It has been a truly excellent year of reading so far! I’ve been focusing more on choosing books I want to read, rather than randomly selecting a book on Libby or Scribd. Here’s three of my favorite books I read this summer:

Open Book by Andre Agassi

5/5 stars

I love reading books about ambition and the ways that emotion drives people, both for good and otherwise. Motivation, endurance, ambition, and fear created a heady combination of emotions for Andre Agassi throughout his tennis career, which he explains in this autobiography. My dad recommended this book to me, and it did not disappoint. It is beautifully written. Thoughtful, eloquent, a bit wandering, and very self-reflective (at times self-demeaning). I learned a lot about tennis and the perils and joys of being a professional athlete. Agassi was far from perfect throughout his career, but I walked away from this book feeling an immense amount of respect for him and his commitment to personal growth, totally separate from his achievements in tennis.

Float Plan by Trish Doller

5/5 stars

I really trust Stephanie Howell‘s recommendations, and she mentioned that this was a sweet and heartwarming romance. The book follows the story of Anna, who embarks on a solo sailing trip after the death of her fiance. Along the way, she meets Keane, a fellow sailor who has healing of his own to do. I thought Anna and Keane’s story was really realistic and, unlike many romance novels, didn’t brush over critical emotions like grief and mourning after loss. I rooted for both characters equally, and the sailboat setting was really interesting. I blew through this audiobook and immediately purchased the hard copy – I will definitely read again!

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

4/5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley, which I requested solely based on TJ Klune, the author. Klune’s book “The House in the Cerulean Sea” was one of my favorite reads earlier this year, and I had high hopes for “Under the Whispering Door.” I didn’t like it quite as much as the first one, but it was still heartwarming, thought provoking, and magical. Klune paints characters so fully that they seem realistic and I become deeply invested in the outcomes of their stories. This book dragged on a bit at the end and felt like it was tied with a bit too neat of a bow, but I really enjoyed it all the same, and had never read something with a similar plot.