16 Titles To Add to Your Summer Reading List

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer has arrived, and with that comes the determination to build the ultimate summer reading list. There's something about summer that makes me want to tackle all the books—perhaps because of the sunny weather and desire to travel. I asked a bunch of ladies if they'd be interested in sharing their favorite summer reads with you all, so here they are today! I also decided to chime in to make things even :p

1. Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell
My best friends in college were in a sorority, so I always wondered what that was like, and well ... Dirty Rush answered that question. It's a great, quick read for the beach, and it's not just for people in or affiliated with those in the Greek system!

2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I love books that keep me on the edge of my seat, and The Girl On The Train was definitely one of those. Such a quick read, so it would be perfect for the beach or a plane ride.

3. Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
In this vivid anthology, neurologist Oliver Sacks examines case studies of hallucinations: a woman who "sees" Kermit the Frog in her left field of vision after brain surgery; a man with Parkinson's who "feels" peach fuzz on the surface of any item he touches; and Sacks' own (somewhat controversial) experiences with visions and misperceptions. Hallucinations is a nonfiction page-turner and a must-read for anyone interested in the human mind.

4. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
The immediate subject of this collection of essays is California during the 1960's, but Didion's sharp, self-aware prose reveals insights about one's own surroundings and experiences. Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a powerful read for women in their twenties and aspiring writers. Two of my favorite essays are "On Self-Respect" and "On Keeping a Notebook."

5. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I don't always get through the entire series every summer, but because I usually have a lot of big cleaning or organizing projects to do, I love listening to these books on audio while I work. The narrator, Jim Dale (for the US edition), is the best storyteller I've ever heard! Between him and my favorite stories of all time, work is a breeze, and I find myself wishing I had more projects to do so I can keep listening!

6. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Another favorite summer read of mine is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I reread it at least once a year, and the story is more enjoyable each time. I *love* historical novels, and this one has the best main characters ever. It's technically a book written for adults, but Cassandra is actually a teenager, and it has a very strong YA feel. Along with Austen's novels, this is the most enjoyable "character driven" novel I've ever read, and I can't get enough of it!

7. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
This is the perfect summer read! Imagine laying out on the beach and listening to the ocean as you read a love story. Everybody enjoys a good modern romance.

8. Katwalk by Maria Murnane
This book is a favorite of mine because of the storyline. Do you ever feel like picking up and starting over from scratch? That's kind of what happens to the main character. She travels alone and ends up discovering her true potential during her journey in a new place. If you're still finding yourself, try reading this book.

9. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
When I think of favorite summer time reads, I always think contemporary. I'm not exactly sure why that is but that is what my mind jumps to when I think sunny weather! Open Road Summer was one of my favorites of 2014 and I still love it! It showcases such a strong friendship and so perfectly captures what it means to be a best friend. I adore seeing such fantastic friendships in books so Dee and Reagan's just spoke to me. It's also perfect for summer because you get to travel along with them on Dee's concert tour stops over the summer and the country music aspect is so well done! And of course I can't forget Matt Finch, the sweetest, most adorable guy ever. All this combined for such a great summery book!

10. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
If you're going on vacation in the summer or going to be on the beach, I always think of Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. It sounds like an innocent spring break trip to Aruba so perfect to read while you're also on vacation right? ;) It's one of my favorite YA thrillers, it will take you for a hell of a ride! It kept me guessing the whole time.

11. Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
This is a sweet, ultimate escape of a romance — with believable characters and an achingly tense plot. I also felt for Kate's dilemma, which is a refreshing one for a heroine of a romance. This book is absolutely perfect for swooning in the sun!

12. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I just read this book, and loved it so absolutely I had to share it for Amaris' post. It's a take on Beauty and the Beast, with a complex magical system and a brilliant, strong heroine. The story has so many surprises too — it kept me glued to the pages. This book has everything really — it's perfect for any season!

13. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Besides just being my favorite summer read, this is my all time favorite book! I love the comical relationships between main character Remy and her girlfriends and Remy's love interest, Dexter, is oh so swoony!

14. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
There's something about journeys and traveling that reminds me of summer time! I love this book since protagonist Allyson visits London, Paris, as well as Amsterdam and she discovers much about who she is and wants to become!

15. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Although Meant to Be takes place over spring break, it is certainly a book perfect for the summer time. It's cute, fun, a touch quirky AND it's set in London. LONDON, the place where cute British boys reside. Don't judge the cheesy title and cover—it's worth a read!

16. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Summer means time to relax (at least in my strange brain), and what better way to do so than with a hilarious memoir? No complicated plot lines or unnecessary drama, and yes, something you WILL be laughing your way through.

Alexa mentioned to me that Ginger (from GReads!) has been doing something similar for the past two years, so pop on over to her blog for more suggestions. I hope you were able to find something new to read this summer! BIG thank you to all the ladies who were willing to share :)

What was the last book you added to your summer TBR list?
Are you planning to re-read any of your favorite summer books soon?


  1. Such a wide ranging list of books! Although contemporary does get a good share. I love that there is one great sounding non-fiction/science book here - I don't usually read non-fiction but this one sounds really interesting and educational. Great post idea Amaris! I loved reading all the recommendations!

  2. I loved seeing your recommended summer reading list! It's definitely an interesting mix of authors and genres, and I totally see a few I would check out myself.

  3. Thanks for having me! There are quite a few here I haven't read yet so I'll have to check them out!

  4. I'm SUCH a failure, Amaris! I forgot to email youuuuuu. I loove this mix of books, though! My mind immediately goes to contemporaries for the summer, but I love the idea of reading all these others, too. I've seen Hallucinations at work before and didn't realize what it was about, but now I'm going to have to pick it up! (And Mindy Kaling's book is appropriate for any day, any season! She's the best!) Such a great post! :D

  5. Thanks so much for asking me to get involved with this! It's such a great idea for a post and it's interesting to see the variety in favorite summer reads!

  6. Ah I love the wide range of recommendations in this post! There are so many books that I was so happy to see featured - Harry Potter, I Capture the Castle, Open Road Summer, Just One Day, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). And it definitely got me curious about some of the titles I haven't read yet!