13 books everyone will be talking about this summer.

13 books everyone will be talking about this summer.

Good news, book lovers: summer reading season is almost here (and the Summer Reading Guide is coming this week!)

Here’s a peek at the big summer books everyone will be talking about all summer long.

Does that mean they belong on your reading list? Well … maybe. Just because a book is a bestseller doesn’t mean it will be to your taste.

I’ve noted below which of these titles I’ve already read (I’m only 2 1/2 for 13 so far) and which I want to read this summer, and why. (The books listed below are NOT in the Summer Reading Guide, but I will share them in Quick Lit throughout the season as I finish them.)

This year’s guide has 30 new titles—that’s 6 categories with 5 books each—and I’ve read every word of every one. I’ll tell you what you need to know so you can decide if a book is right for YOU. (Update: get your free Summer Reading Guide here!)

But in the meantime, let’s take a look at this season’s certain bestsellers. I can’t wait to hear what’s on YOUR reading list for the summer!

Series: The books everyone will be talking about this summer
Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty

Author:
The Australian author has been on a hot streak: her last 3 novels have been top bestsellers, praised by everyone from Stephen King to Anne Lamott, and her fans are on pins and needles for the next. Her new summer release focuses on a friendly neighborhood barbecue gone awry, and the ramifications of the disaster (or near-disaster? the blurbs sure do make it hard to tell!) have everyone examining what's simmering beneath the surface of their seemingly ordinary lives. Publication date July 26 2016. More info →
First Comes Love

First Comes Love

Author:
I haven't read a Giffin book since 2005's Something Blue, but I plan on reading this one in the coming months. By the pool, of course. Her latest novels tells the story of two sisters whose lives couldn't be more different who find themselves at a crossroads, against the backdrop of the rapidly approaching anniversary of a family tragedy. It sounds rather grim, but early reviews use words like "witty" and "dazzling." Publication date June 28 2016. More info →
The Singles Game

The Singles Game

The Devil Wears Prada author returns with one of the summer's most-hyped novels. Weisberger fans know the drill: we start with a naive good girl out of her depth, this time in the world of professional tennis. After an on-court disaster at Wimbledon, nice girl Charlie (as in Charlotte) Silver hires a new coach, who believes that nice girls finish last, and rebrands Charlie as the "Warrior Princess." Soon she's wearing black and partying hard, but no big change comes without a cost. Early reviews call this fast and fun; I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Publication date July 12 2016. More info →
Modern Lovers

Modern Lovers

Author:
I unsuccessfully tried to get my hands on this one to vet it for the Summer Reading Guide, even though I wasn't wild about her 2014 novel The Vacationers. Her new novel is about what unfolds amongst a tight-knit group of friends from college, now nearing 50, over the course of one hot Brooklyn summer. Publication date May 31 2016. More info →
Here’s to Us

Here’s to Us

Hilderbrand has been called the queen of the summer read, thanks to her large catalog of novels set on Nantucket. Her last novel, The Rumor, was my favorite of hers to date so I have high hopes for this summer's release. This novel revolves around a pricey piece of Nantucket real estate, the death of its celebrity chef owner, and the drama that ensues when he leaves the residence to his three spouses, current and former. Hilderbrand literally writes her novels by the pool (longhand, on legal pads): maybe that's her secret for perfectly capturing the island setting down to the tiniest detail? Publication date June 14 2016. More info →
Another Brooklyn

Another Brooklyn

The first adult novel in twenty years from National Book Award-winner Woodson, who I only know from the wonderful Brown Girl Dreaming. A chance encounter with an old friend in her childhood neighborhood brings back a flood of memories for August, and in a series of vignettes, she remembers what it was like to grow up as an African American girl in 1970s Brooklyn. Early reviews call this piercing, gritty, beautiful. Publication date August 9 2016. More info →
The Muse

The Muse

Author:
From the author of 2014's surprise sensation The Miniaturist. It was well-written and dripping with atmosphere but not quite to my taste, but I admired her skills enough to see how she does with different subject matter. Her new novel is about two strong women--one in 1967 London working at a prestigious art institute, one in 1936 Spain during its civil war. The women are connected through a painting of murky provenance. In alternating viewpoints, Burton examines how these women's lives are intertwined, and what it means for them both. Publication date July 26 2016. More info →
You Will Know Me

You Will Know Me

Author:
A new nail-biter from Thriller Award winner Abbott is always news. She's best known for The Fever, a book I've been meaning to read for ages. I know her by reputation, though I haven't yet read her work, and was surprised to hear her forthcoming novel is focused on an elite teen gymnast, a tragedy that rocks her training facility, and the subsequent unraveling of everything the characters thought they knew about each other. Publication date July 26 2016. More info →
I Almost Forgot About You

I Almost Forgot About You

Author:
From the bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting to Exhale. McMillan reliably writes relatable female narrators, saying "I write about what breaks my heart. What I don't understand. And what I wish I could change." In her new release, a 54-year-old woman is jolted into action when an old college crush dies. She begins to question what it is she really wants out of life, and hits the road to tell all the men she's loved just what they meant to her. Publication date June 7 2016. More info →
The Girls

The Girls

Author:
This book has generated crazy amounts of hype: I feel like I've been hearing about it all year. Cline's story about a young girl drawn into a cult in 1960s California was inspired by Charles Manson and his followers. I started to read this as a potential Summer Reading Guide pick (first impressions: highly stylized, ambitious prose) and immediately realized it was too gritty for the guide, but I might pick it back up again this summer. Publication date June 14 2016. More info →
The After Party

The After Party

The second novel from the author of the critically acclaimed debut The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls. Kirkus calls it a "sophomore slump," but Kirkus is notoriously cranky. I read this and while I didn't love it, I did blitz through it in two days because I wanted to find out what happens next . If you DO want to read it talk a friend into joining in, because you're going to want to talk about it. Publication date May 17 2016. More info →
The Weekenders: A Novel

The Weekenders: A Novel

Mary Kay Andrews is a perennial staple in romance-lovers' beach bags. Her new summer release is set on the North Carolina coast on the idyllic Belle Isle. Riley is waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one afternoon when the sheriff shows up to serve her with papers, and her husband never shows at all. As Riley seeks support and tries to figure out what's going on, she realizes she has a mystery to uncover. A quirky small town is the backdrop for this summer read, and warm, humorous characters round it out. Publication date May 17 2016. More info →
Don’t You Cry

Don’t You Cry

Author:
Kubica has earned quite the reputation for edge-of-your-seat thrillers with her bestsellers The Good Girl and Pretty Baby, but this is the first of hers I've read. When her ever-reliable roommate goes missing, Quinn starts to investigate, and quickly discovers she may not have known her friend at all. Warning: the flap copy is deliberately misleading. I liked this well enough, even though it didn't make the cut for the Summer Reading Guide. Publication date May 17 2016. More info →

What’s on YOUR summer reading list? Is there a new release you’re especially looking forward to? Tell us in comments. 

And to find certain winners for your summer reading list, snag your Summer Reading Guide right here!

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57 comments

  1. Kari Ann says:

    I am anxiously waiting for the latest installment in the Inspector Gamache series. Is it August 30th yet? I may have to splurge and buy it right when it comes out.

    I am also anxiously awaiting your Summer Reading Guide. I can only imagine how much time and intense thought goes into putting it together. I am very grateful for that time and effort. Thank you!

  2. Harriett says:

    This is a great list! I just finished Lowcountry Wedding by Mary Alice Monroe and loved it – the best in this series, but they are all good!

  3. Sara K says:

    Looking forward to the summer reading guide! I’ve already picked a couple of books for my beach vacation in a month, but I can always use a few more!

    There are a couple of authors on this list that I have read before with lukewarm results. Your descriptions make me want to give them another try, and these books are perfect for a light beach read!

  4. I got a copy of Here’s To Us at BEA, so I’ll be reading that next month. And I will be reading Truly Madly Guilty of course because I LOVE Liane Moriarty. I probably won’t read any of the others though unless I read a great review.

  5. I 100% agree with you about The After Party…decent and a quick read, but not earth shattering. I have read Abbott’s The Fever and it was great…looking forward to the gymnastics book. That is one messed up sport!

    I’ve read The Girls – really enjoyed it and not what I was expecting.

  6. M.E. Bond says:

    I haven’t read Jesse Burton before, but I just placed a library hold on The Muse. Maybe it’s time to rekindle my interest in the Spanish Civil War! (I once wrote a paper on the American and Canadian volunteers who fought in Spain and I’ve read the novels Davita’s Harp and For Whom the Bell Tolls.)

  7. I need to try a few of these. I’m terrible and branching out and trying new kinds of books. Some of these sound interesting though. It’s not new, but I’m looking forward to reading “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”. With the movie coming out, it sounded like something fun and interesting.

  8. Byrd says:

    On Liane Moriarty… I read Big Little Lies last year as an MMD pick, but haven’t tried any of her others. Which one would you recommend next? (asking either AB or any other commenters).

  9. Mary Kate says:

    I’ve forbidden myself from buying another book until I get through my (14 book) TBR stack but I suck at keeping those kinds of promises to myself. The question is which to buy first…

  10. Leigh Kramer says:

    I finished First Comes Love the other week and liked it much better than Giffin’s last book but not as much as her first few. A solid 3 stars. I’ll be curious to hear what you think. I did not know Weisberger had a new one coming out! I’m looking forward to reading Truly Madly Guilty and Another Brooklyn for sure. And I haven’t started The Girls yet (this weekend, I hope!) but I still can’t believe you didn’t finish it. I’ll let you know what I think once I’m done!

  11. I can’t wait for the most recent Liane Moriarty! I’ve read three of her novels so far and each have pleased my mind with their twists and turns that genuinely surprise me!

    On my summer reading list, I have way too many books, but I’m anxious to get through them all. i think one I’m looking forward to most is Lord of the Rings! I’ve never read the series or seen the movies, and I think it’s about time to change that!

  12. Donna says:

    I am currently putting together my summer reading list! I am super excited about Truly Madly Guilty as I binge-read all Liane Moriarty’s books back in March. Also excited about Here’s to Us (I’ve only read one other Hilderbrand, The Rumor and loved it!) and Modern Lovers (I abandoned The Vacationers last summer and have yet to pick it up again, but I am curious about this one.)

    Other new releases I’ll be reading this summer:
    – Before the Fall by Noah Hawley [May 31, 2016]
    – The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell [June 7, 2016] – currently reading and loving The House We Grew Up In
    – They May Not Mean to, but They Do by Cathleen Schine [June 7, 2016]
    – If I Forget You by Thomas Christopher Greene [June 14, 2016]
    – All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda [June 28, 2016]

  13. Nina Lauri says:

    There is one more book on Amazon, Trespassing Through Life, by Kat Gabriel. It is an amazing read. I stumbled upon it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Well written with much thought into plot and characters. It makes you laugh and cry and be moved beyond expectations.

  14. Tricia Elliott says:

    If you haven’t read any of the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon, they are fantastic. She takes you back in time with many descriptive adventures that weave through love, war and heartbreak. There are 8 books in the series.

  15. Nina George says:

    The new book from Elin Hilderbrand is on my list as is Inconceivable by Tegan Wren. A good friend bought me a copy after she read it and loved it.
    Happy reading, everyone!

  16. Mindy Katon Rachlin says:

    I’m excited about ” Nine Women One Dress” by Jane L. Rosen. Sounds like a fabulous summer read. I’m going to adore this one for sure!

  17. Truly Madly Guilty is on my summer reading list, too! I read and loved I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS by Iain Reid, which comes out next week. It’s chilling and creepy and so well-written. I also want to get to If I Forget You by Thomas Christopher Greene, too! Oh and All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda!

  18. Fred says:

    All quiet on the western front. It’s one of the only books that I can say “affected” me. Left me kinda dazed for a couple of days afterward, like really amazing movies do.

  19. Michelle Cook says:

    I feel you are missing a book from this list: The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin. What a fantastic read! Great for book clubs.

  20. I just like the helpful information you supply for your articles.

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  21. Karen Smith says:

    I just came back from visiting my youngest son who lives in San Francisco. We visited City Lights Books while I was there. While I was shopping, he brought me two books, and asked me if I remembered the authors. Both of them were people he had gone to Oberlin College with and lived with while he was in college. I just finished reading The Great American Song Book by Sam Allingham. It is a collection of short stories, and I recommend it completely. I’m getting ready to start Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht.

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