20 New Books To Read This Summer, According To Authors

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The thing I most look forward to every year is building a pile of new books to read during the summer. Yes, I was one of those kids who actually got excited about mandatory summer reading lists that teachers handed out during the last week of school. My enthusiasm for the institution of summer reading has only grown now that I’m an adult and I can choose whichever books I please. Without a doubt, by May of every year, I have already started looking for recommendations on websites and blogs, on social media, and, of course, from my fellow bookish friends. But really, is there anyone better to ask than another author?

In the summer reading recommendations list below, 20 authors including Taylor Jenkins Reid, Samira Ahmed, Lilliam Rivera and Anna Pitoniak share the one book that they think is a must-read for summer 2019. Their favorites run the gamut in terms of genre; there’s romance, historical fiction, fantasy, short story collections, memoir, thriller, and so much more. Each of these books is already on shelves or will be before the season is out, making them the ideal additions to your beach bag, suitcase, or tote bag during all of your summer adventures. Oh, and you can consider this a 40-book recommendation list, because you should read the books by the authors making the recs, too. Consider your summer reading list officially stacked:

,’Daisy Jones & the Six’ author Taylor Jenkins Reid recommends ‘The Bride Test’ by Helen Hoang“The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is a favorite of mine this summer. Helen’s first book, The Kiss Quotient, was exactly what you want in a page-turning romance. It was fun and adorable and I’d go so far as to say “shockingly sexy” (I blushed, a lot.) The follow-up, The Bride Test, which has a similar cast of characters, now focused on another love story within the family, is just as good. I simply could not put it down the whole time I was reading, I was smiling from ear-to-ear.”

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s new novel, Daisy Jones & the Six, and The Bride Test by Helen Hoang are available now.

‘We Hunt the Flame’ author Hafsah Faizal recommends ‘Sorcery of Thorns’ by Margaret Rogerson“Best read on a stormy night, Sorcery of Thorns is a gothic tale with a good dose of whimsy. Its a standalone fantasy where books speak and gnash their teeth, and librarians carry swords. Where demons cant stand dust and make a good cup of tea. Where a girl who belongs to the library can save the world. Ever since devouring Margaret Rogersons debut, An Enchantment of Ravens, Ive known that she has a magical way with words, but in Sorcery, her magic soars even higher. I adored Elizabeth and Nathaniel, but Silas stole my heart.”

Hafsah Faizal’s new novel We Hunt the Flame is available now. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson will be released June 4.

‘When We Left Cuba’ author Chanel Cleeton recommends ‘Park Avenue Summer’ by Rene Rosen“Rene Rosens Park Avenue Summer is the ultimate summer read. Perfect for fans of The Devil Wears Prada and Mad Men, this historical fiction book set in 1960s New York City pays homage to Helen Gurley Browns influence as Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan magazine. Rosens writing is sharp, funny, and filled with heart as she thoroughly immerses the reader in the glamorous and cutthroat world of magazine publishing and brings the ’60s to life. Inspiring and empowering, this is the ideal book to read with a cocktail in hand as you escape to the fabulous world of Helen Gurley Brown.”

Chanel Cleeton’s new novel When We Left Cuba, and Park Avenue Summer by Rene Rosen are both available now.

‘Let Me Hear a Rhyme’ author Tiffany D. Jackson recommends ‘With the Fire on High’ by Elizabeth Acevedo“It’s a book about delicious food and following your passion, two of my absolute favorite things in this life. I love stories featuring kids who can chef it up in the kitchen and I’m obsessed with the recipes. Pro-tip: buy the audiobook along with the hard copy, because Liz’s voice is rich, crackling, and soothing all at the same time.”

Tiffany D. Jackson’s new novel Let Me Hear a Rhyme and With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo are both available now.

‘Gods of Jade and Shadow’ author Silvia Moreno-Garcia recommends ‘The Summer of Ellen’ by Agnete Friis “The Summer of Ellen follows twin timelines. In the 1970s, a teenage boys lazy summer becomes more exciting when a neighboring girl disappears from his town and a young, hippie the Ellen of the title comes to live on the farm where he works. Meanwhile, in present-day Copenhagen, the boy, now a middle-aged alcoholic man, must find out whatever happened to the long-lost Ellen. Its a character study wrapped around a novel of suspense, with every blade of grass, every whispering tree, beautifully painting a picture of both longing and desolation.”

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s new novel Gods of Jade and Shadow will be released on July 23. The Summer of Ellen by Agnete Friis is available now.

‘Hope & Other Punchlines’ author Julie Buxbaum recommends ‘Field Notes on Love’ by Jennifer E. Smith“When the world feels a little bleak, I like to prescribe myself a Jennifer E. Smith novel. I loved her latest Field Notes on Love, which is Smith at her best warm, compassionate, romantic, funny, thought-provoking, empathetic, sweet but not saccharine. This book has it all: a cross country train trip, two main characters coming of age and asking the big questions, love and loss. I laughed and I cried, and found it impossible not to fall in love alongside Hugo and Mae. Best of all, the world felt a little brighter when I closed its final pages.”

Julie Buxbaum’s new novel Hope and Other Punchlines and Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith are both available now.

‘Necessary People’ author Anna Pitoniak recommends ‘The Dreamers’ by Karen Thompson Walker“The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker. This book is a finely polished, multifaceted jewel. It’s a spooky page-turner about a contagious disease sweeping through a small town in California, but it’s also a gorgeous story of love and loss, and a philosophical examination of dreams and memory. It’s one of those novels that put down deep roots inside my heart. A bonus treat: if you love this book, go back and read Walker’s first novel The Age of Miracles, which is just as beautifully crafted.”

Anna Pitoniak’s new novel Necessary People and The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker are both available now.

‘Internment’ author Samira Ahmed recommends ‘Girl Gone Viral’ by Arvin Ahmadi“Arvin Ahmadis Girl Gone Viral is a propulsive, twisty, page-turning delight. As in his debut, Down and Across, Arvin crafts an endearing main character in Opal Hopper a young woman in search of answers, trying to find her place in a rapidly changing world. In this near future thriller, Arvin asks hard questions that dont have easy answers about privacy and technology and the ethics of how we create and curate our lives in full public view. Opals voice grabs you from the first page and her relentless quest to find her missing father (and so much more!) will have you on the edge of your seat. A perfect summer read!”

Samira Ahmed’s new novel Internment and Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi are both available now.

‘Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune’ author Roselle Lim recommends ‘The Chai Factor’ by Farah Heron“I recommend The Chai Factor by Farah Heron. Amira is a sharp Muslim feminist engineer who falls in love with Duncan, a singing lumberjack type, whom she affectionately calls garden gnome. Their chemistry is hot. If you love hate-to-love tropes, this book will satisfy.”

Roselle Lim’s new novel Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune and The Chai Factor by Farah Heron will both be released June 11.

‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ author Casey McQuiston recommends ‘Wilder Girls’ by Rory Power“Summer is about escapism but escapism isnt always about happiness and wish-fulfillment. Sometimes its about something so morbid and outlandish, it transports you somewhere else whether you like it or not. A nightmarish survival story thats as much literary fiction as it is young adult, Wilder Girls centers on an all-girls boarding school quarantined after an outbreak of a grotesque, consuming virus. I couldnt look away. Oh, added bonus: its queer!”

Casey McQuiston’s new novel Red, White & Royal Blue is available now. Wilder Girls by Rory Power will be released July 9.

‘Searching for Sylvie Lee’ author Jean Kwok recommends ‘Miracle Creek’ by Angie Kim“In Miracle Creek by Angie Kim, tragedy strikes an experimental medical facility owned by a Korean family when it catches on fire one evening, killing two people and severely injuring several others. As the courtroom drama unfolds, the reader realizes that each main character had a motive for rigging the explosion. The novel is a gripping page-turner, but what I loved most was Kims thoughtful, honest exploration of parents of children with special needs, and immigrants. Perfectly paced, filled with wisdom and compassion, this is a book you dont want to miss.”

Jean Kwok’s new novel Searching for Sylvie Lee goes on sale on June 4. Miracle Creek by Angie Kim is available now.

‘Love From A to Z’ author S.K. Ali recommends ‘The Candle and the Flame’ by Nafiza Azad“I’m a reader who mostly reads contemporary, with occasional forays into fantasy and science fiction, when I actually have room in my head for the world building of speculative fiction yay, vacation reads! So, what a surprise to fall headlong into The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad during a busy time in my life. A fantasy set in a bustling city on the Silk Road, the book drew me in with its confident story-telling and delightful cast of characters. What kept me turning pages was its setting sumptuous and gritty in turns and an intriguing plot. Highly recommended for those looking for an enveloping escape that comforts as much as it thrills.”

S.K. Ali’s new novel Love from A to Z and The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad are both available now.

‘Sabrina & Corina’ author Kali Fajardo-Anstine recommends ‘Good Talk’ by Mira Jacob“Good Talk by Mira Jacob is a standout graphic memoir that I devoured in a single sitting. Jacob is the rare writer that can discuss the complexities of race, love, and family through storytelling that is equally heartbreaking and hopeful (and, at times, damn funny.) Good Talk feels like a true godsend, a book that I wished I had to help guide me as a young mixed woman. This graphic memoir is a gift, one I cannot wait to share with everyone I know. Read this book, read this book, read this book!”

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s new short story collection Sabrina & Corina and Good Talk by Mira Jacobs are both available now.

‘If It Makes You Happy’ author Claire Kann recommends ‘Belly Up’ by Eva Darrows“Ever since I read The Awesome, I have been a fan of Eva Darrows (one of Hillary Monahans pen names.) Belly Up is about a teen, Sara, who gets pregnant and surprise! her life isnt over! New town, new school, new love, new baby and it all worked together so, so well. Her family is supportive, her new friends are wonderful, and while pregnancy is by no-means a cakewalk, the subject is handled with care and grace. Anchored by Saras fantastic and unfiltered voice, Belly Up is my favorite kind of hopeful YA contemporary.”

Claire Kann’s new novel If It Makes You Happy will be released June 4. Belly Up by Eva Darrows is available now.

‘Home Remedies’ author Xuan Juliana Wang recommends ‘Where Reasons End’ by Yiyun Li“Wh

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  • May 31, 2019