When the sun is hot, the air is breezy, and my drink is full, there’s only one thing on my mind: relaxing outside with a great book. Reading is the perfect pastime: it helps you grow and learn, it keeps you wildly entertained, and it doesn’t require a set amount of time.
This summer, the amount of amazing new reads is seemingly endless. Authors both popular and new are releasing instant classics, and it’s hard to know which books will be most worth your precious free time. Thankfully, I’ve rounded up this summer’s most popular books — some novels, some essay collections, even some poetry — perfect for the beach, your backyard, or even the train to work!
If you’re thinking that this author’s name sounds familiar, it’s because it is. This thriller comes from the author of The Girl on the Train — so you know it’s about to be hella good. Hawkins’s newest novel is about two women who meet an untimely fate in the bottom of a river, thus leaving behind families, secrets, and untold stories. It’s terrifying, brilliantly written, and tantalizingly good. Beware: you probably won’t be able to put this one down.
In this collection of poetry, Amanda Lovelace dives into the topics of modern feminism and empowerment while also sharing deeply personal facets of her own life. The collection is broken into four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. I’m not usually into poetry, but I think this one might change my mind. Read if you’ve ever thought about love, loss, who you are, and what you want. (So… all of us.)
Similar to thrillers like Gone Girl or Big Little Lies, this novel tells the story of Billie Flanagan, a loving and well-liked suburban mother who goes missing one day while hiking. The subsequent lives of her left-behind husband and daughter are everything but easy as they deal with the trauma of losing Billie while also searching for answers to their many questions. Several reviewers call this one “thought-provoking,” so it’s a perfect choice for book club with the girls — you’re definitely going to want to talk about it again and again.
Holistic nutritionist (and celebrity whisperer) Kelly LeVeque is a gamechanger. Not only is her celeb client repertoire massively impressive, but her approach to food and fitness is super inspiring. This book will teach you to love your body and what fuel it requires to run properly, with practical guidance. Chock-full of recipes, this book might not even make it to your bookshelf — you’ll be using it way too often.
Both historical and modern, this novel spans decades and generations as it tells the stories of two different families with one disturbing similarity. Before We Were Yours is based on the true story of the scandal of Georgia Tann, an adoption director who kidnapped and sold children to wealthy families. Intrigued? So am I. Expect this one to make you cry, so prepare yourself with a box of tissues and a glass (okay, bottle) of your favorite vino.
In this witty nonfiction book, Buzzfeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen delves into the world of controversial female celebrities. Prepare to read about both Lena Dunham and Kim Kardashian in the same sitting, and also get ready to feel both infuriated and exhilarated. Annalisa Quinn of NPR calls the book “deeply thoughtful… after a few chapters of Petersen’s cautious, intelligent optimism, [the subtitle] feels instead like an instruction, a warning, a promise, a threat. Rise and reign. Maybe we could.”
Unapologetically funny essayist Samantha Irby tackles every topic you can think of in this witty collection — topics like dating, finances, reality television, suburbanites, and alcohol. Not only do I want to read this book over and over, but I also want Samantha to be my new best friend.