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50 of the Best Books to Read This Summer

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Looking for some quality beach reading? Here are fifty amazing new books to read this summer!

50 of the Best Books to Read This Summer

Fiction Books to Read This Summer

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert book coverCity of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

In City of Girls, an old woman looks back on her adventures at the Lily Playhouse, a “crumbling midtown theater” where she was introduced to a cast of unconventional characters and enticing pleasures in her youth.

My Life as a Rat by Joyce Carol Oates book coverMy Life as a Rat by Joyce Carol Oates

In Oates’s latest novel, a young woman recalls a life estranged from her family after she testified, at age 12, that her older brothers murdered an African American boy in a racially motivated attack.

Recursion by Blake Crouch book cover - books to read this summerRecursion by Blake Crouch

A New York City cop and a neuroscientist dedicated to preserving people’s memories team up to fight a force that causes False Memory Syndrome, which leaves sufferers with memories of lives they never lived.

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner book coverMrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Two sisters growing up in 1950s Detroit are perfect opposites: Jo, the tomboy rebel, and Bethie, the perfect picture of American femininity. But as they grow older, they trade places and Jo finds herself married with kids while Bethie steeps herself in counterculture.

The Porpoise by Mark Haddon book coverThe Porpoise by Mark Haddon

This book retells the legend of Antiochus, whose love for his daughter after the death of his wife morphs into something dark and grotesque.

The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali book coverThe Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali

In 1950 Tehran, two young people meet and fall in love in a bookstore, but the political violence and upheaval separate them until 60 years later, when fate finally leads them back to each other.

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda book cover - best books to read this summerThe Last Guest House by Megan Miranda

In the idyllic tourist town of Littleport, Maine, a deep friendship develops between a local girl, Avery, and Sadie, a visitor. When Sadie is found dead, all eyes turn to Avery and she must work fast to clear her name.

The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe book coverThe Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe

As a history professor and descendent of a woman tried in the Salem Trials, Connie Goodwin is an expert on America’s history of witchcraft. When an old curse threatens the life of her partner, she must use all her knowledge and resources to solve the mystery behind it.

Finding Mrs. Ford by Deborah Goodrich Royce book cover - best books to read this summerFinding Mrs. Ford by Deborah Goodrich Royce

Mrs. Ford’s privileged life on the picturesque Rhode Island coast comes crashing down when the FBI arrives on her doorstep to question her about an Iraqi man from her past who has been arrested in connection with ISIS.

They Could Have Named Her Anything by Stephanie Jimenez book coverThey Could Have Named Her Anything by Stephanie Jimenez

An unlikely friendship forms between a privileged white girl and a Latina girl struggling to fit in to her private Upper East Side high school—but soon their relationship begins to crack as each grows envious of the other’s life.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead book cover - best books to read this summerThe Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

In the Jim Crow south, a young black man with a promising future is unjustly imprisoned at the Nickel Academy, a juvenile detention center where horrors are visited on the children confined within its walls.

Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham book cover - books to read this summerGood Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

A traumatized girl is discovered at the scene of a crime. She won’t talk, won’t tell anyone her name. Six years later, she still hasn’t revealed her identity; when another girl turns up murdered, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven comes to believe that the two cases are connected.

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena book coverSomeone We Know by Shari Lapena

A teenager breaks into homes and computers to steal secrets in a quiet suburb. Anonymous letters are sent out. A woman is murdered. Who killed her and how far will people go to keep their secrets from being revealed?

A Particular Kind of Black Man by Tope Folarin book cover - best books to read this summerA Particular Kind of Black Man by Tope Folarin

Tunde, a Nigerian boy, and his parents, struggle to adapt to their new Midwestern home, until one day Tunde’s schizophrenic mother snaps and runs off with him back to their home country.

A Pure Heart by Rajia Hassib book coverA Pure Heart by Rajia Hassib

Two Egyptian sisters part ways. Rose marries an American and goes to live in New York; Gameela, a devout Muslim, stays in Cairo. When Gameela is killed in a suicide bombing, Rose returns to Cairo to sort through her sister’s life and discover her secrets.

Caging Skies by Christine Leunens book cover - best books to read this summerCaging Skies by Christine Leunens

When a devoted member of Hitler Youth discovers his parents are hiding a Jewish girl in their home, his shock and disgust slowly morphs into love and obsession.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware book cover - best books to read this summerThe Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

In Ruth Ware’s latest mystery, Rowan Caine takes a dream job as a nanny in the breathtaking Scottish Highlands…but it turns into a nightmare when the child ends up dead and Rowan finds herself on trial for murder.

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz book coverThe Swallows by Lisa Lutz

A teacher at a New England prep school uncovers disturbing secrets about the boys at the top of the social pecking order and inadvertently incites a resistance among the girls, leading to an all-out gender war that could have deadly consequences.

A Keeper by Graham Norton book cover - best books to read this summerA Keeper by Graham Norton

In Graham Norton’s sophomore novel, a woman returns to Ireland after her mother’s death to discover a collection of letters that reveal the truth about her past.

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa book coverThe Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, Translated by Stephen Snyder

In an unnamed dystopia, a young writer hides her editor beneath her floorboards to protect her from the memory police, a mysterious force that disappears things and then makes people forget.

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood book coverThe Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood

From the author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things comes another unconventional love story about a tough Kansas woman and her unlikely hero: an autistic man who comes to her aid when an abduction rips her family apart.

The World Doesn't Require You: Stories by Rion Amilcar Scott book cover - best books to read this summerThe World Doesn’t Require You by Rion Amilcar Scott

This story collection follows the lives of the residents of Cross River, a fictional town established by the leaders of the country’s only successful slave rebellion in the mid-19th century.

Empty Hearts by Juli Zeh book coverEmpty Hearts by Juli Zeh, Translated by John Cullen

Set in the near future, Empty Hearts follows Britta, a wife and mother who works at a suicide prevention clinic, which serves as a front for an operation that recruits suicide bombers for terrorist organizations.

Everything Inside: Stories by Edwidge Danticat book cover - best books to read this summerEverything Inside by Edwidge Danticat

From one of Haiti’s most beloved writers comes this collection of eight powerful short stories about love, marriage, death, generational change, and the dream of a better life.

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff book coverLast Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff

In a post-apocalyptic world, one girl must leave the refuge of her island home and journey to reach the banshees, an all-female army fighting force fighting the menacing flesh-eating creatures known as the skrake.

The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz book coverThe Girl Who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz

Topping my personal list of books to read this summer, The Girl Who Lived Twice is the latest installment in the Millennium series about Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant female hacker/vigilante who visits wrath upon men who hurt women.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri book coverThe Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

When the bombs start falling on Aleppo, a beekeeper and his wife must flee their broken country to Britain, where an uncertain future awaits.

A Better Man by Louise Penny book coverA Better Man by Louise Penny

In the latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel, the head of Québec’s homicide department embarks on an ill-advised search for a man’s missing daughter while flood waters rise across the province.

Nonfiction Books to Read This Summer

Formation: A Woman's Memoir of Stepping Out of Line by Ryan Leigh Dostie book coverFormation by Ryan Leigh Dostie

Struggling to navigate a military culture steeped in toxic masculinity, Ryan Dostie finds herself fighting a war she never expected when she is raped by a fellow soldier.

Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life by Amber Scorah book cover - best books to read this summerLeaving the Witness by Amber Scorah

In this memoir, third-generation Jehovah’s Witness Amber Scorah writes about losing her faith and identity while on a mission to illegally proselytize in China.

The Way Home: Tales from a Life without Technology by Mark Boyle book cover - books to read this summerThe Way Home by Mark Boyle

In this memoir, Mark Boyle shares tales and wisdom from his life without technology—no phone, running water, car, electricity, or wi-fi.

Kingdom of Lies; Unnerving Adventures in the World of Cybercrime by Kate Fazzini book coverKingdom of Lies by Kate Fazzini

Kingdom of Lies tells the stories of cybercriminals and ethical hackers, exposes the lies we’re told about cybersecurity, and illuminates the dark underbelly of modern technology.

The Coitus Chronicles: My Quest for Sex, Love, and Orgasms by Olive Persimmon book coverThe Coitus Chronicles by Persimmon Olive

In this memoir, New Yorker Persimmon Olive documents her extreme (and often hilarious) efforts to end a five-year sexual dry spell.

Love Thy Neighbor: A Muslim Doctor's Struggle for Home in Rural America by Ayaz Virji, M.D. book coverLove Thy Neighbor by Ayaz Virji, M.D.

This heartfelt memoir documents a Muslim doctor’s mission to serve patients in the rural Midwest and heal the toxic divide that threatens America.

The Adventures of Maid West, Lady Detective: A Remarkable True Story by Susannah Stapleton book coverThe Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective by Susannah Stapleton

This history tells the true story of Maud West, a remarkable woman whose career as a private detective spanned 30 years during the early 20th century.

In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle with Opioids by Travis Rieder book coverIn Pain by Travis Rieder

In Pain is the story of a bioethicist’s brush with opioid dependence after a motorcycle accident and the six surgeries that followed left him in pain and hooked on drugs.

Outrages: Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalization of Love by Naomi WolfOutrages by Naomi Wolf

In her latest work, Naomi Wolf reveals the history of how the modern idea of homosexuality and its association with sexual deviancy was first formed in the mid-19th century.

The Patient Assassin: A True Tale of Massacre, Revenge, and India's Quest for Independence by Anita Anand book coverThe Patient Assassin by Anita Anand

Anita Anand reveals the history behind the legend of Udham Singh, the Sikh orphan who waged a 20 year war of revenge against British colonialists in India after the 1919 massacre that killed hundreds of unarmed civilians.

The Way Through the Woods: On Mushrooms and Mourning by Long Litt Woon book coverThe Way Through the Woods by Litt Woon Long, Translated by Barbara J. Haveland

In this memoir, Litt Woon Long recounts how learning to hunt for mushrooms helped her heal in the wake of her beloved husband’s death.

Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram by Isha Sesay book cover - books to read this summerBeneath the Tamarind Tree by Isha Sesay

Beneath the Tamarind Tree tells the story of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo book cover - books to read this summerThree Women by Lisa Taddeo

Three Women explores the hidden depths of female desire through the stories of three real-life women.

What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal by E. Jean Carroll book coverWhat Do We Need Men For? by E. Jean Carroll

This darkly funny book chronicles the author’s road trip across America to ask women the age-old question, “What do we need men for?”

Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haban Girma book coverHaben by Haben Girma

This memoir chronicles the extraordinary life and accomplishments of Harvard Law’s first deafblind graduate.

When I Was White: A Memoir by Sarah Valentine book coverWhen I Was White by Sarah Valentine

In this memoir, Sarah Valentine recounts what it was like to learn that she was biracial at the age of 27.

Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention by Donna Freitas book coverConsent by Donna Freitas

In this deeply personal memoir, feminist writer and speaker Donna Freitas shares her experience as the victim of a stalker.

Kochland: The Secret History of the Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America by Christopher Leonard book cover - books to read this summerKochland by Christopher Leonard

This page-turning exposé reveals the full extent of the Koch brothers’ influence on American capitalism.

Nobody's Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs, and Trolls by Carrie Goldberg book cover - books to read this summerNobody’s Victim by Carrie Goldberg

In Nobody’s Victim, victim’s advocate and legal warrior Carrie Goldberg chronicles her fight to outlaw revenge porn and sextortion, and tells her own nightmare story of being targeted.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi book coverHow to Be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

From the author of Stamped from the Beginning comes this new book, which asks readers to think about how we can go beyond a vague awareness of racism to create an antiracist society through real action.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Books: The History and Future of Reading by Leah Price book coverWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Books by Leah Price

Responding to the panic that the digital age is killing in-depth reading, author Leah Price argues that “a golden age of reading never existed” and that books are in no more danger of dying out than they were at any previous point in history.

Syria's Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege by Mike Thomson book coverSyria’s Secret Library by Mike Thomson

This book tells the remarkable story of a secret library hidden in a basement room in rebel-held Darayya at the height of the Syrian Civil War.

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