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Top 10 Books to Read This Summer

Updated: Jun 8

Looking for your next book to add to your (probably ever-growing) TBR? Want all the summer vibes from your novel?

Your search is over! We’ve compiled a list of the top ten books to read this summer. Some of them have been out for a while, but we’ve got plenty of brand-new novels to pick from too. Get a sneak peek with our round up below:

· Something Wilder by Christina Lauren

· From the Jump by Lacie Waldon

· Single Bald Female by Laura Price

· The Secret Path by Karen Swan

· Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal

· When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins

· Magma by Thora Hjörleifsdóttir

· The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu

· Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

· Stronger by Poorna Bell

While romance books tend to come out on top of all summer reading lists, we’ve ensured we have a bit of something for everybody on ours. Yep, including non-fiction (albeit only one, but it counts and it’s well worth the read).

If you haven’t checked out our top ten books to read this spring list, we recommend doing that before diving into these sumptuous novels. After all, there’s still a bit of time before the summer season really kicks off.

The Best Books to Read This Summer

One of the best books to read this summer lying open on sand opposite the blue sea.

Something Wilder by Christina Lauren | Romance

Published: 17 May 2022

Romance readers everywhere regale the name Christina Lauran (the portmanteau for the author duo of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings). They’re simply guaranteed to write a fluffy, feel-good romance perfect for the summer season. No wonder their latest release made our list, right?

With Something Wilder, the pair brings us something just-as-good yet a touch different. Current reviews liken this book to a sexy novelisation of the movie National Treasure. Lily uses ancient, hand-marked, fake treasure maps to guide tourists around Utah’s rocky canyons. But she quickly learns that perhaps they aren’t as fake as she once thought.

Storygraph | Amazon | Waterstones

From the Jump by Lacie Waldon | Romance

To Be Published: 19 July 2022

Burnout wipes us out like nothing else; and it plays a huge role in From the Jump. The protagonist and graphic designer, Liv Bakersfield, is riddled with burnout and, thus, books a holiday.

As one can expect from such a novel, this holiday turns out to be anything but relaxing. She finds herself forced to resolve issues that occurred while she was away. And from there, the story kicks off.

Storygraph | Amazon | Waterstones

Single Bald Female by Laura Price | Contemporary

Published: 14 April 2022

Before you jump up, run to your nearest bookshop, and pick up a copy of this gripping novel, please note that it deals with breast cancer. If this isn’t something you want to read about, opt for one of our other recommendations instead.

Conversely, if you don’t mind reading about this topic, you’re in for a great read.

Single Bald Female follows Jessica Jackson. She’s about to turn 30 and has everything she could every want — a great boyfriend, a career, a cat, and a cosy London. But when an unexpected breast cancer diagnosis hits, her world crumbles.

Friends are boasting baby scans and wedding plans, while Jessica faces doom and gloom. Until she meets Annabel, a young woman with incurable cancer. And even though she doesn’t have long left to live, she wants to show Miss Jackson just how she can make every single day meaningful.

Storygraph | Amazon | Waterstones

The Secret Path by Karen Swan | Contemporary

Published: 8 July 2021

Love a bit of wealthy family drama? You’ll simply adore The Secret Path. It’s got everything from parties against the backdrop of the Costa Rican sea to passionate romances.

Our main character is 20-year-old Tara Tremain who has it all. She’s a trainee doctor and engaged to American biology student, Alex Carter. But then, Alex turns out to be more Mr Cheater than Mr Darcy.

After 10 years, Tara’s moved on; she has a successful career, a man who truly loves her, and fantastic friends. However, she’s pulled back into her wealthy family’s drama, and suddenly, reconnecting with the man who shattered her heart is the only way to save a life.

Storygraph | Amazon | Waterstones

Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal | Historical, Literary

Published: 11 May 2021

Elizabeth Macneal’s second novel, Circus of Wonders, is set in 1866 on the south coast of England. And yes, it has everything historical literary fiction lovers desire (it was written by the author of The Doll Factory after all!), so we just had to put it on our best books to read this summer list.

This beauty of a novel follows Nell, a girl seen as an outsider due to her birthmark-speckled skin. But when her father decides to sell her to Jasper Jupiter’s travelling Circus of Wonders, her life is flipped upside down.

But could this massive betrayal actually become the best thing that’s happened to her? Will the Circus of Wonders help her find belonging? Will she be able to control her own destiny?

Storygraph | Amazon | Waterstones

When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins | Thriller

Published: 15 April 2021

Just because this is a best books to read this summer list doesn’t mean we can’t add some thrillery action to the mix. If you can’t get enough of domestic thrillers, When I Was Ten is certainly worth a read.

Mr and Mrs Carter were murdered. Sara Carter, their ten-year-old daughter, has since spent eight years in a secure juvenile unit for the crime.

Now? She’s living a peaceful life with her own family. But on this infamous murder’s anniversary, journalist, Brinley Booth, has to track down Sara and her older sister to retell (read: uncover) the truth about what really happened that night. And like any decent thriller, this one of our top books to read this summer isn’t as straightforward as it seems.

Storygraph | Amazon | Waterstones

Magma by Thora Hjörleifsdóttir | Literary

Published: 8 July 2021

We absolutely adore translated fiction, so we wanted to include at least one on our summer reading list.

Magma, written by Thora Hjörleifsdóttir, has been translated from Icelandic and deals with the darker side of desire in a heart wrenchingly poetic way.

Lilja, 20, has fallen in love with an intellectual and oh-so-elegant older man. Blinded by love and desire, she doesn’t see his faults — “narcissist” and “manipulator” might as well be his middle names. She is quick to make excuses for his behaviour, and continues to accepts his infidelity.

In short, Lilja is well and truly stuck until an ultimatum forces the problem. What will she choose?

Storygraph | Amazon | Waterstones

The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu | Fantasy

Published: 14 October 2021

Like translated fiction, we can’t get enough of fantasy, so naturally, two have ended up on our summer reads list. Arguably, neither of them has that beachy, sunny feeling. But they’re wonderful escapism — and who doesn’t want that while they’re whiling away the sunshine-filled hours?

The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu follows Ropa, a school dropout turned ghostalker. She earns a living by ferrying messages from the dead to the living. Harmless, right? She thought so. But the dead have started whispering about a person who’s bewitching children — and Ropa can’t help but investigate.

If you’re looking to start a new fantasy series, this novel is the first in Edinburgh Nights. It’ll keep you entertained for a while!

Storygraph | Amazon | Waterstones

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi | Fantasy

Published: 8 March 2018

This West African-inspired fantasy is Tomi Adeyemi’s debut. It’s a world filled with dark magic and danger. It’s thoroughly page turning.

The main character, Zélie, remembers when Orïsha’s soil thrummed with magic. Burners conjured flames. Tiders controlled waves. Zélie’s mother summoned souls.

But when the magic disappeared, everything changed. The ruthless king began targeting anybody with powers, and Zélie is left stranded without her mother and without her people’s hope.

Trying to stay hidden in a dictatorship is difficult. Will she survive?

Storygraph | Amazon | Waterstones

Stronger by Poorna Bell | Non-Fiction, Memoir

Published: 3 March 2022

Last on our best books to read this summer list is a memoir by Poorna Bell titled Stronger. It tells the story of Poorna’s journey to strength — both mentally and physically.

Following the death of her husband, Rob, Poorna realised she relied on him to carry luggage, take out the bins, move furniture, and similar tasks.

But without any man in her life, Poorna is now stronger than she has ever been — she has become a competitive powerlifter.

Consider this book one part manifesto and one part memoir. It’s oh-so-inspiring and will have you rethinking women’s mental and physical strength just as Poorna did.

Storygraph | Amazon | Waterstones

What are you waiting for? You’ve got the top 10 books to read this summer to get through!

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