The 20 Best Books to Read This Summer

Ravishing on the outside and riveting on the inside, these books are made to be devoured. Edited by Kim Hubbard

People Summer Best Books
01 of 20

Jackie & Me by Louis Bayard

Jackie & Me by Louis Bayard
Algonquin Books

What did Jacqueline Bouvier know about JFK's womanizing, and when did she know it? Bayard imagines their courtship and the role played by Jack's best pal Lem Billings. Absolutely irresistible. — reviewed by Kim Hubbard


Buy It: Amazon,

02 of 20

The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz

The Latecomer: A Novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Celadon Books

Wealth, long-buried secrets and deep resentments converge in this captivating family saga about the Oppenheimer triplets, born in Brooklyn in the early days of IVF. — reviewed by Emma Dries


Buy It: Amazon,

03 of 20

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
Little, Brown and Company

After a bad breakup, Lizbet Keaton leads the relaunch of an old hotel, where staff, guests — and a ghost? — all have things to hide. Stylish, witty and guaranteed to make you feel like a local. — reviewed by Robin Micheli


Buy It: Amazon,

04 of 20

You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty: A Novel by Akwaeke Emezi
Atria Books

Artist Feyi wrestles with loss as she starts dating five years after her husband's death. By embracing grief, she unexpectedly finds love — with an inconvenient person. — reviewed by Marissa Charles


Buy It: Amazon,

05 of 20

Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen

Counterfeit: A Novel by Kirstin Chen
William Morrow

College roommates Ava Wong and Winnie Fang were never close — but now they are literally partners in crime, with a designer handbag scam as brazen as it is foolproof. Clever, catty fun. — reviewed by Marion Winik


Buy It: Amazon,

06 of 20

The Office BFFs by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey

The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There by Jenna Fischer (Author), Angela Kinsey (Author)
Dey Street Books

Who didn't binge-watch The Office to get through the pandemic? Hilarious and heartwarming behind-the-scenes tales from pals Fischer (Pam) and Kinsey (Angela) are just what we need now. — reviewed by Kim Hubbard


Buy It: Amazon,

07 of 20

Normal Family by Chrysta Bilton

Normal Family: On Truth, Love, and How I Met My 35 Siblings by Chrysta Bilton
Little, Brown and Company

In her 20s, Bilton learned the identity of her sperm donor dad and set out to meet the hundreds of other kids he fathered. An ebullient debut that proves it's love, not DNA, that makes a family. — reviewed by Caroline Leavitt


Buy It: Amazon,

08 of 20

George Michael by James Gavin

George Michael: A Life by James Gavin
Abrams Press

The late pop star, who did not reveal he was gay until 1998, set "a dangerous trap," writes Gavin. "He wanted to titillate with sex and keep his secrets untouched." A fascinating, heartbreaking bio. — reviewed by Kim Hubbard


Buy It: Amazon,

09 of 20

His Name Is George Floyd by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa

His Name Is George Floyd: One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Robert Samuels (Author), Toluse Olorunnipa (Author)

Two Washington Post reporters interviewed hundreds of Floyd's family members and friends to create a full, nuanced picture of the man whose murder sparked a movement. — reviewed by Kim Hubbard


Buy It: Amazon,

10 of 20

Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris

Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris
Little, Brown and Company

The deaths of his father and sister, along with the privations of pandemic living, give a darker-than-usual edge to Sedaris's new collection, but his humor and wisdom shine through. — reviewed by Kim Hubbard


Buy It: Amazon,

11 of 20

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

The House Across the Lake: A Novel Hardcover by Riley Sager

A widowed actress goes to her family's lake house to battle her demons. She rescues a woman from drowning, suspects the worst of her neighbors and encounters Sager's best plot twist yet. — reviewed by Rennie Dyball


Buy It: Amazon,

12 of 20

Harlem Sunset by Nekesa Afia

Harlem Sunset (A Harlem Renaissance Mystery) by Nekesa Afia

In 1927 Harlem Louise Lloyd wants only to party and bury her past — until she gets caught up in a bewildering murder case. Jazz Age vibes and fascinating women make this whodunit hum. — reviewed by Ellen Shapiro


Buy It: Amazon,

13 of 20

Aurora by David Koepp

Aurora: A Novel by David Koepp

After a solar storm plunges the world into darkness, citizens create their own agrarian utopia — and a tech billionaire races to save his sister. A cinematic, terrifying yet oddly hopeful thriller. — reviewed by Andy Abrahams


Buy It: Amazon,

14 of 20

The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths

The Locked Room: Thrilling mystery to rival Agatha Christie (The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries) by Elly Griffiths

This 14th installment in the beloved series finds forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway contending with a medieval skeleton, a family secret — and the encroaching COVID pandemic. — reviewed by Ellen Shapiro


Buy It: Amazon,

15 of 20

The Island by Adrian McKinty

The Island Hardcover by Adrian McKinty
Little, Brown and Company

The locals aren't always friendly in vacation hot spots, but on the closed-to-the-public island Tom sneaks his family in to for fun, they're out to kill. Maybe Disney World next time? — reviewed by Kim Hubbard


Buy It: Amazon,

16 of 20

The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson

The Agathas (An Agathas Mystery)by Kathleen Glasgow (Author), Liz Lawson (Author)
Delacorte Press

Two teens team up to solve a murder using tips gleaned from Agatha Christie novels in this twisty whodunit set on the California coast. — reviewed by Sue Corbett

(May) KIDS/TEENS, 14-17

Buy It: Amazon,

17 of 20

Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle

Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle (Author)
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Reader

A 17-year-old deejay who offers relationship advice on his Detroit radio show thinks he can get hardworking classmate Dani to fall in love with him in three dates. Challenge accepted. — reviewed by Sue Corbett

(May) KIDS/TEENS, 12 and up

Buy It: Amazon,

18 of 20

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

I Kissed Shara Wheeler: A Novel by Casey McQuiston
Wednesday Books

At an evangelical prep school in Alabama, the principal's daughter kisses classmate Chloe during prom — and disappears. Chloe's search for Shara uncovers a lot more than one missing girl. — reviewed by Sue Corbett

(May) KIDS/TEENS, 13-18

Buy It: Amazon,

19 of 20

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

A Magic Steeped in Poison (The Book of Tea, 1) by Judy I. Lin
Feiwel & Friends

A tea maker hopes to wow the palace with her homemade blends and win the means to save her dying sister. An intoxicating blend of fantasy, folklore and competitive tea-brewing. — reviewed by Sue Corbett

(March) KIDS/TEENS, 13-18

Buy It: Amazon,

20 of 20

The Golden Swift by Lev Grossman

The Golden Swift (The Silver Arrow) by Lev Grossman
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

This sequel to The Silver Arrow offers another charming eco-adventure featuring two magical steam trains and a daring plot to rescue endangered animals. — reviewed by Sue Corbett

(May) KIDS/TEENS, 8-12

Buy It: Amazon,

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