Top 8: Summer Reads

There are several different signs that summer has officially arrived: the end of finals at school, the heat (looking at you, Southern/western friends), the sudden excess of dumb game shows on TV, and, maybe my favorite, the release of "Summer Beach Reads" for the year. I love "summer" books. They're typically light, easy to read, and thoroughly entertaining, and what's more glamorous than drinking wine and reading a good book out by the pool or on the beach? Not much!

I've rounded up my own Summer Reads list of eight of my personal favorites. Some are books I've mentioned in past posts, but some are new recommendations. In no particular order...


1. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
I started reading this last summer and got sidetracked with work so I never got very far into it, but now that I've started it again I've almost finished it in three days! This is a truly unique book, told through emails between characters, about a family trying to keep it together while the mom is spiraling. It sounds grim but it';s actually really fun and heartfelt and moving. These are some of the most interesting characters I've ever found in a book.


2. Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford
I've mentioned this book before in a past post but it's worth mentioning again. It's the story of a girl who finds herself in the heart of the New York elite and leaves behind who she is to become a part of the social scene, even while her personal life, which she hides from her friends, is falling apart. It's amazing and so incredibly well-written, which makes sense since the author was a star student at Harvard.


3. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
Another book I've previously recommended, and also quite possibly my all-time favorite book. It's written in a series of vignettes about three best friends (and their mutual friends) as they deal with growing up, finding jobs, dating, and getting married. This book was life-changing for me and it's perfect for any college student or recent college grad who's dealing with the huge changes that come with being a young twenty-something and trying to find yourself.


4. The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
This book tells the story of the three adult children of a wealthy family who return to their home to collect the trust fund money they've been waiting on. This money is supposed to fix all their problems, but when they arrive, they come to find out that it's all gone. This is a great story about the importance of family and how to rely on more than just the material to get through life. I saw it on several different rec lists and I'm so glad I finally picked it up!


5. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
In Sweetbitter, the main character moves to New York for - what else? - fame and fortune and ends up a busser in a famous restaurant where she learns a lot about fine dining and  wine. From there, her life spirals into a dark but alluring world of drugs and debauchery with the new friends she makes in the city. This was a fantastically well-written, fast-paced, and intriguing story.


6. Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
You may recognize Straub from her book The Vacationers, which was another fantastic summer book that you should check out. This one is her latest, and it focuses on three former band members who now live very normal adult lives in a Brooklyn neighborhood. They're still close friends and, as they send their own children off to school, they reminisce on their pasts and on how things have changed since their shot at stardom came to an end.


7. In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch
Five former college housemates return to the home they shared and, during their time together, they start to rehash old emotions and grudges and feelings that they had when they lived together nearly twenty years before. This is a great story about how the reality of your life can differ from the plans you make for it, and as a twenty-something starting my adult life, it gave me a lot to think about.


8. The Regulars by Georgia Clark
Three twenty-something friends are offered the chance to take an elixir that makes them suddenly, stunningly beautiful. This beauty opens a lot of doors for them, but there are caveats and strings attached that the girls never could have anticipated. Like many of us, I've always coveted the beauty of models and celebrities, and this book definitely made me think about everything that beauty covers up.

Bonus: My To-Read List
It's still early in the summer and there are a lot of books left to read! Here are the ones I'm looking to add to my collection in the coming weeks.
- The Smart One by Jennifer Close
- Rich and Pretty by Rumaam Alam
- The Girls by Emma Cline
- The Wedding Sisters by Jamie Brenner
- First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

Are there any books you can't wait to read this summer? Let me know in the comments!

All images from Amazon.

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