Are you ready to fill your to-read list with good summer reads? The Summer Reading List 2023 will help you find all the best books to read this summer.
I recently sat down to figure out my summer plans.
Instead of any big trips, I’ve filled up my summer with the typical summer things: beach days, hikes, theme park visits, camping, bike rides, and pickleball.
As always, I’ve made sure to pencil in plenty of time to get through my summer reading list for 2023.
Of course, you only want the best summer reads to appear on your summer book list. No one has time to waste reading overrated bestsellers.
That’s where I step in. I’ve already read dozens of new and upcoming releases, and I’ve compiled suggestions for summer reading for adults.
Plus, I’ve got books becoming movies, the hottest new releases, 2022 bestsellers, and some older reads you might have missed.
Summer Reading List 2023
After a childhood of being ignored by his family, William Waters finds refuge playing basketball in college. When William meets Julia Padavano, a lively girl extremely close to her parents and three sisters, he quickly becomes a part of the close-knit Padavano family. Although cracks start to appear in the family, William never imagined he’d be the wedge to drive them apart. A homage to Little Women, Hello Beautiful gorgeously describes family and sisterhood, mental health, and forgiveness, in such a way that you will never forget this story.
The second son of King Charles III and his first wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Harry has always known he was the spare prince. Traumatized by his mother’s death, Harry struggled to live such a public life, constantly plagued by the ever-hungry paparazzi. In his highly anticipated memoir, Harry discusses his life and his public falling out with the royal family, feeling they did not support his wife enough when she was hounded by the British press. Harry brilliantly describes the monarchy’s twisted relationship with the press: hating them but also desperately wanting their praises. Harry’s stunning story reminds you that being royalty isn’t a dream come true.
Jack and her husband Gabe are security experts, hired to break into buildings and hack security systems. When a routine assignment goes awry, Jack returns to find her husband dead. Now Jack is the prime suspect and, on the run, she must decide who she can trust while hunting the real killer.
Lauren Fleshman is one of the most-decorated distance runners in the United States. In Good for a Girl, Fleshman tells of how she fell in love with running as a girl and shares her own running journey. Yet, Good for a Girl isn’t just a memoir. It’s a powerful look at how competitive sports are designed for men and boys and routinely fail female athletes, leading to injuries, eating disorders, and mental health issues.
Ten years ago, on the way back from a high school service project, two vans were in a tragic accident and only nine students survived. Yet none of the survivors feels like a hero, each ashamed of a decision they made that fateful night. Every anniversary since, they have met at a North Carolina beach house to check up on each other. Cassidy Brent has tried to distance herself from the other survivors, but when she finds out one has recently died, she finds herself drawn back in. When the group realizes that someone has been talking, they begin to suspect each other, and Cassidy wonders if one would go to great lengths to keep them all quiet.
A year ago, Isabelle Drake’s life was dramatically changed when her toddler was taken while she and her husband slept in the next room. Once a sleepwalker but now suffering from crippling insomnia, Isabelle is obsessed with finding Mason. When she turns to a true crime podcaster for help, Isabelle begins to doubt her memories and worries that she might have been responsible. Stacy Willingham’s sophomore novel is an excellent domestic thriller with plenty of red herrings and great twists.
Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they began dating in high school. Except they broke up six months ago and still haven’t told anyone. Thus, at their group’s annual Maine vacation, they find themselves faking a relationship. With the cottage for sale, they don’t want to ruin everyone’s last time there. They’d been together for a decade, how hard can it be to fake another week?
Books Becoming Movies in 2023
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Among the most anticipated 2023 books to movies is Taylor Jenkin Reid’s bestseller, Daisy Jones & The Six. This addictingly fun read is the oral history of the rise and fall of a fictional 70s band. With sex, drugs, and plenty of drama, you’ll feel like you are watching a biopic on VH1 – but an extremely well-written one.
Before Owen Michaels disappeared, he smuggled a note to his new wife Hannah: Protect her. Hannah knows he’s referring to his sixteen-year-old daughter Bailey, but Bailey doesn’t want anything to do with Hannah. As Owen’s boss gets arrested and the FBI comes knocking, As Hannah tries to unravel Owen’s true identity and learn to connect with her stepdaughter, the suspense keeps you turning pages.
April 28, 2023 – When eleven-year-old Margaret Simons moves to New Jersey, she desperately wants to fit in with her new friends as they talk about boys, bras, getting their first periods, and religion. Now, on top of dealing with puberty, Margaret must also decide her beliefs about God in this classic coming-of-age book.
When the President’s son falls in love with the Prince of Wales, international relations take on a whole new term. At first, America’s darling Alex Claremont-Diaz can’t stand the royal British heir, Prince Henry. Forced to develop a fake friendship for the publicity, the two soon realize that no faking is required.
Anthony Doerr masterfully interweaves the stories of Marie-Laurie, a blind French girl who flees from Paris to the coastal city of Saint-Malo with her uncle, and Werner, a German radio operator charged with rooting out the French resistance. While the plot is interesting in and of itself, the character development and storytelling will keep you glued to the page.
Best Books of Summer 2023
On her forty-fifth birthday, Alix Summers runs into Josie Fair, who happens to also be celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. Soon Alix runs into Josie again, and the two become friends. Josie thinks her interesting life would be a great subject for Alix’s true crime podcast. Josie manipulates her way into Josie’s life and home before vanishing. Suddenly, Alix finds unexpectedly finds herself the subject of her own podcast and must uncover Josie’s dark secrets to protect her family.
In 1970s Los Angeles, three ambitious women each fight to make it to the top, willing to do whatever reinventing or duplicity it takes to earn success. Evra Scott is the fashion queen of LA by day and the gorgeous girlfriend of Kai de la Faire, Hollywood’s hottest screenwriter. Theodora Leigh won’t let sexism stop her from becoming the hottest movie producer in town. Meanwhile, photographer Bea Dupont watches it all while harboring a longtime crush on Kai.
S. A. Cosby
After a career as an FBI agent, Titus Crown returns home to become the first Black sheriff of his county. A year later, a young Black man is shot by one of Titus’s deputies. Determined to find the truth wherever it leads, Titus must weave a fine line investigating a shocking crime in the American South.
In 1946, Emilia Winthrop, the daughter of the caretaker, becomes enchanted with Summerly’s new hostess, Olive Rainsford, and the surviving Peabody heirs. When an FBI agent turns up hunting a spy, Emilia’s decisions blow everything apart. Eight years later, the CIA is set to do a prisoner exchange, and Emilia finds once again caught up in the events.
Since 1929, Lenora Hope has never left her family’s Maine estate, ever since she was accused, but not convicted, of killing her sister. Now in 1983, Kit McDeere becomes Lenora’s home health aide to care for the wheelchair-bound woman who cannot speak. As Lenora begins to type out her story to Kit, Kit suspects that the old lady might not be as harmless as she appears.
Book Club Reads For Summer 2023
Ten years ago, Bess and Joni spend a summer in Greece with their best friend Evangeline. When Evangeline dies, Bess and Joni find themselves suspects, their brash personalities vilified by the media, but ultimately no charges are filed against them. Since then, Bess has kept the lowest profile possible while Joni has become an outspoken motivational speaker. When Joni’s fiancée disappears, Bess comes out of hiding to support Joni and must face what really happened all those summers ago. A captivating story about intense female friendships, Before We Were Innocent is an examination of how easily our lives can be cherry-picked to paint us white or black, when we are all shades of grey.
Crystal Smith Paul
When legendary white actress Kitty Karr Tate leaves her entire estate to the St. John sisters, three wealthy Black women, the media has lots of questions. As Elise St. John sorts through Kitty’s journals, she finds something that will change her world. For Kitty’s rise to fame from a segregated Southern town is a tale of unexpected family, sacrifices, and crimes that could ruin the St. John family.
Michelle Min Sterling
Desperate to help her immigrant Korean mother, Rose accepts a job to spy on the architect of Camp Zero, an American building project for climate change survivors in the northern end of Canada. As Rose befriends Grant, a newly arrived college professor, they begin to suspect the architect is hiding dark secrets. While they dig into the camp’s mysteries, a rumor begins to spread of an elite women’s fighting force camped nearby.
In London, Maddie spends most of her time either at home taking care of her father with advanced Parkinson’s or at work in a job she hates where she is the only Black employee. When her mother returns from Ghana, Maddie is thrilled to move out and experience life for herself. After tragedy strikes, Maddie begins to understand her unconventional family and the joys and fears of putting her heart on the line.
R. F. Kuang
Although June and Athena went to school together, Athena has found major success as an Asian-American novelist while June struggles to get a foot in the door, probably because she’s just another basic white girl. When June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she impetuously snatches up Athena’s unfinished work. Publishing it as her own, June rebrands herself as a racially ambiguous Juniper Song and becomes an instant bestseller. Yet as the truth threatens to come out, June must decide how far she is willing to go to keep her secret.
The Best Books Of 2022
On a bitterly cold day, Sam Masur runs into Sadie Green on a train platform and they renew their childhood friendship bonding over video games. Together, they create Ichigo, a blockbuster game that changes their lives. Over the next three decades, their friendship is tested as their success leads them to money, fame, love, and betrayal. More a heartrending story about friendship than video games, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is an unputdownable read with complex character development that easily earns it a place among the best books of 2022.
Both vulnerable and hilarious, Jennette McCurdy’s tell-all memoir sends a poignant message of the dangers of child acting. McCurdy brilliantly embraces her inner child by describing how desperately she wanted to please her mom by acting, even if it lead to an eating disordered and a chaotic relationship with her family that she didn’t fully understand until attending therapy after her mother’s death.
Shelby Van Pelt
After her husband died, Tova Sullivan began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium. Thirty years ago, Tova’s son Erik disappeared on a boat in the Puget Sound, and cleaning the aquarium helps her cope. When she befriends Marcellus, the aquarium’s giant octopus, Marcellus discovers what happened to Erik and must find a way to show Tova the truth before it’s too late.
Elizabeth Zott has always defied stereotyping, especially as the only woman chemist at the Hastings Research Institute in the 1960s. After falling in love with another chemist who sees her for who she is, life throws her a curveball. Now as a single mom, she unexpectedly finds herself the host of a tv cooking show. When Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking charms her audience, the women who watch her begin to question the status quo in their own lives, making Elizabeth a target of those who find the change unwelcome. Garmus presents an engrossing progressive historical fiction read with heartfelt depth and a searing look at sex discrimination in the past (and today).
Taylor Jenkins Reid
When Carrie Soto retired from tennis six years ago, she was the best player the world had ever seen, shattering every record imaginable. Now a hotshot new tennis star is threatening to break Carrie’s legacy. At 37, Carrie attempts to come back for one more epic season to defend her title, even if defying all the odds means she has to train with a man from her past.
On one of her first assignments as a secret agent, Emma Makepeace has 12 hours to deliver the son of a Russian dissident into protective custody. When Russian assassins hack into the city’s widespread security camera network, Emma must use all her training and skill to deliver him across the most camera-ridden city in the world without being spotted. Alias Emma is a quick fun read with a thrilling high-action plot that belongs on any summer reading list.
Backlist Reads For Your Summer Reading List
Sarah J. Maas
After spending a year of hard labor for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is taken before the Crown Prince. He wants Celaena to be his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. If she wins, she’ll be granted her freedom after four years of service. As Celaena trains with the gruff Captain of the Guard and catches the eye of the Crown Prince, she must use all her strength to fight off her competitors and all her wits to discover who is murdering contestants.
Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey offers a memoir on his approach to getting the most satisfaction out of life. McConaughey poured over decades of his diaries to share the highs and lows of his life and the funny stories that shaped him along the way. Have you ever watched Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln car commercials where he waxes philosophical in his slight Texas drawl? Apparently, that’s his actual personality. If you have a chance to listen to the audiobook, McConaughey’s narration brings depth to the text which makes it even better.
As a biracial teen, Daunis Fontaine has never fit in at her hometown or in the nearby Ojibwe reservation. While her dreams of studying medicine are on hold so she can care for her mother, Daunis’s eye gets caught by her brother’s new friend. When Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, she gets pulled into an investigation that could tear her community apart.
Lori Nelson Spielman
Two hundred years ago, Filomena Fontana cast a curse on her sister and, ever since, no second-born daughter has ever found love. Now two such cursed daughters head to Italy with their great-aunt to help her find love on her eightieth birthday and finally break the curse. The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is a cute family drama perfect for a book club choice, discussing self-fulfilling prophecies and complex family dynamics while luxuriating in the glories of Italy.
How well do we really know our mothers? Andrea thought she knew everything about her mother – who lived a quiet life in their small beachside town. Until a trip to the mall erupts in violence and shatters everything Andrea thought she knew. Before she was Laura, her mother was someone else, and, on the run, Andrea must piece together the clues of her mother’s past.
What’s on Your 2023 Summer Reading List?
What do you think? What summer reads did I forget to add to my list? Did I include any overhyped authors on my summer reading list? As always, let me know in the comments!
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