Three weeks ago, I shared the first annual BiblioLifestyle Summer Reading Guide, and I’m super excited for it to be out in the world! Summer has always been a huge reading season for me, and I know the same can be said for many readers. So while this summer is different, I’m incredibly grateful that we have books.
This year’s guide has a whopping total of 34 books (or 49 books if you have the Extended Edition reading guide), and they are organized into categories based on the genre and subject matter. Because we’re all about lifestyle here, you’ll also find some fun things to do at home this summer, along with “three ingredients” summer cocktails for you to indulge in if you’re of legal drinking age ???? We also have tips to help you make this your best reading summer yet!
In the guide, we have dedicated one category to the “minimalist reader.” Our Minimalist Reads list has six titles that we highly recommend if you’re only planning to pick up a few reads this Summer!
It’s super hard narrowing an initial list of hundreds of books down to a third of the size and then narrowing them down to our top six. You can expect these reads to be across genres, beautifully written, compelling, thought-provoking, enjoyable, and great for discussions.
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.
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.
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.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Dani is a PhD 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, his charity could use the publicity. Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. 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.
Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan
Elisabeth is an accomplished journalist and new mother who is 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.
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.