I can’t believe we’re almost done with the third quarter of 2022! The year is really flying by, and all of my reading goals are quickly becoming must-dos if I want to accomplish them before the end of the year. As we move into fall – my favorite season! – I hope to read outside more, enjoying the relief from heat and humidity. October is truly the best weather month in Virginia, and I can’t wait to take advantage of it!
My reading for July, August, and September was pretty typical. It seems that I tend to read about 33 books every quarter (same as last quarter!), averaging to 11 a month. July was a very stressful month for me, so I ended up reading more books that month than the others (it’s my go–to stress relief!). September numbers were affected by my reading of an 1130 page book (it should count as at least three, right?). But as always, numbers aren’t what matter. It’s how I feel about my reading, and I’m pretty happy!
Books are listed in the order I read them. If I have reviewed the book, I linked to its review on Instagram. For more in-depth reviews of all of the books I’m reading, please follow me on Instagram and Goodreads!
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Favorite Historical Fiction
I read so many amazing historical fiction books in this quarter that I had to categorize them by superlatives to make it easier!
Favorite Time Travel Historical Fiction
What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
This was a five star read for me and will be one of my favorite books read this year. Check out my full review here but if you love time travel books, prioritize this one! It’s on Kindle Unlimited so it’s easy to get!
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
The eighth book of the Outlander series did not disappoint and is one of my favorites from the series (I keep saying that about all of the books!). Following Claire and Jamie through Revolutionary-era Philadelphia and the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse, I can’t get enough of this story. Check out my full review here.
Favorite Dual Timeline Historical Fiction
The Grand Design by Joy Callaway
I love The Greenbrier, and this novel about the hotel’s famous interior designer, Dorothy Draper, in the early and mid-20th century was lovely, taking me right back to that West Virginia mountain home. Check out my full review here.
The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman
This captivating book takes you to early 20th century New York City as a young immigrant girl begins to use her matchmaking gift in the Jewish Lower East Side. Her granddaughter in the 1990s is learning more about this gift through her grandmother’s journals. And the author was a delight in the Thoughts from a Page patron chat! Read my review here.
Favorite Southern Historical Fiction
This has always been one of my favorite genres, not surprising since I grew up in North Carolina. There is just something about the South that makes it a literary masterpiece!
The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock
Full of atmospheric descriptions of coastal Georgia, this novel is both lyrical and plot-driven as a young widow and her daughter move home to uncover her family’s true legacy. Read my review here.
The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers
I loved this story about the tobacco wives of a 1940s North Carolina city. The women ran the town’s social scene but also had to deal with misogyny that prevented them from reaching their full potential. Find my review here.
Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris
Set in the Jim Crow South, this book about two sisters running from their past is heart-wrenching and shocking yet compulsively readable. I got to take part in a Zoom chat with the author through the Thoughts from a Page podcast Patreon group, and I loved learning about her thoughtful choices for the story.
Favorite Historical Fiction Set in Great Britain
A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin
I thought this closed door romance about a scheming, down-on-her-luck debutante and a debonair yet haughty duke was fun and delightful! Read my review here.
The Invincible Miss Cust by Penny Haw
Set in England, Scotland, and Ireland, this book is biographical historical fiction at its finest. An unknown woman from history, Aleen Cust, was Britain and Ireland’s first veterinary surgeon, and this book details the obstacles she had to overcome to achieve her lifelong goal. Read my review here.
Favorite WWII Historical Fiction
The Baba Yaga Mask by Kris Spisak
Written by my friend and editor, this book provides historical context for the events we’re seeing in Ukraine right now. It’s a timely story about sisters, family, and their true inheritance. Read my review here.
A Harvest of Secrets by Roland Merullo
This story set in Italy during World War II is heart-breaking yet hopeful. I loved learning more about the Italian citizens who fought against Mussolini and the Nazi invaders.
The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel
I read this for my book club and loved the sweet story about a granddaughter searching for her grandmother’s true history. From the streets of occupied Paris to a fragrant Cape Cod bakery, it taught me about a different side of WWII than I had read about before.
Favorite YA Books
Rivals by Katharine McGee
This is the fun third book in the American Royals series. I loved this alternate history imagining the royal family of Washington ruling America. Your older teens will enjoy it! And the fun details (Duke of Boston, etc.) made me smile!
Worth the Read by Diana and Kate Cockrell
This time travel book written by a mother/daughter author duo is a fun way for teens to learn about the Boston Tea Party! Read my review here.
Favorite Contemporary Fiction
Are We There Yet? By Kathleen West
A timely look at the effects of social media and cyberbullying on young teens. This one should be read by all parents of middle schoolers!
Mika in Real Life by Emiko Jean
Heartfelt story about adoption, love, and overcoming trauma to find your true self. I loved hearing about the author’s decisions in a chat hosted by the Thoughts from a Page podcast for its patrons!
One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle
This is a time slip book about a daughter’s grief. And the sense of place had me Googling every location and restaurant. I want to go back to Positano and visit some of the amazing sites from the book!
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland
This is a fun and poignant story sure to delight any Dirty Dancing fan. I kept picturing Kellerman’s as I read this book about a declining hotel in the Catskills. I especially loved the second chance love story of more mature people with baggage and life experience.
Flying Solo by Linda Holmes
Written by the author of one of my favorite books read last year, Evvie Drake Starts Over, this novel follows an almost forty-year-old woman coming back to her hometown in Maine to settle her aunt’s estate. She soon finds herself embroiled in a mystery and a love story decades in the making. It was laugh-out-loud funny and delightful!
The Beach Trap by Ali Brady
Yes, there is romance but this book is really about the story of two half-sisters who find their way back to each other when their father leaves them a decrepit beach house.
Favorite Contemporary Romances
The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
Love, love, love this book! The chemistry between the main characters was great, and I couldn’t put it down until I knew how it ended. I kept saying, “Just one more chapter!” It’s a fun romance with emotional heft.
I loved the set up of this book, with chapters set in years’ past mixed with present day. A searing love story between childhood best friends.
Much Ado About You by Samantha Young
This is a fun romance with touches of Shakespeare included. I loved the setting on the English coast!
So many great books! What was your favorite book read in the third quarter of 2022?