By now, we have seen a plethora of Summer reading lists, including my own right here on Bookstr. As I have perused the round-ups of print and larger publications, I am struck once again how the same books are recommended or mentioned on Today and Good Morning America.
Trust me, I could not be happier to see such amazing female writers soaring to the top of the charts. The Female Author Dream Team this Summer is clearly: Jennifer Weiner, Jane Green, Elin Hilderbrand, Mary Kay Andrews, Dorothea Benton Frank, Beatriz Williams, Elizabeth Gilbert, Mary Beth Keane, Sarah Blake, Martha Hall Kelly, Laura Lippman and Sally Rooney. I have read most of their books, and I can safely say each has earned/reached an even higher level of fabulous this year.
Yet even these unbelievable hardcover books will have to compete for spots on the NYT Best Seller List with the likes of Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and books by the ever-prolific James Patterson, David Balducci, John Sanford and George RR Martin not to mention the latest Danielle Steel. And on the paperback side, Lisa Wingate, Celeste Ng, Heather Morris, E.L James, Gail Honeyman, Ruth Ware, Kate Morton and Pam Jenoff all wrote amazing novels that rightly deserve their places atop lists with wonderful books that deserve their praise.
But what about the other books of Summer? The ones that came out in May and earlier June that weren’t on every list, but still linger with readers. Plus, it is only June 11th. So many more great books are forthcoming but have yet to make “the” lists. Let’s look at some titles that I believe easily deserve their place in the sun and for months to come. I am hoping you agree and propel these titles to join the ranks of the books listed above.
Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle
Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger
The Arrangement by Robyn Harding
Each of these should be atop all the lists. You will want to read each in one-sitting. In Dear Wife, I assure you that you will gasp out loud at one point and then marvel at Belle’s brilliance. Girls Like Us and The Arrangement are both page-turners that show the struggles of young women fighting to survive in New York. Both are believable yet shocking and so well-written.
Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner
The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland.
The Summer Country by Lauren Willig
While I have seen a few comments from esteemed authors lately about Summer books being categorized as light fluffy women’s fiction, I disagree. Any book can be a beach read or Summer Read. See my Female Author Summer Dream Team above as Exhibits A-Z on this subject. There is everything to be said about books set on vacation or in Summertime. These three are prime examples of Summer greatness.
In the vein of Elin Hilderbrand, Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner takes us to Sag Harbor and The American Hotel. Brenner delves into the mother daughter relationship and examines what makes a family. Brenner again delivers a cast of characters , some we love, some we don’t but all we will remember. In The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland, an extended family takes a cruise. And who cannot relate to a dysfunctional family vacation? Friedland does a masterful job creating a large cast of characters. Her writing soars in this novel. The Summer Country by Lauren Willig takes us to 1854 Barbados in a sweeping, dramatic Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados. No one can create a setting quite like Willig.
A Swoon Worthy Romance
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston hit the NYT list for one week. I would argue that this book should be a very long-term occupant there. I love a world where a gay romance novel between the fictional first son and the Prince of Wales immediately soars to best seller status. Even if you say, “I don’t read romance.” Trust me, read this book.
ANDREA PESKIND KATZ IS AN AVID READER, A BOOK REVIEWER, AND FOUNDER OF THE BOOK BLOG GREAT THOUGHTS AND GREAT THOUGHT’S GREAT READERS BOOK SALON ON FACEBOOK.