The following post contains affiliate links, which sends me a small percentage of any sales at no cost to you.
Summer has always been a fun season for reading. I do love curling up with a good book in the fall and winter, but nothing beats a good beach read on a summer day!
Per usual, I’m here with a list of 12 titles — both backlist and new — that are fit for your summer hours. Let’s get into it:
‘The Hotel Nantucket’ by Elin Hilderbrand
This would not be a good summer reading list without something by Elin Hilderbrand! This one is new (it comes out June 14) and follows the story of a historic hotel and its staff. There’s also a little ghost element to this that sounds intriguing, but not too scary 🙂
‘Carrie Soto is Back’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Hot take: Taylor Jenkins Reid is hit or miss for me, but this one sounds like a HIT. Main character Carrie Soto is a record-breaking tennis star who retires… and watches someone else crush her records. So, she decides to get back on the court for one more season, with her dad as the coach. This one comes out August 30, but I think it’ll be worth the wait.
‘Mustique Island’ by Sarah MCCOY
Full disclosure: I’d never heard of this book or the author, but I saw some promotion for a virtual event with her, so I attended. I attended a lot of virtual book events during lockdown and have come to love them! But, I bought this book after hearing all about it at the event.
The book is about a real, private island that hand-selected people to invite. When former Texas beauty queen Willy May gets invited, she builds a boat and heads there. Willy May is determined to enjoy the island and its privacy and brings her daughters along… all they all discover that even the most luxurious of places have an underbelly.
‘Bourdain’ by Laurie Woolever
I usually don’t buy book from large booksellers (I prefer to support small, but was on the hunt for magazines) but I saw this on the shelf on my way to the register and could NOT pass it up. Laurie Woolever was Anthony Bourdain’s personal assistant and she interviewed nearly 100 people who crossed paths with him to make this book. As a Bourdain fan, I’m so excited to read this!
‘Birds of California’ by Katie Cotugno
I admit that I was drawn to this book completely by its cover, BUT the description is what made me add it to this list. It follows a child actor who had a public meltdown. Fast-forward to present-day, when she decides to meet up with her former co-star for lunch. Turns out, there’s a desire to reboot the show that made them both famous… is it possible to step into the spotlight? Ah! This comes out June 14.
‘We are not like them’ by jo piazza and Christine pride
This is a backlist title that covers a subject I hope everyone is still educating themselves on. This follows best friends Jen and Riley. Riley is one of the first Black female news anchors in their hometown, while Jen is working to build a family.
Jen’s husband, a police officer, is involved in a shooting of a Black, unarmed teenager, and everything — including her friendship with Riley — is in limbo. I was gifted this book from the library (they often gift ARCs during library events) but later listened to an interview with both authors that made me so excited to read it.
‘Revival season’ by Monica west
Another backlist title for ya! “Revival Season” follows a Southern preacher and his family as he hosts large services during the summer months. But this summer, something is different, and the family has its faith tested. As a result, the entire family is tested.
Celebrating both feminism and faith, Revival Season is a story of spiritual awakening and disillusionment in a Southern, black, Evangelical community. Monica West’s transporting coming-of-age novel explores complicated family and what it means to live among the community of the faithful.
‘I kissed Shara Wheeler’ by Casey McQuiston
I love Casey McQuiston and was so excited when I saw this one! The story is about valedictorian Chloe Green and her rival, prom queen Shara Wheeler. However, Shara gives Chloe and kiss, and mysteriously disappears. Turns out, Shara has kissed a lot of classmates, and they all go on a search to find her.
‘Float’ by Kate Marchant
This is another cover that hooked me in, but it sounds fantastic. “Float” is about Waverly, and she’s trying to cope with her parents’ divorce while figuring out who to spend her summer with. She doesn’t get her first pick, but quickly meets a local boy who’s verryyyy cute. How will this summer end?
‘Counterfeit’ by Kirstin Chen
I heard about this one on a bookish podcast I like, and wow it sounds so good. Main character Ava is a Chinese American lawyer who seems to have a perfect life. But things are crumbling beneath the surface.
Then her college roommate Winnie comes into the picture, and she’s covered in designer items! Turns out, Winnie is running a counterfeit handbag scheme. Should Ava get involved to save her crumbling life?
‘The Summer job’ by Lizzy dent
It’s another backlist book that I heard about on a podcast 🙂 Birdy’s best friend Heather decided to ditch a job as a wine expert at a Scottish hotel. So, Birdy decides to accept the job herself, pretending to be Heather, only without telling her (and without actually being an expert on wine). This sounded so funny, and as a wine enthusiast, I figured it would be great!
‘Connect the stars’ by de los Santos
I actually found this book in a Little Free Library near my apartment! “Connect the Stars” takes place at a wilderness camp where 13-years-olds Audrey and Aaron meet. Both social outcasts, they learn life lessons about making friends and working as a team.
There’s my summer reading list! What are you reading this summer?
For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Also, check out my printable bookmarks and Book Club Journal Pages in my Etsy Shop.