My 2019 Summer Reading List

After my last column for Kentucky Today, I got a few emails as to what else is on my summer reading list… Since inquiring minds want to know, here ya go! 😉

See original article and why summer reading is so important here. Here’s to a few page-turners!

  • Bestseller: Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

A 2018 fiction novel by Delia Owens. It’s been on the top of The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2019 for twelve weeks this year. It’s about a young girl, Kya, and her life in the swamps of North Carolina.

  • Recommended by a friend: Becoming Mrs. Lewis, Patty Callahan Henry

A biographical fiction about the improbable romance between C.S. Lewis and his wife, Helen Joy Davidman Gresham. Really excited about this love story! {{Swoon}}

  • Recommended by a writer: The Writing Desk, Rachel Hauck

Of course, a writer-friend would like a book about writing a book, and well, it has my interest. A story about writer’s block, romance, and yet another writer from a century ago…  

  • Spiritual boost: Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Minds, Jen Wilken

Jen is a popular Christian blogger, writing about The Good Book… what’s not to love? Oh, and the cover art, too… {{Heart eyes}}!

  • Because of the author: The Lady and the Lionheart, Joanne Bischof

Last summer, I happened across Sons of Blackbird Mountain and it was the first book of Joanne’s that I read. One word: Sooooogood. I can’t wait for more poetic writing from Joanne and a story from under the Big Top. 

  • Award winner: Life After, Katie Ganshert

A sole-survivor of a traumatic incident wrestles with faith and fear in this 2018 Christy Award Winner for General Fiction.

  • Can’t believe I haven’t read it before now: The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America, Hannah Nordhaus

Award-winning journalist, Nordhaus, tells the story of migratory beekeeper, John Miller, and the epidemics plaguing honey bees. 

  • Trying something new: The Refuge, Ann H. Gabhart

I’ve never read any Amish Fiction, and this is one will probably be as close as I get for a while. Darcie and Walter Goodwin join a Shaker village to escape a cholera epidemic in this story about love and family. (Kentucky Author!) 

  • Because I love the cover: The Queen of Hearts, Kimmery Martin

I saw this book at the recent Southern Kentucky Book Fest and stopped in my tracks. It was one of Southern Living Magazine’s“Most Anticipated Books of 2018.” Two best friends since medical school, a twist of romance, and one big secret have me ready to see what these North Carolina girls are up to. 

  • Re-Read: The Dollmaker, Harriette Arnow

Because every great read deserves a re-read. Gertie Nevel’s peaceful life in the hills of Kentucky gets uprooted during World War II when she and her family must leave and go to work in Detroit. 

What’s on your list this summer? Tell me, anything I need to add?

Keeping the words like honey,


**Featured photo by Vicko Mozara on Unsplash

Author: Neena

Neena is a Kentucky wife, mother, and beekeeper. Her first novel, THE BIRD AND THE BEES, is a Christian contemporary romance available now. Visit her at