Bookstr’s Picks: Exciting Books and Genres For The Summer

Summertime means longer days and hotter weather and what better way to spend the season than with a good book. These are some of our favorite summer reads.

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Three books stacked up on the beach

As the season grows hotter and the days longer, we often find ourselves a little more relaxed. And with all of this extra time on our hands, what better way to spend it than reading? Maybe the best time to read it is at the beach, in a park, or even indoors, away from the heat. We here at Bookstr often find that we have a genre we gravitate towards or a book we always revisit that gets us in a summer mood. From romance to horror, everyone has their own unique reason as to why this is their favorite.

Rom-coms and Thrillers

The Templar Legacy, The Alexandia Link, and The Venetian Betrayal covers from the Cotton Malone series

I know…those are two very different things. But, for some reason, with the warm weather comes a need to read books like Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone series or a sweet and funny romance. I can’t explain it other than they make my summer feel complete. Globe-trotting action-packed historical thrillers with a bibliophile ex-Justice Department operative — yes, please! Rom-com books just make sense in my head for summer. They’re sweet, a sun dress is usually involved, and summer is a time for smiles and laughter. They’re the whole package.

Kristi Eskew, Editorial

Historical Romance and Mysteries

Since these two genres are different in tone, I like to flip-flop the books based on my mood. When I’m feeling light and fun, and finished rewatching Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte, I run for my Jane Austen collection, especially Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. However, on rainy days when the thunder shakes my house and lightning strikes behind my eyes, I huddle under the covers and read a mystery like Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley. Murder, grave robbing, and strong women fighting for justice in a modern Indigenous community? Sign me up for every captivating page!

Cara Hadden, Editorial

The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Cover-summer-genre-favorite-reads

I really like the bonds of friendship that Lena, Tibby, Carmen, and Bridget share with each other. They’ve known each other since childhood. Even though they’re spending their summers in different locations, they can still feel what each other is going through through the letters that they write to each other. It shows how much they care for each other as great friends. I can really relate to Lena, who is an artist and kinda shy. I can also relate to Carmen with her ethnic background as well as her insecurities about her body image.

Christina Hardesty, Graphics

My To-Be-Read List

I like to use my time in the summer to knock a few books off my TBR list and complete my yearly Goodreads challenge. Right now, I’m reading Babel by R.F. Kaung. It’s about a young Chinese man named Robin who attends the esteemed Babel program at Oxford in the 1830s, where he studies languages and learns to use them to enchant silver. He gets caught up in a group known as the Hermes Society, which wants to take down his beloved Babel and redistribute enchanted silver to the people. Robin has to decide between the two before it’s too late. I really like it. Also, The Girls by Emma Cline is my ultimate summer read. I don’t know why but that book just reminds me of summer.

Valarie D’Amico, Editorial

Surrealist Fiction

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle cover-summer-genre-favorite-reads

Starting around the summer of 2020, I went on a big surrealism kick-starting with Kafka’s short stories and then eventually reading TONS of Haruki Murakami. The summer is a weird season for me. The hot weather usually has me feeling rather sluggish and disoriented rather than energized. Out of this strange headspace, surrealist fiction just became my preferred summer genre. It helps me shut off my brain for a while and immerse myself in dreamlike narratives. One of my all-time favorite summer reads of the last three years was Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which I still think is his best work. If I have the time to re-read it this summer, I definitely will!

Erin Shea, Editorial

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

The Shell Seekers cover-summer-genre-favorite-reads

If I’m being honest, it’s not my usual read, but I love this book. It’s a multigenerational story centering mostly around Penelope Keeling and her children. The Shell Seekers is my favorite summer read, both because I enjoyed the story and because the first time I read it, I stole it by accident. It was a legitimate accident, though if I’m being truthful, there have been a few missed opportunities to return it that were slightly more deliberate. I like to think it’s in better hands with me, and I reread it every summer to justify my continued ownership.

Anne Brenneman, Editorial


In the summer of 2020, I read my first romantasy book. I had read fantasy before, reading staples of the genre like A Game of Thrones and Dune. The first romantasy book I picked up was A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and I absolutely loved it. Now I find myself gravitating toward romantasy, especially in the summer. It is an incredible genre, combing the adventure of fantasy books and the emotions in romance novels to create a vast amount of addictive books. A recommendation that I have is One For My Enemy by Olivie Blake, which is a star-crossed lovers’ story about two warring witch families in modern-day New York; this is definitely one of the best I have read so far.

Anne McCormack, Editorial

Horror and Thriller

Horror is my genre, and I find I enjoy reading these books year-round rather than just in the fall or winter seasons. Especially fun are horror reads set in the summertime, for example, Lloyd Devereux Richards’ Stone Maidens or Stephen King’s It. I find I gravitate more towards crime thrillers in the summertime as well, like The Drowning Kind by Jennifer MacMahon. These chilling reads are perfect for the summer heat!

Madison Weir, Editorial


Happily Ever Afters cover-summer-genre-favorite-reads

I have an obsession with the romance genre and read it year-round. On top of that, I tend to read several books at the same time. One book that I am completely in love with this summer is Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant. Out of the five books I picked up this summer, it definitely fits the vibe with light humor and a cute school romance. It makes me excited to start my creative writing class this fall.

London Wright, Editorial

Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns cover-summer-genre-favorite-reads

When it comes to summer, one of my favorite things is that feeling of anticipation. The feeling that something exciting is coming. A book that is this same feeling to me is John Green’s Paper Towns. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the book is ultimately a critique of the concept of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but I can’t help but have a special place in my heart for the adventure Quentin and his friends get to go on. A wild road trip with friends right after the end of high school.

Kaley Johnson, Editorial

For many, summer is a time of rest and relaxation, and many people like to take the time to read. This creates some summer reading habits that we don’t often stray from because they provide us with happy summertime memories. We are thrilled we got to share some of these memories with you!

For more reading recommendations, click here.