Summer is the best time for reading, and now that it is July and several 80-degree (and 90-degree) days are officially in the books, it’s time to get serious about our reading lists. The right book can make or break your whole summer vibe—so I present this list of some of my favorite books so far this summer. Even if you are still eyeing your winter TBR pile, it’s time to dust off your beach bags (or shake off last year’s sand) and fill it with these refreshing reads.
What says summer like a pool? This feel-good novel follows two women who develop an unlikely friendship at the local pool that is going to soon be closed. Rosemary’s life and community have centered around the pool (the “lido”) in her neighborhood in Brixton, while Kate is assigned to write about it. This book is emotional and refreshing, and is the perfect poolside companion when you want to brighten up your day with sunny characters and a heartwarming story.
If you missed one of last summer’s biggest books, it’s not too late. Delia Owens’s beautiful novel WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING is about a young woman who lives alone in the wilderness. Named Kya but often referred to as Marsh Girl by the locals, she is immediately a suspect when a scientist is found murdered. CRAWDADS is a beautiful, deeply moving book about resilience and loss, and the connections we have with nature and each other.
No summer would be complete without a heart-pounding book from Stephen King. THE OUTSIDER follows a murder investigation after an 11-year-old boy’s corpse is found in the park. But as the investigation continues and begins to unwind, it becomes clear that no one is who they say they are, and nothing in the town is as it seems. It’s unsettling and gut-wrenching, and you won’t be able to put it down no matter where you’re reading it.
This novel by Pulitzer Prize finalist Susan Choi, about a performing arts school in the 1980s, is intense, riveting, and endlessly entertaining. Expertly written, it has a meta element that makes us consider why exactly we turn to fiction —to escape from reality or to expose it? Choi smartly weaves these thought-provoking questions into a narrative of a teen love story with an unforgettable plot twist.