I look forward to using this summer as time to get caught up on my fifty books challenge. My research for new summer books seems to have turned up all of the same recommendations from multiple websites, which isn't very helpful in creating variety. My criteria for a good summer read include being fairly lighthearted, very engaging, not overly romantic, and preferably a bit glamorous.
Whether you are taking your books to the pool, the beach, the lake, the park, or just staying in bed all day, here are eight books (that you haven't already seen everywhere) to try out this summer as well as a few of my favorites from summers past.
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
One of my all-time favorites, I tend to re-read Gatsby every summer. Not only is it endlessly thought-provoking, but the parties and dark glamour make it my perfect beach read. One could argue that Gatsby is overexposed, but it isn't necessarily published on reading lists that often anymore.
2. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Every summer requires a good gothic novel and this one is arguably the best. A girl meets a widower in Monte Carlo and accepts a spontaneous proposal. She is swept off to his estate where things begin to get dark.
3. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
This will satsify the obligatory contemporary thriller on your checklist. A travel journalist takes an assignment on a luxury cruise. Everything seems great until she witnesses a woman being thrown overboard.
4. The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee
This novel is about three women living as expats in Hong Kong. The story explores expat life as a temporary social situation akin to university where there is a sense of detachment from the real world.
5. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
I am so excited about this particular book as I love stories that span generations and long periods of time. Homegoing is about two half sisters in Ghana who are led down very different paths which impact their entire respective family bloodlines.
6. The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu Partanen
In the non-fiction realm, I'm excited for this book which gives an overview of the Nordic way of life. It touches on everything from interpersonal relationships to taxes. As someone who is slightly obsessed with Sweden and Denmark, I think this will be a good one.
7. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
This story is about a painter and other passengers on a private plane departing from Martha's Vineyard which crashes into the ocean. We learn the backstories of the passengers as well as the aftermath of the crash and potential conspiracy.
8. Monsters by Emerald Fennell
A dark comedy, set in Cornwall, about a strange 12-year-old girl who is fascinated by murders. She and a friend investigate the murder of a young woman but things get weird.