10 Books to Put On Your Summer Reading List

Summer Reading List

Ah, summer— the time of year for beach days, cookouts, weekend getaways, and simply relaxing in the sun with a good book. If you’re anything like us, we know that having an arsenal of juicy, enthralling summer reads ready-to-go is essential to keep you sane in the summer heat.

That’s why we asked our team members to give you their suggestions for the perfect summer book. So walk on down to your local bookstore or public library, grab your oversized sunhat and ice-cold summer drink and get ready to dive headfirst into these eight picks from our summer reading list (for adults, of course!) Read on to get your hands on our favorite staff picks!

Don't forget to download our free printable summer bookmarks to help keep you reading for the rest of the summer!

1. Women’s Murder Club Series by James Patterson

Featuring friendship, women in power, murder, mystery and of course a little romance, who could ask for more? Put on your detective hat and polish off your investigative skills for this series of thrillers that's the gift that keeps on giving. Churning out the Women's Murder Club book series since 2001, Patterson faithfully tells the story of four women who band together to solve the mysterious crimes that gloom over their town. But what happens when one of the women is involved in the crime? You won't be able to put this series down!

2. Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi

If you love historical fiction that shows another side to a story you thought you knew, you can't skip this book. Written about a woman with dwarfism living in Germany before, during, and after the Nazi regime, her attempts to fit into society while finding happiness are heartbreaking yet gripping throughout.

3. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

A moving and thought-provoking story about race, prejudice, privilege, and social justice. Witness these issues through the eyes of three very different characters– a laborer and delivery nurse, a white supremacist, and a public defender. This story will make you question societal biases and the prevalence of racism in America, your community, and possibly even yourself.

4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Brimming with emotion, this gripping tale of a fiercely independent girl growing up in the marshes of the North Carolina coast is an addictive and enthralling summer read. A coming-of-age story and murder mystery all-in-one, this book has it all—drama, romance and even poetry. Even more, this book is a celebration of the natural world around us and a gentle reminder to take the time to kick off your shoes and reconnect with nature. After picking this book up (and likely not being able to put it down), it will be easy to see why this was a Reese Witherspoon's Book Club pick!

5. Titans of History: The Giants Who Made Our World by Simon Sebag Montefiore

For those who want to learn more about historical events and figures, but struggle to make the time for it, this book beckons. With short, easily-digestible snapshots of over 150 figures who have had an impact (either positive or negative) on our world, develop a basic understanding of these titans with the flip of just a couple pages.

6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

It's hard not to root for Eleanor Oliphant in this touching, funny, and memorable fiction novel. Her unusual insights to the world and blunt statements to and about others will make you laugh and shake your head. But underneath it all, the story of her background will break your heart as you come to understand why she is the way she is. You’re not going to want to put this one down!

7. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

If you enjoyed The Hunger Games as a youth, then consider this the adult version! The first book of the science fiction trilogy, Red Rising tells the story of a dystopian civilization on a terraformed planet Mars—a place where a person's rank and worth in society is assigned by an unjust caste system. This book follows the story of Darrow, a Red enslaved to the ruling class and his journey to infiltrate the hierarchal group of his society—the Golds. So if you're in the mood for a fast-paced, dystopian drama, this is a read you won't regret!

8. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Trust us when we say there's a reason this lively romance novel was made into a blockbuster hit! Following the story of American Rachel Chu and her whirlwind adventure into the world of her boyfriend Nick's crazy rich family in Singapore, this book is witty, fun and jam-packed with over-the-top characters, making it must-read for anyone looking for a juicy, entertaining beach read!

9. Educated by Tara Westover

Between moments of disbelief and astonishment, this powerful memoir is impossible to put down. Growing up in rural Idaho preparing for the end of the world, Tara recounts her eccentric and unconventional upbringing of assisting her family with hard labor and herbal medicine, while living completely isolated from mainstream society; her father resisted hospitals, public schools, and the government. Tara goes to BYU after self-teaching herself and taking the ACT, and begins to have her eyes opened to history lessons and cultural norms, such as the Holocaust, learning to write a real essay, living with roommates who don't abide by all the same religious guidelines, and her first experience with real pain medicine. While trying to discover who she is and the education she missed out on, Tara struggles to maintain a sense of loyalty to her family, especially her father, even through the violently abusive relationship with her brother that nobody tries to intervene with. She makes her way to Harvard and Cambridge, and finds the will to rise above her upbringing to form her own opinions and views of the world.

10. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

If you're a fan of The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars, this book is right up your alley! We're introduced to the four main characters (the jock, the brains, the princess and the criminal) on what we think is a regular school day, until someone ends up dead in detention. As the story twists and turns throughout the lives of the now four suspects, we find out that not everything stays a secret, even when someone dies with it. Is the brain really that smart? Is the princess really that sweet? Is the criminal really a criminal? Is the jock naturally that good at sports? The four characters lives' are turned upside down as one by one their secrets leak from beyond the grave. But which one of them is the murderer? You'll have to read that for yourself to find out!

Free Printable Bookmarks

Add a little summer to your reading list with these free printable bookmarks! From seashells to lemons and palm trees, these bookmarks will have you reading all summer long. Click the photo below to download the bookmarks and laminate them to keep them clean from sand and water!

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