Best Books to Read on Vacation this Summer

summer books to read on vacation

Even people who aren’t avid readers can’t deny the compulsion to pick up a good book once summer rolls around. Something about the fresh air or sunshine exposes our desire to lounge about, stepping into another reality with an enticing novel. If you want to lose yourself for a few hours, pick up one of these sizzling summer reads.

Travels” by Michael Crichton

Although better known for his thrilling blockbusters, Michael Crichton was actually an ardent traveler and loved chronicling his adventures. This book is a compilation of his best traveling stories, and like all of his books, is incredibly well-written and captivating.

Cari Mora” by Thomas Harris

This highly-anticipated novel from the bestselling author of “Silence of the Lambs” lives up to all of the hype. It’s a fast-paced mystery that delivers a strong female lead and a healthy dose of Thomas Harris’s signature twists and thrills. 

Her Daughter’s Mother” by Daniela Petrova

This enticing read quickly turns from a suspenseful story focused on obsession into a twisting murder mystery. The characters are well fleshed out, leaving you rooting for everyone along the way.

All the Lost Things” by Michelle Sacks

This emotional and innovative novel takes a different approach with its antagonist. It follows the story of 7-year-old little Dolly, who’s on a road trip of sorts with her dad. It’s a very psychologically suspenseful story that will keep you reading well into the hot summer night.

The Paper Wasp” by Lauren Acampora

This intriguing read is best described as ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ if it had been set in hectic Los Angeles. It’s a suspenseful novel that has everything you want in a great summer fling: thrills, a smidge of obsession, realistic characters, and underlying humor.

The Woman in the Window” by AJ Finn

In a similar vein as Rear Window, the narrator in this novel is a woman who is deathly afraid to leave her home and witnesses something she shouldn’t. When the authorities don’t believe her, even the reader starts to question the reliability of the antagonist, making for a fun read.

The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides

There hasn’t been a psychological thriller this juicy in years! The story follows a psychotherapist and his mild obsession with a mute patient he thinks has murdered her husband. 

“The Perfect Fraud” by Ellen LaCorte

In this page-turner, a single mom with a very sick child has a chance meeting with a fake psychic and it turns both women’s lives upside down as they race to save the young girl. 

Orange World and Other Stories” by Karen Russell

Short stories are the best for beach reading, and there is none better than Orange World. Visit fantastical realms and surreal settings with Russell’s slightly strange and captivating stories.

Disappearing Earth” by Julia Phillips

If you’d like to be mentally transported to a frigid landscape while you’re melting on a hot chair under the summer sun, this book will do the trick. Part mystery, part Siberian travel journal, “Disappearing Earth” will make you feel grateful for the warm security of your beach blanket. 

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