I often am asked for book recommendations by in-person and online friends, and the question I’ve been asked most often lately is “What should I be reading this summer?” Well, there are plenty of great books out there, and if you walk into a bookstore, you’ll see all the great frontlist summer books. I wanted to make a list of 10 wonderful titles from previous years that I think you’ll really enjoy this summer
1. The Beach House – Jane Green
The Beach House revolves around Nan, a woman who lives in Nantucket and is forced to open her house to boarders for financial reason. This heartwarming novel follows the different threads of people who come to stay at Nan’s.
2. The Opposite of Love – Julie Buxbaum
Julie Buxbaum’s beautifully written debut novel is about Emily, a twenty-nine year old woman living in New York City and watching her life unravel before her eyes. The journey that Buxbaum takes this damaged woman on is gratifying and wonderfully done.
3. The Sari Shop Widow – Shobhan Bantwal
For those of you looking for some cultural fiction, Shobhan Bantwal’s third novel is just the ticket. Lighter than her usual fare, Bantwal follows Anjali, a twenty-seven year old widow who helps run her parents’ shop.
4. Sweet Love – Sarah Strohmeyer
Sweet Love is the novel that got me hooked on Sarah Strohmeyer. This book is sweet, delicious, and wonderfully enjoyable.
5. The Department of Lost and Found – Allison Winn Scotch
Though I’ve really enjoyed Allison Winn Scotch’s latest novels, it’s her debut that really captured my heart. Natalie Miller is in her twenties, too young for something as horrible as breast cancer – yet she gets it just the same. Though it’s about cancer, this book is full of wonder, hope, and Scotch’s trademark: beautiful writing.
6. The Late Lamented Molly Marx – Sally Koslow
This is a wonderful story, told from the point of view of a woman in the afterlife. The narrator is witty and charming, and the novel as a whole is a great read.
7. Murder at Longbourn – Tracy Kiely
I know what you’re thinking – another Austen knock-off? Really? But give this book a chance, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Despite the title, there’s really not a lot of Austen in this book and the murder mystery is intriguing.
8. Real Life & Liars – Kristina Riggle
Amazing character development is what really makes Real Life & Liars a great read. Riggle fashions individual, lifelike characters with distinct personalities that come together to make this book very enjoyable.
9. The Last Will of Moira Leahy – Therese Walsh
Beautifully written and incredibly intriguing, The Last Will of Moira Leahy comes across as a light gothic mystery (if there even is such a thing). It makes this book a wonderful summer read for mystery fans who aren’t looking for dark, stormy atmospheres.
10. Crossing Washington Square – Joanne Rendell
The academic setting really makes Crossing Washington Square a delight, plus the discussion of what makes “serious” literature really is a must for any fans of lighter reading fare.