Whether you’re laying by the pool, enjoying a summer breeze, or covered in blankets in the reprieve of the AC, there is something special about finding the perfect summer read. It feels like there are always more bestsellers than time to read them, and this year is no different. Truthfully, we had a hard time capping this list, but for the sake of our productivity … and yours, we’ve picked just ten (there are many more) of our favourite books that you should add to your summer reading list.
Note: We’ve listed where to buy each book below, but another great and cost-effective option is to borrow a hardcopy or e-edition from your local library!
The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave
If you love seeing your favourite books on the big screen, this one is a must. Reese Witherspoon and her production company are already in production on this one with Julia Roberts signed on to star in its series adaptation for Apple TV+. The Last Thing He Told Me is a fast-paced, enthralling family drama that is full of plot twists and drama and mystery. Vogue called the novel “light and bright, despite its edgy plot.”
People We Meet on Vacation – Emily Henry
From the author who brought last summer’s iconic summer read (and New York Times Bestseller), “Beach Read,” into our lives, comes another instant favourite. People We Meet on Vacation follows Alex and Poppy, two longtime friends who have a summer tradition of going on vacation together. Are they just friends, or is this their last chance to make it something more? This Rom-Com has total When Harry Met Sally vibes and is an easy-to-read heartwarming tale you won’t want to put down.
Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid
This New York Times bestseller is popping up on all the book lists this summer. From the author Daisy Jones & The Six, comes a story about family, the secrets we keep from those closest to us and what we must leave behind. Set in 1983 in Malibu, the story follows four famous siblings over the course of one night as they throw an epic party to celebrate the end of summer.
Animal – Lisa Taddeo
From Lisa Taddeo, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon Three Women, comes an “intoxicating” (Entertainment Weekly), “gripping” (New York), “explosive” (People), and “ferociously beautiful” (Library Journal) debut novel.
Joan has spent a lifetime enduring the cruelties of men. But when one of them commits a shocking act of violence in front of her, she flees New York City in search of Alice, the only person alive who can help her make sense of her past. In the sweltering hills above Los Angeles, Joan unravels the horrific event she witnessed as a child—that has haunted her every waking moment—while forging the power to finally strike back.
Seven Days in June – Tia Williams
An instant New York Times Bestseller, and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, Seven Days in June is a romantic, hilarious and steamy summer read that is impossible to put down. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can’t deny their chemistry—or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years.
Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect—but Eva’s wary of the man who broke her heart, and wants him out of the city so her life can return to normal. Before Shane disappears though, she needs a few questions answered…
With Teeth – Kristen Arnett
Bestselling author Kristen Arnett brings a moving and at times messy story of two mothers, one difficult son and the limitations of marriage, parenthood and Love, in With Teeth. Arnett’s candid take on queer family dynamics is blended with warmth and wit, and showcases the delicate nuances of family and the many ways in which it can be broken.
The Chosen and the Beautiful – Nghi Vo
The debut novel from Nghi Vo is a retelling of a 1920’s Gatsby-era New York complete with glitz, glamour, magic and mystery. Centred around Jordan Baker, a queer Vietnamese woman navigating her way through New York’s social scene and fighting for her place as an outsider. This is a beautiful story that has quickly become a bestseller and made everyone’s must-read lists.
While We Were Dating – Jasmine Guillory
Romance books were made for summer reading! While We Were Dating follows Ben Stephens an advertising professional and Anna Gardiner, an ambitious actor and the star of Ben’s new campaign. The two hit it off, and their flirtation gives way to a complicated opportunity for Ben: Anna wants to pretend to date to help her career, and hopes he’ll play the part. Will Ben be content to play the background role in Anna’s life and leave when the cameras stop rolling? Or could he be the leading man she needs to craft their own Hollywood ending?
Somebody’s Daughter – Ashley C. Ford
Journalist and podcaster, Ashley C. Ford makes her literary debut with this powerful memoir. Somebody’s Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor Black girl in Indiana with a family fragmented by incarceration, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she embarks on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them. “This is a book people will be talking about forever.” ―Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed
The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris
Urgent, propulsive, and sharp as a knife, The Other Black Girl is an electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing. The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist. A Good Morning America, Esquire, and Read with Marie Claire Book Club Pick and a People Magazine Best Book of Summer.