Summer Reading List

    16 Summer Reads  For Time Spent Poolside 


  • The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer – Part travelogue, part history, part geopolitical tract and part thriller – the writer tells the remarkable story of a librarian who oversaw a plot to smuggle ancient manuscripts out of Timbuktu, Mali, in an effort to save them from war.
  • Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead – A fast read set on the beach with lots of shimmery cocktails and simmering family resentments….enough said.
  • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – Set in Italy, near Cinque Terre, in 1962 when an innkeeper meets a beautiful, dying actress.  They fall in love and then the book weaves back and forth in time.  From Italy to Hollywood taking the reader on a beautiful escape.
  • The After Party by Anton DiSclafani – Set in 1950’s Houston where the men are rich, the women are young and beautiful and the parties glitter and last all night.  A story of friendship, loyalty and betrayl that makes The After Party perfect poolside reading.
  • The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore – Drawing on a wide array of Russian sources, the writer paints an unforgettable portrait of characters – magnificient palaces, elegant balls and a culture that included Pushkin, Tchaikovsky and Tolstoy.  Romanovs both capable and insane struggled with what the author calls “the distorting effect of absolute power.”  A book of intrigue making for a great summer read.
  • The Summer Before The War by Helen Simonson – Readers mourning the end of “Downton Abbey” will find solace in this novel.  Set in pre-World War I England in the coastal village of Rye.  The writer’s amusing dialogue coupled with a compelling story line that highlights classic, Edwardian sensibilities regarding gender, money and class.
  • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub – Set in Brooklyn, a group of close knit college friends, now nearing 50, are forced to take a hard look at their relationships and their families and family friendships as they begin to enter a new era in life.  Could it be that the time to grow up has finally caught up with them?
  • The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeny – It is said the literary world was abuzz in 2014 when Ecco snapped up the rights to this book reportedly paying seven figures to this author for this, her first book.  The story follows the Plumb family, a set of wealthy New England siblings who are months away from receiving a massive payout from their joint trust fund they refer to as “the nest.”  Their black sheep brother however crashes his car while drunk also crashing their plans and putting “The Nest” in jeopardy.
  • Lessons In French by Hilary Reyl – “A perfect beach read: slim, sexy, and young at heart.  There is so much tenderness and wit in this debut novel; it will make you nostalgic for your year abroad even if you never had one.” Joanna Hershon, Novelist
  • The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim – The story begins with an advertisement in The Times addressed to “Those Who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine.” Four very different English women answer all excited to spend the month of April in a miniature Italian castle. Their stay begins with disagreements over rooms but they soon find the sunshine and surroundings begin to thaw hearts and grow friendships.
  • The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler – Simon Watson, a Long Island librarian, discovers a dmanaged diary once belonging to the owner of a traveling circus.  One of the many mysterious entries tells of a circus mermaid who drowned.  Fearing this could somehow be related to the drowning deaths of his mother and grandmother, Sim is desperate to solve the riddles of the diary before his sister (also a circus performer) meets a similar fate.
  • The One & Only by Emily Griffin – Set in a small, town in Texas where football is everything and the main character finds herself facing difficult questions about love and friendship.  She has lived her entire 33 years here in this college community – will a tragedy change everything?
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – A group of four friends who are called “The Liars”, one of which is from a mysterious family.
  • The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel  Pie Society by Marie Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – Set in the 1940’s it shares the tale of a quirky town and its people who are serviving a war as best they can.
  • Girls In White Dresses by Jennifer Close – Three friends in their 20’s find themselves going to wedding after wedding while trying to find their way thru changes in their own lives.
  • All Summer Long by Benton Frank – The perfect book for the hopelessly romantic – follow this couple who move from New York to South Carolina finding themselves at odds along the way.

So here’s to a summer of relaxation & good reads….poolside!



Source: MPG Blog Living Poolside