Summer vacations are all about relaxation, sunshine, margarita in one hand and a great book in the other. It is a time where you can dive deep into a guilty pleasure book without feeling the guilt, get caught up on your favorite series and discover new releases strategically timed with the beginning of summer. Whether you are looking for a book that makes you laugh out loud, keeps you guessing or you simply want to read your favorite author; we have rounded up 10 of the best reads for your summer vacation.
10. The Vacationers -by Emma Straub
This fluffy read is perfect to turn off your brain and dive into a novel full of wit, intelligence and humor. Straub will have readers laughing out loud as the family drama of the Post family unravels itself. Readers will relate to the nonstop complaining nature of this family and relate it to their own vacation disasters. Neither too charming nor depressing this book will have you enthralled in their drama and have you never wanting to leave your chaise lounger. With characters that feel genuinely complex and interesting combined with a story that we can all relate to, this book should be one everyone’s list to read this summer.
9. Luckiest Girl Alive -by Jessica Knoll
If you were a fan of Gone Girl you’re going to want to pick up this dark and twisty novel that is both addicting and fun to read. The chapters alternate from teenage years to adult years following the main character and readers will both love and hate her. From the moment you start reading this book you are hooked and clues hidden throughout the chapters will leave you no closer to figuring out how this book ends. Described as fresh, shocking, violent, brilliant and chilling to the bone; it seems this book will get under your skin and stay there. For any book lover looking to enjoy a gripping and riveting story on their summer vacation, look no further than the Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll.
8. In The Unlikely Event -by Judy Blume
Every girl remembers reading Judy Blume when they were younger and it is not only surprising to see her write an adult book but also amazing. Blume’s new adult book is actually based on true events and although readers won’t see the same familiar character, they will feel the authenticity and warmth they felt when they read her young adult books. The book is based around the crashes of a series of passenger airlines in Elizabeth, NJ within a three-month period in 1951-1952. Blume dives deep into creating families and strangers that were affected by these crashes and leads readers on a journey of their lives. Through tragedy, love, friendships and families Blume writes a compelling story that has readers wanting more at every turn of the page. If you can handle a book based on real life events with a few four letter words, this is the perfect summer vacation companion.
7. All the Light We Cannot See -by Anthony Doerr
This epic work of historical fiction is for readers who are looking for a more educated yet still riveting fiction book to read this summer. All the Light We Cannot See has been nominated and won more awards than we can name off and should certainly be on your bookshelf as a permanent fixture. The book is set in the time when Hitler occupied Germany and Doerr manages to weave two characters together throughout the novel, without giving away the ending. The brilliance of the writing, the lesson that all people try to be good to one another and the ability to move the readers emotionally are just a few reasons you should read this book. Curl up on the front porch under the moonlight in the warm summer night and let Doerr whisk you away into a time of war, humanity and the power of time.
6. The Illegal -by Lawrence Hill
Readers know this author from his famous book ‘The Book of Negroes’ which became an international bestseller and was made into a six part TV mini-series. Hill is back with his new book ‘The Illegal’, a literary thriller that takes readers into a world of undocumented refugees. The book follows the main character as he goes into hiding in a nation where illegal immigrants are deported back to their home country to face death. Readers will meet numerous characters along the way in an underground world and Hill writes in a way that will have you rooting for each one. The book is fast moving and exciting, the perfect read if you are looking to add a little excitement to your summer vacation.
5. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed -by Jon Ronson
This is a must read for anyone who knows anything about social media and the mishaps people have faced because of it. Ronson has dug deep, traveled the world and interviewed people that have been publicly shamed, and then wrote a book about it. Described as hilarious yet brilliant this book explores the consequences of public shaming. Everyone can relate, if you have ever told a joke that came out badly, sent out a tweet that was intended to mean something else or jumped on the bandwagon on raging full out war on the person that did. It is an eye opening book, one that encourages us to realize the impact we have on each other when we play on each other’s flaws and one that digs deep into the consequences for those people. Fascinating, personal and rewarding, this book will stick with you long after you turn the last page.
4. Still Alice -by Lisa Genova
You may have already seen the movie but don’t let that deter you from going out and getting this book immediately. Important and powerful, the story follows the main character Alice as she deals with Alzheimer’s at just 50 years old. A true masterpiece that is so heartbreaking and real it touches on the human emotion in every which way. The book compels the reader as Alice takes on a journey of remaining herself, determined to live her life even with the disease. Genova manages to bring a touch of grace to a tragic story and educates the reader along the way. If you are looking for a book that seems to reach into your chest and pull on heart strings; this is it.
3. You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery -by Mamrie Hart
If you are looking to laugh on your summer vacation you will want to snag this book before you head out. YouTube star Mamrie Hart has compiled all of her hilarious and slightly uncomfortable and inappropriate stories into one volume and published it for anyone looking for a good laugh. In her do all tell all book, Hart will take on adventures such as lighting herself on fire at a Flaming Lips concert to staying at an all-gay nudist resort to avoid tan lines. To make this book even better she has added an original cocktail recipe to the end of each story, thus ensuring you can always have a drink in hand while joining her on her adventures. Downright hilarious, sometimes awkward and socially unacceptable stories fill the pages of Hart’s delicious book.
2. Wild -by Cheryl Strayed
If you are looking for a book that makes you laugh uncontrollably, cry uncontrollably and connect with the main character in such a way you feel a part of them in your soul, look no further than Wild by Cheryl Strayed. The book follows her journey as she attempts to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, alone without any training or experience. Described as original, heartbreaking, vivid, touching and ultimately inspiring you will find it hard to put this book down once you have started it. This is truly the perfect read if you are contemplating your place in this world during your summer vacation. This is the kind of book that you read and want to pass on to all of your friends and family, a book that will be talked about for years to come.
1. The Girl on the Train -by Paula Hawkins
The hottest book to read this summer is the stealthy psychological thriller about human frailty and obsession written by Paula Hawkins. The Girl on the Train follows the main character as she intertwines with two strangers she has named Jess and Jason. Like a good thriller, Hawkins ensures to throw twists and turns at every page turn that keeps you guessing until the very end. The left field plot twists coupled with the complex female characters makes readers want to never quite reach the end. Compared to the novel ‘Gone Girl’ it is unlikely you will make it through your summer vacation without someone recommending this read to you. Dark, thrilling, and overly haunting it becomes almost unbearable to put this novel down when you get close to the end.