Whether you are hopping on a plane to visit family or relaxing for a week at a lake house or beach cottage, bringing a book or two is always a good idea. Here are some of our favorite summer reads for your upcoming trip, beach day or staycation. We loved how the stories and characters jumped off the pages in each of these masterful works and hope you will love them too. Please share your favorite reads with LTSA in the comments section below.
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett
There is no one quite like 12 year-old Elvis Babbitt, who sees the world with the wisdom and humor of a grown-up. Elvis and her family are trying to keep things together after a tragic loss and we are all rooting for her to not only survive, but thrive. Sad at times and funny at others, this book and the Babbitt family will win your heart.
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
Wow is all we can say. A memoir written by a woman who worked on a death penalty case while interning at a Louisiana law firm one summer during law school. Alexandria comes to her summer job with opinions about the death penalty that change after delving into her own past (which is deftly woven throughout the memoir.) Not an easy book to read because of topics such as incest, child abuse, and murder. However, it is so beautifully written and captivating it is worth pushing through the hard stuff.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Who knew suburban living could be a hotbed of sex, baby stealing and family drama? Celeste Ng captures all of this drama in her new novel about life in Shaker Heights, Ohio — one of the country’s wealthiest and most rule-abiding neighborhoods. When the Richardson family allows Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl to live in their rental apartment and then hires Mia to help around their house, a number of secrets and challenges to motherhood are set in motion. This book will stay with you for weeks after you read it.
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller
If you ever watched an episode of Gilmore Girls, you will be reminded of the quirky characters and the charming small town in this novel. Such a fun read and a way to fall in love with food and people in a light-hearted way. The main character moves to a small town after setting an accidental fire and then all the elements of a good story are put into place — love, conflict, pie-making and growth. This is one of our more fun picks for your summer travels.
Eden by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg
It wouldn’t be a beach reading list without a great novel about a summer house, its inhabitants and their secrets. Our good friend and author Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg spins a riveting story in which the main protagonist realizes that her recently deceased husband has squandered their money and she may have to give up Eden, their history-filled summer home. She invites her extended family to celebrate July 4 at Eden and lets them in on a few well-kept secrets of her own, setting drama and conflict into motion. Take this one to the beach because you will not want to put it down.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Billed as young adult novel, we older adults absolutely loved it. In a timely manner, the protagonist witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed friend and has to make a decision about whether or not to get involved. Starr Carter is a smart character with a bright future, a supportive family and a history in her neighborhood. Must she decide between her old world and her new one: or can she hold onto to a piece of both and move forward?
Brass by Xhenet Aliu
Set in a small town in Connecticut, this beautiful novel explores the relationship between mothers and daughters, what it feels to be trapped in one’s own life and the struggles of hard work without a great payoff. This book is exquisitely written and alternates between a mother’s past young life and her daughter’s current one. We all know complicated relationships, but the way this story is told it seems fresh and worth the read.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
A modern-day romance goes awry one year into a marriage when husband Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The book explores the relationship over the years Roy and wife Celestial are apart and then once he is free again. This book carries the weight of social and relationship issues but the characters have such strength and the writing so powerful it was hard not to include on our summer list.
Now you are ready to have a great, well-read summer!
Mimi L. Golub is the Co-Founder and Co-Editor of Living the Second Act, an online magazine for women in their 40s and 50s who are seeking the truth. Mimi has written for numerous publications including The Huffington Post. She is the author of the someday-to-be-published novel, Boxed In. Mimi is also the writer and a staff editor of From Our Kitchens, a nonprofit cookbook that was released in 2018. In her spare time, Mimi loves to workout, drink tequila, and volunteer with many local causes. She lives in Newton, MA, with her husband and has twin girls who have left the nest. You can find her former work on: tequilainbed.com
Follow Mimi on Twitter @mimigolub