One of my goals this summer is to read more. It’s not that I don’t do a lot of reading. I wake up each morning to The Skimm (if you haven’t subscribed to this newsletter, you must! Each morning they send you a run-down of all the important news stories from the day before in a funny and addictively readable way, and it makes my mornings so much better!), and I read A LOT throughout the day in order to write my articles and blog posts. And since I’m learning the ins and outs of growing my blog, I feel like so much of my time is spent reading and researching other blogs and courses in order to grow. So when I say I want to read more, I actually mean I want to read more for pleasure.

There’s just something about reading in the summer that’s more relaxing than any other time of year. You can read in bed at night with a light breeze coming in, on the beach in between cool-down dips, or even on a flight to your next jetset destination. Some of the books on this list are ones I’ve read and some are on my summer reading list, recommended by friends or other bloggers! These are my top 8 must-read books for summer 2016.

This post contains affiliate links, however I would never recommend anything I didn’t absolutely love or use myself!

The Nest – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

I’m about half-way though this book (so don’t give anything away in the comments!). It’s safe to say I’m obsessed. Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is completely captivating in her writing, and each time I pick it up I don’t want to put it back down. It tells the story of a group of four siblings who inherited a lump of cash – “The Nest.” But when one of the brothers gets into a car accident with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger, he endangers everyone else’s claim to the anticipated trust fund.

The story is so intriguing and the character development makes you want to know more and more about each and every one of them. They all have their personal dramas and demons, but family, and all its ups and downs, is at the very core of the story. I’m so excited to see what happens, but at the same time don’t want it to end.

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Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling

If you’re a Mindy Kaling fan and haven’t read her books yet, what in the world are you waiting for? Her hilarity and wit shine through in her writing just as strongly as they do her acting, so it’s no surprise that her second novel is a page-turner. I also recommend her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), if you haven’t read that.

Her collection of essays recounts her wins and conundrums as she explains everything from past relationships, to seeking friendships in new places, to making it in Hollywood when you don’t fit the typical Hollywood beauty mould. She brings you through her personal story in a laugh-out-loud way that’s relatable for anyone who’s been at a turning point in their life and career. It really just makes me want to be her best friend.

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The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

I’ve yet to read this book, but I’ve heard really great things about it. Plus, me and my sister gave it to my mom as one of her Christmas gifts so it’s already lying around the house somewhere. The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller that is continually compared to Gone Girl, a story I absolutely love. According to Helene over at Helene in Between, “This is a thriller that expertly delivers each layer of a woman’s twisted story, her odd obsession and how it affects her life.” I’m already hooked and I haven’t even opened the book yet.

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The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories

I started reading a friend’s copy of this book two summers ago, and was just reminded of it when I was writing this post. Marina Keegan was on her way to amazing things – she had graduated from Yale University, had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. In an tragic turn of events, she died in a car crash on the way to celebrate her graduation at her parent’s cottage. The book is a collection of essays and stories that she wrote, capturing the struggles, dreams, and possibilities of her generation. Her story is heartbreaking, but her talent is unrelenting.

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel – Maria Semple

I’ve read so many raving reviews about this book. It follows the story of an agoraphobic mother who goes missing before a family vacation to Antarctica. In order to try and find her, her daughter complies email messages, official documents and secret correspondence. It’s both smart and funny, and an absolute must-read for the beach or a long flight.

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Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari

This book was so much more than I thought it would be. Aziz is funny, like, really funny, and I assumed his novel would talk all about his views on dating in the age of Tinder, emojis and endless options. While he does share his personal (comedic) opinions, there was SO much research that went into his inaugural book. Alongside sociologist Eric Klinenberg, Ansari travels everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita to conduct focus groups and interviews and share thoughtful insight on the way each place is experiencing romance in the technological age. It’s retable, real and crazy addictive.

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The Vacationers: A Novel – Emma Straub

A perfect summer read, The Vacationers takes you on a family’s two week trip that uncovers secrets, humiliations, joys and childhood jealousies. Each character is developed in an intriguing and lovable way, and although the family is quite dysfunctional, Straub is able to paint a story of the familiar familial bonds that hold us together.

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How I Made 40K My First Year of Blogging – Chelsea Lords of Chelsea’s Messy Apron

For all my blogger babes out there, this ebook is for you! Chelsea details everything she learned in her first year of blogging, and how she earned $40,000! She talks everything from starting a blog, to the importance of social media, to working with companies and her best-kept secrets! I know this is technically more for work than pleasure, but I’m actually so excited to read and learn from it so I had to throw it in here!

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What’s on your summer reading list? Let me know in the comments below! And if you love this list, make sure to share it on Pinterest!

Looking for a must-read list of books for summer 2016? I’ve got you covered! From Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeny’s The Nest, to Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me, and much more, this is the ultimate summer reading list! Click through now to check it out or save this pin for later.
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9 thoughts on “My Summer Reading List: The Best Books for the Beach and Beyond

  1. These are great!! I haven’t read the Vacationers yet, but it’s on my list!!

    Posted on July 6, 2016 at 11:59 am
    1. Thanks Chelsea! I haven’t read that one yet either, I think it will be my next 🙂

      Posted on July 7, 2016 at 10:39 pm
  2. I’m really curious to read the opposite of loneliness now. I’ve liked Mindy Kaling since her days on The Office and I’ve wanted to read her books, I’ll have to add that to my list. I would recommend Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou if you haven’t already, I’m also about to start reading Their Eyes were watching God and I am Malala.

    Posted on July 9, 2016 at 8:46 pm
    1. Definitely read Mindy’s books if you want a good laugh! Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll be sure to check those out 🙂

      Posted on July 9, 2016 at 10:11 pm
  3. I HATED the nest!! Girl on the train was awesome though!! RoomHate is also amazzzing!!!

    Posted on July 11, 2016 at 3:23 pm
    1. Haha, I’m loving The Nest so far! I’ll have to check out RoomHate, thanks for the suggestion 🙂

      Posted on July 12, 2016 at 9:00 am
      1. Seriously so good! Also, you can’t go wrong with anything Eline Hilderbrand

        Posted on July 12, 2016 at 9:04 am
  4. I LOVE a good reading list post and planning on posting one soon! Second Honeymoon by James Patterson is a great summer read, too. Just finished it a few weeks ago! I found your blog via Blog + Bizz BFFs. Love it, girl! Keep it up.

    fromskinny2strong.com

    Elizabeth

    Posted on October 5, 2016 at 12:10 pm
    1. Ooh, thanks for the recommendation! And for your kind words about my blog, I absolutely LOVE yours too! Keep it up 🙂

      Posted on October 6, 2016 at 11:00 pm