Books From The 2020 Summer Reading Guide
Getting your hands on summer’s newest books might take some time for some readers, or maybe reading all the new books as they come fresh off the press is probably not a priority for you. Either way, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having a wonderful reading experience this summer! If you’re looking to catch up on the classics, we have a summer-themed classics list that may be right up your alley. But this list is dedicated to sharing all the books we recommended in our 2020 Summer Reading Guide. If you’re looking for a shorter list, our Minimalist Reads List has six titles that we highly recommend if you’re only planning to pick up a few reads this Summer!
I know your patience will be rewarded when you get to all those new books, but I hope you will find and enjoy a new to read from this list!
The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton
From the author of Next Year in Havana and When We Left Cuba comes another wonderfully transportive summer read. Three women’s lives cross over the Labor Day weekend as the storm of the century comes barreling towards Key West. Told from three perspectives, these women’s lives couldn’t be any more different, but their lives converge in ways we could not foresee. We also get insight into a very little-known historical event – The Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935.
We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall
Set during the iconic 1939 New York World’s Fair, two brave young women–an aspiring journalist and a down-on-her-luck actress–form an unlikely friendship as they navigate a world of endless possibility, stand down adversity, and find out what they are truly made of during the glorious summer of spectacle and opportunity.
The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama
From the New York Times, bestselling author of Women of the Silk and The Samurai’s Garden comes a novel about a Japanese-American family. Set against the backdrop of Hawai’i’s sugar plantations and the 1935 volcano eruption. The novel alternates between past and present and interweaves the stories of three characters to tell a story of family and community.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
Told in dual timelines, two strong-minded women across generations – one in 1913 and the other in 1993 – are connected to a mysterious series of rare book thefts at the iconic New York Public Library. The novel delves into the history of the library but also has strong themes of family, secrets, love, and forging one’s own path in life.
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
Inspired by a true story from World War II, a young woman named Eva, with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis. Years later researchers are trying to decode the book to find out the real names of the children. Only Eva has the answer – but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
From the author of The Mothers, comes a new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds. Desiree and Stella grew up together in a small southern town. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same town she tried to escape. The other sister secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past and family. Their daughters try to bring them back together after being separated by so many miles, lies and fears.
I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman
From the author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, comes a new novel about a distant mother-daughter duo who are forced to reconnect. They set off with a dozen other parent-student duos for a weeklong college tour. A series of off-roading misadventures ensue, surprises and secrets pop out threaten their relationship, and, in the end, change it forever.
Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan
Elisabeth is an accomplished journalist and new mother struggling to adjust to life in a small town. Sam is a college senior who Elisabeth hires to babysit. She is worried about student loan debt and her future. The differences between the women’s lives become starkly revealed, and a betrayal has devastating consequences.
Want by Lynn Steger Strong
Years after coming to New York, Elizabeth has found herself with two kids, a husband, two jobs, a Ph.D.―and now they’re filing for bankruptcy. She reaches out to Sasha, her long-lost childhood friend, and discovers Sasha is facing a crisis, too. Grappling with motherhood, economic anxiety, rage, and the devastation of unfulfilled expectations.
Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel
From the author of Limelight comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel about friendship, family, motherhood, love, and second chances. Bridget’s boyfriend breaks up with her over email, her daughters return home with their own problems, her elderly father announces he is getting married and she is trying to put her classical trio back in the spotlight. Everything that can go wrong goes wrong but it gives Bridget the second chance she needs.
Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn
Danny has become a single father to eleven-year-old Will—who hasn’t spoken since the death of his mother in a car crash. Will opens up to the man in the panda costume at the park, completely unaware it is his father. Danny is afraid of disclosing his true identity, losing Will’s trust, and living in debt. A heartwarming, and poignant debut novel about a father and son overcoming their grief together.
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
From the author of Freshwater comes a novel of family, friendship, identity, challenging norms, and expectations. The novel centers around the mysterious death of a young Nigerian man, Vivek Oji. Vivek’s family struggles to understand him. He finds solace in his female friends and cousin Osita and discovers he is not the only one with secrets.
Louisiana Lucky by Julie Pennell
Lexi, Callie, and Hanna grew up in small-town Louisiana and have always struggled to make ends meet. For years, they’ve been playing the lottery, fantasizing about how much better life would be if they won. Then it happens, they win $204 million, and all their dreams come true. Or so they think.
The Distant Dead by Heather Young
A body burns in the high desert hills. Sal walks into a fire station, pale with the shock of the discovery. Nora, a middle school teacher worries when her colleague is late for work. By day’s end, the body is identified as local math teacher Adam Merkel. Weaving together the last months of Adam’s life, Nora’s search for answers, and a young boy’s anguished moral reckoning —comes a beautiful, poignant coming-of-age story in a complex, electrifying page-turning mystery/thriller.
Don't Turn Around by Jessica Barry
From the author of Freefall, comes a new novel about two women fighting for their lives. Cait and Rebecca are on a desolate road in the New Mexican desert. They’ve never met before tonight. Both have secrets to protect. Both of their lives are in danger. A truck pulls up fast behind them and it’s clear whoever is driving the truck is hunting them for sport. Someone wants one of them dead. But which one?
The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda
From the author of The Last House Guest comes with a new psychological suspense novel about a young woman plagued by night terrors after a childhood trauma of sleepwalking. Years later, she wakes one evening to find the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life—before she changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.
The Last Flight by Julie Clark
Claire seems to have a perfect life, but nothing is quite as it seems behind closed doors, and Claire is planning to disappear. She meets Eva at the airport, a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. So they decide to switch tickets and travel under each other’s names. Unfortunately, the plane with Eva aboard crashes, so Claire assumes Eva’s identity, along with the secrets Eva tried to keep hidden.
His & Hers by Alice Feeney
From the author of Sometimes I Lie and I Know Who You Are comes a twisty dual narrative novel with a taut suspense plot and many twists and turns. When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.
Lies, Lies, Lies by Adele Parks
After years together, the arrival of longed-for daughter Millie sealed everything in place. They’re a happy little family of three. So what if Simon drinks a bit too much sometimes—Daisy’s used to it. She knows he’s just letting off steam. Until one night at a party, things spiral horribly out of control. And their happy little family of three will never be the same again.
The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi
A creative and clever novel that is also an homage to classic detective stories, with a modern twist. Grant McAllister, a professor of mathematics, once sat down and worked all the rules out – and wrote seven perfect detective stories to demonstrate. Thirty years later comes Julia Hart, an editor keen to republish his book. But there are things in the stories that don’t add up, and Julia finds herself with a mystery of her own to solve.
Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks
A gripping, compelling, murder mystery about three ambitious women whose lives are turned upside down in the aftermath of a horrifying fire, which destroys a successful advertising agency and threatens to expose a tangled web of lies.
Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup
Latitudes of Longing follows the interconnected lives of characters searching for true intimacy. The novel sweeps across India, from an island to a valley, a city, and a snow desert. Made up of four linked novellas. Their titles—Islands, Faultline, Valley, and Snow Desert—suggest the book’s emphasis on how people connect or don’t to their planet.
One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie
A novel that explores cross-cultural struggles and assimilation from a unique immigrant perspective. The Palacio family is living illegally in Trinidad after fleeing crumbling, volatile Venezuela. They then discover Aunt Celia owes a local criminal lot of money, and so the entire family has to do his bidding until the debt is settled. But amid the turmoil, there is a potentially dangerous romance.
Well-Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave
Simran has always felt judged by her mother, Nandini. Nandini strives to create an easy life for her children and being the perfect Indian woman. Mimi failed her daughter Nandini, but with her Simran, she has the chance to be supportive. As life begins to pull Nandini and Simran apart, Mimi is determined to be the bridge that keeps them connected, even as she carries her own secret.
It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham
Linda, an anxious and restless American who has moved to São Paulo, with her husband. Her maid, Marta, has more claim to Linda’s home than Linda can fathom. One day, Linda leaves home with a charismatic and beguiling artist, Celia that causes reverberations felt by everyone.
Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud
A novel of an unconventional family in Trinidad mended by their individual and collective quests for love. Betty invites her colleague, Mr. Chetan, to move in with her and her son, Solo. Over time, they become a family, loving each other deeply and depending upon one another. Then, one fateful night, Solo overhears Betty confiding in Mr. Chetan and learns a secret that plunges him into torment.
The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men and no dating. For once Samiah is putting herself first, that’s until she meets Daniel at work. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Dani is a Ph.D. student who is too busy for romance. That’s until a video of Zafir rescuing her from a workplace fire drill gone wrong goes viral. Zaf is begging Dani to play along, and his charity could use the publicity. Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. Unfortunately, Zaf is secretly a hopeless romantic with issues of his own, and the easy lay Dani dreamed of is now more complex than her thesis.
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
Olivia moves to LA to start her own law firm, and dating is not on the agenda. However, she meets a man at a hotel bar, and they spend the entire night flirting. Later she discovers the man at the bar is hotshot junior senator Max Powell, and he is everything she is not. They start seeing each other secretly, but when they go public, the media scrutiny is intense. She knows they have something special, but can it survive the spotlight?
Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein
A disastrous performance has ended Avery’s gymnastics career and Olympic dreams. Her best friend Jasmine becomes an Olympic champion and marries their emotionally abusive coach. In comes Ryan, a new coach, and Avery is surprised to find sparks flying with him. But when a scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it affects the sport and Avery and her old friend Jasmine.
One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London
Bea is a stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has a massively broken heart, and she has sworn off dating altogether. Then she gets a call from the hit reality shows Main Squeeze – they want her to be the next ‘bachelorette.’ She agrees only to revamp her career, and she swears she’ll never fall in love. But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated.
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria
After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine returns home to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy. After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead. With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera.
The Switch by Beth O’Leary
Workaholic Leena and her newly single grandmother Eileen decide to switch homes, shake up their stalled lives and hopefully find love. Lonely Eileen takes Leena’s London flat to enjoy the city bustle and go on dates. Leena will enjoy a much-needed break in Eileen’s quiet Yorkshire village doing chores and taking Eileen’s place in the neighborhood group. A touching lighthearted read about second chances.
The Wrong Mr. Darcy by Evelyn Lozada, Holly Lorincz
A Pride and Prejudice-inspired romantic comedy. Hara Isari has big ambitions, and her mother’s insistence won’t sidetrack them that she settle down. But, at the same time, she meets a rookie on the rise, Derek Darcy. Hara can’t think of a man more arrogant and infuriating, but fate keeps bringing them together.
What do you think about the books on this list?
Have you read any books from this list? What are your favorite books from this list? What were your favorite summer 2020 reads?