The Books You Just Have To Read This Summer


Photo: Joanne Pio 


Y’all know me and my love for book lists. I could get lost in a bookstore. Celina and I went to Waterstones the other day (one with multiple floors and a lift and a restaurant) and I just didn’t want to leave. I picked up a few ‘summer essentials’ and I must say – this year we have some hot books to read.

So whether you’re heading off on vacation or staying at home for the summer, these books will transport you to a different world.


#1 A Reunion Of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell

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The blurb can’t do this book justice. Simply put, this book is a shared confessional of three sisters who have decided to kill themselves at the end of the 20th century. Sounds depressing right? Well, no. These three sisters have an extraordinary family history, starting with the man who invented chemical weapons. I read the front and was a little skeptical of a book described as ‘devastating’ but when I read other reviews touting it as ‘flat-out funny’ and ‘hilarious’, I realized there’s more to this book than the blurb. It’s dark, fascinating and hilarious.


#2 The Beauty Of The End by Debbie Howells


If you’re a fan of thrillers, you’ll love this one. “I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . .” Noah fell in love obsessively with a girl called April. When he finds out she’s in a coma, and the suspect in a murder, he knows April is innocent and knows how he can save her. But does he really know the woman he loved? And how does another fourteen-year-old girl fit into all this? Could she be the key to finding out what April is really capable of?


#3 The Past by Tessa Hadley 

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This is a twisty turny novel about a group of siblings who’ve come together to sell their childhood home. As you can imagine, there are tensions, passions, revelations and emotions.There are flashbacks to childhood, and you’ll turn the pages just because you care about the characters. As the blurb says: “Over the course of the holiday, a familiar way of life falls apart forever.”


#4 The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

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Another thriller for all my Gone Girl and Girl On The Train lovers. Lo Blacklock, a writer for a travel magazine, gets to go on a luxury cruise as part of her assignment. Can you imagine? I’d love that. And so does she, at first. Dinner parties, guests, sun. But soon, Lo witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. All passengers remain accounted for, and the ship continues to sail. But she knows what she saw, and she knows that somewhere, something has gone terribly wrong.


#5 You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

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Need a book that gets beneath your skin? Megan Abbott is a great writer. She can invoke that sense of dread and pulse-racing tension with just a few words. Katie and Eric Knox have a prodigy of a daughter. She’s a gymnast. They devote themselves to her. But when a violent death rocks the gymnastic community before a competition, rumors swirl and suspicions are raised.

Katie finds herself drawn right into the crime itself. This book is about jealousy, desire, allegiances, and death. This book is described as mesmerizing and terrifying. The most terrifying part? There are no villains. They’re just real people.

#6 The Muse by Jessie Burton

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Ever wanted to read about art, immigration, civil war and classism? I would say not really. It conjures images of dull books forced upon me in school. But Jessie can write. So it doesn’t even matter what she writes about. You will need to turn the page anyway, need to find out what happens next.

In 1967, Odelle Bastien, Caribbean emigre starts working at an art gallery and discovers a painting rumored to be the work of Isaac Robles. An artist whose mysterious death has confounded the art world for decades. Cut to 1937, Olive Schloss befriends Isaac and Teresa Schloss. Isaac dreams of being a painter as famous as Picasso. The three of them become close, but their deception will haunt them for decades to come.

#7 You’ll Grow Out Of It by Jessi Klein

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Now for something a bit lighter. How about a collection of hilarious essays about one comedian’s transition from a ‘Pippi Longstocking-esque tomboy to are-you-a-lesbian-or-what tom man.” There are so many hilarious topics to identify with in this book about womanhood. Appropriate titles ‘Miss sounds like you weigh ninety-nine pounds” feeling bad at the emmy’s and more hilarious real-life tales pepper this book, making it a staple of any woman’s bookshelf.

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Managing Editor

Beth is the Managing Editor of CGD. She is a graduate of the Penguin Writer's Academy, has published a short story and loves to read creative writing manuals in her spare time.

  • Lucie

    Fantastic! Thank you for your recommendations. I really like the first one, about three sisters. It sounds quite funny. :-)

  • Rebecca Fletcher

    I want to read all of these books! They all sound great x

  • Kiran

    Wonderful choices, excited to dive into all of them xxx

    AlLittleKiran | Bloglovin

  • Aliya Hussain

    Great recommendations, I actually haven’t read any of the ones you’ve mentioned so I can’t wait to check them out!x

    Aliya x | |

  • Yankified

    About to get these books, thanks for the reviews

    Amy |

  • Camille Beygui

    Thanks for sharing

  • Iga Berry

    The first one sounds really intriguing! I am definitely going to add it to my ‘to read’ list. Best wishes, Iga x

  • Alysha Paulsen

    Ooo these sound amazing I just read an amazing book called “The House at Baker Street”, I recommend this read!

  • Camylla

    This is awesome! I’m always hunting for good books!
    I just recommended a great one on my blog called “The Five Stages of Falling in Love”

  • Momina Arif

    i have actually not read a single of these and now i am dying to read them. thank you for sharing this.

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