Summer is the perfect time to crack open a book and settle down on a porch swing. We’ve rounded up some of the best books of the summer to enjoy during this slower season.
Ah, summer. Longer nights, lazier days, and hopefully some vacation time throughout these warmer weeks. While my favorite genres trend towards historical fiction, mysteries and thrillers I’ve found summer the perfect time to spread my wings and branch out a bit.
While the ‘kids-out-of-school’ part of summer is 12 weeks long, I’ve included 15 titles on this list for fast readers and to offer some variety. Whether you’re reading on the beach, in a hammock, or for a few minutes before bedtime these titles are sure to delight and entertain you this summer!
15 Books to Devour This Summer
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
An unexpected narrator starts this book that I found totally unputdownable. Thoroughly different and full of heart despite less-than-perfect main characters. Fans of A Man Called Ove will adore this one.
The Shadow Wife by Diane Chamberlain
Most of Ms. Chamberlain’s books take place in North Carolina, however this one is set in one of my other favorite places in the world: Big Sur and Monterey, California. A historical novel with twists and turns and a little bit of magic.
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
Is there anything that screams ‘summer reading’ more than a book set on Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand?
Horse by Geraldine Brooks
On the outside, this book appears to be about racehorses– but as with all of Brooks’ novels, it turns out it’s really about people. From the publisher: A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
Lisa See always manages to devastate me with her novels, and they’re the type of stories that stick with you for weeks on end. She weaves in information about history, families, and topics of which I know nothing; in this case, tea farming.
Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li
Meet Will Chen, a senior at Harvard, and his crew who are approached to steal 5 priceless sculptures looted by westerners many years before. Beyond just the Oceans 11 style heist, the plot goes beyond the mechanics of a complex plan to get Chinese art back from Western museums and explores colonization and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
From the publisher: a highly imaginative thriller about a young woman who discovers that a strange map in her deceased father’s belongings holds an incredible, deadly secret—one that will lead her on an extraordinary adventure and to the truth about her family’s dark history.
The Club by Ellery Lloyd
A murder mystery set at an ultra-rich and exclusive celebrity club in England. Chaos ensues.
The Long Weekend by Gilly MacMillan
For fans of Ruth Ware, this thriller stars a group of women travel to the most remote place in England for a weekend escape. Once there, they find a note informing them that one of their husbands will be killed before they return home.
The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray
Jane Austen fans will enjoy this English murder mystery involving a few of her most famous characters.
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynne Barnes
While this is a Young Adult novel, it looks right up my alley with puzzles, plot twists, and change in fortune. This might be one I read along with my kids!
Tell Me Everything by Erika Krouse
Erika Krouse has ‘one of those faces’ where people, even complete strangers, tend to confess their secrets to her. In this memoir, she details how she was approached to investigate a sexual assault on a college campus. Over the next five years, Erika investigates a culture of sexual assault and harassment in the university’s football program. But as the investigation becomes a national scandal and civil rights case, she struggles with how to help win the case without becoming consumed and losing herself.
Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner
A suspenseful story of a woman with a seemingly ideal life… until she meets a new friend and long-hidden secrets threaten being spilled.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
An instant bestseller, fans of Emily Henry will love her witty dialog and this not-your-usual romance… romance.
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
A twist on the typical time travel book (there’s no standing stones or Scottish warriors in this one), This Time Tomorrow explores what it would be like to go back in time and view your 16-year-old self with a 40-year-olds wisdom and perspective.
My Favorite Way to Read Summer Books
I’ll admit it- I was wholly against the idea of a Kindle e-reader until my husband gave me one for my birthday. Now I’m not sure what I’d do without it! It makes reading so much easier– it’s easy to hold, easy to pack for trips or in my purse, easy to read even at night or at the beach, and eliminates book clutter for books I don’t plan to keep.
Plus, the version I have is water resistant so I can even use it in the bathtub or by the pool.
I’ve found placing holds through my local library on the Libby app and then reading them on my Kindle is the easiest and least expensive way to feed my reading habit. It also means no overdue library books or rushing to the library to return titles before we go out of town.
That being said, if there’s a book I can’t wait to get my hands on then I don’t feel guilty getting it via Kindle, and since my husband and I share accounts he can read it as well.
Looking for more book recommendations? I’m constantly adding great books to my Favorite Books list. It’s my ‘filing cabinet’ of recommendations from magazines, friends, podcasts, blogs– whenever I hear about a book I’d love, I add it to the list.
Which books are you most looking forward to reading this summer? Do you stick to breezier books for summer reading, or dive into different genres?