Best Summer Reads: Beat the Heat with These Hot Summer Reads


All the best summer reads from bestsellers to classics to books becoming movies. You won’t want to miss the hottest summer reads.

Summer is in full swing, and we are busy trying to get ahead on our blog post schedule. With updates on Rachael’s crazy year of travel coming soon, we thought we’d take the time to share one more book post this summer. Don’t worry, we have plenty of book posts coming in the fall.

Earlier this month, Rachael shared what’s on her summer reading list, but, in case your tastes don’t quite align with hers, today we are sharing this year’s best summer reads. We’ve pulled our best summer reads from the bestseller lists, from the classics, and from our own bookshelves. Be warned, we haven’t read all the bestsellers yet, so we can’t say if they are worth the hype yet or not. So if you’ve read any, let us know what you think in the comments.

We’re sure you’ll find some great summer books to beat the heat this summer. If you love to read, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter. We have some exciting changes coming to the blog next month that you won’t want to miss out on.

Hope you enjoy our list of this year’s best summer reads!

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Best Summer Reads from the Big Screen

book cover for Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians
by Kevin Kwan

To kick off our list of the best summer reads, we decided to pick a few books coming to theaters soon. We certainly plan to read this one before it hits the theaters this year. Kevin Kwan’s debut novel delves into the lives of the crazy rich Asians – those families so rich and pedigreed they basically rule the continent. When Nicholas Young, the most eligible bachelor in society, brings Rachel Chu, his American-born Chinese girlfriend, to the hottest wedding of the season, everyone is in an uproar. With plenty of interesting themes to explore, Crazy Rich Asians is a perfect summer read.


book cover for Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Where’d You Go, Bernadette
by Maria Semple

Looking for  fun summer books to make you laugh? Sometimes you just need a clever satire, and we promise you’ll laugh at the ridiculous Bernadette, a Seattle-area mom who takes antisocial to a whole new level. As soon as Bernadette referred to the annoying school moms as “gnats,” we knew we would love this book. We’ll be honest, we didn’t love the ending to this book. Yet, the buildup was so much fun that I still like recommending it to others. Although the release was delayed so it belongs to the list of books becoming a movies in 2019, you should still add this one to your list of books to read this summer.


book cover for The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner

The Death Cure, the third book in this crazy dystopian series, is coming to theaters soon. If you haven’t yet read the series, this summer would be a great time to catch up. Meet Thomas, a boy who wakes up inside a creepy with no memory of his past. Of course, he must be destined to save the world. Let’s face it, this isn’t the best written series ever, but we still found ourselves drawn into the story. If you are simply looking for a fun young adult read or you liked the movies, give this series a try. Just don’t focus too closely on the glaring plot holes.

Related: Summer Reading List 2018: 11 Books You Need on Your To-Read List This Summer


Best Summer Reads from the Bestseller Lists

book cover for The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah

Coming off The Nightingale, her wildly successful World War II novel, Kristin Hannah’s next book explores the untamed wilds of Alaska. A recently returned Vietnam War POW, Ernt Allbright decides to move his family to the Alaskan frontier. At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers and just what Ernt needs. But when the harsh Alaskan winter approaches and Ernt’s mental state begins to deteriorate, his wife and daughter must fight to survive. A captivating, stay-up-all-night novel that is definitely one of the year’s best summer reads. Read more →


book cover for The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

The Woman in the Window
by A. J. Finn

Imagine the Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Rear Window meets the novel The Girl on the Train. This summer’s hottest psychological thriller peeks into the life of Anna Fox, a New York City recluse who, spying on the family across the street, witnesses a shocking event. With its unreliable narrator and layers of secrets, The Woman in the Window will keep you guessing to the end. We can’t wait to read this best-selling summer book and hope it is worthy of our list of the best summer reads. Read more →


book cover for Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down
by John Green

Currently sitting at #4 on the New York Times bestsellers list, John Green’s latest young adult novel, Turtles All the Way Down, follows sixteen-year-old Aza as she investigates the mystery of a fugitive billionaire. Hoping to earn the $100,000 reward, Aza and her best friend Daisy befriend his son Davis hoping to find answers. John Green eloquently delves into Aza’s mental health issues with severe anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, which makes this novel especially significant for teenagers today.


book cover for Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
by Neil deGrasse Tyson

We love how Neil deGrasse Tyson carefully labelled his book as for Astrophysics for People in a Hurry instead of “Astrophysics explained to the ignorant layman,” which is what we would have called it. Just so you are aware, even though this book is tiny, it is not a quick read. Although Tyson does an excellent job bringing the topic down to a beginner’s level, the concepts are so deep that it definitely takes some thought to wrap your head around everything. A great primer on a fascinating subject, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is one of the best summer reads for all the science lovers out there.


book cover for Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon
by David Grann

Having spent 40 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list, if you haven’t read Killers of the Flower Moon yet, you need to add it to your summer reading list. David Grann investigates the fascinating case of the Osage murders in the 1920s. After discovering oil on their land, the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma are among the richest people in the world at the time. Once the death toll surpasses 24 Osage, the newly created FBI takes up the investigation to expose an alarming conspiracy behind these notorious crimes.

Related: 15 Excellent Beach Reads to Satisfy Any Summer Mood


Best Summer Reads from the Classics

book cover for The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexander Dumas

If you haven’t read this amazing classic novel yet, you are truly missing out. Dumas’ epic tale of revenge will keep you entertained through all of its 1,000+ pages, making it a long classic worth your time. Wrongfully imprisoned for years, Edmond Dantes successfully escapes a brutal French prison and sets out to get the ultimate revenge on all those who have wronged him. The Count of Monte Cristo is not just one of the best summer reads but one of the top classics to read in your lifetime.


book cover for The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger
by Albert Camus

Having recommended a fun adventure, we felt our next classic book recommendation for the best summer reads should be one to really make you think. Enter Albert Camus’ thought-provoking short classic book, The Stranger, the story of Mersault, a seemingly ordinary man without any feelings. After he kills a stranger on an Algerian beach, Mersault is put on trial for murder. On the surface, The Stranger seems like a simple novel, but if you care to look deeper, you can find the roots of many philosophical questions (though few answers).

Related: 43 Short Classics You Actually Have Time to Read


Best Summer Reads from Rachael’s Bookshelf

book cover for The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day
by Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, Never Let Me Go, was one of the disappointing overhyped books I read last year, which surprised me since I loved The Remains of the Day. For all you Downtown Abbey lovers out there, this is one book you’ll love. Stevens, an old English butler (à la Mr. Carson) decides to take a vacation and contemplate his many years of service and his unrealized love for the former housekeeper. A thoughtful portrayal of the importance of balancing personal and work lives, The Remains of the Day is one of the best books to read this summer.


book cover for The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

The Secret Keeper
by Kate Morton

I have loved every Kate Morton book I’ve read, and this one is simply brilliant. It all starts when sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson witnesses her mother Dorothy stab a man to death on a calm summer day. If that doesn’t get your interest piqued, I don’t know what will. Kate Morton masterfully unfolds the back story of Dorothy’s life during the war. The more you learn about Dorothy, the more you’ll keep wanting more. If you love figuring out the twists and turns of novels, you’ll love this book. I, for one, did not guess the ending. If you love World War II novels, this is definitely belongs on your summer reading list.

Related: Don’t Buy the Hype: Read This, Not That


Best Summer Reads from Jaclyn’s Bookshelf

book cover for Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

Private Peaceful
by Michael Morpurgo

While Rachael’s read a ton of World War 2 novels, I find novels about the First World War even more fascinating, probably because they are less common. This simple but unforgettable story focuses on the lives of two brothers – Charlie and Thomas Peaceful. Tommo, too young to enlist, has lied about his age in order to follow his brother to the front lines of the war. Told over the course of one night, Tommo reflects back on the events of his life and contemplates a grim future. A poignant reminder of the horrible realities of war, Private Peaceful is a powerful book that will stay with you long after you’ve read it.


book cover for Nudge by Richard Thaler

by Richard H. Thaler

I know many people expect the best summer reads to be light and fun, but I’d like to suggest a thought-provoking and interesting read. Thaler received the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in behavioral economics, and his book Nudge is an introduction to his research. People all around us make decisions based on incorrect biases, and by addressing these biases, we can “nudge” people to make the decision we want them to make. I will admit that he comes across as arrogant in his logic and theories, but his side comments are highly entertaining. This is a great book if you want to be intellectually challenged in an engaging way.

What are the best summer reads on your bookshelf?

2018's Best Summer Reads from bestsellers to classics to books becoming movies, you won't want to miss this summer's hottest summer reads.

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  • Reply Christine July 24, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Crazy Rich Asians is one of my favorite adult fiction book series. I loved Turtles All The Way down too! Great list, and I love the bookish feel to your blog lately. I lack at reading historical fiction so I am glad that you have it covered.

    • Reply Rachael July 26, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      I’m glad you like the list. I’ve been trying to read a lot more historical fiction lately. I especially love all the World War II books that have been coming out recently.

  • Reply Cat July 24, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Great list! I’ve read a few, but added some to my TBR list

  • Reply Debbie July 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations. My TBR pile is getting huge!!

    • Reply Rachael July 26, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      Not a bad problem to have!

  • Reply Telia July 26, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    I have been looking for new reads that have peaked my interest and a few of these definitely have. The secret keeper is a must! Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Reply Maggie at The Books Across April 8, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    I’m reading Crazy Rich Asians at the moment (I’m a sucker for rich Chinese novels lol) and I’m really enjoying it, even if it’s not summer anymore!
    Great selection 🙂

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