Summer means endless beach days, fun travel plans and much-needed relaxation. Diving into a good book is the perfect way to while away the steamy days ahead. More than just providing some summer reading suggestions, we’ve prepared an actual bucket list of books—must-reads that will get your season off to a great start!
1. TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Cheryl Strayed
Filled with humor and compassion, Tiny Beautiful Things offers advice to handle anything life throws your way. It is the perfect blend of memoir and self-help…covering love, family, addiction and fears.
2. BAD FEMINIST by Roxane Gay
This collection of essays from Gay, a New York Times bestseller, ranges from politics and criticism to feminism. Her writings are witty yet insightful, explaining how the culture we partake in consequently becomes who we are.
3. BEAUTIFUL RUINS by Jess Walter
This romantic tale transports us to the charming Italian coast in the 1960s and then fast forwards to modern-day La La Land. Walter captures our imagination and sweeps us off our feet with this intriguing almost love affair. The highly acclaimed Beautiful Ruins is Walter’s sixth novel and was named Esquire’s “Book of the Year” in 2012.
4. MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult
This heartwarming novel shares the story of a young girl who decides she wants to sue her parents for medical emancipation when forced to donate her kidney to her sister (who is dying from leukemia). This beautifully created novel will have you on the edge of your seat, with both tears and laughter, as the story unfolds.
5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
A masterpiece of American literature, Lee’s classic takes readers to the very roots of human behavior through kindness, humor and mystery. If you haven’t picked it up since high school, the deeply moving storyline is definitely worth another read from an adult perspective.
6. EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES by Laura Dave
What would you do if you found out your beloved was keeping a life-changing secret from you? And what if you discover it just a week before you marry him? This story is a true page turner, examining the messy realities of family, marriage and love as they converge.
7. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins
Main character Rachel Watson catches little glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple from the window of her commuter train each day. However, she’s soon to find that this couple isn’t as happy as they seem…as she takes matters into her own hands to reveal the truth. Even if you’ve seen the movie and already know the twists and turns, pick up this psychological thriller for a rollercoaster ride this summer.
8. EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU by Celeste Ng
Handling grief is never easy, especially with the loss of a child. This engaging novel connects the heart and mind by introducing us to a broken family suffering from an unspeakable pain that may have been caused by their own hidden secrets.
9. LOVE WARRIOR by Glennon Doyle Melton
Join Glennon as she shares her tumultuous emotional life with the world. Critics describe this memoir as “a testament to the power of vulnerability.” It plumbs the depths of love, hurt, vulnerability and addiction while also inspiring those in search of a reason to be brave in the face of it all.
10. ONE MORE THING: STORIES AND OTHER STORIES by B. J. Novak
You may know Novak as dry, sarcastic Ryan on “The Office,” or from his roles in films such as “Saving Mr. Banks or “Inglourious Basterds.” The simple fact is that he is an entertainer at heart, and knows how to stir an audience with a combination of humor, sentiment and intellect. This collection examines love, hope and ambition with Novak’s own unique perspective on the world around him.