Summer Reading List: 6 Popular Books to Make You…Popular!

summer reading list
Lorie Kleiner Eckert

By Lorie Kleiner Eckert | Jul 2nd, 2019

Yes! I really am going to give you a list of books to consider for your summer reading, but first, I need to tell a story…Recently I went on vacation to a national park in Virginia. I was wearing my new sunhat from Costco. When I walked into the visitor center, there were many people wearing the same hat! This, of course, led to conversation. The first question was in which state they purchased their hat? But after that, the conversations went in many directions from what else they were seeing in Virginia to what their favorite item was to buy at Costco. Thanks to my hat, I spoke to many people, indeed, I was Miss Popularity.

With this thought in mind, I now create a reading list. All books are from Costco to assure that they are in WIDE distribution. It is my hope they will bring you a new friend or two as they provoke comments from passersby on the bus or beach, in the restaurant, or at the airport gate. How are you liking that book? Have you read anything else by the author? And on it goes…

Here are six “conversation starters” that are currently at Costco.

the nest

1. The Nest By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This is the story of the Plumb family’s four adult children and the nest egg they all anticipate inheriting. Unfortunately, one of the siblings has depleted the account to bail himself out of legal problems. Making this topic especially interesting is the fact that baby boomers are expected to bequeath $16 trillion to their children over the next three decades. Hence the book is a cautionary tale.

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

everything i never told you

2. Everything I Never Told You By Celeste Ng

The book opens with the disappearance and death of 16-year-old Lydia Lee in 1977. Lydia is the middle child of James and Marilyn, a biracial couple. He is Chinese-American and she is Caucasian. James always wanted to blend in with others while Marilyn wanted to stand out. This works against the family though they refuse to notice it, acknowledge it, or as the title implies, talk about it. The author paints a vivid picture of what it is like to be an interracial family in 1977.

My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

before we were yours

3. Before We Were Yours By Lisa Wingate

If you know nothing about the Tennessee Children’s Home Society Orphanage that existed in the 1920s-1950s, you’ll want to read this book. As the author tells us in her note at the end of the novel, the Memphis branch of this organization was a “bizarre and sad paradox.” Yes, it rescued many children from terrible circumstances, but it also kidnapped other children and made a handsome profit arranging for wealthy people to adopt them. The main villain in this real-life tale – and the novel – is Georgia Tann. The novel also features a fictional family named Foss, whose five children are kidnapped by Tann’s henchmen.

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5


4. Educated By Tara Westover

The author grew up in a family who lived off the grid in Idaho. Home schooling amounted to no schooling. Yet the author teaches herself what she needs to know to get into college and ultimately to get a PhD. from Cambridge. This is worthy of cheering! However, another part of the story finds her physically and emotionally abused by an older brother while the mother uses gaslighting techniques to make her doubt it took place. Mercifully, in the second section of the book, the author goes away to school! BUT, somehow, she cannot stay away from that family, returning time and again to experience more abuse. My take-away from the book was an understanding of how hard it is for an abused woman to leave her abuser(s).

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

mrs. Everything

5. Mrs. Everything By Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner writes books that grab me by the collar and pull me in. This new one is the story of sisters Jo and Bethie Kaufman who grew up in the 1950s. Jo is the rebel wanting to make the world fair. Bethie is a feminine good-girl wanting a traditional life. The book covers their lives from the 50s to the present day and shows them surviving traumas and tragedies. They end up in roles opposite of what they dreamed and neither woman is happy. The question becomes, is it too late for each to find happily-ever-after? For lovers of Little Women, the characters’ names imply a tie-in.

My Rating: Haven’t read it yet!

city of girls

6. City Of Girls By Elizabeth Gilbert

After getting kicked out of Vassar College in 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris is sent to live with her aunt who owns a theater in New York City. Thus, Vivian is introduced to many unconventional and charismatic characters. As we meet her, Vivian is ninety-eight years old and is looking back on her life. Themes of female sexuality and promiscuity are explored. What attracts me to this book is a quote in the book jacket: “At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.” A lot of people will be attracted to this book due to the huge popularity of the author’s previous book, Eat Pray Love.

My Rating: Haven’t read it yet!

It is said that Costco’s book buyer, Pennie Clark Ianniciello, might be the most influential woman in the book business today. Any book she features in the Costco Connection magazine is seen by more than 60 million people in the US alone! The high visibility of her books will give you high visibility too. Enjoy these books…and the conversations they engender!!

Lorie Kleiner Eckert

Lorie Kleiner Eckert

Lorie Kleiner Eckert thinks of herself as a cheerleader with the message: Life is difficult, but you can do it! Her new book, Love, Loss, and Moving On is available on Amazon.


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