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By: Rachel Brown

Summertime is finally here, and one of our favorite ways to unwind is to stretch out in the sunshine near a body of water (the ocean, a lake, the pool—take your pick) with a cool beverage and a great book. Here are some of the things we’re reading this summer, ranging from old classics to new releases. Share your favorite summer reads in the comments section—we’d love to have more titles to add to our list!

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Revisiting this classic instantly transports the reader to a remote Yorkshire mansion surrounded by acres of wide-open spaces. You’ll cheer for main character Mary as she adjusts to life in Yorkshire after making a life-changing move from India, rooting for her as she steps outside of her comfort zone, falls in love with the outdoors, and builds relationships with newfound friends, Dickon and Colin. You may even find yourself inspired to tend to a garden or outdoor space of your own.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sittenfeld, the popular author behind great books like Prep and Sisterland, is taking this summer’s reading lists by storm with her retelling of the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice. In Eligible, the Bennett family is based in Cincinnati, and Jane Austen’s characters have been updated with a modern spin (i.e. Liz is a magazine writer and Jane is a yoga instructor). If you dive into this book, we’d love to know—does it do Jane Austen’s novel justice, or do you prefer the classic version of the tale?

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker

Hatmaker’s most recent book is inspiring, empowering, and hilarious all at once. As she does with all of her books, Hatmaker provides refreshingly vulnerable commentary on the present-day church, marriages, jobs vs. vocations, raising children, and everything in between. Her chapter on poverty tourism was on of the best bits of writing we’ve read in a long time. Packed in between Hatmaker’s serious musings are her silly thank you notes to people, places, and things, providing a balanced complement to the deep, rich content found throughout the rest of the book.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

Foodies everywhere are devouring (pun intended) Stephanie Danler’s debut novel about Tess, a 22-year- old who lives and works in a popular restaurant in New York. This coming-of- age novel provides an inside look into restaurant kitchen culture in the Big Apple and sucks the reader into Tess’s life as she navigates the ins and outs of living in the big city.


Photo Cred: Gaelle Marcel

about the authorRachel  is the Director of Development for Touch A Life, an organization committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of children who have been exploited and trafficked in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Though she loves working in the non-profit world, Rachel has always been passionate about writing, pursuing opportunities to put pen to paper outside of her day job. Aside from writing for Darling Magazine, she maintains a personal blog, Coffee & Tacos, where she connects with others through food, travel, faith & community. Rachel lives in Dallas, TX, with her husband, their adorably large English mastiff, and a baby girl on the way.

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