It's officially summer—so you deserve to rest with a good book.

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Dutton, Grand Central Publishing

Now that it’s officially summer, it’s time to partake in our favorite warm-weather activity: reading. All day long. We’re firm believers that starting a new book is always a good idea. They offer different perspectives, connect us with others, and lend words of encouragement during difficult times. As you build your summer reading list, don’t forget to bookmark our July’s best new books list to use as a reference. Pro tip: These selects are best enjoyed by the pool or in front of the air conditioner.

Grand Central Publishing


Back in 2015, The Royal We basically predicted that a British royal would fall in love with an American girl. The much-anticipated sequel, The Heir Affair, is finally on shelves—and it’s even more fun and feel-good than the first. Step right up for the closest you’ll ever get to the inside of Harry and Meghan’s private life, because there’s no shortage of royal drama here, folks.

Tin House Books


Let’s face it: It’s going to be a while until we can vacation in the Greek islands. But you can take a trip to Athens right now without leaving your couch. Scorpionfish is a stunning, beautifully bittersweet novel about a young woman named Mira and the many forms of love she experiences: for her late parents, for her friends, for romances old and new, and for her country.



Michele Harper is a Black female emergency room physician, aka the hero of all heroes. And The Beauty in Breaking is her memoir about her journey toward self-healing, told via case studies of her most memorable patients. It’s a hopeful, healing reminder to make peace with your past and let your experiences inform your future. It couldn’t be more timely.



At age 24, Yola and her family fled life from Venezuela for a fresh start in Trinidad. But their peaceful new life quickly turns upside-down, and soon, they’re at the mercy of a local blackmailing criminal named Ugly. One Year of Ugly is a fast-paced, complex story of family drama, immigration, crime, and cross-cultural struggles—and there’s even some romance, too.



Hank Green’s first novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, had us furiously flipping pages to solve the mystery of the Carls. The much-anticipated sequel is finally here, and it’s just as adventurous and addicting. You’ll hang on every last word as you wonder what really happened to April May.

Simon & Schuster


Staying in touch with your besties is more important than ever right now. But maintaining friendships, especially for a long time, is hard work. Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, hosts of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend, get super real about what it takes to choose, fight for, and maintain close friendships. May we suggest reading it at the same time as your best friend?



Last year, we pronounced My Lovely Wife “the next Gone Girl” (which is NOT an easy title to earn). Now, Samantha Downing’s second novel is here, and it yet again lives up to the hype. This deliciously sinister story about a family with way too many secrets on a road trip gone wrong will keep you guessing until the very end.



Every summer reading list needs at least one book you’ll want to binge at the beach or by the pool. Musical Chairs, about a recently dumped woman named Bridget and her best friend Will, is a sweet summer romance with tons of heart. It’s the perfect escape.



The first written-during-quarantine book is here, and it’s from a writer you’re likely naturally already revisiting during the pandemic: Zadie Smith. Written in the early months of lockdown, this collection contains just six essays, but it packs a seriously powerful punch. Finally, someone has eloquently put to words the complication, confusion, and contempt of these unprecedented and isolating times.



When Natasha Trethewey was 19, her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. In Memorial Drive, Trethewey explores her pain, loss, and grief and seeks to find who her mother was leading up to the terrible crime. It’s the most affecting true crime story you’ll read all year.