Let Your Favorite Summer Tradition Choose Your Next Book

June 1 2021
Share Let Your Favorite Summer Tradition Choose Your Next Book

I’ve spent the past few weeks breathing through my mouth after forgetting to buy Claritin, so you know what that means—we’re deep into spring. It also means that the glorious summer season is, mercifully, right around the corner. And I don’t know about you, but I plan to spend every waking moment outside (safely) in the presence of other vaccinated individuals, reading a good book while lounging on any outdoor surface willing to host my far-too-pale body.

The question is, which book is that perfect summer read? Well, depending on the occasion and your go-to summer activities, that book may already exist, and is waiting patiently for you to pick it up. So don’t waste any more time scouring your TBR pile for the right book to present itself—we’ve got you covered with a list of page-turners that will pair perfectly with your favorite summer traditions. Enjoy.

The Summer of Lost and Found
by Mary Alice Monroe

Exploring Nature

If you’re a beach rat, you’re no stranger to spending hours reveling in the beauty of the ocean and its many creatures. Perhaps you’re an avid sea turtle observer, or, more realistically, maybe you imagine you could be. Regardless, if this sounds like you, then Mary Alice Monroe’s latest Beach House novel, THE SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND, is your next summer read. You’ll follow Linnea Rutledge as she struggles to navigate love during the coronavirus pandemic—and over the course of a sea turtle season—and discover the secret to overcoming obstacles during unprecedented times in a way only Mary Alice Monroe can capture.

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The Summer of Lost and Found
Mary Alice Monroe

One of Bustle’s “20 Best Beach Reads of 2021”
One of BookTrib’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2021
One of Get Literary’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2021
One of Country Living’s “30 Can’t-Miss Beach Reads for This Summer”
One of Frolic’s “25 Best Books of Spring 2021”

“The perfect kickoff to summer!” —CNN

“Mary Alice Monroe takes you on a trip to the idyllic sun, sand, and gracious lifestyle of a Southern summer. This season’s must-read!” —Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Surfside Sisters

The New York Times bestselling Beach House series returns with this tender and compassionate novel following the Rutledge family as they face a summer of upheaval and change with perseverance, unity, and a dose of humor, discovering unexpected joys and lessons that will endure long past the season.

The coming of spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, it begins a season of challenge. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores. For her—and for her family—finances, emotions, and health teeter on the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders—is it possible to love two men at the same time?

Love in the time of COVID-19 proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea learns there are more meaningful lessons during this summer than opportunities lost: that summer is a time of wonder, and that the exotic lives in our own backyards. In The Summer of Lost and Found, Linnea and the Rutledge family continue to face their challenges with the strength, faith, and commitment that has inspired fans for decades.

Mary Alice Monroe once again delves into the complexities of family relationships and brings her signature “sensitive and true” (Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling to this poignant and timely novel of love, courage, and resilience.

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MENTIONED IN:

Let Your Favorite Summer Tradition Choose Your Next Book

By Chris Gaudio | June 1, 2021

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Once Upon a Sunset
by Tif Marcelo

Travel to International Destinations

If you didn’t have a wanderlust before the pandemic, we’re guessing by now you’re itching to travel. Wherever you may be headed this summer, don’t forget to pack Tif Marcelo’s ONCE UPON A SUNSET, the ultimate fix for any free-spirited traveler. Diana Gallagher-Cary always believed that her grandfather Antonio died in World War II, but when she and her mother discover a box of letters Antonio wrote home, they learn that isn’t true. Diana takes a much-needed break from her busy life and career to travel with her mother to the Philippines in search of family connections, only to find a crisis of identity. With Marcelo’s vibrant writing and rich characters, you won’t regret getting this read for a (hopefully) upcoming flight.

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Once Upon a Sunset
Tif Marcelo

The author of The Key to Happily Ever After—“a true gem filled with heart, laughs, and a cast of delightful characters” (Nina Bocci, USA TODAY bestselling author)—returns with a heartwarming and charming novel about a woman who travels to the Philippines to reconnect with her long-lost family…and manages to find herself along the way.

Diana Gallagher-Cary is at a tipping point. As a Washington, DC, OB/GYN at a prestigious hospital, she uses her career to distract herself from her grief over her granny’s death and her breakup from her long-term boyfriend after her free-spirited mother moves in with her. But when she makes a medical decision that disparages the hospital, she is forced to go on a short sabbatical.

Never one to wallow, Diana decides to use the break to put order in her life, when her mother, Margo, stumbles upon a box of letters from her grandfather, Antonio Cruz, to her grandmother from the 1940s. The two women always believed that Antonio died in World War II, but the letters reveal otherwise. When they learn that he lived through the war, and that they have surviving relatives in the Philippines, Diana becomes determined to connect with the family that she never knew existed, though Margo refuses to face her history. But Diana pushes on, and heads on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that challenges her identity, family history, and her idea of romantic love that could change her life forever.

Infused with Tif Marcelo’s signature “sexy, adorable, and heartfelt” (Kate Meader, USA TODAY bestselling author) voice, Once Upon a Sunset is a moving and lyrical celebration of love, family, and second chances.

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Then She Found Me
by Elinor Lipman

Family Reunions

Elinor Lipman’s first novel THEN SHE FOUND ME is the story of April Epner, a high school Latin teacher whose quiet life is about to be turned upside down when Bernice Graverman—better known as the eponymous host of Bernice G!, the gossipy talk show where her boisterous, self-indulgent character can really shine—reveals herself to be April’s birth mother. The perfect summer read for anyone who’s familiar with family reunions (and the chaos that can ensue when relatives gather), Lipman’s book will entertain you while unexpectedly tugging at your heartstrings. So embrace that (sometimes painful) family tradition and pick up a copy before your next get-together.

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Then She Found Me
Elinor Lipman

April Epner teaches high school Latin, wears flannel jumpers, and is used to having her evenings free. Bernice Graverman brandishes designer labels, favors toad-sized earrings, and hosts her own tacky TV talk show: Bernice G!
But behind the glitz and glam, Bernice has followed the life of the daughter she gave up for adoption thirty-six years ago. Now that she's got her act together, she's aiming to be a mom like she always knew she could. And she's hurtling straight for April's quiet little life....

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MENTIONED IN:

Let Your Favorite Summer Tradition Choose Your Next Book

By Chris Gaudio | June 1, 2021

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Seven Days in June
by Tia Williams

Falling in Love

Here’s a summer activity we suspect you’d like to make a tradition: falling in love. And if you’re a romantic like us, then you’ll always have a heartwarming (or sexy) novel waiting in the wings for any occasion. This summer we recommend SEVEN DAYS IN JUNE by Tia Williams, a novel about two writers making a second go at love. Eva and Shane spent a week madly in love fifteen years ago, but that’s old news—until the two reconnect at a literary event in present-day New York. While neither are willing to openly acknowledge their lustful past, it’s obvious that they’ve written about their youthful escapades in the pages of their books. Eva thinks she wants nothing to do with Shane, but old habits die hard. If you’re looking for a hot, steamy summer, this is the book for you.

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Seven Days in June
Tia Williams

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MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | June 4, 2021

Let Your Favorite Summer Tradition Choose Your Next Book

By Chris Gaudio | June 1, 2021

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The Goodbye Café
by Mariah Stewart

Small-Town adventures

Taking time off in the summer, whether you’re back from college or simply using up some vacation days, just might land you back home with your parents. For some of us, that means leaving the busy city streets and heading home to the small towns of our youth. And if you’re in need of a novel to convince you that small-town roots can still serve you well, check out Mariah Stewart’s next book in the Hudson Sisters series, THE GOODBYE CAFÉ. Allie Hudson Monroe is ready to pack up and leave her rural Pennsylvania town and return to California and her real life. But while working to renovate the local theater (in hopes of finally collecting her inheritance from her father) she reconnects with her estranged sister and meets her previously unknown half-sister. Once eager to leave, Allie finds that her life has become charming enough to tempt her to stay. But will she? You’ll have to read to find out.

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The Goodbye Café
Mariah Stewart

From Mariah Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of The Chesapeake Diaries series, comes the next book in her popular Hudson Sisters series, which follows a trio of reluctant sisters who set out to fulfill their father’s dying wish and discover themselves in the process in this “sweet reminder of the importance of family” (First for Women).

California girl Allie Hudson Monroe can’t wait for the day when the renovations on the Sugarhouse Theater are complete so she can finally collect the inheritance from her father and leave Pennsylvania. After all, her life and her fourteen-year-old daughter are in Los Angeles.

But Allie’s divorce left her tottering on the edge of bankruptcy, so to keep up on payments for her house and her daughter’s private school tuition, Allie packed up and flew out east. But fate has a curve-ball or two to toss in Allie’s direction—she just doesn’t know it yet.

She hadn’t anticipated how her life would change after reuniting with her estranged sister, Des, or meeting her previously unknown half-sister, Cara. And she’d certainly never expected to find small-town living charming. But the biggest surprise was that her long-forgotten artistry would save the day when the theater’s renovation fund dried up.

With opening day upon the sisters, Allie’s free to go. But for the first time in her life, she feels like the woman she was always meant to be. Will she return to the West Coast and resume her previous life, or will the love of “this amazing, endearing family of women” (Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author) be enough to draw her back to the place where the Hudson roots grow so deep?

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MENTIONED IN:

Let Your Favorite Summer Tradition Choose Your Next Book

By Chris Gaudio | June 1, 2021

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Under the Southern Sky
by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Self-Reflecting by the Water (Literally and Figuratively)

On summer days, do you find yourself sitting by the water, engaged in self-reflection? It’s okay if you do; we all do. Which is why we’re excited to share Kristy Woodson Harvey’s novel UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY. This novel is tailor-made for anyone who’s struggling with uncertainty. Journalist Amelia Saxton uncovers forgotten frozen embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife, Greer. When Amelia is forced to tell Parker about what she’s found, it sends him spiraling down a path of pain and confusion about what to do next. A story of self-knowledge and the bonds of friendship, UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY is the perfect companion for a summer of self-discovery.

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Under the Southern Sky
Kristy Woodson Harvey

One of Country Living’s 20 New Books You Don’t Want to Miss This Spring
One of Bookstr’s 8 Most Anticipated Reads of 2021
One of Frolic’s 12 Most Anticipated Books of 2021
One of BookTrib’s Most-Anticipated Reads of 2021
One of Brit + Co’s Books You Should Read with Your BFF

Two childhood friends discover that love—and family—can be found in unconventional ways in this timely, moving novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “beautifully Southern, evocative Peachtree Bluff series” (Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife).

Recently separated Amelia Buxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process.

Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate.

Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Cape Carolina. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.

From “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Under the Southern Sky is a fresh and unforgettable exploration of love, friendship, and the unbreakable ties that bind.

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Much Ado About You
by Samantha Young

Wandering the Stacks

Remember what we said earlier about trying to help you avoid spending time wandering through bookstores? Well, trust us—we know it’s not a tradition you’re likely to avoid this summer. So, here’s a new romantic comedy from Samantha Young that celebrates getting lost in the stacks. Escaping Chicago to seek a change of perspective, Evie Starling, a Shakespeare enthusiast, takes a job managing a local bookstore in a sleepy English village, where she meets Roane Robson. You might be able to guess what happens next. Funny, romantic, and wonderfully charming, MUCH ADO ABOUT YOU carries on the ultimate bookworm’s summer (or, more likely, weekly) tradition.

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Much Ado About You
Samantha Young

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MENTIONED IN:

Let Your Favorite Summer Tradition Choose Your Next Book

By Chris Gaudio | June 1, 2021

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Photo credit: iStock / anyaberkut

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