It’s the most wonderful time of the year: we’re about to kick off summer reading season.
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.
Readers, take note: I’ve only read a handful of these titles so far (and if I loved it, I tell you so), so while I’m hopeful they’ll be good, that’s all I am—hopeful. (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.)
Today we’re sharing buzzworthy summer books, but on Wednesday the Summer Reading Guide is landing on the blog. 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. (This year we have a one-page guide, free for all, with a very cool “shopping list” feature that I think you’re gonna love! Newsletter and blog subscribers get it a day early—if you want to be on that list, sign up here.)
In the meantime, let’s take a look at this year’s hot summer reads. I can’t wait to hear what’s on YOUR reading list for the summer!
P.S. On tomorrow’s new episode of What Should I Read Next we’re talking all about the books we can’t wait to read this summer. Happy listening!
A new Louise Penny! This is book 13 in the series; you don't have to read these novels in order, but I recommend it: you'll miss the richness of her plot lines and characters if you jump in midstream. Penny's whodunit plot lines are an excuse to explore human nature, granting them a depth and psychological astuteness not often found in this genre. We're back in fictional Three Pines for this one: imagine the cozy feel and quirky characters of Stars Hollow, with fewer teenagers, more murder, and a smidge less levity. Publication date: August 29, 2017 More info →
I adored The Knockoff and am so excited Sykes and Piazza are teaming up again! Janey Sweet is the successful CEO of a couture wedding dress company, but when she's photographed stuffing her face on the front row of a fashion show, her business partner gives her an ultimatum: lose 30 pounds, or lose your job. The Knockoff fired shots at our collective social media obsession; Fitness Junkie tackles the wellness craze. If this new novel enjoys half the success of their first team effort, everyone will be reading this at the pool this summer. Publication date: July 11, 2017 More info →
Best-known for The Traitor's Wife, Pataki has a reputation for writing excellent historical fiction. In her newest, she tackles the French Revolution with the help of her brother Owen Pataki. Tracing the effects of the Revolution and Terror on the lives of two linked Frenchman, Pataki explores courage, democracy, and love, while emphasizing why the Revolution's lessons remain important today. Featuring cameos from pillars of history such as Louis XVI, Robespierre, and Thomas-Alexandre Dumas. Publication date: July 11, 2017 More info →
The authors of previous Summer Reading Guide pick The Year We Turned Forty are back with their suspense debut. Jacks's marriage had grown lukewarm, but it was stable—at least she thought so. Her husband was on a business trip to Kansas—or so she thought— when the cops show up to deliver the blow: her husband was killed in a car wreck. In Hawaii. And so was the young blonde with him. Soon Jacks is on a plane to Hawaii for answers, and the more she discovers, the less she understands. Publication date: June 1. More info →
The much-anticipated second novel from the author of the runaway bestseller The Girl on the Train. In a small British town, women have been dying after jumping (or being pushed?) from the cliffs above The Drowning Pool since 1679. After the latest in a long line of tragedies, the town is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. Publication date: May 2, 2017. More info →
The author of The Engagements is back, this time with a family drama following two Catholic sisters who haven't spoken in more than fifty years. When a family member dies, the family is drawn together again, and long-unspoken secrets take center stage for the first time in decades. Publication date: May 9, 2017. More info →
The Good Girl author Mary Kubica is back with a new twisty psychological thriller. Clara's husband is killed in a terrible car wreck; their daughter, in the backseat, was remarkably unharmed. But after the accident she develops night terrors, that soon bleed into the daytime—a "bad man" was chasing her and her daddy, and she's afraid he's coming to get her. Clara soon feels unsafe in her own home, and begins to wonder just what her husband was up to before he died—who would have wanted him dead, and why? Publication date: June 27, 2017 More info →
Imagine a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, torching houses in rural Accomack County, Virginia instead of shooting up banks, and you've got this true-crime nonfiction release about right. Hesse chronicles the hows and whys of the couple's unprecedented 5-month crime spree, in which they set fire to 67 houses. In the process, she examines their odd-couple relationship, local economics, volunteer fire departments, stakeout mechanics, and impotence. Publication date: July 11, 2017. More info →
The long-awaited final installment to the trilogy Han kicked off with To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Lara Jean is living the senior year of her dreams, but it's time to make big decisions about what comes next, and contemplate what it might mean to leave her friends and family behind. Publication date: May 2, 2017 More info →
Country music singer Jo Lover is on the brink of making it big on her own strengths—but when her label acquires J. D. Gunn's Top-40 band, the two are pressed into a musical partnership because it's good business, but it's also really complicated: Jo and J. D. share the same poor Virginia town, and a history as both musical and romantic partners. When a steamy duet they sing goes viral, the collaboration deepens, and things get complicated, as Jo struggles with her feelings and with preserving devastating secrets from the past. I blew through this in an afternoon; it would make a perfect beach read for Nashville fans. (Heads up—it's a little steamy in places.) Publication date: June 6, 2017. More info →
Old Hollywood star Ronni Sunshine was a small success in her acting days, but a major failure as a mother. For reasons she's not ready to explain, she summons her three estranged adult daughters home to tend to carry out her eyebrow-raising wishes, and in the process, discover maybe they're not ready to give up on each other after all. Jojo Moyes says, "I raced through this." Publication date: June 6, 2017 More info →
From the author of The Rosie Project, a new novel about soul mates, nostalgia, and music. When IT consultant Adam Sharp receives a one-word email from the love of his life, who he hasn't heard from in more than twenty years, that one "hi" changes everything. Publication date: May 2, 2017 More info →
When Maeve was twelve years old, two life-changing things happened on the same day: Daniel kissed her, and she was bitten by a shark. On that day she knew two things: she would marry Daniel, and she would dedicate her career to studying sharks. Only one of those dreams came true. Maeve thought she was content with her choices, until she and Daniel, both unmarried, cross paths after many years, and his winning 6-year-old daughter Hazel invites Maeve to join her Shark Club. An easy-reading novel about the big loves in our lives. Publication date: June 6, 2017. More info →
A new Murakami is always big news. In his new short story collection, he examines the lives of seven middle-aged men who, for various reasons, have found themselves living alone. The title is a nod to Hemingway; two chapter titles are borrowed from The Beatles. Publication date: May 9, 2017 More info →
Finally, a new novel from the author of the bestseller The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry! Aviva Grossman, smart, young, and beautiful, lands a prize internship working in a Florida congressman's office. When she has an affair with her boss—and then blogs about it. He emerges unscathed, and she takes the fall. Life as she knew it is over, so she changes her name and moves to Maine. But when she decides to run for public office herself, those long-buried secrets become today's news again. Publication date: August 22, 2017. More info →
From the author of The Dollhouse. Davis's new historical novel revolves around The Dakota, the most famous address in Manhattan, and tells two intertwining stories about the characters (and such characters!) who live there, set a hundred years apart. Publication date: August 1. More info →
What’s on YOUR summer reading list? Is there a new release you’re especially looking forward to? Tell us in comments.