The Best Books to Read this Summer

The Best Books to Read this Summer

Check out our literary picks of the week, perfect for sitting poolside or on the long bus ride to Montauk

Check out our literary picks of the week, perfect for sitting poolside or on the long bus ride to Montauk

Text: Grace Walker

Summer has finally arrived, and with it comes a stream of new book releasees. In a quest to help you form the ultimate vacation reading list, we'll be selecting our must-reads each week, as well as spotlighting the books hot-off-the-press. From thought-provoking thrillers to easy-ready romance, we'll be covering all areas—but to kick things off, delve into our first picks of the season:

My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal

In this probing drama, harsh circumstances drive a struggling mother to put her two boys, Leon and baby brother Jake, up for adoption. Being a white baby, Jake is a prime adoption candidate, automatically desired by prospective parents. On the other hand Leon, a mixed-race nine-year-old, doesn't receive the same familial welcome, ultimately ending in the siblings’ separation. Dealing with issues of race, family and society, Kit de Waal’s novel manages to be both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. Purchase Here.

The Muse by Jessie Burton 

One for the art lovers. In Jessie Burton’s decadent novel, we follow protagonist Odelle Bastien who arrives in London with a first class degree from the University of the West Indies. After a rocky start, the storyline fires up when she encounters Marjorie Quick of the Skelton Institute and is introduced to an entire new world of creativity. In a whirlwind of artistic awakening, Odelle discovers hidden talents, inspiration, and unhinges mystical secrets about a mysterious painting. Purchase Here.

 

Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

Alice Adams's Invincible Summer follows four British college friends over 20 years, tracing the ties that bind them together as well as the things that pull them apart. Fundamentally, the book is about how people keep relationships intact, chronicling the lives of her characters as they go from being college students to thirtysomethings. Invincible Summer depicts what happens when things move out of the dream stage and reality starts to bare its teeth. Easy yet not insubstantial, this debut is a sweet toast to enduring friendship. Purchase Here.

The Girls by Emma Cline

The Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize winner of 2014, Emma Cline, has just released her debut novel—and it's just as daring as it is wonderful. The Girls is seductive and mesmerizing, packed with language that'll leave your pages dog-eared. You'll feel like you're in a fever dream as you read about an infamous cult of young women in 1960s Northern California. (And if it sounds familiar, it is: The book is based loosely on the Manson Family cult.) The Girls is a book that’ll stick in your head for months. Purchase Here.

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam

Following two close long-term friends in New York City whose lives begin to take diverging tracks, Rumaan Alam captures the fluctuating nuances of female friendship. We watch the girls as they are pulled apart, come together, become envious and enchanted by one another in an unbalanced cycle of electric emotion—all the while their relationship fostering currents of deep affection. A unique snapshot into feminine relations (and written by a man), Rich and Pretty is sure to top your summer reads. Purchase Here.

Grace by Natasha Deon

For a runaway slave in the 1840s south, life on the run can be just as dangerous as life under a sadistic Massa. That’s what fifteen-year-old Naomi learns after she escapes the brutal confines of life on an Alabama plantation. Striking out on her own, she must leave behind her beloved Momma and sister Hazel and takes refuge in a Georgia brothel run by a freewheeling, gun-toting Jewish madam named Cynthia. There, amidst a revolving door of gamblers, prostitutes, and drunks, Naomi falls into a star-crossed love affair with a smooth-talking white man named Jeremy who frequents the brothel’s dice tables all too often. The entanglement of history and personal turmoil makes Grace an instant classic. Purchase Here.

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