One of my favorite things to do during the Summer season is putting on my bathing suit, grabbing the new book I just bought and laying outside by the pool reading until I can’t take the heat any longer (with my favorite sunscreen, of course!). After all, Summer is the perfect time to lounge around in the sun with a great book (or five!). And the great thing about books? They’re great for those rainy Summer days, too. If you’re looking for poolside page-turners you can dive into, I’m highlighting a range of options that you can tote along all Summer long. And this season, their is no shortage of good reads. Keep scrolling through to see what’s on my Summer reading list!
Being abandoned on the first day of a girls trip to Hong Kong turns out better for Sophie Bruno than she could have imagined. After being ditched by her best friend, Sophie heads out for a night on the town and meets Carson, an artist surviving on his trust fund. He spontaneously asks Sophie to join him in traveling the world and now she has a choice to make: go back to her structured IT career in New York or leave it all behind to travel the world. These two unlikely soul mates steer each other’s paths in opposite directions until they reach a happy medium. With its spirited yet credible plot and vividly intricate characters, The Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World is a sexy, heartfelt romance with exotic locations and journeying on the path towards self-discovery.
In the Summer of 1992 on Avalon Island (a stand-in for New York’s Long Island), a gypsy moth infestation takes over and it’s all anyone can think about, all they can talk about. The daughter of one of Avalon Island’s most prominent families returns, with her African-American husband and biracial children in tow, upsetting the balance between the haves and have-nots on opposite sides of the tracks. Covering issues of race, class, and privilege, The Gypsy Moth Summer is a sweeping novel, grand in scope, about a Summer that changes everything.
Grant Ginder takes “dysfunctional family” to a hysterical limit in The People We Hate at the Wedding about siblings Alice and Paul who begrudgingly attend the lavish wedding of their half-sister, Eloise, in London. Alice and Paul — both in doomed relationships — see Eloise as the snotty daughter of a rich dad and Donna, their mother, as a cold-hearted widow who ditched all remnants of their father after his death. In the booze-filled days leading up to the wedding, things spiral out of control in resentful outbursts and hilariously bad decisions.
Thirty years after From Rockaway, Jill Eisenstadt returns with a darkly funny novel that exposes a city and a family at their most vulnerable. When Sue Glassman’s family needs a new home, she relentlessly agrees to convert to Judaism. In return, her father-in-law, Sy, buys Sue and her family (with one on the way) a capacious but ramshackle beachfront home in Rockaway, Queens — a world away from the Glassmans’ cramped Tribeca apartment. The catch? Sy is also moving in. And the house is haunted. On the weekend of Sue’s conversion party, a ninety-year-old woman shows up uninvited and their neighbor Tim feels inordinately protective of the Glassman family. The collective nervous breakdown occasioned by the old woman’s return swells to operatic heights in this charming portrait of ordinary people as it unflinchingly addresses the perils of living in a world rife with uncertainty.
Look no further for the glitz, glam and juicy secrets your Summer reading list demands. An aging starlet and 1960’s “It Girl” akin to Elizabeth Taylor, Evelyn Hugo hires rookie magazine journalist Monique Grant to pen her scandalous yet inspiring life story. Brimming with heartache, betrayal and an endless supply of Hollywood gossip, Evelyn recounts her failures and triumphs in chronological order, one husband at a time. But as she dives into the sweeping story of the star’s life and old Hollywood legacy, Monique discovers a connection that could irreversibly change both of their lives forever. “Addictive, dazzling and bound to leave you in tears (classic Taylor Jenkins Reid), The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo should be your number one reading priority this Summer.”
From celebrity gossip expert and BuzzFeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen, comes “an analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing boundaries of what it means to be an ‘acceptable’ woman . . . Petersen uses the lens of ‘unruliness’ to explore the ascension of pop culture powerhouses like Lena Dunham, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian, exploring why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures.” Author of All the Single Ladies, Rebecca Traister says, “Petersen’s careful examination of how we eviscerate the women who confound or threaten is crucial reading if we are ever to be better.”
This beautifully written tale has it all: history, art, food and a multi-generation family dynamic interwoven with secrets, mystery, and unwavering love taking place in the South of France. Just reading an except from the novel, Aubray’s writing literally had me spellbound and I felt like I was right there in the Cafe Paradis.
I mean, with a title like this, do you really need a reason to read this? Well, I’ll go ahead and give you one: This funny novel is an alluring tale of four self-made women who are adamant to figure out who and what they want to be, and the men who are along for the ride. Refreshingly and relentlessly honest, “The End of Men shatters the confines of society, and more importantly, those we impose upon ourselves.”
A family plagued with malfunctioning superpowers, persistent federal agents, and the neighborhood mafia makes for a glorious imaginative family drama with a large dose of Science Fiction. The chapters shift between three generations of the Telemachus family points of view, revealing different threads of the story and creating vivid personalities for each member. “While the novel revels in elements that entertain — criminal capers, magic, nostalgia for the internet chat rooms and computer paraphernalia of the 1990’s,” it’s “also about the power of belief and whether we can ever escape our tangled family legacies — and why we might not want to.”
Hazel has just left her CEO husband and tries to carve out a new life for herself “in a world populated with a whole host of deviant oddballs.” Named Best Book of the Summer by Refinery 29, Nylon and more, Made for Love is “a poignant, riotously funny story of how far some will go for love — and how far some will go to escape it.” There are sex dolls, brain chips, a con man who loves dolphins, and a senior citizen trailer park and somehow, the story makes total sense.
Janey Sweet doesn’t need to lose weight. Or does she? When Janey, the CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is given the ultimatum — lose 30 pounds or lose your job — she dives headfirst into the world of diet and fitness. From bestselling authors of The Knockoff — which is also on my Summer reading list — Fitness Junkie is a hilarious satire of the fitness industry and all its trends.
Sunshine Mackenzie is loved by millions who watch her YouTube cooking shows and read her bestselling cookbooks. The problem? The whole thing is a sham. And when Sunshine is exposed as a fraud destroying her business and her marriage, she’s forced to go back to her sleepy hometown in The Hamptons to try to make things right. Hello, Sunshine is a funny, entertaining read about trying to live an authentic life in the age of social media overload. I really enjoyed Dave’s Eight Hundred Grapes, so I definitely had to add this one to my Summer reading list.
This refreshing debut novel celebrates a young woman at a crossroads of life who, after being dumped by her fiance, quits her job and returns home in order to find herself. However, home is not quite how she left it. A spectacular reminder that most answers can be found in our roots, Goodbye, Vitamin is a darkly funny yet tender tale about finding stability throughout life’s frequent hiccups.
When Kit Lowell randomly sits at David Drucker’s lunch table one day, a friendship begins. Kit is still reeling from the tragic death of her dad and David has never had another person sit at his lunch table before. These two misunderstood teens hope to find what they are looking for in each other. What to Say Next is a deceptively easy read about some tough issues that will keep you turning its pages long into the night. Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell.
This hauntingly honest novel celebrates the coming-of-age tale of a young African’-American woman who chooses to live vibrantly in the face of loss, adversity, and devastation. Promised to be one of the most influential new voice in fiction, Zinzi Clemmons is a must for any serious beach reader. This is 2017’s most raw literary display of female emotions.
“This is a story about three great loves — family, friendship, and romance — and the bonds that withstand tragedy.” This book goes deep into insecurity, emotional walls, contrasting family dynamics, meeting expectations, fear and purpose. A majority of the reviews are nothing but praise for Abrams’ real and often poetic writing. One fan said, “the writing is absolutely stunning: sometimes it’s straight up hilarious wit, sometimes it’s effortlessly poetic, sometimes it’s like reading your own mind.” With a fantastic main character, a beautiful story, and one seriously swoony book boyfriend, this is one summer release you absolutely cannot miss.
Told from alternating points of view by the Sobel family — wife Francie, husband Tate and their two daughters, ten-year-old Enid and twelve-year-old Vivvy — “Pretend We Are Lovely is a sharp and darkly funny story of forgiveness, family secrets, and the losses we inherit. At its core is the ever-complicated and deeply-devoted bond of sisterhood as the girls, left mostly to their own devices, must navigate their way through middle school, find comfort in each other, and learn the difference between food and nourishment.”
Hunter’s second novel, one of Buzzfeed’s Best Books to Read This Summer, centers around the topic of addiction and all the ways we demonize addicts and seek to absolve ourselves of our own sins by blaming addicts for falling prey to a devastating disease. It’s said to be “a brilliant and empathetic way of handling a difficult and delicate topic.”
Fourteen-year-old Turtle wanders the northern California coast but always circles back to her troubled father, the center of her life since her mother’s death. But then she meets Jacob, who lives comfortably in a big house and thinks she’s awesome, and suddenly Turtle understands that life with her father cannot continue. Stephen King says My Absolute Darling is an absolute masterpiece — “ugly, beautiful, horrifying, and uplifting.” After King’s review and the many others praising Tallent’s debut, I would be stupid not to add this one onto my list!
+What’s on your Summer Reading List for 2017?! And if you’ve read any of the books listed above, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Just don’t give anything away ^_^
P.S. my OSD kicked in on this post and I listed the books in order of release dates.