8 New Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List, According to a Bookstore Owner

updated Jun 3, 2021
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As a bookstore owner, I have the rare, fun privilege of watching book trends unfold in real time. Whether it’s specific to the small, coastal town I’m situated in or nationwide, I’m always looking out for them so that I can buy for the bookstore accordingly. 

Since coming out of a long, cold, and arguably one of the most isolating winters ever, there’s been an increased interest in absorbing, escapist reads — from page-turning thrillers to swoon-worthy romances. Summer is the perfect season to dive into all of the above.

Below are eight absorbing books to add to your TBR list this summer. Not all of them have been released yet, but they’re definitely available for preorder, something that helps the book world – author, publisher, and your local indie bookstore – immensely.

“The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton” by Eleanor Ray

Amy Ashton suffered a tragedy that turned her away from people, pushing her toward collecting beautiful things instead. Tea cups, terracotta pots, and vibrant glass bottles are just a few things stacked high in her house. When a family moves in next door though, those treasures start to lose their shine, and Amy realizes that in order to move forward, she must turn and face the past. “The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton” is a tender, heartwarming story with strong Eleanor Oliphant vibes. 

“The Other Black Girl” by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Step inside the New York City publishing world with this page-turning thriller. 20-something editorial assistant Nella Rogers is the only Black employee at Wagner Books. That is, until Hazel arrives. Nella is initially ecstatic to have a Black co-worker on her floor, but then she starts receiving threatening letters telling her to leave the company. Are the two events related? Nella’s determined to find out.

“So We Meet Again” by Suzanne Park

Jess Kim’s entire life revolves around her Wall Street investment-banking job. So when she’s suddenly let go, there’s not much else to do except tell her employer’s off and move back in with her overbearing Korean mom. As Jess wades through unemployment, she decides to start a Korean cooking YouTube channel that will unexpectedly take off and lead her right back to Wall Street. “So We Meet Again” is a whip-smart, foodie romance that will leave you craving Korean cuisine.

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Travel back to the ’80s with this sun soaked SoCal novel. Told over the course of 24 hours, “Malibu Rising” centers on four children in the Riva family as they gear up for their famous end-of-summer annual party. Little do they know it’s going to be their most memorable yet. This book is a wild and, at times, heart-wrenching family drama that’s perfect for beach reading this season.

“The Family Plot” by Megan Collins

It’s been a decade since the Blackburn Killer last struck. But that’s not why Dahlia Lighthouse has avoided her home for the last several years. Having grown up on a small, secluded island with her eccentric family, she fled when her twin brother mysteriously disappeared. But then her father dies, forcing Dahlia to return to a house where more than her family awaits her. “The Family Plot” is the quintessential summer thriller for true crime enthusiasts.

“Revival Season” by Monica West

No bookish summer is complete without a profound, intricate, and stiflingly hot read. Monica West’s debut “Revival Season” is about an Evangelical Black family set in the Southern summer. Fifteen-year-old Miriam Horton’s world cracks open when she witnesses a traumatic event. It’s pushed even further apart when she discovers that she might be a healer, a power reserved only for the men of the congregation. It’s up to Miriam to decide how she wants to move forward.

“Impostor Syndrome” by Kathy Wang

Kathy Wang’s latest novel is a page-turning corporate thriller set in Silicon Valley. We begin in Moscow, where Leo Guskov is on the lookout for his next spy. Enter Julia Lerner, who catches the attention of Russia’s largest intelligence agency and is recruited right out of college. Fast-forward to when Lerner is taking over the tech world as COO of Tangerine, a famous tech company based in Silicon Valley. That is, until Tangerine employee Alice Lu discovers some unusual activity. Cue the cat-and-mouse chase, “Impostor Syndrome” is a sharp, wild corporate novel.

“Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead” by Emily R. Austin

“Everyone in This Room Will Someday be Dead” is as dark and hilarious as its title. Twenty-something Gilda arrives at a church hoping to find help with her anxiety. Instead, she’s welcomed by Father Jeff who believes she’s there for a job interview. With nothing to lose, she decides to fake it until she makes it. Witty, comic, and at times dismal shenanigans ensue.