Summer Must-Reads

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Summer is HERE! I love reading year-round, but when I inevitably get in a slump I always look forward to summer to pick me back up. There is truly nothing better than sitting by the pool, lake or beach and soaking in the sun and a good read. Here are some of my past favorites and what’s on my list this summer. Follow me on Goodreads here!

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Black Panther vibes rule hard here and I’m not complaining. I loved this story about a young girl fighting a monarchy to bring magic back to her people and I’m very obsessed with the author. She was just 24 when this book came out to huge success - she has a deal for three books in this series (the second one is coming out in December) and a movie for CBB is already in pre-production.

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I read this on the beach last summer and could not get enough! This is a laugh out loud funny book about three incredibly wealthy (crazy rich) Chinese families, full of gossip and FUN. If you have or haven’t seen the movie version yet, I recommend it as a read. I’ve been waiting all year to read the next in the series (China Rich Girlfriend) when I head back to the beach next month!

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I love a good memoir in the summer, and this pair does the trick. If you’re not an eternal Mindy stan then consider this your invite to the best club there is. I’ve loved MK from The Office to The Mindy Project to literally everything else she’s been involved with, and these books give insight into her life and time spent in the entertainment industry. They’re lighthearted and fun, and I read each in a day.

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The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

I read this a couple of summers ago and still think it’s one of the best summer reads ever - there’s also a theatrical version! It’s about a couple who live alone on an island where the husband works as a lighthouse keeper. They suffer many miscarriages and one day a baby literally arrives at their figurative doorstep, in a boat that washes ashore carrying the child and a dead man. They make a decision that guides the rest of the novel. When you finish, it’ll keep you thinking, “What would I have done?”

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I read this book two years ago and y’all I am STILL not over it. Multiple storylines weave together, including a mother-daughter duo who move into an upscale suburb, a couple who adopt a baby that launches a custody battle that shakes up the whole town, and teenagers coming of age beneath the watchful eye of their parents. This is one of the best books I have ever read and Keri Washington and Reese Witherspoon agree - they’re co-producing and co-starring in a miniseries for Hulu. Production started in May!!!

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Our UTees book club read this in the spring and it remains the only book we have unanimously been obsessed with. This is an incredibly realistic book about an iconic Hollywood actress and her infamous seven marriages that does an expert job of weaving pop culture headlines with reality. This is one of the first books I recommend to friends looking for a new read. You will love it, trust me!

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The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

I chose this book as one of my Book of the Month picks last summer - shameless plug for my referral link here - sign up and we each receive a free book! This is about a girl who moves to an elite island in New England when her mother marries a man with a summer house there. It switches back and forth between the 1950s and 20 years later when she returns to the island and is full of the glamour of high society, summer on the water, and mystery. The perfect summer read!

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This book y’all....this book will do it to you. It instantly became one of of my favorite books of all time and one I know I will reread again and again. It’s about a young girl who raises herself, alone, in the marsh of North Carolina. We follow her from girl to woman and see how loneliness and her ability to survive shapes her - all while trying to figure out what happened to the popular boy in town who was found dead. It is incredible and I couldn’t put it down. And you know our girl Reese is pulling through and turning it into a movie, so hop on the train now and become a fan before all your friends do.

On My List This Summer:

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Becoming by Michelle Obama

Do you ever wait to watch the last episode of a TV show because you don’t want it to end? That’s how I feel about this book - I just know it’s going to be amazing and I’ve been holding off from starting it because I already don’t want it to end. This summer, it’s gametime. Change my world Mobama.

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City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

A 95-year-old woman recounts her youth in the theater world of New York City in the 1940s. Already packed in my beach bag.

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Educated by Tara Westover

I have seen nothing but incredible reviews about this book, which is an autobiography/coming of age story about a girl who didn’t go to school until she was 17 because her family lived excluded in the mountains of Idaho. I can’t wait to dive in.

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The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t enthralled by the description of this book when it first came out. BUT I have read The Nightingale also by Kristin Hannah and was completely obsessed with the story and her writing, so because of that and the continued amazing reviews of this book, I’m ready to finally give her a go. It’s about a family of three who moves to Alaska after the Vietnam war to live off the grid. Time to read this book about the cold in the summer heat!

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The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

A single mom starts a whirlwind relationship with a famous member of a boy band - uhhh yeah, I’m in - if not for the story, then for tips on how to snag a One Direction member ;)

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The Library Book by Susan Orlean

A nonfiction book about a fire that destroyed or damaged over one million books at the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986. Doesn’t sound like a page-turner necessarily, but I have heard consistently great reviews about this book. On a recent flight I sat next to a woman reading it and asked her how she liked it - she said her book club chose it and she wasn’t sure about the choice but ended up loving it. It’s been billed as a book for library lovers - and on that note, you should get a library card. Libraries aren’t just for when you were youthful, y’all. You can Google search how to apply for one at your local library.

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Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

“A literary courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a young, single mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic son.” One sentence and I’m hooked. Excited to devour this one.

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Like I said, I love a good memoir in the summer. Aside from Becoming, I have my eye on this one, a story about self-discovery set in a Montauk summer house. A story about Montauk...in the summer...read during the summer? Sounds like a prime coupling.

-Written by Caitlin Young, University Tees Sales Director, Texan and Avid Reader