Your Summer Reading List

Summer reading lists growing up were the worst. I absolutely loathed it. I thought the lists were bad in middle and even elementary school, but they paled in comparison to the high school lists. Every single one of my classes had books assigned, including math classes, it was ridiculous. And, frankly, the books were never as enjoyable as the books we read during the year for some reason. I used to cram the reading into the last two weeks of summer (because we had tests on the first day of school and the books had to be freshly read for a good grade), which really ended summer vacations on a sour note.
Did you/do you feel the same way?
I’ve put together a fun summer reading list. These are all books I’ve personally read and think would make for light and enjoyable summer reading. Great for planes, long afternoons at the park or beach, and long nights when you just don’t want to fall asleep yet.

I’ve written about most of these books already, but I just finished Big Little Lies. Arguably one of the best books I’ve read this year. Entertaining, funny, a great plot. The author balanced big topics with a quippy tone that made it a very light, enjoyable read even if the actual plot was a little dark. I also loved that it was set in Australia. I read a lot of it with an accent in my head, ha! It’s so good, in fact, that it’s supposedly getting picked up for an HBO mini-series with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman!

Delirium + Paper Towns review | Wild review | The Vacationers review | Me Before You review | The Royal We review | Leaving Time review

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Do you have any book recommendations for me?! I need to build out my own summer reading list!

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Audrey Lin

I've never had assigned readings over the summer before *knock on wood*. I like using my breaks to cram in all the independent reading I didn't have time for during the school year. I've been wanting to read Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's


Oooh I definitely want to check some of these out!! I just finished The Selection which I actually really liked and was a super quick read. My roommate absolutely loved Me Before You so that might be the first on my list!

Annie N Belle


I love when you post book recommendations! Most books are pretty enjoyable, but a truly great book is hard to come by. Not sure if you've flipped through any of these, but these are some of my favorites from last summer:

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan
The Time In Between, by Maria Duenas
Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter


Oh gosh I hated summer reading too but mine was never as intense as yours, no books for math class and no tests! Just a whole lot of annotating 😉 I just finished The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, a good read but a little lighter for summer 🙂

Kristina does the Internets


You should 100% read "What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding" by Kristin Newman. I cannot recommend it enough – it's hilarious, first of all, and it's got tons of travel and romantic misadventures and you just kind of want Kristin to be your best friend. (She's a sitcom writer for shows like That 70s Show which explains the hilarity.) I hope you'll give it a read; you won't be disappointed!

chelsea b

Since you enjoyed "Big Little Lies" you would probably enjoy "A Hundred Summers" (Beatriz Williams) and "We Were Liars" (E. Lockhart). I finished both in a day each, classic beach reads. Both are told in a similar style of alternating perspectives and time periods, keeping you guessing as to how the story ends.

Joyce Novacek

"Tiny Beautiful Things" by Cheryl Strayed is my favorite Strayed book, I couldn't recommend it highly enough! (and I loved Wild). Also, I'm reading "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach, and, although it's long, I'm really loving it.


I love Me Before You but it is the farthest thing from a "light and enjoyable read"! Sob.


Ha! Yes, you are right… I think that one falls under the "enjoyable, can't put it down, but grab the tissues" column.

Fairy Princess Jord

Thanks for the suggestions Carly! I never minded summer reading in high school but I was lucky-I think my teachers tried really hard to make summer reading more interesting than the reading during the school year. I've been wanting to read Paper Towns and contemplating Yes Please (I've heard so many mixed reviews, I should just read it for myself, ha!)

Greta Heun

I've been wanting to read some of these and put them on my personal summer reading list! I just finished A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams and I highly recommend! It's the perfect balance of romance, mystery, adventure and scandal, and the writing is SO good.


"Wild" is not a book I'd put on a fun summer reading list. It's definitely a great book but there are some parts that are just horrifying. Good list though!


I just read "I Was Told There'd Be Cake" – so relatable and hilarious. It has been the perfect subway read for my commute.