The summer reading season is almost here and hopefully you will have time for some good books while you’re traveling, sitting on a beach or just finding some shade at home. There’s nothing on TV and the weather is beautiful, so why not use this time to make a serious dent in those books you’ve been neglecting? Whether you’re looking for light fiction, creative inspiration or something with lots of pretty pictures, here are our fave books for the summer season.
1. The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith ($13): If you follow her blog, The Nester, you’ll love this book about embracing reality when it comes to decorating your home. It has nothing to do with creating a flawless home and everything to do with decorating for “real” people who live chaotic lives. Full of easy tips and advice, this book tells you how to transform your home into an inviting place to entertain friends and family.
2. Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist ($11): The perfect read for people who love food and value the community of friends and family and the meals that bring us together. Part memoir, part cookbook, this book is a collection of essays that will warm your heart and remind you of the joy found around the table.
3. The Antelope in The Living Room by Melanie Shankle ($10): Marriage can be a blessing… and a challenge with two people trying to figure out how to live together. This book written by blogger Melanie Shankle will make you laugh and cry as you share stories about the hilarious union we call marriage.
4. Delicious: A Novel by Ruth Reichl ($18): Ruth Reichl is a stellar writer who has written about her life as a food critic. This is her first novel where she creates an enchanting world full of good food and a bit of mystery.
5. Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America by John Waters ($17): Full of humorous stories, this book is a celebration of America’s weird and generous people as the author hitchhikes from Baltimore to San Francisco.
6. Friendship: A Novel by Emily Gould ($20): This novel follows the ups and downs of a friendship between two women and the way friendships disappoint each other despite best intentions. It is a mature consideration of aging, changing and growing apart.
7. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan ($16): A collection of essays and stories from a talented Yale graduate who tragically died in a car accident just five days after graduation. She left an incredibly rich collection of stories that capture the hope and uncertainty of her generation while acknowledging the universal struggle that we all face as we try to figure out our place in the world.
8. Decorate With Flowers by Holly Becker ($21): Summertime equals flowers, and this beautiful books offers lots of practical advice on how to create arrangements that are uncomplicated and inexpensive without sacrificing style.
9. The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes by Erin Gleeson ($23): If you judge a book by its cover, than this is the perfect cookbook for you. Full of stunning images, fun hand lettering and easy to prepare dishes, this beautiful cookbook will inspire you to achieve culinary greatness even on the hottest of summer evenings.
10. Lessons From Madam Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets by Jennifer Scott ($14): Embracing the French ideal of quality over quantity, Jennifer Scott writes about everything chic, from how to entertain with effortless flair to living an active life while cultivating allure and glamor. From eating to dressing, this is the perfect little handbook for anyone looking to add a little je ne sais quoi to their summer.
11. No Book But The World by Leah Hager Cohen ($21): This dark novel follows Cohen’s trademark psychological thriller in a twisty mystery about the price of secrets, the burden of family and the pieces of childhood we never quite leave behind.
12. Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique ($21): Set in the early 1900s, this novel follows generations of a Dutch family as they try to settle in the Virgin Islands. It is a novel of love and magic, curses and loyalties, deaths and triumphs.
13. Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler ($25): The always hilarious Chelsea Handler writes a collection of travel stories that range from ridiculous to insanely funny.
14. The Visitors by Sally Beauman ($21): Based on a true story, this is a dazzling piece of historical fiction of the search for King Tut’s tomb in the 1900s. Beautifully atmospheric, this novel recreates the decadence of Egypt’s aristocratic colonial society and the obsessive hunt to find the treasure of Egypt’s past.
15. Creative Block by Danielle Krysa ($19): Is you’re seeking some creative inspiration this summer, you’ll want to get your hands on this book with advice on how to conquer self-doubt, stay motivated and get new ideas to flow.
16. Off Course by Michelle Huneven ($20): Set in the 1980s, this novel tells the story of Cressida Hartley who is trying to write her dissertation on economics at her parents’ house in the Sierras. Growing increasingly frustrated with her topic, Hartley becomes more immersed in the social life of the small mountain community and soon becomes entangled in an impossible love distraction.
17. Ample Hills Creamery by Brian Smith ($16): Time to pull out that ice cream maker! With mouth-watering photography and charming illustrations, this cookbook is a beautiful guide on how to make incredibly delicious ice cream at home.
18. Design Bloggers at Home by Ellie Tennant ($23): With a global network of creative, interior bloggers posting fresh content everyday, there is a thriving community of trend-setters and style gurus. This book is a little peek into the characters behind leading design blogs, while it explores their beautiful homes and gets tips on their styling techniques.
19. The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard Morais ($18): Soon to be a motion picture, this book is about an Indian family who moves to France and opens a restaurant across the street from a Michelin-starred French eatery and the tension that ensues.
20. EcoBeauty by Lauren and Janice Cox ($16): There’s no better time than the summer to make use of nature’s bounty by DIYing up a storm of beauty products. This book walks you through tutorials on things like, how to make avocado hair condition, an espresso face mask and chocolate brownie lip gloss. Umm… yum.
21. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton ($20): Perfect for mystery lovers, this clever ghost story evokes a rich mid-century world of shipping, banking and the gold rush boom in New Zealand.
Will you be taking any of these books on your summer vacation? Let us know in the comments below!