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Summer Reads

With all the focus on "Summer Reading" every year, the choices can be overwhelming, so we'll let you in on a little secret…any book is a summer read if you read it in summer... Or planned to anyway. With the summer winding down, here are five starter lists to help you find the books you might have missed, so you can keep the summer reading going!

Featured Author

Elin Hilderbrand

Pretty much the queen of summer reading, Elin Hilderbrand is a popular writer of romance novels, all set in or around Nantucket Island where she lives. Born and raised in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, she spent her childhood summers on Cape Cod and moved there in 1993. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. She has been a teaching fellow at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

More from this author

Summer is more than just a season — for many, it’s a feeling, a moment, and ultimately, an escape. The kids are out of school and long days encourage relaxation. Even if you can’t make it to a beach, you’re there, mentally. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the hottest times of the year for delving into new books. Summer and reading go hand in hand, so of course you’re ready to enjoy a poolside read. Summer reading isn’t just about fun. It’s also a great way to stretch your imagination, discover new ideas, and exercise your critical thinking skills. Exploring new and used books is one of the best ways you can spend a lazy summer day and turn it into a not-so-lazy-after-all day.

What Makes a Great Summer Read?

It’s hard to define the correlation between the summer season and the summer reading genre, but indeed a correlation exists. Summer reads don’t have to be set in summer, be released in summer, or have anything to do with summer… so what defines a summer read? And what makes for a great one? The answers to these questions lie deep in the pages of the most iconic summer books.

Take Jennifer Weiner, for example. As the apparent progenitor of “chick-lit,” she has established a collection of characters who are relatable, flawed, and above all else, entertaining. Her books often top the list of summer reading recommendations for these reasons. Summer reading is about fun, indulgent stories, and the author’s latest release is no exception. That Summer chronicles the power of female friendship with an array of twists along the way. This offers an example of the ideal summer read: accessible, fun, relatable, and always interesting.

What Are Some Great Summer Reads?

Jennifer Weiner may be the queen of summer reading, but she’s just one of many authors who have topped the genre. There are many other great summer reads that await you, including the aptly-titled Beach Read by Emily Henry. This bright and romantic narrative details the meetcute between two writers who help each other’s creative process — and maybe fall in love along the way.

For those who prefer a main dish comprised of drama, Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds offers an evocative look into the history of the American Dream. It details the disparity between the privileged class and the poor in Depression-era America. Its themes of hope and resilience make it an uplifting summer read to enjoy.

Of course, no summer reading list would be complete without an acknowledgment of the many mystery books that are popular in summer months. Stuart Woods is the reigning master of the thriller genre, with his Teddy Fay series often topping bestseller lists. The latest entry, Jackpot, is no exception — and its indulgent thrills make it a great read for summertime.

Discover Romance, Fantasy, and Mystery this Summer

Summer is the perfect time to whip out an old favorite novel or discover one of the many new books that have become a summer standard. If you’re not sure where to begin, though, you can start by checking out a summer reading list targeted to your age and interests. This can help you find a curated list of books that you’re likely to enjoy. Exploring new books allows you to find new authors you’ll come to love and stories you might have never heard of before! With longer days and brighter weather, summer is the perfect time to rediscover your love for reading and pick up one of the top summer books. Whether you’re looking for a romance, mystery, drama, or thriller, you’ll find the book you need at ThriftBooks.

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