Summer has finally settled in and the July 4th weekend is here. This is the time when we get down to some serious outdoor fun, allergies notwithstanding. There’s a reason they made Claritin, right?
What does summer mean to you? Grills and barbecues, iced tea on the patio, beach cabanas with tall frosted drinks, carnivals with funnel cakes and kettle corn, crashing ocean waves, building sand castles, dipping in the pool, or just lazing around when time permits? To me, it is a bit of all that combined with the one thing I can’t do without. A great book! Or in the digital world, a Kindle loaded with dozens of books.
Whatever the genre, summer makes it more lively. Since everyone seems to be making lists of a lot of summer reads or beach reads as some call them, I thought I would come up with a list of my own. Are these all retro books from a long forgotten era youngsters won’t recognize? Actually, no. I have handpicked this season’s hottest books based on popularity and of course, personal choice. I have mixed popular authors and all my favorite themes – thrillers, mysteries, romance, drama, history – and humor, my favorite ingredient.
So check these out and add some more sizzle to your summer. Here are the season’s hottest summer reads, in no particular order.
Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
Although I haven’t reviewed any of her books on this site yet, I do like Nora Roberts. She is one author who has managed to surprise me many times. She doesn’t just write romance. Nope. There is drama and deep emotion, supernatural elements, murder, killings, time travel, magic and what not.
The anticipation I feel when I pick up a Nora Roberts book makes this a perfect summer read.
Second Honeymoon by James Patterson
James Patterson is Amazon’s #1 writer and little wonder. Along Came a Spider was the first book I read by this author and Alex Cross is a legend. Second Honeymoon may be co-authored, but it promises the twists and turns, general mayhem and psychological thrills we can expect from this author.
Starting Now: A Blossom Street Novel by Debbie Macomber
Debbie Macomber has an easy narrative style and her stories resonate because they remind me of people I know, and of course, touch a chord within. I like her Cedar Cove series, and am looking forward to reading this one from the Blossom Street series.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl is crazy popular! I reviewed Gone Girl a few weeks ago and have mixed feelings about it. It has caused a buzz along optic fiber lines, and people can’t stop talking about it. Critics praise the way it is written. If you are a fan of the psycho thriller, you want this book beside you or on your Kindle by that pool side. It will astound you and keep you on edge until the completely unexpected finale.
Hen of the Baskervilles by Donna Andrews
If you have been following this blog, you know I am a big Meg Langslow fan. Donna Andrews is a whiz at combining suspense and mystery with humor and a large cast of characters, many of them regulars in this series by this time. There are always large family gatherings and lots of down home food in these books, so you can go adventuring without any fear of things getting too serious.
Inferno by Dan Brown
Religious thrillers came into vogue with the Da Vinci Code. And no one writes them like Dan Brown. The un-encouraging review of Inferno by Joanna Penn has not deterred me from adding this to my reading list. That’s the great thing about achieveing the Dan Brown level of fame. Negative reviews don’t stop sales. In fact, they might encourage them.
A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
Although I have never read anything by this author, this book is set in my favorite era. The book promises a love triangle and is actually set on the beach in summer. I confess the cover called out to me, and is definitely a factor in my picking it for the summer reads list.
The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Now this one should be a hoot. The only reason Notorious Nineteen is not on this list is because I already read it. I am eager to see what the creators of Stephanie Plum and Adrian Monk have in store for us. I love reading about con men or confidence tricksters as they used to call them. If Tomorrow Comes was my favorite Sidney Sheldon book. This promises to be an entertaining high jinks thriller without the headache that goes with a serial killer type mystery.
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
A debut novel with almost three thousand Amazon reviews speaks for itself. The cover tugged at me and the story reeled me in. The remote setting forebodes a trial of wits for people who live there, especially a newly married couple. Add some tragic events and the stage is set for poignant drama. The plot is touted ‘high concept’ and I would rather read something this intense in summer, surrounded by light and frolicking people.
Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews
Some might call this chick lit, but a light and breezy book is always a must read on any list I make. Especially after reading intense drama and psycho thrillers. The bright cover is a draw and I want to be in on any ladies night in a bar. Most of my gal pals will love to settle down with this book accompanied by that frozen margarita or tall, frosty drink. If this is not a summer read, I don’t know what is!
Now that you have solved age old riddles, chased criminals, experienced high drama, and shed a few cathartic tears reading that love story – wait a minute, also laughed your butt off reading the escapades of some of these Characters, it’s time to put on some sun block and head into the ocean. Until you head back to read some more of these great books, that is.
Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think about them in the comments below.