Every year I set a goal to read more books and summer is one of the best times to get in some extra reading! There are so many new books out there I’m so excited to read, plus a few classics that make for light summer reading by the pool. Whether you are looking for a book to take you to new places, a love story to get sucked into, or a captivating thriller, there is something on this list that you will love. We’ve gone through a ton of reviews in order to bring the best books for you to read for your summer vacation!
Best Books to Read This Summer – 2019
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
This book is described as Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah. Queenie is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and not fitting into either one. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong place including several men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.
You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn
If you are a fan of “A Star is Born”, you’re going to love this book. Annie is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy. Her grandmother has warned her of the good and bad sides of the industry. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things that isn’t good for her. If Clay can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.
Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell
Karen Russell creates outlandish predicaments that uncannily mirror our inner lives. This is on full display in these eight exuberant, arrestingly vivid, unforgettable stories. In“Bog Girl”, a young man falls in love with a two thousand year old girl that he’s extracted from a mass of peat in a Northern European bog. In “The Prospectors,” two opportunistic young women fleeing the depression strike out for new territory, and find themselves fighting for their lives. Orange World is beautiful storytelling from a true modern master.
The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams
The Bahamas, 1941. Newly-widowed Lulu arrives in Nassau to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. What more intriguing backdrop for their romance than a wartime Caribbean paradise, a colonial playground for kingpins of ill-gotten empires?
Or so Lulu imagines. As she infiltrates the Duke and Duchess’s social circle, she uncovers evidence that beneath Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly—and even treasonous—reality. In fact, Windsor-era Nassau seethes with spies, financial swindles, and racial tension, and in the middle of it all stands Benedict Thorpe: a scientist of tremendous charm and murky national loyalties. Inevitably, the willful and wounded Lulu falls in love.
The stories of two unforgettable women thread together in this extraordinary tale of espionage, sacrifice, love, and courage, set against a shocking true crime . . . and the rise and fall of a legendary royal couple.
The One & Only by Emily Giffin
Shea has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas, but when an unexpected tragedy strikes her tight-knit community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.
The One & Only is about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself .
The Lemonade Year by Amy Willoughby-Burle
Nina’s once-sweet life has unexpectedly turned sour. Her marriage is over, her job is in jeopardy, and her teenage daughter is slipping away from her. Then her father dies and family issues become overwhelming. As Nina struggles to find a way through her complicated relationships and to uncover her true path, she discovers just how valuable a second chance at life and happiness can be.
Carousel Beach by Orly Konig
A cryptic letter on her grandmother’s grave and a mysterious inscription on a carousel horse leads artist Maya to Hank Hauser. Hank is the ninety-year-old carver of the beloved carousel she has been hired to restore in time for its Fourth of July reopening in her Delaware beach town. He suffers from Alzheimer’s, but on his “better” days, Maya loves listening to stories of his career. On his “off” days, he mistakes her for her grandmother—his secret first love.
While stripping chipped layers of paint from the old horse and peeling layers of fragmented memories from the old man, Maya untangles the intertwined secrets of love, heartbreak, and misunderstandings between three generations of strong willed women.
The Paper Wasp by Lauren Acampora
In small-town Michigan, Abby leads a solitary life. Once a bright student on the cusp of a promising art career, she now languishes in her childhood home, trudging to and from her job as a supermarket cashier. Each day she is taunted from the magazine racks by the success of her former best friend Elise, a rising Hollywood starlet.
When Abby encounters Elise again at their high school reunion, she is surprised and warmed that Elise still considers her not only a friend but a brilliant storyteller and true artist. Elise’s unexpected faith in Abby reignites in her a dormant hunger, and when Elise offhandedly tells Abby to look her up if she’s ever in LA, Abby soon arrives on her doorstep. Abby discovers that although Elise is flourishing professionally, behind her glossy magazine veneer she is lonely and disillusioned. As the two become closer, the dynamic shifts between the two friends. This story will keep you in its grip until the very end.
Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
Cassie is one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.
Her new job at the Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew―even one as competent and smart as Cassie. However, there’s a handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. She can’t think about that, because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And she remembers the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping, which would mean risking it all: the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.
The Body in Question by Jill Ciment
The setting: central Florida, a sensational murder trial. Two of the jurors: Hannah, a married fifty-two-year-old former photographer of rock stars and Graham, a forty-one-year-old anatomy professor. Both are sequestered along with the other jurors as the shocking and numbing details of the crime are revealed. During a string of days and courtroom hours, Hannah and Graham fall into a furtive affair, keeping their oath as jurors never to discuss the trial. It is during deliberations the lovers learn that they are on opposing sides of the case. Suddenly they look at one another through an altogether different lens, and things become more complicated . . .
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian has just been kicked out of Vassar, due to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an array of charismatic characters, from the showgirls to a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. When Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves – and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.
Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
This novel begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother and then vanishes.
Amy, the baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love.
But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie kept painful secrets…secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family – and herself – than she ever could have imagined.
I’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie
What happened to Amanda Holmes? Twenty years ago, she was found bludgeoned in a rowboat at the MacAllister family’s Camp Macaw. No one was ever charged with the crime.
After their parents’ sudden deaths, the MacAllister siblings return to camp to read the will and decide what to do with the estate. Ryan needs to sell. Margaux hasn’t made up her mind. Mary believes in leaving well enough alone. Kate and Liddie – the twins – have opposing views. And Sean Booth, the groundskeeper, just hopes he still has a home when it’s over.
However, it’s more complicated than a simple vote. The will stipulates that until they unravel the mystery of what happened to Amanda, they can’t settle the estate. Any one of them could have done it, and each one is holding a piece of the puzzle. Will they work together to finally discover the truth, or will their secrets finally tear the family apart?
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down. Convincing her husband to be however, doesn’t go as planned. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
The Road She Left Behind by Christine Nolfi
Crushed by guilt over the car accident that killed her father and sister, and torn apart by her mother’s resentment, Darcy fled her family estate eight years ago and hasn’t looked back. Now an unexpected phone call threatens to upend what little serenity she’s found. Her nephew, Emerson, who was just a baby when his mother died, has gone missing. Darcy must return home and face her past in order to save him.