It’s Beach-Read Season! See What Books for Summer Made Our List This Year

We just hope your beach bag is big enough for all of these!

summer reading books best 2018
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Wherever your adventures take you (even if it's no further than your own backyard), we've picked 50 amazing books for summer reading to enjoy during your OOO time.

1 of 50
The Ensemble: A Novel
$19.35

In the classical music community, the people you perform with may be your competitors, but they're your family above all. This riveting debut novel follows four string musicians and best friends that make up the Van Ness Quartet, illustrating their triumphs, heartbreaks, the drama that's always around them, and the passion for their art that keeps their bond strong.

More: Don't Miss the Summer Movies Everyone Will Be Talking About

2 of 50
You Think It, I'll Say It: Stories
$14.91

Curtis Sittenfeld is a master at constructing fictional worlds in which things on the surface are never really what they appear to be. Her latest book — and her first short-story collection — is an astute take-down of lifestyle gurus, ambitious Ivy Leaguers, and our own politically divided nation. Thrilling and scintillating, this is one to discuss with your besties over drinks.

3 of 50
My Year of Rest and Relaxation
$20.80

The narrator of My Year of Rest and Relaxation is an attractive, intelligent, seemingly well-off young woman living in New York City during the Giuliani era. Though on paper she seems to have it all together, her bitter unhappiness leads her to seek out a very unorthodox psychiatrist. She's prescribed a cocktail of drugs to help her deal with her reality, when in fact, it's pulling her further and further away from it.

4 of 50
The Outsider: A Novel
$17.99

The horror master is back with one of his most chilling and gruesome tales yet. Stephen King's The Outsider details life in a small town, where everybody knows everybody. When a little boy's body is found in a town park, the police and townspeople immediately point to only one person — his Little League coach. A combination of narration and police interview transcripts weave a complicated, unbelievably compelling story.

5 of 50
Meaty: Essays
$12.76

As smart, hilarious, and as over-sharing as the most active friend in your group chat, Samantha Irby's Meaty is a refreshing break from all of the BS. This follow-up essay collection to last year's We Are Never Meeting in Real Life speaks just as candidly on bodily functions and sexual misadventures as it does on gut-wrenching topics like childhood trauma and loss.

6 of 50
I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé
$13.98

So you sped-read through Meaty, now what? Michael Arceneaux's I Can't Date Jesus may be the only worthy book to follow it. This humorous, yet highly affecting memoir chronicles his life growing up gay, black, and religious in Houston, with all of the challenges and absurdity that comes with embracing his identity in a bigoted world. The constant unpacking of life's baggage is exhausting, but necessary, and Arceneaux does it brilliantly.

7 of 50
Hey Ladies!: The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, and Way, Way Too Many Emails
$14.29

A modern take on the epistolary novel, Hey Ladies! is told through the medium of emails, texts, DMs, and other forms of digital communication. It's the ongoing conversation of eight 20- and 30-something female friends centering around gossip, dates, breakups, summer plans, and one particularly drama-filled wedding.

8 of 50
The Mars Room: A Novel
$17.70

Rachel Kushner's newest novel is a harrowing look at a life sentence in a women's prison. The protagonist, Romy Hall, observes the bleakness of life, and the myriad of codes, signals, systems, and hierarchies that surround her. Packed with astute social commentary and wry criticism, this read is as luminous as it is dark.

9 of 50
The Pisces: A Novel
$16.41

Did watching The Shape of Water leave you feeling a little ... thirsty? Melissa Broder's newest novel furthers the fish-man fantasy. On the heels of heartbreak, Lucy heads to Venice Beach with the hopes to patch up her emotional wounds, and also immediately rebound. She becomes enchanted by a mysterious swimmer one night, sparking her desires while leading her into uncharted waters of a truly different kind.

10 of 50
Exit West: A Novel

$17.68

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Mohsin Hamid's compelling new novel is a darkly lyrical love story following two young people named Nadia and Saeed, who meet on the precipice of their once-peaceful city falling under war-like siege. When daily life becomes too perilous for the couple to endure, they seek out their only viable means of escape — by entering through a magical, if perilous, doorway that'll whisk them away from their home.

11 of 50
The Favorite Sister
$17.99

Jessica Knoll's Luckiest Girl Alive is a tough act to follow, which is why we're doubly impressed by her new release, The Favorite Sister. Five successful women appear on a reality show, pitting their achievements and character against one another. The already-tense relationship between sisters Brett and Kelly is heightened ... then tragedy strikes and one of the castmates ends up dead.

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A Terrible Country: A Novel
$23.40

Out in midsummer, A Terrible Country is a novel centering around protagonist Andrei's homecoming to Moscow to take care of his grandmother. His birthplace has stayed nearly the same since he was last here years ago — only now Putin is at its helm. Andrei grapples with his cross-cultural identity and reckons with loved ones and a community with a very different worldview from himself.

13 of 50
Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches
$12.80

Just released in paperback, John Hodgman's Vacationland is a humorous memoir, tinged with post-2016 sadness. The former Daily Show correspondent brings his signature wit and irreverence to the page once again, only this time with surprisingly poignant reflections on fatherhood, aging, his place as an older white man in Trump's America, and, of course, the topographically ruthless beaches of the Northeast.

14 of 50
The Incendiaries: A Novel
$20.80

Fundamentalism, political extremism, and terrorism make for a perfect storm of doomsday scenarios, and The Incendiaries is a compelling look into the darkest timeline. College students Phoebe and Will find themselves pulled into an underworld cult with ties to North Korea. Both students try to patch the profound sense of loss in their lives through acceptance by this group ... even when they're forced to commit some truly horrific atrocities.

15 of 50
Look Alive Out There: Essays
$17.96

Celebrated essayist Sloane Crosley is back, on the 10th anniversary of her first story collection, with her latest — and arguably best — book yet. Her topics and observations span from everyday-relatable to weirdly-specific-yet-oh-so-compelling. Searingly witty, erudite, and original, Crosley wins our affection all over again.

16 of 50
Florida
$16.20

In Lauren Groff's Florida, the region's sultry climate is the backdrop for a collection of slow-burning stories. Both transportive and evocative, Groff's prose is equally electrifying in all of the myriad characters — and creatures — she inhabits.

17 of 50
Kudos: A Novel
$19.60

The books of Rachel Cusk's Outline trilogy are sort of the literary equivalent of floating in a sensory deprivation tank. They're mysterious and meditative, and have the tendency to uncover deeply buried emotions at unexpected times. Kudos, the final book of the series, closes out protagonist Faye's introspective odyssey in reckoning with a tumultuous political reality, a shifting of her identity in relation to her work, and the growing disparity between her and her children.

18 of 50
When Katie Met Cassidy
$19.00

Finally, a snarky, sexy rom-com we can enjoy without irony. Katie and Cassidy on the surface couldn't seem any less compatible — Katie's an NYC transplant with traditional Southern values, while Cassidy is a whip-smart, confident queer woman, and yet their chemistry is undeniable right off the bat. When Katie Met Cassidy is a novel about connection, community, and the complex nature of female sexuality.

19 of 50
Convenience Store Woman
$17.81

This quirky, entrancing novel follows the contentedly quiet Keiko, and her life of repetitiveness. For the last 18 years, she's worked at a convenience store, repeating the same phrases, wearing the same uniform, and living each day exactly as the last. This state of equilibrium is disrupted when a young man who seems to be her polar opposite enters the store, and brings new color and complications into her life.

20 of 50
Less: A Novel
$17.68

Newly released in paperback, Less is not only a Pulitzer Prize winner, but a complete joyride of a novel. Staring down his 50th birthday, struggling novelist Arthur Less travels to the ends of the earth seeking inspiration and ideal conditions to finish his latest work, while also running away from his failed relationships that seem hell-bent on finding him and foisting their new happiness into his path.

21 of 50
D C-T!
$14.00

Summer road trip ahead? This is one book to pack for the long ride. D C-T is a unique book of phonetic puzzles, and also a love letter to the complex, multi-layered, and at times infuriating world of NYC. A witty first collaboration between wordsmith Molly Young and illustrator Joana Avillez, each puzzle is meant to be read out loud in order to solve it. Some are easy and quick, and others will have you in phone-a-friend mode.

22 of 50
Crazy Rich Asians
$9.60

Before the highly anticipated movie hits theaters this summer, read the hilariously-entertaining novel that inspired the film. In the book, Rachel Chu thinks she’s spending the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend. Little does she know just how rich his family is, and the influence his mother has on who he chooses to marry.

23 of 50
My Ex-Life: A Novel
$21.77

David and Julie had a short, misguided marriage, managed to part as friends, and allowed their lives to completely diverge. Decades later, they both find themselves teetering on the cusp of a midlife crisis, with Julie seeking David out for help in tutoring her daughter. Their reconnection rekindles something more complicated than romance — it's more of a fractured friendship that'll never quite look the way it once did.

24 of 50
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
$6.69

Wholesome and honest, this comic and endearing book (on which the movie, Love, Simon was based) is sure to give you all the feels. Protagonist Simon Spier is a 16-year-old high school student who's on the cusp of coming out, when he strikes up an anonymous friendship online with a classmate and feels comfortable enough to confide in him. The plot thickens as Simon's correspondence falls into the wrong hands, sending him spiraling on whether or not he's ready for everyone to know that he's gay.

25 of 50
Sophia of Silicon Valley: A Novel
$15.38

This Silicon Valley drama might be the one thing this summer that'll make you put your phone down. Sophia Young finds herself the token female in the middle of the tech-bubble boys’ club. She crosses paths with some of the most influential players in this circle, quickly making the start-up moguls around her see her as an asset — but also as a target.

26 of 50
Robin
$27.00

Four years after his death, this new-release memoir from New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff sheds a little more light on one of the most beloved comics in history. Featuring original interviews and anecdotes, Robin is a touching, emotional tribute to the man himself and his iconic body of work.

27 of 50
The Female Persuasion: A Novel
$19.58

Meg Wolitzer’s latest novel about feminism, power, and influence has critics talking about its timeliness. After college freshman Greer Kadetsky hears 63-year-old Faith Frank — the leader of the women’s movement — speak, she finds herself on an exciting new life path she hadn't imagined.

28 of 50
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories
$9.48

Carmen Maria Machado's celebrated literary debut is a sublimely queer story collection, tinged throughout with paranormal themes. Each of the eight stories features protagonists and characters on varying points on the sexuality spectrum, dealing with the myriad traumas in their lives as a result of their female-presenting identities.

29 of 50
The Woman in the Window: A Novel
$15.67

Life in New York City is lonely for Anna Fox. She lives alone, never goes outside due to her agoraphobia, and loves to spy on her neighbors. It isn’t until the Russells move into the house across the street that things start to change. Anna sees something she shouldn’t — something so shocking she begins to not know what’s real and what’s imagined.

30 of 50
The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)
$14.29

Abby is a fashion-obsessed lesbian who runs a plus-size style blog that's just starting to gain popularity. She's stoked on her career ambitions, having landed a summer internship at an amazing boutique with the possibility of full-time employment at the end. The only thing is, she's competing with the other intern for the coveted spot ... who she ends up totally falling for. 

Fast-paced, funny, and charming, you'll also be head over heels by the time this book is done.