If you’ve been around these parts, you know I am a voracious reader. I try to keep my book posts to once or twice a month but with summer actually here, I know we are all looking for great summer reads. Even better? Beach reads. Personally, the first book on my beach read list is Crazy Rich Girlfriend (kindle | hardcover) which is the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians (kindle | paperback). I read Crazy Rich Asians last year and I absolutely loved it so I can’t wait to dig into the sequel. Still, I thought I’d put together a list of some great summer reads about summer, perfect for the beach or the pool or your air conditioned home.
Perfect Books for Summer About Summer:
You may recognize this author since she wrote the series The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (also a great summer series read if you are looking for YA book/series: kindle | paperback). This was the first adult novel she wrote and I loved it. From the writing to the story to the setting on an East Coast Island, everything screams summer and nostalgia. I guess you could say it’s a love triangle against the backdrop of an island community, a lifetime of memories, and summer but it’s more complicated than that. Sisters, secrets, an illness, love and desire all come together. This is a great summer read. It’s moving.
I read this last June. A family filled with secrets and interpersonal issues vacations in Mallorca, Spain. If you’re familiar with Jonathan Franzen and the dynamic in his books, I thought this would be in the same vein. People are complicated and their mistakes just keep happening. But I was surprised. Though the book opened old wounds, there was reconciliation and even hope offered here.
Dessen is YA writer who I happen to love. This one is by far my favorite that she’s written–a girl on the cusp of college, completely jaded, falls for a boy who of course she doesn’t want to admit she’s fallen for. It’s all about the best laid plans and how sometimes those plans aren’t the best after all. The thing is, there are plenty of Dessen reads about summer for summer: The Truth About Forever (sale on this one currently, both formats: kindle | paperback), Along for the Ride (kindle | paperback), and Someone like You (kindle | paperback). She also just released a new book which will probably be added to my summer reading list: Saint Anything (kindle | paperback).
It starts in summer camp (does a summer read get better than that?) back when Nixon was president and follows four tighter than tight friends until today–calling themselves the Interestings. It’s a story about growing up, falling in and out of love, and more. I couldn’t put it down as it follows them from middle school through when they have kids that same age. There is some beautiful writing: “But, she knew, you didn’t have to marry your soulmate, and you didn’t even have to marry an Interesting. You didn’t always need to be the dazzler, the firecracker, the one who cracked everyone up, or made everyone want to sleep with you, or be the one who wrote and starred in the play that go the standing ovation. You could cease to be obsessed with the idea of being interesting” (455).
I believe I included this on books for Downton Abbey lovers. I’m including it now for the historical fiction lovers. It’s about the summer before WWI, and the “perfect storm” of events that led up to it. It technically is non-fiction but it’s written in a narrative format that sucks you in. It’s like someone telling you stories that happen to be insanely true. You can also feel the heat of that summer, the impending changes to a world that will never be the same, and something horrible on the horizon, all while enjoying the summer of 1911 as if you were there.
I wanted to include Richard Russo’s That Old Cape Magic (kindle | paperback) because Russo wrote one of my favorite books of all time, Empire Falls (kindle | paperback) but I haven’t read That Old Cape Magic yet because sometimes, when I know I am really going to love something, I put it off to savor it. It’s weird I know. I do it with Eugenides’ books too. But this summer I am going to read the Russo book.
You can also pre-order Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman (kindle | hardcover). Despite the controversy around it, I am still going to read it (how could I not?) and it’s on sale right now because it’s on pre-order.
Do any of these sound interesting to you? What are you reading this summer?
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