read and loved called Mad Honey.m

Johann Achim Beißel a long time Case Management friend from Germany suggested The Book of Why by Dana Mackenzie and Judea Pear.

I am ending this year’s list with contributions from Michelle Knaub, a good friend and case management colleague from Plantation FL.  We work together at Athena Forum.  Here are some of the books she shared. Love that she gave a short description for each!

Small Mercies by Dennis Leanne. This book gets 5 stars. It is set in Boston in 1974 with bussing to desegregate the schools as a background, and a powerhouse of a female protagonist whose daughter does not come home one night. Great read from beginning to end.

Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich: set in Appalachia, the protagonist is a good man, a sheriff who comes from a family of criminals.

Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell: also set in Appalachia, the protagonist is a 16 year old girl who must find her father who skipped bail and her relatives are also criminals who are a rough lot.  This was made into a movie starring a young Jennifer Lawrence.

Bird’s Eye View by J.F. Freedman: Great author, and this is a great story. Protagonist is a thirty something high achiever who goes to live in a shack on his mother’s property in lower Chesapeake Bay in Maryland where he drinks, takes drugs, hooks up and photographs birds. One day he photographs a murder by mistake and realizes his powerful neighbor is involved. Great backstory of a group of Sandhills cranes who are blown off course and end up nesting nearby. His description of the birds and his developing relationship with them help in his quest for redemption. Love this book, I’ve read it twice. Other great reads by this author are House of Smoke, and Against the Wind.  The author can get a little dark at times, but he’s real and his books are vey good.

Karen Slaughter: Her books are great. start with Kisscut which is set in a small Georgia town where the protagonist is Sara, the town’s pediatrician and coroner and her ex-husband, Jeffrey, (who she still loves) the sheriff. Great writing and fascinating characters make these books hard to put down. The love story between Sara and Jeffrey is especially powerful.

Lisa Scottoline: Great author, she was a lawyer, and her books are all set in Philadelphia. I recommend the series with Bennie Rosato, Mary DiNunzio and Judy Carrier. These women are all attorneys, and they are a hoot! Great characters, snappy dialog and my beloved hometown as a background make me love these books. Mary’s Italian parents from South Philadelphia are especially funny. Light reading compared to what I usually read but sometimes that’s just what you need.

In the Woods by Tana French: Her books have won numerous awards and her protagonists are drawn from a detective squad in Dublin. Each new book uses a character that was in the previous book in a secondary role as the main character in the current book. Great wring and great plots make her books a winner.

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye is an epic romantic adventure novel set in the mountains of India. What a great story. A young, orphaned boy, Ash is raised as a native by an Indian surrogate mother against the backdrop of the Indian Sepoy uprising of1857. Ash befriends and falls in love with Juli, an Indian princess with whom he engages in a forbidden romance. Juli lives as a second class citizen due to several factors that should be discovered by reading the novel, which is epic in scope. It has sold millions of copies, was made into a movie and I’ve read it three times.

Michelle helped me learn about how to use Cable TV Shows over the past few monhts. Here are her recommendations from Cable T.

Amazon Prime- The English, starring Emily Blunt. Beautiful photography and great production values drive a powerful story with another powerhouse female protagonist.

HBO Max- Denzel Washington & little Dakota Fanning star in this great movie.

Hulu- Denzel Washington in The Equalizer. The wonderful Denzel in a good story with a great supporting cast is definitely a winner.

Netflix- The Last Kingdom is a 5 star historical drama series about a young boy, Uhtred, who is captured by the Danes after they kill his father on the battlefield and raised as one of them by a Danish warlord. The Saxons, Danes and Vikings are all part of the story as England moves to become a United Kingdom. There are battles but also several love interests for Uhtred , the show has a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Highly recommended.

Netflix- Alone. Ten participants are dropped into the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a back containing 10 items they chose to bring Hatchett, ax, flint, fishing hooks and line etc.). They must make a shelter to protect them from the winter cold and snow, fend off wild animals, and find food and water. If they get hurt or just can’t take anymore, they can tap out (leave). The last one remaining gets a million dollars. Ten seasons, good show. It’s fascinating to watch them build their shelter and then make and execute their survival plan. I found myself cheering for every fish they caught!

Netflix- The Queen’s Gambit is an awesome series, hard to describe but different and powerful.

Netflix- Dr. Foster is a great BBC drama. It’s only 5 episodes and is about a woman, Dr Foster, who finds a blond hair on her husband’s coat. She is a brunette.

Netflix- The Bodyguard, starring Rob from Game of Thrones and Dr Foster from the aforementioned show. Another great BBC show.

Netflix- Ozark, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Sons of Anarchy…all great series.

Well, that’s it for 2023. Hope you take time to look up all of the books and sign out a few from your library for your summer reading!

Have a great summer and thanks again to all who contributed.



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