Both self-proclaimed bookworms and casual readers will agree that summer is the best time to lose yourself in a new book. Although you may not have the opportunity to enjoy the season’s most-anticipated beach reads at an actual beach this year, an enthralling page turner is just as enjoyable from the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re lounging under the covers in your pajamas, soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath or staycation-ing in your own backyard, we could all use a literary escape to keep us company and help us unwind during the dog days of summer.
From hair-raising thrillers to juicy tell-all’s and feel-good love stories, here are some of the best reads for the summer.
The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett
Read if: You’re looking for a thought-provoking and timely story.
Topping nearly every reading list, The Vanishing Half will undoubtedly be the book of the summer. Set in a small Southern community in the ‘60s, the story follows identical twin sisters Stella and Desiree’s divergent paths as they run away from home at 16. While one sister returns to her hometown years later with a baby girl in tow, the other starts a family in a new town under false pretenses. When the sisters find their lives intertwining again, they’ll learn the true strength of family.
Still Here by Amy Stuart
Read if: You can’t get enough of on-the-edge-of-your-seat-thrillers.
This Canadian psychological thriller will have you completely absorbed as the mystery behind the disappearance of private investigator Malcolm and his wife unfolds. Clare, Malcolm’s colleague and fellow P.I., sets out to uncover the truth in the remote oceanside town where he was last seen. While the small-town gossip points to Malcolm as the culprit behind his wife’s disappearance, Clare quickly realizes this mystery is far more complex and layered than she could have ever imagined.
AOC: The Fearless Rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and What It Means for America, edited by Lynda Lopez
Read if: You want to be inspired by real life stories.
It’s safe to say almost everyone has heard the name Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC for short). But for those who don’t know, AOC beat out a ten-term incumbent in the primary election for New York’s 14thcongressional district, making her the youngest Congresswoman ever elected and one of the only Latina politicians in D.C. This collection of essays explores all things AOC, from her ongoing Puerto Rican activism to what she stands for as a political figure, and how she continues to represent her millennial generation proudly.
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
Read if: You’re craving a light-hearted, feel-good love story.
Party of Two is the quintessential rom-com you need on your summer reading list. Enter Olivia Monroe, the book’s protagonist (and total girl boss) who moves to LA to open her own law firm. As all great love stories go, Olivia finds herself in an unsolicited meeting with handsome hotshot junior senator, Max Powell. Caught between an unexpected chance at love and her dream career, Olivia must decide if she’s willing to risk it for ‘the one.’
Hurry Home by Roz Nay
Read if: You’re looking for a suspenseful thriller mixed with a little family drama.
Alexandra Van Ness lives what most would call an idyllic life. She lives in a designer loft tucked away in the Rocky Mountains with her handsome boyfriend and is working her dream job in child protection. One day, Alex’s world is rocked when her estranged sister Ruth shows up at her door asking for help. Reluctantly, Alex lets Ruth stay. But when a local child is in danger, the sisters are forced to confront some secrets they hoped would never come to light in this page-turning thriller.
Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
Read if: You’re obsessed with all things rock-n’-roll.
David Mitchell’s new novel tells the unexpected story of Utopia Avenue – “the most extraordinary British band you’ve never heard of.” Mitchell takes us through the bands blazing journey, from local bars and clubs to the cusp of chart-topping success. With music, film and history references in the book, pop culture fans will love being transported back to London circa 1967 on this fictitious musical journey.
A Very Punchable Face: A Memoir by Colin Jost
Read if: You’re in need of some laughs.
Colin Jost – Saturday Night Live writer and Weekend Update co-anchor – gives us an inside look into his world with this hilarious collection of essays. From growing up in a family of firefighters on Staten Island to attending Harvard while Facebook was created, and of course a behind the scenes look at all things SNL, Jost provides a comical glimpse into the mind of one of the funniest comedians on television.