20 Summer Books to Keep You Cool and Entertained

Summer is the perfect time to pick up a good book and get lost in a story. Whether you’re heading to the beach, lounging by the pool, or just relaxing at home, there’s nothing like a great read to make the days fly by.

Finding the right book can make your summer even more enjoyable. From thrilling adventures to heartwarming tales, there are plenty of options to suit every taste. Dive into this list to discover your next summer favorite.

Summer Books

1) Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read by Emily Henry is a heartwarming romantic comedy. The story focuses on January Andrews, a romance writer who has lost her belief in love.

She moves to a beach house to find inspiration and runs into Augustus Everett, her college rival. Augustus is a serious literary writer, and they couldn’t be more different.

The two writers challenge each other to switch genres for the summer. January will try writing a serious novel, while Augustus attempts a romance.

Through this challenge, they spend more time together and understand each other’s viewpoints. It brings them closer and sparks fly. The banter between them is witty and charming.

The book beautifully explores themes like grief, family, and the rediscovery of happiness. The beach setting adds an enjoyable summer vibe to the story.

Emily Henry’s writing is engaging and makes it easy to connect with the characters.

Beach Read is perfect for anyone looking for a fun and touching summer read.

2) The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton

The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton is a heartwarming tale set in the charming town of Safe Harbor, Alabama. It revolves around two women, Lily and Rose.

Lily is dealing with a broken heart and ends up at Safe Harbor’s retirement village. Rose, on the other hand, has lived there for years.

Their paths cross, and they form an unexpected friendship. As they get to know each other, secrets from the past come to light. Each woman finds healing in her own way.

With its warm setting and relatable characters, The Summer House is perfect for summer reading. The coastal backdrop adds to the overall peaceful vibe.

Denton’s writing is simple but engaging. Readers will feel a connection to the characters and their journeys. It’s a story about friendship, healing, and starting over.

3) One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

One Italian Summer is a warm and heartfelt story. It follows Katy, who is mourning the death of her mother. To cope, she takes a trip to the Amalfi Coast, a place they had always planned to visit together.

On the trip, Katy experiences an unexpected twist. She meets a woman who seems to be her mother in her younger days. They form a close bond, and this helps Katy deal with her grief.

The book is a mix of magic and real-life themes. It touches on family, loss, and love. Serle’s descriptions of Italy are vivid and make readers feel like they are right there with Katy.

One Italian Summer is perfect for those who enjoy emotional and uplifting reads. It offers hope and healing in a beautiful setting. This novel will tug at your heartstrings and stay with you long after you finish it.

4) People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

This story follows Poppy and Alex, best friends who take a vacation together each summer. They are complete opposites. Poppy is fun-loving and adventurous, while Alex is more reserved and prefers to stick to routines.

Something happened during their last trip, causing a rift in their friendship. To fix things, they decide to go on one last vacation to see if they can mend their bond.

Emily Henry’s storytelling is warm and engaging. She captures the essence of friendships and the complexities of relationships with humor and heart. Readers will enjoy the witty banter and heartfelt moments between Poppy and Alex.

5) Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand’s “Summer of ’69” takes readers back to the turbulent summer of 1969. This book offers a mix of historical events and personal drama. The author captures the spirit of the times with great detail.

The story follows the Levin family, who spend each summer on Nantucket. This summer, though, things are different. Each family member faces unique challenges.

The Vietnam War’s impact is felt deeply. The eldest son, Tiger, is drafted. His absence looms large over the family. Meanwhile, the sisters, Blair, Kirby, and Jessie, deal with their own struggles.

Blair is pregnant and staying with her in-laws. Kirby becomes involved in the civil rights movement. Jessie starts to uncover family secrets.

Elin Hilderbrand weaves these storylines together. She creates vivid, relatable characters. Her portrayal of the 1960s is rich and engaging. Readers can expect a mix of emotion, nostalgia, and historical context.

“Summer of ’69” is both touching and compelling. It’s perfect for anyone looking to get lost in a different era. This book is a great companion for summer reading. It combines family drama with historical events in an unforgettable way.

6) Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising is a novel set in the 1980s. It focuses on the Riva siblings. They are known for their great parties and surfing skills.

The story takes place in Malibu. It’s the day of their big annual party. Secrets and drama begin to unfold.

Each sibling has their own struggles. Nina is a talented surfer but feels trapped. Jay is a champion surfer dealing with pressure. Hud is a photographer with a secret. Kit is trying to find her identity.

Their famous father, Mick Riva, has a complicated past. His choices impact the kids’ lives a lot. The book dives into family, love, and finding oneself. Taylor Jenkins Reid is great at making characters feel real and relatable.

Malibu Rising is a perfect read for summer. The beach setting, family drama, and dynamic characters make it hard to put down. Readers can enjoy the mix of emotions and twisty plot. The book captures the essence of the surf culture and 1980s vibe.

7) The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly has always counted her life in summers. Every summer, she and her family visit the beach house owned by her mom’s best friend. There, she feels most at home.

The story follows Belly’s transition from childhood to adulthood. She navigates love, heartbreak, and the complexities of growing up. The beach setting is perfect for a summer read.

Jenny Han’s writing captures the essence of teenage emotions. Readers find themselves rooting for Belly as she discovers herself and her feelings. The characters are relatable and engaging.

This book is great for anyone who enjoys a heartfelt, coming-of-age story. It’s a perfect blend of romance, friendship, and family dynamics. A must-read for those lazy summer days.

8) Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner is a delightful read. It combines friendship, romance, and a bit of mystery.

The story follows Daphne Berg. She’s an influencer who’s been invited to her frenemy’s lavish wedding. The plot twists when a murder happens, and Daphne finds herself in the middle of a thrilling investigation.

Weiner’s writing is engaging. The characters feel real and relatable. Readers will enjoy the mix of heartfelt moments and suspense.

Set in a beautiful summer backdrop, the book captures the season perfectly. It’s a great pick for readers looking for a mix of fun and drama this summer.

9) The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Emma Straub’s “The Vacationers” takes readers on a trip to Mallorca, Spain. The story revolves around the Post family and their friends during a two-week summer vacation.

Each character carries their own baggage, both literal and metaphorical. As they unwind in the beautiful setting, secrets come to light. Straub explores family dynamics, love, and friendship.

The vivid descriptions draw readers into the sunny beaches and charming streets. The book’s light-hearted yet thoughtful tone makes it a perfect summer read. Whether you’re on the beach or in your backyard, “The Vacationers” is an engaging story about what happens when families go on vacation.

10) The Beach by Alex Garland

The Beach by Alex Garland is a thrilling tale about a young traveler named Richard. He discovers a hidden paradise in Thailand that seems perfect at first. The story explores the darker side of paradise through Richard’s eyes.

Richard finds a map leading to an untouched island. He and a group of travelers set out to find this secret place. Once they arrive, they think they’ve found heaven on Earth.

The island has stunning beaches and clear water. Yet, as time goes on, things start to fall apart. Conflicts arise among the travelers, and danger lurks in unexpected places.

Garland’s writing is vivid and engaging. Readers feel like they’re right there with the characters, experiencing every twist and turn. The book keeps you hooked from start to finish.

The Beach digs into themes of idealism and reality. What begins as a dream destination turns into a nightmare. It’s a powerful story about human nature and the search for perfection.

11) Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

Judy Blume’s “Summer Sisters” explores the deep, complicated friendship between two girls, Caitlin and Vix. Meeting in the summer of 1977, their bond grows stronger every year, filled with adventures, secrets, and challenges.

As they grow older, the girls face new hurdles that test their friendship. Romance, family issues, and personal ambitions come into play. The narrative captures the intense emotions and the evolving dynamics of their relationship.

Set against beautiful, vivid summer backdrops, this book is perfect for beach reading. Blume’s storytelling keeps readers engaged with honest and heartfelt moments, making it hard to put down.

12) The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Olive and Ethan are not friends. In fact, they can hardly stand each other. But when everyone at Olive’s sister’s wedding gets food poisoning, they find themselves on a free trip to Maui. There’s just one catch—they have to pretend to be newlyweds.

As they navigate this awkward situation, sparks begin to fly. Maybe the person you can’t stand can turn out to be someone special. The beautiful setting of Maui adds charm to their unexpected romance.

The Unhoneymooners is a fun, lighthearted read with humor and heart. Christina Lauren’s witty writing and engaging characters make this book perfect for a summer escape.

13) The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares

The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares is a touching story. It revolves around three childhood friends. They spend their summers on Fire Island.

Alice and Riley are sisters. Paul is their neighbor and close friend. As they grow up, their relationships change. The book explores themes like love, loss, and family bonds.

Alice falls for Paul, creating tension. Riley’s health problems add challenges. The story captures their journey of self-discovery.

This novel is great for readers who enjoy emotional tales. It’s well-written and engaging. The setting of Fire Island adds a nostalgic feel. Brashares’ writing brings the characters to life.

Readers might find themselves relating to the characters’ struggles. This book is perfect for a relaxing summer read. It’s both heartwarming and bittersweet. Ann Brashares fans will not be disappointed.

14) The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe

“The Summer Guests” by Mary Alice Monroe tells a warm and engaging story. It takes place in the enchanting Lowcountry of South Carolina.

In this book, a hurricane forces various people to evacuate to a safe haven. They gather at a horse farm owned by Grace and Charles Phillips.

All the guests bring their own stories and secrets. Throughout their stay, they form unexpected bonds. Old wounds begin to heal as new paths appear.

Monroe’s writing is known for capturing the beauty of the natural world. The coastal setting adds a special touch to the story.

Readers who enjoy tales of friendship and overcoming life’s obstacles will find much to love here. The characters are well-developed and relatable.

“The Summer Guests” is a perfect pick for a relaxing summer read. This novel is heartfelt and full of hope. It’s easy to get lost in the story while lounging in the sun.

15) The Summer Sail by Wendy Francis

The Summer Sail by Wendy Francis is a heartwarming novel. Three college friends reunite for a cruise to Bermuda. Each hopes the trip will bring joy and mend old wounds.

Abby brings her fiancé, planning a beautiful wedding. Caroline is there with her family, struggling with her marriage. Lee, a single mom, is looking for a fresh start.

As the ship travels, secrets come out. Friendships are tested, love blooms, and everyone faces their fears. The beautiful setting adds to the appeal, making it a lovely summer read.

16) Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan is a delightful read. Following the story of Polly Waterford, it captures the charm of a small seaside town. Polly moves to Mount Polbearne to escape her old life and ends up baking delicious bread in an old bakery.

As Polly settles in, she meets new friends and finds a sense of community. The town’s quirky characters add warmth and humor to the story. Neil, Polly’s pet puffin, is an adorable touch that readers love.

The book mixes romance, friendship, and personal growth. Polly’s journey is heartwarming and full of gentle surprises. The descriptions of the bakery’s goods can almost make you smell the bread baking. It’s an easy and inviting read for summer days.

17) Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin

“Summer on the Bluffs” is written by Sunny Hostin.

The story is set in Oak Bluffs, a vibrant community on Martha’s Vineyard.

It follows three goddaughters who spend a memorable summer at their godmother Amelia’s beach house.

As the summer unfolds, secrets are revealed and the bonds between the women are tested.

The novel explores themes of family, identity, and self-discovery.

Sunny Hostin brings the characters to life with rich descriptions and heartfelt moments.

Readers will enjoy the vivid setting and the complex relationships.

This book is perfect for those looking for a compelling summer read filled with drama and emotion.

18) That Summer by Jennifer Weiner

In “That Summer,” Jennifer Weiner tells a gripping story about two women whose lives cross unexpectedly. Daisy Shoemaker seems to have a perfect life, but she feels something is missing.

Diana Starling is a successful woman with a curious past. When Daisy starts getting emails meant for Diana, she becomes drawn to her life.

As Daisy and Diana’s lives intersect, secrets from the past come to light. Faithful readers will enjoy the twists and turns. This novel explores friendship, identity, and the impacts of the past.

Weiner’s writing is accessible and engaging, making “That Summer” a perfect beach read. The blend of mystery and personal growth keeps readers hooked.

19) Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer

The story takes place on Nantucket Island, a perfect backdrop for a summer read. Nancy Thayer captures the essence of the island, making readers feel like they are part of the community.

Darcy, a librarian, spends her summers on this picturesque island. She loves the peace and charm of Nantucket, but this summer brings unexpected surprises.

When Darcy’s ex-husband shows up with his new family, old feelings resurface. Darcy also gets entangled in the lives of her summer neighbors, revealing hidden secrets and emotions.

Nancy Thayer’s characters are well-developed and relatable. Readers will find themselves rooting for Darcy as she navigates through her emotions and new relationships.

“Secrets in Summer” is filled with warmth, love, and a bit of drama. It’s a perfect pick for anyone looking to unwind with a good book on a sunny day.

20) Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews

“Summer Rental” by Mary Kay Andrews is a fun read for the hot season. It tells the story of three friends who rent a house in North Carolina for a month. Each of the friends is at a crossroads in life.

Ellis is recently laid off and needs a fresh start. Julia, a model, is trying to figure out what’s next for her career. Dorie is dealing with a marriage crisis. The beach house offers them a chance to escape and reassess their lives.

They meet some interesting locals that add excitement and drama. There’s a mysterious woman with secrets staying nearby. As they spend more time together, their friendship deepens.

The author mixes humor, romance, and heartfelt moments. It’s light, entertaining, and perfect for reading by the pool or at the beach. The setting is vividly described, making you feel like you’re right there with them.

“Summer Rental” brings in themes of friendship, love, and new beginnings. Andrews’ writing style is engaging and easy to follow. The characters are relatable, and the storyline keeps you hooked.

If you’re looking for a feel-good book with a lot of charm, “Summer Rental” is a great choice.

Understanding Summer Reading

Summer reading keeps the mind active and helps develop a love for books. Choosing the right book can make the experience enjoyable and enriching.

The Importance of Summer Reading

Summer reading prevents the “summer slide,” where students forget some of what they learned during the school year. Reading over the summer can improve vocabulary, comprehension, and writing skills.

It strengthens the brain, making it easier to learn new things in the next school year.

Also, reading for fun can build a positive association with books. This can turn reading into a lifelong habit.

How to Choose the Perfect Summer Book

Consider what interests the reader the most. Is it adventure, romance, or science fiction? Look at book reviews or ask for recommendations from friends, teachers, or librarians.

Check the book’s length and difficulty level. It should be challenging but not too hard. An exciting plot can keep the reader engaged.

Think about books related to summer activities, like beach stories, or books set in other countries for an imaginary trip. This makes reading an adventure on its own.

Genres to Explore

Romance
Summer is perfect for light, heartwarming stories. Romance novels can sweep you away to different places and lives. Bestsellers like The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han or Beach Read by Emily Henry are great choices.

Mystery & Thrillers
Edge-of-your-seat excitement can be found in mystery and thriller books. Authors like Agatha Christie and Dan Brown keep readers guessing with every twist. A stylish whodunit can make a lazy summer day more thrilling.

Fantasy
Fantasy worlds offer grand adventures and imaginative stories. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series or J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit provide magical escapism. These stories take readers to realms where anything is possible.

Science Fiction
Dive deep into futuristic worlds with sci-fi novels. Books like Dune by Frank Herbert and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins spark imagination and wonder. Exploring space or dystopian futures can be fascinating.

Historical Fiction
Travel back in time with historical fiction. Books such as The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah or All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr immerse readers in the past. These novels blend real events with compelling stories.

Young Adult
Young Adult (YA) novels are great for summer. They often feature relatable characters and coming-of-age stories. Novels like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green or Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan are popular among teens and adults alike.

Non-Fiction
Learn something new with non-fiction books. They cover a variety of topics from biographies to self-help. Educated by Tara Westover or Becoming by Michelle Obama offer inspiring and informative reads.

Graphic Novels
Graphic novels combine art and storytelling. They’re a quick, visual read for summer. Titles like Maus by Art Spiegelman or Nimona by Noelle Stevenson capture the imagination in vibrant ways.

Exploring different genres can make your summer reading list diverse and exciting. There’s something for everyone to enjoy!