Summer reading looks different for everyone, but for me, it’s all about the page-turning thrillers (this will be another list!) or diving into a book whose cover just screams beach, sun, and sand. I love seasonal reading, and heading out to my front porch with a glass of iced tea and a book with a summery cover makes me so happy during the warmest months in Cleveland.
Ideally, my summer reading contains the following:
1.) a summer vacation house on a lake or the ocean
2.) family members or friends gathering for an event
3.) a great deal of detail about clothing/food/décor that gives me all the summer vibes
Are you looking for some great seasonal summer reads? Check out this backlist book list – these should be easier for you to acquire from your library or eBook account since they were published some time ago.
The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon
The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan
The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner
Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey
anything by Elin Hilderbrand
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Are you looking for more summer reading recommendations?
One of my favorite reading friends, Gen the Bookworm, has assembled a fantastic list of current summer reads. Make sure to give her a follow on Instagram too! She loves podcasts, lives in gorgeous rural Vermont, and shares fun photos from her life as a mom and reader.
And, if you need even MORE books for your summer reading list, here are nine books I can’t wait to read this summer, as posted in early June 2020.
I have always loved summer reading.
From participating in my local library's summer reading programs as a child to excitedly reading blog posts promoting the year's hottest summer books, my favorite of pastimes certainly takes on a different feel when the days get longer and the sun gets hotter.
I am what I would describe as "a seasonal reader" and definitely gravitate to certain genres during certain months of the year. September and October call for spookier reads and horror fiction, a genre I didn't even know I liked until a couple of years ago. I love Christmas stories in November and December, read underneath the warmth of a heated blanket and the glow of the tree. To me, summer reading is all about page-turning thrillers and light, summery beach reads, although I will dive occasionally into other types of books from June through August. While you'll normally find me reading poolside or on vacation, this summer, as we continue to shelter-in-place, I will enjoy most of my summer books on my front porch.
Here are 9 books I can't wait to read this summer:
pub date: 8/4/20
Alternating between past and present, The Comeback tells the story of teen actress Grace Turner and her rise to fame under a manipulative director and her eventual self-exile from the film industry. When asked to present a lifetime achievement award to this man, she can no longer hide from her past and learns that her come back must also be her “fight back”.
Why I am Excited: I will read just about any book with the film industry as a backdrop, so as soon as I read the summary for this one, I knew I was all in.
Silvia Moreno Garcia
pub date: 6/30/20
Noemí Taboada receives a desperate letter seeking help from her cousin, a 1950s newlywed living tucked away in High Place, a mysterious home set in the Mexican countryside. While there, Noemí uncovers a history of family secrets, violence, and madness.
Why I am Excited: Gothic horror fiction is one of my favorite genres, and with comparisons to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (one of my favorite books of all-time), it immediately went on my list. Mexico holds a special place in my heart, and I also gravitate towards any book with this setting.
Romance writer January Andrews and literary writer Augustus Everett spend the summer in neighboring beach houses, broke and battling their writer's block together. They decide to challenge one another to write a book in the other’s genre, swapping their normal, acclaimed writing styles for something completely different.
Why I am Excited: Very few rom-coms strike a chord with me, although I am always on the hunt for a great, light love story for summer. As a May Book of the Month selection, I have seen this one all over Bookstagram getting rave reviews from fellow readers.
Home Before Dark
pub date: 6/30/20
Twenty five years ago, Maggie Holt’s parents moved into Baneberry Hall, a Victorian estate in the secluded Vermont woods. Fleeing after experiencing three weeks of inexplicable supernatural activity, Maggie’s father published a bestselling memoir based on their brief time living in the home. Maggie, too young to remember the incident and generally a skeptic anyway, decides to undertake a renovation of the home when she inherits it after her father’s death. When she begins to experience the same occurrences as described in her father’s infamous book, she starts to believe in the stories she initially brushed off as fiction.
Why I am Excited: I have read all of Riley Sager’s books, and they are always a page-turning great time. I can’t wait to dive into this one. (And I love spooky house stories, which is my favorite sub-genre of horror fiction.)
The Night Swim
pub date: 8/4/20
Podcast host Rachel Krall becomes a household name after covering a brutal crime in a small town. When a mysterious note begging for her professional skills is left on her car's windshield, Rachel begins research for a new case: a rape trial for a small town’s beloved Olympics-bound swimmer. While working on this mystery, she digs back into the drowning death of her sister 25 years prior, as odd notes about that incident continue to appear for her in unexpected places. The two cases begin to intertwine and change the course of the town's trial, affecting many lives in the process.
Why I am Excited: Goldin’s The Escape Room was one of my top-ten books of 2019. I could NOT put it down, and barreled through it in two days. I have high expectations for this follow-up, and with its great reviews so far, I don't think I will be disappointed.
pub date: 6/16/20
A literary take on the film Same Time Next Year, 28 Summers explores the relationship between Mallory and Jake, who meet at a Nantucket cottage bachelor party in 1993 and spend one weekend per year together after that. When Mallory passes away in the spring of 2020, she leaves instructions for her son to call a mysterious phone number that turns out to be Jake...Jake, who is married to the leading candidate for the presidential nominee. The book explores Mallory and Jake’s years-long relationship and how it complicates and affects the lives of their loved ones.
Why I am Excited: Summer reading for me, IS Elin Hilderbrand. I love being whisked away to Nantucket each year, and while her books are hit-or-miss for me, I read her newest each summer.
The Daughters of Erietown
pub date: 6/9/20
A family story spanning from the 1950s to the 1970s, The Daughters of Erietown introduces readers to teenage lovebirds Ellie and Brick, their lives in rural Ohio, and the issues that affect working class families and communities during this period in history.
Why I am Excited: I have been a longtime admirer of Connie Schultz and can't wait to read her first foray into fiction.
*as of publishing this post, I have started an Advanced Reader's Copy
The Safe Place
pub date: 7/14/20
When struggling young actress Emily loses her office temp job and receives an eviction notice from her landlord for too many late payments, her future seems more uncertain than ever. Former employer, company CEO Scott Denny, takes notice of her and believes her to be the perfect fit for their family, serving as an assistant to his wife, playmate to his young daughter, and caretaker of their sprawling oceanside property in sunny France. Emily accepts, quickly forming a bond with wife Nina as they spend hours a day together restoring the grounds, lounging poolside, and prepping elaborate meals. Young Aurelia is a bit more work, but even she begins to trust Emily as they spend more time together. But, something feels off…
With a little research, Emily begins to uncover the family’s darkest secrets and suddenly her dream job by the sea is a nightmare.
Why I am Excited: I love thrillers with a summer vibe, and I am admit, this cover sucked me in.
*update as of publishing this post: I have read my Advanced Reader's Copy and will publish a review soon
The Nothing Man
Catherine Ryan Howard
pub date: 8/20/20
Eve Black, the lone survivor of “The Nothing Man” who killed her family nearly two decades prior, has devoted her life to her obsessive hunt to track down the man who destroyed her life and family. But “The Nothing Man” is still out there, and he is reading her memoir, realizing how close Eve is to uncovering the truth about him.
Why I am Excited
I love a good page-turner with crazy plot twists. Other reviewers have mentioned going into this one without reading much about it because of these twists, which excites me to open my copy.
What are you looking forward to reading this summer?
Next to travel, reading is my greatest pleasure. When I can combine the two...even better.