We’re sharing 64 of the best books to read this summer!
As I’ve shared many times before, I love books.
There is nothing better than curling up with a good beach read or spending a rainy afternoon flipping through the glossy pages of a decorating book searching for inspiration.
I love the smell of coffee brewing at our local bookstore café, the fresh cupcakes in the bakery, and the feel of the book pages too.
It’s truly the biggest luxury to slow down and enjoy a good page-turner, implement a new self-development technique, or study the pages in beloved design books.
While I usually read a book a month, sometimes the season gets away from me and I’ll go several weeks without reading at all.
So, this summer we’ve vowed to be even more intentional with our time and make our summer reading list a top priority.
Our 64 books to read this summer list is comprised of all sorts of books covering everything from novels to home décor!
Some of the books on our summer reading list have been suggested by friends, family members, or fellow bloggers.
Others have been chosen because I’ve read the author’s books before and have really enjoyed them.
A few others have recently been released and sound so good, that I can’t wait to dive in!
Here’s a Look at Our Summer Reading List…
**(Amazon affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon and Impact Media Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
**This post was updated in June 2023
Summer Reading List: Novels to Explore…
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume (Judy Blume is having a moment so I had to include this personal favorite!)
In the summer of 1977, Victoria Leonard’s world changes forever when Caitlin Somers chooses her as a friend. Dazzling, reckless Caitlin welcomes Vix into the heart of her sprawling, eccentric family, opening doors to a world of unimaginable privilege, sweeping her away to vacations on Martha’s Vineyard, an enchanting place where the two friends become “summer sisters.”
Now, years later, Vix is working in New York City. Caitlin is getting married on the Vineyard. And the early magic of their long, complicated friendship has faded. But Caitlin begs Vix to come to her wedding, to be her maid of honor. And Vix knows that she will go—because she wants to understand what happened during that last shattering summer. And, after all these years, she needs to know why her best friend—her summer sister—still has the power to break her heart.
Meet Me at the Lake…
At thirty-two, Fern’s life doesn’t look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern’s back home, running her mother’s lakeside resort—something she vowed never to do. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend’s the manager, and Fern doesn’t know where to begin.
She needs a plan and a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, an aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist who arrives nine years too late.
Will is hiding something, and Fern’s not sure she wants to know what it is, but he may be the only person who understands what she’s going through.
*A Most Anticipated Book by Today ∙ Oprah Daily ∙ Katie Couric Media ∙ BuzzFeed ∙ SheReads ∙ Zibby Mag ∙ PopSugar ∙ BookRiot ∙ Culturess ∙ Her Campus ∙ The Everygirl ∙ and more!
The True Love Experiment…
Felicity “Fizzy” Chen is lost. Sure, she’s got an incredible career as a beloved romance novelist with a slew of bestsellers under her belt, but when she’s asked to give a commencement address, it hits her: she hasn’t been practicing what she’s preached.
Connor Prince, documentary filmmaker, and single father, loves his work in large part because it allows him to live near his daughter. But when his profit-minded boss orders him to create a reality TV show, putting his job on the line, Connor is out of his element. Desperate to find his romantic lead, a chance run-in with an exasperated Fizzy offers Connor the perfect solution.
Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college. They broke up five months ago and still haven’t told their best friends which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade.
They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, so they’ll play their parts. After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week in front of those who know you best?
*Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by BuzzFeed ∙ Paste Magazine ∙ Elle ∙ Southern Living ∙ SheReads ∙ Culturess ∙ Medium ∙ Her Campus ∙ Readers Digest ∙ Zibby Mag and more!
Meant to Be…
The Kingsley family is American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. In 1967, after Joseph S. Kingsley, Jr. is killed in a tragic accident, his charismatic son inherits the weight of that legacy. But Joe III is a free spirit—and a little bit reckless. Despite his best intentions, he has trouble meeting the expectations of a nation, as well as those of his exacting mother, Dottie.
Meanwhile, no one ever expected anything of Cate Cooper. She, too, grew up fatherless and is forced to fend for herself. After being discovered by a model scout at age sixteen, Cate decides that her looks may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, Cate’s face is in magazines and on billboards. Yet she feels like a fraud, faking it in a world to which she’s never truly belonged.
When Joe and Cate unexpectedly cross paths one afternoon, their connection is instant and intense. But can their relationship survive the glare of the spotlight and the so-called Kingsley curse?
The Sister Effect
Finley McGowan is determined that the niece she’s raising will always feel loved and wanted. Unlike how she felt after her mom left to pursue a dream of stardom, and when the grandfather who was left to raise them abandoned her and her sister, Sloane, when they needed him most. Finley reacted to her chaotic childhood by walking the straight and narrow—nose down, work hard, follow the rules.
Sloane went the other way.
Now Sloane is back, as beautiful and as damaged as ever…and she wants a relationship with her daughter. She says she’s changed, but Finley’s heart has been burned once too often for her to trust easily. But is her reluctance to forgive really about Sloane or worry over losing what she loves the most? With the help of a man who knows all too well how messy families can be, Finley will learn there’s joy in surrendering and peace in letting go.
Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.
When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat―and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”
Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman―a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.
The Beach House on Amelia Island…
The very moment that Raina Wingate learns her husband of sixteen years wants to separate, she gets a call that her father has suffered a stroke. Racing to her family’s home on Amelia Island, Florida, Raina hopes the time apart will heal her cracked marriage and that she can step into her father’s real estate business and keep it running.
It doesn’t take long to see that Susannah, mother to three and stepmother to four of the sisters, is the one who needs them the most. A woman who maintains appearances at all times, Susannah nearly breaks at the possibility of losing her husband and she has never needed her daughters more.
The Five Star Weekend…
Hollis Shaw’s life seems picture-perfect. She’s the creator of the popular food blog Hungry with Hollis and is married to Matthew, a dreamy heart surgeon. But after she and Matthew get into a heated argument one snowy morning, he leaves for the airport and is killed in a car accident. The cracks in Hollis’s perfect life—her strained marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter, Caroline—grow deeper.
After tragedy strikes, Hollis gathers four friends from different stages in her life to spend a surprising and captivating weekend on Nantucket like no other.
The Comeback Summer…
Hannah and Libby need a miracle. The PR agency they inherited from their grandmother is losing clients left and right, and the sisters are devastated at the thought of closing. The situation seems hopeless when an eccentric self-help guru, Lou, walks in looking for a new PR agency. Her business could solve all their problems—but there’s a catch. Whoever works with Lou must complete a twelve-week challenge as part of her “Crush Your Comfort Zone” program.
With their company’s future on the line, they can’t afford to fail. But in trying to make a comeback to honor their grandmother things get complicated when secrets come to light. Are they pushing themselves down the wrong path?
A Perfect Vintage…
Lea Mortimer has everything under control. As a highly sought-after consultant specializing in transforming dilapidated French country estates into boutique hotels, she relishes her freedom as a single, child-free woman. And her life is full, occupied as much by her impeccable historic renovations as by the aristocratic — and often exhausting — French families she works for.
But after the heated divorce of her closest friend and cousin Stephanie Bryce, Lea finds herself taking Stephanie and her college-aged daughter to the Loire Valley in France for the summer. As they tag along for Lea’s latest work assignment, despite their best intentions, they threaten to complicate the tightrope act of launching the hotel on time. And when Lea unexpectedly falls for the much-younger son of her boss, she quickly learns the beauty and danger of losing control.
As affairs bloom in the idyllic chateau, wars of inheritance play out between the family, and betrayals threaten even the most solid relationships. Lea realizes that it’s not just a broken heart she’s risking, but her entire, meticulously-constructed life blowing up in her face.
The Summer of Songbirds…
Nearly thirty years ago, in the wake of a personal tragedy, June Moore bought Camp Holly Springs and turned it into a thriving summer haven for girls. But now, June is in danger of losing the place she has sacrificed everything for and begins to realize how much she has used the camp to avoid facing difficulties in her life.
A lyrical and unforgettable celebration of female friendship, summertime freedom, and enduring sisterhood, The Summer of Songbirds, is a love letter to the places and people that make us who we are.
Same Time Next Summer…
Sam’s life is on track. She has the perfect doctor fiancé, Jack (his strict routines are a good thing, really), a great job in Manhattan (unless they fire her), and is about to tour a wedding venue near her family’s Long Island beach house. Everything should go to plan, yet the minute she arrives, Sam senses something is off.
Wyatt the guy who broke her heart when she was seventeen is here. As the memories come flooding back, Sam will have to make a choice as their connection is still undeniable and she learns the truth behind their split.
*Named a Best Book of Summer by Real Simple • Reader’s Digest • Country Living • The Skimm
Bad People Summer…
Jen Weinstein and Lauren Parker rule the town of Salcombe, Fire Island every summer. They hold sway on the beach and the tennis court, and are adept at manipulating people to get what they want.
Their husbands, Sam and Jason, have summered together on the island since childhood, despite lifelong grudges and numerous secrets.
Their one single friend, Rachel Woolf, is looking to meet her match, whether he’s the tennis pro―or someone else’s husband. But even with plenty to gossip about, this season starts out as quietly as any other.
Until a body is discovered, face down, off the side of the boardwalk.
None of them would claim to be a particularly good person. But who among them is actually capable of murder?
*Named a Best Book of Summer 2023 by Bustle, ELLE, Cosmopolitan, PopSugar, Bloomberg, Vogue, and more!
An Island Summer…
All that Meghan Gray has left of her beloved Pappy is his cottage on the edge of the shimmering Atlantic Ocean. Longing to feel close to her grandfather, she returns to the golden sands of Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks for the summer, clutching the manilla envelope he gifted her tightly in her hand.
When Meghan opens the envelope, she finds a black-and-white photograph of someone she doesn’t recognize. If she can find out its meaning, and why Pappy gave it to her, she’ll unlock a secret that has been hidden for decades. The truth has the power to change everything Meghan and Toby, a local businessman, thought they knew about their lives—and it will either bring them together or break their hearts.
The Midnight Library…
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe, there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting blockbuster novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, and realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
ICYMI: Last Year’s Favorite Summer Novels
Ghanaian-American Angela Appiah has checked off all the boxes for the “Perfect Immigrant Daughter.” But it quickly all falls apart when her boyfriend dumps her, she bombs the most important exam of her medical career, and her best friend pulls away. And her parents, whose approval seems to hinge on how closely she follows the path they chose, are a lot less proud of their daughter. It’s a quarter-life crisis of epic proportions!
Part of Your World…
After a wild bet, gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.
Nora agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August. But instead of picnics in meadows or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city.
It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute. What they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves. One summer. Two rivals. And a plot twist they didn’t see coming…
Combining three mothers’ points of view in a powerful narrative tale with commentary from entertaining neighborhood listservs, secret text messages, and police reports, The Lifeguards is both a story about the secrets we tell to protect the ones we love and a riveting novel of suspense filled with half-truths and betrayals, fierce love and complicated friendships and the loss of innocence on one hot summer night.
The Home Wreckers…
When a slick Hollywood producer shows up in Hattie Kavanaugh’s hometown of Savannah, Georgia, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: star in a beach house renovation reality show called The Homewreckers, cast against a male lead who may be a love interest or maybe the ultimate antagonist.
Soon, there’s more at stake than bad pipes and dry rot. During the demolition, evidence comes to light that points to the mysterious disappearance of a young wife and mother years before.
On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly-grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she’s assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer.
Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.
30 Things I Love About Myself…
Nina didn’t plan to spend her thirtieth birthday in jail, yet here she is in her pajamas, locked in a holding cell. There’s no wi-fi, no wine, no carbs—and no one to celebrate with.
Just as Nina falls into despair, a book lands in her cell: How to Fix Your Shitty Life by Loving Yourself. It must be destiny. With literally nothing left to lose, Nina makes a life-changing decision to embark on a self-love journey. By her next birthday, she’s going to find thirty things she loves about herself.
Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?
While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. Who is this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?
The Wedding Veil…
Julia Baxter’s wedding veil, bequeathed to her great-grandmother by a mysterious woman on a train in the 1930s, has passed through generations of her family as a symbol of a happy marriage. But on the morning of her wedding day, something tells her that even the veil’s good luck isn’t enough to make her marriage last forever. Overwhelmed and panicked, she escapes to the Virgin Islands to clear her head.
Meanwhile, her grandmother Babs is also feeling shaken. Still grieving the death of her beloved husband, she decides to move out of the house they once shared and into a retirement community. Though she hopes it’s a new beginning, she does not expect to run into an old flame, dredging up the same complicated emotions she felt a lifetime ago.
The Grand Design…
The Grand Design by Joy Callaway is based on the true story of famed designer Dorothy Draper, The Grand Design is a moving tale of one woman’s quest to transform the walls that hold her captive.
A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting…
A whip-smart debut that follows the adventures of an entirely unconventional heroine who throws herself into the London Season to find a wealthy husband. But the last thing she expects is to find love…
This Time Tomorrow…
On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice’s life isn’t terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn’t exactly the one, she expected. She’s happy with her apartment, her romantic status, and her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning, she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday.
But it isn’t just her adolescent body that shocks her or seeing her high school crush, it’s her dad: the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could?
A spellbinding debut novel tracing three generations of a Southern Black family and one daughter’s discovery that she has the power to change her family’s legacy.
A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history
Leo Grady knew mirages were a thing in the desert, but they’d barely left civilization when the silhouette of his greatest regret comes into focus in the flickering light of the campfire.
Ready to leave the past behind him, Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily Wilder is all business, drawing a clear line in the sand: it’s never going to happen.
Keya Das’s Second Act…
A poignant, heartwarming, and charmingly funny debut novel about how a discovered box in the attic leads one Bengali American family down a path toward understanding the importance of family, even when splintered.
Summer Reading List: Home Decor and Design Books All Time Favorites…
Summer Reading List: Last Year’s Home Decor Favorites
No matter if you choose to enjoy one or all of the books 64 from our summer reading list in a comfy chair, snuggled up in bed, relaxing in the bathtub, stretched out on the beach, at the lake, or in a quiet hammock, let this year be the year you reach your goal of reading more.
It’s such a simple way to relax and unwind!
What’s on your summer reading list? We’d love to hear your favorites!
Other Reading Lists to Enjoy:
Spring and Cottage Inspired Home Decor Books (27 Titles to Explore)
French Inspired Books to Read This Summer (16 Titles to Explore)
Self Discovery Books to Read This Year (49 Titles to Explore)