Summer reading

Seira Wilson on May 26, 2020

woman reading on a beach

Now that we're all rested from the long weekend, it feels like summer is finally coming our way. And that means we're ready for summer reading! We picked some of our favorite new books in mystery, fiction, memoirs, and more—titles we think are just right for a day of reading in the backyard or wherever you choose to spend a relaxing afternoon.  You'll find all of these, plus book club picks, summer reads in Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading, and even a sweepstakes, here.

The Last Trial by Scott Turow

A new legal thriller from Scott Turow is a great way to spend any afternoon, but for me, summer is definitely mystery/thriller time. The Last Trial is master defense attorney Alejandro "Sandy" Stern's last case. The trial involves the high-stakes world of pharmaceuticals, in particular the development of a new cancer drug, and the accused is standing trial for murder. The defendant is an old friend of Stern's: a highly successful doctor and recipient of a Nobel Prize in Medicine, who insists that Sandy represent him. Stern searches for the truth in a maze of drug trial regulations, complicated family dynamics, and suspicious behavior on multiple fronts. Lots of great twists in this one. You think you know who-did-what, then Turow throws that certainty right out the window.

See more summer reading editors' picks in mystery, thriller, and suspense.

The Madwoman and the Roomba: My Year of Domestic Mayhem by Sandra Tsing Loh

Some may call them "the golden years," but Sandra Tsing Loh's 55th year is looking pretty tarnished. Loh is a writer and entertainer—you may have heard her on This American Life—and she's got a great sense of humor.  Loh tackles everything from accidentally posting her tooth disaster on Facebook not as a private message but to her thousands of followers, and having it go viral; to expectations that while women age in years they are somehow supposed to maintain a physique that sailed decades ago. Ringing with authenticity, this very funny book is perfect for nibbling on all summer long.

See more summer reading editors' picks in biographies and memoirs.

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

For me, nothing says "summer read" like a new Kevin Kwan novel.  I loved Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, and his latest novel, Sex and Vanity (June 30), starts off at an opulent destination wedding on the island of Capri. There, Lucie Churchill, a young Chinese-American woman, meets oddball George Zao, and is not impressed. But then there's a kiss, witnessed by Lucie's killjoy cousin, whose shock and snobbery confirms that Lucie needs to put George out of her head. Years later, Lucie and George unexpectedly cross paths again and, as much as she resists it, there is undeniably something there. Humor, romance, and unabashed decadence are the name of the game in Sex and Vanity, making it the perfect companion for a beach chair and a fizzy cocktail.

See more summer reading editors' picks in literature and fiction.

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Many of us are doing virtual book clubs right now, but regardless of the venue, Laurie Frankel's book This Is How It Always Is is definitely one to put on your group's reading list.  One of our editors' picks for the top 20 books of 2017, this is an unforgettable novel about family and secrets. It asks questions of how to protect our children and also how to let them be who they really are. The parents in this story, Rosie and Penn, are down-to-earth, good, loving people who just want their kids to be happy. And for their youngest boy, Claude, being happy means being allowed to live as a girl—the person he feels he was meant to be.  A powerful and emotionally charged book that inspires conversation, This Is How It Always Is may spark one of your best book club discussions yet.

See more summer reading editors' picks for book clubs.

Lists + Reviews

Best Books Literature + Fiction Nonfiction Kids + Young Adult Mystery, Thriller + Suspense Science Fiction + Fantasy Comics + Graphic Novels Romance Eating + Drinking


Interviews Guest Essays Celebrity Picks

News + Features

News Features Awards Podcast


Omnivoracious, The Amazon Book Review

Feeds Facebook Twitter YouTube