Booklovers, it’s time to rejoice with our annual summer reading list! Summer is around the corner, and we love spending our days lost in a great book. Is there anything better than reading and sipping a cool beverage? We put together a list of books that we think you’ll enjoy this season. Check them out below and enjoy!
1. The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
In 2015, author Dawnie Walton took a leap of faith and left her job as deputy managing editor at Essence to become a novelist. The move has definitely paid off because the buzz and reviews for her debut novel have been incredible. The Final Revival of Opal & Nev centers around the 1970s fictional interracial rock duo, Opal and Nev.
Opal is a black Afro-punk singer from Detroit, and Nev is a white British singer-songwriter. They team up to create music together and manage to gain a cult following before going through a dramatic breakup. Eventually, dark secrets from their past come to light when a journalist, who is also the narrator of the story, digs deeper into the duo’s history.
2. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
This instant New York Times bestseller quickly caught the attention of President Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, and will be adapted for Netflix as a TV series. Firekeeper’s Daughter is a YA thriller that centers around eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine, who has always felt like an outsider, both in her hometown and on the Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of going away to college and studying medicine, but puts everything on hold to care for her mother.
Daunis feels a glimmer of hope when she meets her brother Levi’s new hockey teammate, Jamie, but her world is soon rocked when she witnesses a shocking murder. Daunis is asked to go undercover by the FBI, but soon begins her own investigation. Drawing on her knowledge of Ojibwe traditional medicine and chemistry, Daunis secretly begins to track down the criminals behind the string of drug-related deaths in her community. This search for answers teaches Daunis what it means to be a strong Ojibwe woman, and drives her to do all she can to protect her community.
3. Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad
Two weeks before her twenty-third birthday, author Suleika Jaouad received horrible news. She had dreamt of becoming a war correspondent after graduating from Princeton in 2010, but that dream had to be put on hold when she was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and given a small chance of survival. Between Two Kingdoms takes us on Jaouad’s journey from her cancer diagnosis to her path to remission. The real healing, however, didn’t end with a cure. After fighting to survive, she realized she had to learn how to live. Jaouad takes us on an intimate journey of healing and self-discovery, and retraces her 15,00 mile road trip across the U.S. with her terrier mutt, Oscar.
4. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
The Lost Apothecary is Sarah Penner’s debut novel mixing murder, mystery and betrayal. The story follows three main characters from past to present-day London. Nella is an apothecary who secretly dispenses her tinctures of herbal extracts with a dose of poison. She helps women deal with their abusive spouses, employers and male family members by giving them permanent solutions to their problems.
Ella Fanning is a twelve-year-old lady’s maid who befriends Nella, but their friendship sets off a series of events that threaten to expose Nella’s apothecary and her special poisons. Nella and Ella both live in 1791 London, but in a stunning twist, their lives collide with Caroline Parcewell, who lives in present-day London when Carolione finds information about the unsolved “apothecary murders.” Penner takes us back and forth in time revealing stories of murder and mystery, and how these women’s lives become intertwined.
5. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
How well do you really know a person? Laura Dave has us questioning that in her new novel, The Last Thing He Told Me. The story follows Hannah Hall, a newly married New Yorker, whose husband, Owen, disappears and leaves a note to her with the words: Protect her. Hannah knows the note refers to her husband’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Problem is, Bailey doesn’t want anything to do with her. After unexpected visits from FBI agents and her continued unanswered phone calls to her husband, she begins to realize her husband isn’t the man she thought she married. Hannah begins to piece things together and realizes Bailey may be the one who can help her figure out who Owen really was. Hannah soon begins to build a new bond with her young stepdaughter as they try to solve this mystery together.
6. The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet by John Green
From the author of The Fault in Our Stars, comes a thoughtful and moving collection of essays adapted from John Green’s groundbreaking podcast of the same name. The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have had a profound environmental impact on the planet. In The Anthropocene Reviewed, Green examines the complexities and the beauty of humanity in fine detail, helping us to appreciate even the smallest of things. Using a five-star scale, John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet and shares personal stories and experiences with readers.
7. The One Hundred Years of Lenni & Margot: A Novel by Marianne Cronin
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot: A Novel is a beautiful and funny debut that reminds us how important it is to live each day to the fullest. It is a celebration of friendship and the stories that are collected by embracing life with all of its challenges and triumphs. It tells the extraordinary story of friendship between seventeen-year-old Lenni Pettersson, who lives on the terminal ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital, and 83-year-old Margot. The two meet in an art class in the hospital and become instant friends. They realize that together they have lived one hundred years, and have a world of stories among them. They want to leave something that will make an impact, so with the help of Lenni’s palliative nurse and the hospital’s chaplain, Lenni and Margot create one hundred paintings showcasing the stories of love and loss of their shared century.
8. Klara and the Sun: A Novel by Kazuo Ishiguro
Klara and the Sun is Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro’s eighth novel, and in it, Klara, the narrator, is an Artificial Friend. The dark-haired humanoid machine with kind eyes is incredibly gifted with the powers of observation. Klara moves from one stand to another in the department store, watching the sun on its path across the shop floor, and the people who come in and out of the store, observing their behaviour. She waits patiently for the day a customer will come in and pick her. That day arrives when she becomes a companion for 14-year-old Josie in this futuristic and strange world created by Ishiguro. In the book, the themes of love and loyalty are explored through the eyes of an android, in a world set not too far in the future.
9. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry brings us another wonderful When Harry Met Sally-style rom-com with a story centering around Poppy and Alex. People We Meet on Vacation is told through dual timelines, taking us to each of their fabulous vacations and back to present time. The two best friends live far apart for most of the year, but every summer for a decade, they take a weeklong vacation together. Until one summer when everything falls apart. Two years later, Poppy decides to reach out to Alex to fix things. She manages to persuade him to go on one last vacation where she has one week to convince Alex to give their friendship another go…and reveal a big truth she’s been hiding for years. There’s plenty of romantic tension between these two friends, but will this be their last vacation together?
10. The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks
Some people go through life climbing their way up that first mountain to success, marking all the milestones that they were raised to think would bring them happiness, only to discover that they don’t. In The Second Mountain, David Brooks argues that the secret to finding midlife satisfaction is to commit to a cause or community and climb that second mountain to your own personal height of success. He explores four commitments we can make to help us live a more meaningful and purposeful life in a world that has increasingly become more self-centered.
11. The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson
The Jigsaw Man is a heart-pounding crime thriller from criminal defence lawyer Nadine Matheson. A copycat serial killer is leaving body parts on the banks of the River Thames in Deptford. The original Jigsaw Killer is Peter Olivier, who has been serving life in Belmarsh Prison for two years now. He got his nickname from his grisly arrangement of victim’s body parts in puzzle pieces. The serial killer and his copycat are playing a gruesome game of cat and mouse, and Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley with the Serial Crimes Unit must stop them before they kill even more people. Olivier is not happy that there is a copycat and when he escapes from prison, Henley must find not one, but two serial killers.
12. Gutter Child by Jael Richardson
Gutter Child is set in an imagined world where the most vulnerable have to work off their debt to society in order to gain their freedom. The story is of a world divided into two — the white privileged Mainlanders and the Gutter people, who are heavily policed. This debut novel from Jael Richardson centers on a young woman, Elimina Dubois, who must find the courage to set her own future and seek her freedom from the unjust world in which she lives.
Grow Your Summer Reading List
Want more books to add to your summer reading list? We have more recommendations for you to check out in this blog post.
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