The (Ever-Expanding!) Ultimate List of Awesome Summer Reads

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Summer is time for fun, friends and travel, but also for slowing down, relaxing and, for many of us, reading. Lots and lots of reading. Reading on the beach, reading on the porch, reading in a hammock, reading on planes and trains. You get the picture. Since Apartment Therapy readers have great taste in design, decor and — I’m hoping — books, we want to kick off the summer by sharing our absolute favorite books with each other.

We’re looking for your absolute favorite summer book: the book you would never declutter and put on the curb, the book you revisit over and over, the book that makes you laugh or cry or think more than any other.

Together, let’s create a summer reading list to end all summer reading lists!

How to Share:

On Instagram, snap a pic of your favorite book and post it to your account with the hashtag #atsummerreading along with your 1-3 sentence endorsement.

Look! Instagrammers are already on it! Check them out and add your own:

The (Ever Growing!) List of Great Summer Reads:

Cook Korean by Robin Ha, The Summer Book by Tove Jansson, The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck, and Norwegian Wood by Lars Mytting: The July reads. My reading has been all over the place this year, and I ❤️ it! – @catherine.liberty

Harold’s Hungry Eyes by Kevin Waldron: It’s great not only because it’s about a hungry #bostonterrier just like me, but also because it’s a really fun story with awesome illustrations. – @cashthebadassboston

Chop Chop by Simon Wroe: Chef’s life. – @oh.kelly8

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion: Just finished Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (read it!) and now dipping into some Didion. She’s inspiring me to be a better writer and sunglass wearer. – @pizzanaps

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub: Such a heartwarming and quirky story about love and family. – @gsilvarole; I always judge a book by its cover and this one is just as good on the inside as it is on the outside✨?✨ – @emr.interiors

We Should All Be Feminists & Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Turner House by Angela Flournoy, & A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James: Summer reading going a little something like this. – @lipstickfashion

Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins: #royalty #absurdity & the problem of #redheads this #book has it all. – @sineaddy4now

Let Us Eat Cake by Sharon Boorstin: t’s a memoir about one woman’s relationship with food, friends, and family. Fun, sadness, tragedy all rolled up in one. – @craftycreativegal

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell: Such control over so many points of view and a non-linear timeline. Unexpectedly detailed and moving secondary characters were like short stories in themselves. Wonderful. – @foxglovex

Grit by Angela Duckworth: This is my commuting reading 🙂 – @run9680

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: Read by example. – @xnasozi

The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by Karen Bajaj: A fascinating spiritual quest, insights for those who are interested in yoga, meditation and spiritual practices, the authors profound personal experience shining through. Love it! – @inmy50.year

The Lightkeepers by Abby Geni: For me, this is the perfect summer read. It’s a transporting exploration of other worlds with just a little bit of mystery and some real insight into the human psyche. It’s practically a one-sitting read. – @sarah_see_be

The First Bad Man by Miranda July: My summer reading pick for Apartment Therapy is The First Bad Man by Miranda July. It’s about a lonely middle aged woman looking for love in all the wrong places, but the plot is so bizarre I wouldn’t categorize it as chick lit, and definitely not romance. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe in sympathy, you’ll cry happy tears, and you’ll keep flipping pages. – @hi_keribeth

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides: “What are you doing here, honey? You’re not even old enough to know how bad life gets.” “Obviously, Doctor,” she said, “you’ve never been a thirteen-year-old girl.” – @jacquelinerufener

The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs: Latest #backporch read…vampires and romance! –@oh.kelly8

The Good Divide by Kali VanBaale: I was pulling weeds, walked down to get the mail, then found this in my mailbox. And now ‘You Are Welcome dear weeds, you will live another day’……Can’t put this book down! A different kind of story told by the one of the greatest story tellers. – @irishmanacres

The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein & Barbarian Days by William Finnegan: Travel inspiration. Even more obsessed with seeing Norway’s Midnight Sun (one day) after reading The Sunlit Night and getting ready to dive into New York surfing (attempting to surf soon in my new home). – @k_rellihan

Canning For A New Generation by Liana Krissoff: @liana_krissoff is one of the first editors I ever had the pleasure of working with. The revised and expanded update of her book Canning for a New Generation is equally brilliant and beautiful. Required summer reading for anyone getting into the canning game. – @stirandscribble

The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr: From the author of “All the Light We Cannot See“. Beautifully written. A new collection of modern mythologies including The Hunter’s Wife, winner of the O. Henry Prize. –@tomsaaristo

In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki: I love the NY Public Library. It’s like the whole world is at your fingertips and it’s all FREE. Currently I’m reading the essay “In Praise of Shadows” which explains the Japanese aesthetic and is making me want to purge anything shiny and new in my house. Also…I’m wearing a sweater. In July. – @mariancourie

The 52 Lists Project by Moorea Seal: Bought this today @sundogbooks and feel super stoked. Needing some inspiration these days! – @ohswoonbaby

Bettyville by George Hodgman: Bettyville is my excellent beach book! A Vanity Fair editor leaves Manhattan to tend to Betty, his aging mother in Missouri. Charming, intense and funny #memoir about aging, family, and modern gay life. – @bklyngarden

Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin: An off-beat romance that I consumed in full years ago and now “snack” on, opening up to any page, to enjoy Colwin’s smart, funny language and mix of cynicism and compassion for the endeavor of getting in and staying in a relationship. – @cmcb73

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert: My first #ATsummerreading pick is this funny, nerdy, angsty novel. It’s like “Downton Abbey” meets “Planet Earth”. – @adriennebreaux

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll: Trying to make time every day to crack the spine on #luckiestgirlalive. Started it on the beach and intend on finishing it on the beach! – @arlynhernandez

Seinfeldia by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong: I’ve only just started this read, but as a pop culture junkie, it’s hard to put this book down. Seinfeld is a cultural institution, and I really appreciate how seriously Seinfeldia takes its job, which is to give us a snapshot of why and how this show came to mean so much to so many people. – @tarynwilliford

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero: This is self improvement for the self-help-phobic. I picked it up 3 years ago and it’s been so influential in my life that I have read it multiple times, played the fantastic audiobook on repeat, gifted it to people, and even got the silly badass button to keep reminding myself & others, that you—yes, you— are a badass that can achieve your dreams. – @tbellucci

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: #atsummerreading this book is long and beautiful, a wonderful journey for long summer days 🙂 – @kshurick

Hogs Wild by Ian Frazier: A day off means fun times both reading and painting… Couldn’t resist combining the two ? love all of Sandy Frazier’s writing, and this cover is awesome by itself, but a touch sillier when the hog gets a different set of legs… ??? – @wanderinglaur

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: This book was so good! I couldn’t put it down. Kristin Hannah doesn’t disappoint! – @featherednest_5

How To Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz: Just started this book about 20 years of female friendships and already hooked. – @tbellucci

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham: I ❤️ Lena and her book. I pre-ordered it, waited impatiently for it to be delivered on the day it finally came out, and then read it cover to cover. It’s smart and funny and would be perfect for reading while hiding out inside, AC on blast, on a sunny summer day. – @janelpix

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson: My second #ATsummerReading pick is Bill Bryson’s nonfiction book about hiking the Appalachian Trail. It makes me laugh out loud even after multiple readings and it’s a lot less dirty/strenuous than *actually* hiking the AT. – @adriennebreaux

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight: The title should say it all! – @berritsoe