Picture yourself chillin’ in a beautiful park on a warm summer’s evening. In one hand you have a throwback adult Capri Sun. In the other, a blueberry and pomegranate cheesecake popsicle. Lounging on your new DIY picnic blanket, there’s not a crying kid or obnoxiously buzzing smartphone in sight. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
1. Break in Case of Emergency: A Novel by Jessica Winter ($22): This witty novel about struggling to find oneself in amongst boring jobs and fruitless pursuits might just be the go-to read of the summer. Pack it in your bag and read it any time you feel less than.
2. My Name Is Leon by Kit de Waal ($19): Told from the honest and at times naïve perspective of nine-year-old Leon, this gut-wrenching novel about the unbreakable bonds of family is so touching that you’ll probably end up lending it to at least three people by the time the summer is through.
3. Go-Between by Lisa Brackmann ($20): A tale of secret identities, for-profit prisons and the all-too-real war on drugs, this modern thriller is a great addition to any suspense lover’s bookshelf.
4. The Real Peter Pan: J.M. Barrie and the Boy Who Inspired Him by Piers Dudgeon ($18): We all know the quirky Disney version of Peter Pan — green tights and all — but have you ever stopped to wonder who actually inspired the fun-loving character? In this biography, Piers Dudgeon explores the fascinating relationship between J.M. Barrie and the family that would go on to inspire his most famous work.
5. Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen ($19): Valentine’s Day meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, this novel intertwines the stories of nine women all connected to one single LBD. From runway models to love-struck assistants, the power of a little black dress is even more overwhelming than we ever thought — shopping spree, anyone?
6. The Hatching: A Novel by Ezekiel Boone ($20): Taking aim at one of our most common fears, Ezekiel Boone reminds us of how much we really hate spiders in this creeptastic new science fiction. Let’s just say, it’s not for the faint of heart… or anyone who suffers from arachnophobia.
7. The Muse: A Novel by Jessie Burton ($21): If you’re remotely interested in the intricacies of art and artists, Jessie Burton’s latest novel is just the summer read you’ve been looking for. From the number one internationally bestselling author of The Miniaturist, this passionate and hard-hitting novel is packed with mystery, intrigue and ambition.
8. The Invoice: A Novel by Jonas Karlsson ($18): Not only do you get to relive the days of good ol’ Blockbuster style video stores in this novel, but Karlsson’s epic adventure surrounding a happy yet flawed young man will definitely make for a great summer read.
9. Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty ($16): Heralded as Entertainment Weekly’s “best beach bet,” all-star novelist Liane Moriarty’s flawless portrayal of how guilt can manifest itself in even the strongest relationships is truly a no-brainer when it comes to summertime picks.
10. I Am No One: A Novel by Patrick Flanery ($21): When a seemingly boring man starts receiving boxes containing records of his online activity, he does what any sane person would do: Panic. Taking security and intelligence thrillers to a whole new level, this masterful novel is not to be missed this July.
11. Absalom’s Daughters: A Novel by Suzanne Feldman ($20): Two half-sisters, one Caucasian and one African American, set off on a road trip through the American deep south of the 1950s in this must-read novel about race and identity. Tackling tough issues with a touch of magic realism, any bibliophile will definitely appreciate its cross-genre charm.
12. The Choices We Make by Karma Brown ($10): Get out the tissues, this one is a tear-jerker. Following the childhood-turned-lifelong friendship of two besties who are simply trying their best to help each other through life’s pressing moments, it’s a modern summer read any Nicholas Sparks fan will surely swoon over.
13. Baby Doll by Hollie Overton ($17): After Lily and her daughter escape the small basement prison that they’ve been kept in for years, you’d think they would be in for a happily ever after credit line. But, of course, things are much, much more complicated — even with freedom.
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