Readers have been forced to exercise patience not only in their personal lives but in their reading lives as well in the wake of COVID-19. From having to back-order sold-out books, dealing with inevitable shipping delays, experiencing longer than usual library holds, and making appointments to visit our favorite bookstores and local libraries in advance.
Getting your hands on this summer’s buzziest books is taking longer than usual. But it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having a wonderful reading experience this summer! We are sharing 23 backlist books from the authors with titles in our 2020 Summer Reading Guide. Some books are as recent as 2019; we even have a title from 1995. I know your patience will be rewarded when your new books arrive, but until then, I hope you will find and enjoy a new to you read from this list!
- Get our latest Summer Reading Guide here.
- See all the books from the 2022 Summer Reading Guide here.
- If you’re looking for only a handful of books, check out our Minimalist Reads list from The 2020 Summer Reading Guide.
- If you’re keen on picking up a classic novel, check out our list of classic novels to read in the summer.
The 2020 Summer Reading Guide Backlist Books
Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton (2018)
After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…
The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall (2018)
The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition.
The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama (1995)
The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Gail Tsukiyama’s The Samurai’s Garden uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for this extraordinary story.
The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis (2019)
The bright lights of the theater district, the glamour and danger of 1950s New York, and the wild scene at the iconic Chelsea Hotel come together in a dazzling new novel about a twenty-year friendship that will irrevocably change two women’s lives.
The Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Harmel (2018)
A moving and entrancing novel set in Paris during World War II about an American woman, a dashing pilot, and a young Jewish girl whose fates unexpectedly entwine.
The Mothers by Britt Bennett (2016)
Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (2019)
A quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone’s radar.
Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan (2017)
A sweeping, unforgettable novel about the hope, sacrifice, and love between two sisters and the secret that drives them apart.
Hold Still by Lynn Steger Strong (2016)
When Maya Taylor, an English professor with a tendency to hide in her books, sends her daughter to Florida to look after a friend’s child, she does so with the best of intentions; it’s a chance for Ellie, twenty and spiraling, to rebuild her life. But in the sprawling hours of one humid afternoon, Ellie makes a mistake she cannot take back.
Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (2016)
One admission can change your life…forever. When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson’s handsome French “almost fiancé” ditches her, she definitely does not roll with the punches, despite the best efforts of family and friends. It seems that nothing will get Kate out of pajamas and back into the world. Miraculously, one cringe-worthy job interview leads to a position in the admissions department at the revered Hudson Day School.
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (2018)
One of the most highly praised novels of the year, the debut from an astonishing young writer, Freshwater tells the story of Ada, an unusual child who is a source of deep concern to her southern Nigerian family.
The Young Wives Club by Julie Pennell (2017)
In Toulouse, Louisiana finding your one true love happens sometime around high school. If you’re lucky, he might be the man you thought he was. But as four friends are about to find out, not every girl has luck on her side.
The Lost Girls by Heather Young (2017)
A stunning debut novel that examines the price of loyalty, the burden of regret, the meaning of salvation, and the sacrifices we make for those we love, told in the voices of two unforgettable women linked by a decades-old family mystery at a picturesque lake house.
Freefall by Jessica Barry (2019)
Told from the perspectives of a mother and daughter separated by distance but united by an unbreakable bond, Freefall is a heart-stopping, propulsive thriller about two tenacious women overcoming unimaginable obstacles to protect themselves and the ones they love.
The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda (2019)
The Last House Guest is a smart, twisty read with a strong female protagonist determined to make her own way in the world.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney (2018)
Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?
I Invited Her In by Adele Parks (2019)
I Invited Her In is a blistering tale of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.
Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks (2019)
What should have been a fun-filled, carefree day takes a tragic turn for the worse for one mother when her best friend’s child goes missing in this suspenseful, compulsively readable and darkly twisted psychological thriller.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (2019)
A witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who’s tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her experience new things.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (2018)
Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.
Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein (2019)
From the author of Playing with Matches, the rollicking tale of a young jewelry shop owner who accidentally leads her Instagram followers to believe that she’s engaged–and then decides to keep up the ruse.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary (2019)
What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.
The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada, Holly Lorincz (2019)
When a single mom ends up playing an unwilling fake girlfriend to a charming playboy baseball player, love suddenly turns everything upside down in this fun, heartwarming multicultural romance.
What do you think about the books on this list?
Have you read any books from this list? What are your favorites? What books would you add to this list? Let’s talk about it in the comment.