Hi, All! It’s almost time for a long summer vacay. And you guys must be looking everywhere to find the perfect books to read while lying at the beach. It’s 2019, so what we read must reflect the changing times and touch the topics that are trending. Lucky for you, I took matters into my own hands and picked out the best books out there for you to add to your reading list. So, here are 30 Best Summer Reads for 2019:
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1. Vintage 1954 – by Antoine Laurain
‘The very quintessence of French romance…’ The Times
When Hubert Larnaudie invites some fellow residents of his Parisian apartment building to drink an exceptional bottle of 1954 Beaujolais, he has no idea of its special properties. The following morning, Hubert finds himself waking up in 1950s Paris, as do antique restorer Magalie, mixologist Julien, and Airbnb tenant Bob from Milwaukee, who’s on his first trip to Europe. After their initial shock, the city of Edith Piaf and An American in Paris begins to work its charm on them. The four delight in getting to know the French capital during this iconic period, whilst also playing with the possibilities that time travel allows. But, ultimately, they need to work out how to >>read more
2. Red, White & Royal Blue – by Casey McQuiston
What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?
When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius―his image is pure Millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse>>read more
3. Patsy – by Nicole Dennis-Benn
A beautifully layered portrait of motherhood, immigration, and the sacrifices we make in the name of love from award-winning novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn.
When Patsy gets her long-coveted visa to America, it comes after years of yearning to leave Pennyfield, the beautiful but impoverished Jamaican town where she was raised. More than anything, Patsy wishes to be reunited with her oldest friend, Cicely, whose letters arrive from New York steeped in the promise of a happier life and the possible rekindling of their young love. But Patsy’s plans don’t include her overzealous, evangelical mother—or even her >>read more
4. Hot Comb – by Ebony Flowers
An auspicious debut examining the culture of hair from the Rona Jaffe Foundation Award-winning cartoonist
Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into black women’s lives and coming-of-age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. The titular “Hot Comb” is about a young girl’s first perm―a doomed ploy to look cool and stop seeming “too white” in the all-black neighborhood her family has just moved into. In “Virgin Hair,” taunts of “tender-headed” sting as much as the perm itself >>read more
5. The Paper Wasp – by Lauren Acampora
An electrifying debut novel from the acclaimed author of The Wonder Garden, The Paper Wasp is a riveting knife-edge story of two women’s dark friendship of twisted ambition set against the backdrop of contemporary Hollywood
In small-town Michigan, Abby Graven leads a solitary life. Once a bright student on the cusp of a promising art career, she now languishes in her childhood home, trudging to and from her job as a supermarket cashier. Each day she is taunted from the magazine racks by the success of her former best friend Elise, a rising Hollywood starlet whose life in pictures Abby obsessively scrapbooks. At night Abby escapes through the films of her favourite director, Auguste Perren, a cult figure known for his creative institute the Rhizome. Inspired by Perren, Abby draws fantastical storyboards based on her often premonitory dreams, a visionary gift she keeps >>read more
6. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
It is the summer of 1940. Nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris arrives in New York with her suitcase and sewing machine, exiled by her despairing parents. Although her quicksilver talents with a needle and commitment to mastering the perfect hair roll have been deemed insufficient for her to pass into her sophomore year of Vassar, she soon finds gainful employment as the self-appointed seamstress at the Lily Playhouse, her unconventional Aunt Peg’s charmingly disreputable Manhattan revue theatre. There, Vivian quickly becomes the toast of the showgirls, transforming the trash and tinsel only fit for >>read more
7. Mostly Dead Things – by Kristen Arnett
One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make aggressively lewd art with the taxidermied animals. Her brother Milo withdraws, struggling to function. And Brynn, Milo’s wife—and the only person Jessa’s ever been in love with—walks out without a word. As Jessa seeks out less-than-legal ways of >>read more
8. How Could She – by Lauren Mechling
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2019 by Vulture and The Millions
After a devastating break-up with her fiancé, Geraldine is struggling to get her life back on track in Toronto. Her two old friends, Sunny and Rachel, left ages ago for New York, where they’ve landed good jobs, handsome husbands, and unfairly glamorous lives (or at least so it appears to Geraldine). Sick of watching from the sidelines, Geraldine decides to force the universe to give her the big break she knows she deserves and moves to New York City. After she arrives, though, and zigzags her way through the downtown art scene and rooftop party circuit, she discovers how hard it is to find her footing in a world of influencers and media darlings. Plus, the magazine where Sunny and Rachel work is on >>read more
9. Coventry: Essays by Rachel Cusk
From Rachel Cusk, her first collection of essays about motherhood, marriage, feminism, and art
Rachel Cusk redrew the boundaries of fiction with the Outline Trilogy, three “literary masterpieces” (The Washington Post) whose narrator, Faye, perceives the world with a glinting, unsparing intelligence while remaining opaque to the reader. Lauded for the precision of her prose and the quality of her insight, Cusk is a writer of uncommon brilliance. Now, in Coventry, she gathers a selection of her nonfiction writings that both offers new insights on the themes at the heart of her fiction and forges a startling critical voice on some of our most urgent personal >>read more
10. The Perfect Fraud – by Ellen LaCorte
In this propulsive debut thriller, two women with deep secrets are thrown together by an unexpected meeting that plunges both their lives into chaos. But it’s a sick little girl whose fate hangs in the balance.
Motherhood is tough. But then, so is daughterhood. When we first meet Claire, she’s living in Sedona, Arizona with her boyfriend Cal and ducking calls from her mother. Her mom is a world-class psychic on the East Coast and Claire doesn’t want her to discover the truth. Claire works in the family business and calls herself a psychic, but she doesn’t really have “the gift” and hasn’t for a long time. She’s a fraud >>read more
11. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – by Ocean Vuong
Brilliant, heartbreaking, tender, and highly original – poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born – a history whose epicentre is rooted in Vietnam – and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her >>read more
12. The Stationery Shop – by Marjan Kamali
From the award-winning author of Together Tea—a debut novel hailed as “compassionate, funny, and wise” by Jill Davis, bestselling author of Girls’ Poker Night—comes a powerful love story exploring loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate.
Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr Fakhri’s neighbourhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper >>read more
13. Is There Still Sex in the City? – by Candace Bushnell
Twenty years after her sharp, seminal first book Sex and the City reshaped the landscape of pop culture and dating with its fly on the wall look at the mating rituals of the Manhattan elite, the trailblazing Candace Bushnell delivers a new book on the wilds and lows of sex and dating after fifty.
Set between the Upper East Side of Manhattan and a country enclave known as The Village, Is There Still Sex in the City? follows a cohort of female friends Sassy, Kitty, Queenie, Tilda Tia, Marilyn, and Candace as they navigate the ever-modernizing phenomena of >>read more
14. How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper
Smart, darkly funny, and life-affirming, How Not to Die Alone is the bighearted debut novel we all need, for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, it’s a story about love, loneliness, and the importance of taking a chance when we feel we have the most to lose.
Andrew’s been feeling stuck. For years he’s worked a thankless public health job, searching for the next of kin of those who die alone. Luckily, he goes home to a loving family every night. At least, that’s what his coworkers believe. Then he meets Peggy. A misunderstanding has left Andrew trapped in his own white lie and his lonely apartment. When new employee Peggy breezes into the office like a breath of fresh air, she makes Andrew feel truly alive for the first time in decades >>read more
15. In West Mills by De’Shawn Charles Winslow
For readers of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie and The Turner House, an intimately told story about a woman living by her own rules and the rural community that struggles to understand her.
Azalea “Knot” Centre is determined to live life as she pleases. Let the people of West Mills say what they will; the neighbours’ gossip won’t keep Knot from what she loves best: cheap moonshine, nineteenth-century literature, and the company of men. And yet, Knot is starting to learn that her freedom comes at a high price. Alone in her one-room shack, ostracized from her relatives and cut off from her hometown, Knot turns to her neighbour, Otis Lee Loving, in search of some semblance of family and >>read more
16. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill – by Abbi Waxman
“Like a conversation with the funniest person you know – just lovely” Katie Fforde
Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own… shell.
Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, an excellent trivia team and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book >>read more
17. The Girl He Used to Know – by Tracey Garvis Graves
‘The most riveting, rewarding, refreshing novel I’ve read in years’ – Barbara Delinsky, bestselling author
What if you had a second chance at first love? Annika Rose likes being alone.
She feels lost in social situations, saying the wrong thing or acting the wrong way. Also, she just can’t read people and prefers the quiet solitude of books or playing chess to being around others. Apart from Jonathan. She liked being around him, but she hasn’t seen him for ten years. Until now that is. And she’s not sure he’ll want to see her again after what happened all >>read more
18. Waisted – by Randy Susan Meyers
In this provocative, wildly entertaining, and compelling novel, seven women enrolled in an extreme weight loss documentary discover self-love and sisterhood as they enact a daring revenge against the exploitative filmmakers.
Alice and Daphne, both successful and accomplished working mothers, harbour the same secret: obsession with their weight overshadows concerns about their children, husbands, work—and everything else of importance in their lives. Scales terrify them >>read more
19. Searching for Sylvie Lee – by Jean Kwok
NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK BY Marie Claire • Good Housekeeping • Nylon • Huffington Post • CrimeReads • Bookbub • Book Riot • Debutante Ball
A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears and a series of family secrets emerge, from the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation >>read more
20. The Printed Letter Bookshop – by Katherine Reay
“Powerful, enchanting, and spirited, this novel will delight.” -Patti Callahan, bestselling author of Becoming Mrs Lewis Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cosy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt-and the now struggling bookshop left in her care. While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, >>read more
21. Sky Queen – by Judy Kundert
It’s 1967, and Katherine Roebling is a Chicago-based stewardess caught between the hold of highflying travel and the call of her Native American ancestors just as the womens movement is taking the US by storm. As she vacillates between an ever-present mystical ancestral feather and her alluring stewardess life of excitement and travel, she embarks on a journey from one adventure to the nexteach episode bringing her closer to her predestined calling. A chance meeting with a college student from Athens, Greece at a Chicago Playboy Mansion Press Party and her visit to the Oracle of Delphi in >>read more
22. The Right Swipe – by Alisha Rai
Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.
Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:>>read more
23. The Nickel Boys – by Colson Whitehead
Author of The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead, brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in 1960s Florida.
Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enrol in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide ‘physical, intellectual and moral training’ which will equip its inmates to become ‘honourable and honest men’ >>read more
24. The Summer Country – by Lauren Willig
A brilliant, multigenerational saga in the tradition of THE THORN BIRDS and NORTH AND SOUTH, New York Times bestselling historical novelist Lauren Willig delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.
Barbados, 1854: Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous English merchant clan– merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin >>read more
25. The Friend Zone – by Abby Jimenez
He’s the best man . . . and that’s the problem.
Kristen Petersen is perfectly fine. She has friends she’d fight to the death for and the very best dog in the world: Stuntman Mike. In fact, everything’s calm in the world of Kristen, until she starts to plan her best friend’s wedding and meets the best man, Josh Copeland.
Josh is funny, sexy, stands up to her sarcasm, and is always one snack ahead of her hangry. Even Stuntman Mike adores him. But he wants a big family, and Kristen knows children are probably not a part of her future. >> read more
26. “The Bride Test” – by Helen Hoang
From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart…
Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride >>read more
27. Crazy Rich Asians – by Kevin Kwan
A hilarious and heartwarming New York Times bestselling novel—now a major motion picture!
When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor >>read more
28. “Dune” – by Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert’s classic masterpiece—a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time—nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending the life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…>>read more
29. I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying: Essays – by Bassey Ikpi
A Bitch Magazine Most Anticipated Book of 2019 • A Publishers Weekly Spring Preview Selection • An Electric Lit 48 Books by Women and Nonbinary Authors of Color to Read in 2019 • A Book Riot 21 Great Essay Collections from 2019 to Add to Your TBR • A Bella Naija 10 Books by African Authors We’re Definitely Reading in 2019
“A part of me was writing non-fiction short stories about things I remembered, while another part was preserving the lies I tell myself to ensure the truth doesn’t kill me. This book is about those truths and the ways in which we parcel fact in order to survive.” >>read more
30. Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language – by Gretchen McCulloch
A linguistically informed look at how our digital world is transforming the English language.
Language is humanity’s most spectacular open-source project, and the internet is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before. Internet conversations are structured by the shape of our apps and platforms, from the grammar of status updates to the protocols of comments and @replies. Linguistically inventive online communities spread new slang and jargon with dizzying speed. What’s more, social media is a vast laboratory of unedited, unfiltered words where we can >>read more
Also read: 5 Date Night Outfit Ideas for Summer