The summer read list for this year is finally here! I’ve curated a collection of top-rated books for you to immerse yourself in during those long summer days and warm nights. From the sandy beaches to serene parks or even on a thrilling road trip, these books make perfect companions for your summer adventure.
Over the past few months, I’ve delved into a plethora of novels and non-fiction works, and I’m thrilled to share with you those that truly left an indelible mark. Each of these books, which are currently creating waves in the literary world and garnering high ratings from fellow readers, has been selected for its power to transport, educate, and inspire.
In this list, I’ve divided the books into two categories: fiction and non-fiction. Whether you’re looking for an engrossing story to escape into or a thought-provoking piece that offers fresh perspectives, there’s something here for everyone.
The fiction category is teeming with riveting plots, compelling characters, and captivating prose that promise to take you on an unforgettable journey. On the other hand, the non-fiction selection provides a wide array of learning experiences, from personal memoirs to insightful explorations of history, psychology, and more.
Summer reads 2023 at a glance:
As we journey into the realm of fiction in our summer reads collection, prepare yourself for an enchanting ride. These books are not just stories; they’re different worlds waiting for your footprints.
From heartwarming tales to thrilling mysteries, these novels offer a rich and diverse narrative feast. Each meticulously chosen title has the power to whisk you away from the day-to-day, offering a delicious escape perfect for a summer’s day.
[Related: Best Adventure Fiction 2023]
Whether you’re lounging by the pool or nestled in a hammock under a leafy tree, let these fiction favorites transport you to places both fascinating and unexpected.
1. Then She Was Gone: A Novel by Lisa Jewell
In “Then She Was Gone”, Lisa Jewell masterfully intertwines mystery, tragedy, and an unexpected chance at love. The tale centers around Laurel Mack, a mother grappling with the loss of her perfect daughter Ellie, who mysteriously disappeared ten years prior. After her marriage’ s subsequent demise, Laurel exists in a state of quiet despair, clinging to the remnants of a life that was and could have been.
2. This Time Tomorrowby Emma Straub
“This Time Tomorrow” by Emma Straub is a unique take on the time-travel genre, with a heartfelt exploration of family and self-discovery at its core. On the brink of her 40th birthday, Alice is transported back to 1996, reliving her 16th birthday.
Amidst youthful nostalgia and teenage crushes, it’s the reconnection with her vibrant, younger father that strikes Alice the most. This journey through time, brimming with wisdom and humor, prompts Alice to reflect on her life, love, and the intricate family ties that bind us, ultimately asking the question – if we had the chance to change our past, would we?
3. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
In this gripping murder mystery, high school senior Pippa Fitz-Amobi doesn’t believe the official story about a girl’s murder five years ago and decides to investigate for her final year project. As she uncovers secrets and lies, she learns that the truth can be more dangerous than she ever imagined.
4. It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
A charming romantic comedy about Piper Bellinger, a socialite who is sent to a small town as punishment for her reckless behavior. Here she encounters rugged fisherman Brendan Taggart, and a summer of self-discovery, laughter, and unexpected love ensues.
5. The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
A captivating novel set in Cape Cod, “The Paper Palace” follows Elle, a woman caught between two worlds – her present life with her husband and children, and a passionate, forbidden love affair that happened one fateful summer long ago.
6. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
This novel captures the summer when everything changes for Isabel, also known as Belly. As she returns to the summer house she’s visited since childhood, she finds herself seeing things differently, particularly two brothers who were her best friends, becoming a tale of love and growing up.
7. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
A psychological thriller set in a small town known for the ‘Drowning Pool’, a place where troubled women are said to end their lives. When a single mother and a teenage girl are found dead in the pool, secrets and mysteries of the town start to unfold.
8. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
When Hannah’s husband suddenly disappears, the only clue he leaves behind is a note for her to protect his daughter. The novel follows Hannah’s search for answers, leading her through shocking truths about the man she thought she knew.
9. The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes
In this riveting horror novel, a group of friends retreat to a secluded house in the pines for a weekend getaway, only to find their stay turning into a fight for survival as they encounter a sinister presence that won’t let them leave.
10. To the man I loved too much: And the ones who never loved me enough by Gabrielle
This is a heartfelt collection of prose and poetry that explores love, heartbreak, and healing. Gabrielle navigates the journey of love, from falling too hard and losing oneself, to the painful process of letting go and finding strength in self-love.
Venturing into the non-fiction section of our summer reads, you’re about to embark on a journey of enlightenment and understanding. These carefully selected books are more than just words on a page; they are windows into different facets of reality, offering deep dives into various subjects from personal memoirs to explorations of society, science, and more.
Whether you’re seeking to understand the world better or yearning to see life from a different perspective, these non-fiction works are your perfect companions.
1.Spare by Prince Harry
“Spare” is a great memoir by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, which offers an honest and intimate account of his life as a member of the British Royal Family, as well as his personal journey towards self-discovery and finding his own path. The title “Spare” is a nod to the term “spare heir,” often used to describe the second-born child in a royal family, who is not directly in line to inherit the throne.
2. Atomic Habits by James Clear
In “Atomic Habits”, James Clear argues that the key to significant success lies in making small, incremental changes. By harnessing the power of good habits and breaking free of bad ones, readers can forge a path to remarkable results.
3. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
“12 Rules for Life” offers an interesting mix of ancient wisdom, psychology, philosophy, and practical advice from psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson. It presents a guide on how to live a meaningful life in a chaotic world.
4.Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
“Greenlights” is a memoir by Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, detailing his life experiences. It’s an unconventional and candid book full of raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.
5. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
In “The Psychology of Money”, Morgan Housel provides insightful advice on how to make better financial decisions by understanding our relationship with money. It emphasizes how our personal perceptions and irrational behaviors often affect our financial decisions.
6. The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest
Brianna Wiest’s “The Mountain Is You” is a transformative self-help book that tackles the crucial topic of self-sabotage. It provides insights and practical advice on overcoming the internal obstacles that often stand in the way of success and happiness.
7. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
“I’m Glad My Mom Died” is a poignant and deeply personal memoir by Alex Jennett, chronicling their journey of healing and self-discovery after the death of their mother. The book explores complex themes of grief, loss, family dynamics, and personal growth, presenting a candid and emotional account of the author’s experience.
8. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
“Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing” is a deeply intimate memoir penned by critically acclaimed actor Matthew Perry. In this compelling narrative, Perry recounts his journey through the highs and lows of fame that came with his role in the iconic sitcom, Friends.
9. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
In “Sapiens”, Yuval Noah Harari chronicles the history of humankind, from the evolution of Homo sapiens in Africa to the development of the modern world. Harari explores how humans have come to dominate the planet, challenging readers to consider our roles in the world.
10. Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity, by D Peter Attia
Outlive” serves as a meticulously researched and insightful guide to enhancing longevity and promoting a healthier lifestyle. This book merges modern science and practical advice to provide strategies for optimizing various aspects of life – including exercise, nutrition, sleep, and emotional well-being. It fosters an understanding of the complex interplay between these elements and how they contribute to our overall lifespan.