Hello readers! This year I have decided to come up with a list of ten books I will be reading this summer. I will also add some honorable mentions at the end but the ten books on this list are all books I plan to read this summer. With COVID taking over our world, I kind of forgot that summer was coming. The days blur together and with no end in sight, I wanted something to look forward to and get happy about and books can always do that for me!
When compiling this list, I wanted to have a mix of new and upcoming books as well as a mix of genre. That way there is something for everyone on my list and I won’t get bored! I also think this list is perfect for someone who wants good books to read during summer but doesn’t want to read beachy romances, like me. Without anymore rambling, here are my ten books for summer:
Summer 2020 Book List
Title: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires By: Grady Hendrix
Release Date: Out now
Synopsis: Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her ambitious husband is too busy to give her a goodbye kiss in the morning, her kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on thank-you notes and her endless list of chores. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime and paperback fiction. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are marriage, motherhood, and neighborhood gossip.
This predictable pattern is upended when Patricia meets James Harris, a handsome stranger who moves into the neighborhood to take care of his elderly aunt and ends up joining the book club. James is sensitive and well-read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in twenty years. But there’s something off about him. He doesn’t have a bank account, he doesn’t like going out during the day, and Patricia’s mother-in-law insists that she knew him when she was a girl—an impossibility.
When local children go missing, Patricia and the book club members start to suspect James is more of a Bundy than a Beatnik—but no one outside of the book club believes them. Have they read too many true crime books, or have they invited a real monster into their homes?
Why I want to read this book: When I think of summer, I think of all things southern. So I am excited to read this a-typical southern story. I think the quirkiness is going to make it a stand out read for me as well!
Title: How To Bury Your Brother by Lindsey Rogers Cook
Release Date: Out now
Synopsis: Alice always thought she’d see her brother again. Rob ran away when he was fifteen, with so many years left to find his way home. But his funeral happened first.
Now that she has to clear out her childhood home in Georgia, the memories come flooding in, bringing with them an autopsy report showing her family’s lies-and sealed, addressed letters from Rob.
In a search for answers to questions she’s always been afraid to ask, Alice delivers the letters. Each dares her to open her eyes to her family’s dark past-and her own role in it. But it’s the last letter, addressed to her brother’s final home in New Orleans, that will force her to choose if she’ll let the secrets break her or finally bring her home.
Everything I Never Told You meets The Night Olivia Fell set against a vivid Southern backdrop, How to Bury Your Brother follows a sister coming to terms with the mystery behind her brother’s disappearance and death.
Why I want to read this book: I just heard of this newer release right before making this list but it’s got the southern theme that I like and this novel sounds a little more heart felt and I love to mix in a good family drama.
Title: Hurry Home by Roz Nay
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Synopsis: Alexandra Van Ness has the perfect life. She lives in an idyllic resort town tucked away in the Rocky Mountains, shares a designer loft with her handsome boyfriend, Chase, and has her dream job working in child protection. Every day, Alex goes above and beyond to save children at risk.
But when her long-lost sister, Ruth, unexpectedly shows up at her door, Alex’s perfect life is upended. Growing up, Ruth was always the troublemaker, pulling Alex into her messes, and this time will be no different. Still, Alex will help Ruth under one condition: we will never, ever, talk about the past. But when trouble befalls a local child, both women are forced to confront the secrets they’ve promised to keep buried.
Utterly engrossing and claustrophobic, Hurry Home is a tantalizing reflection of the chain-and-shackles relationship between sisters that asks: what lines wouldn’t you cross for your own?
Why I want to read this book: Simple: there’s nothing like a good page turning thriller! I’m looking forward to this one, it sounds fantastic!
Title: The First Emma by Camille Di Maio
Release Date: Out now (and the kindle download is only $4.99!)
Synopsis: Camille Di Maio’s fifth novel THE FIRST EMMA is the true story of Emma Koehler, whose tycoon husband Otto was killed in a crime-of-the-century murder by one of his two mistresses—both also named Emma—and her unlikely rise as CEO of a brewing empire during Prohibition. When a chance to tell her story to a young teetotaler arises, a tale unfolds of love, war, beer, and the power of women.
Why I want to read this book: What!!?? A historical fiction novel that isn’t focused on WWII? You’re kidding, right? I used to read a lot of historical fiction but after so many WWII novels, I kind of threw in the towel. They also tend to be heavier on the fiction and lighter on the history, which bothers me. Every once in a while I read the synopsis for one that sounds good, which led me to The First Emma, which is about a brewery during Prohibition. I hope this one works for me!
Title: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Synopsis: Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.
Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.
Why I want to read this book: Sager has become the king of summer released thrillers! Each book he has put out has been better than the one before it, in my opinion, so of course I will be picking this one up! And I pre-ordered a hard copy because the neon green cover is going to be glow-in-the-dark! I need it!!!
Title: Cut To The Bone by Ellison Cooper
Release Date: July 14, 2020
Synopsis: After grieving the death of her fiancé and almost losing her job, Agent Sayer Altair is finally starting to rebuild her life. Her research into the minds of psychopaths is breaking new ground and her strange little family is thriving. But Sayer’s newfound happiness is threatened when she is called in to investigate a girl’s body left inside a circle of animal figurines below a cryptic message written in blood. When they discover that the dead girl is one of twenty-four missing high school students, Sayer quickly realizes that nothing in this case is what it seems.
As the investigation draws her in to a tangled web of fake identities and false leads, the trail soon begins to point directly to her own life. Now, Sayer must confront her painful past to uncover her connection to the deranged killer if she hopes to save the missing teens and protect everything that she loves.
Why I want to read this book: The Caged series by Ellison Cooper is in my top three crime fiction series of all time (next to the Unsub series and the Tracy Crosswhite series). Cut To The Bone is the third installment in the series and I am beyond excited to dig into it! Be warned, however, that the books in this series can be on the graphic side, but they are full of suspense!
Title: The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda
Release Date: June 23, 2020
Synopsis: Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”
Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.
Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.
And now, the girl from Widow Hills is about to become the center of the story, once again, in this propulsive page-turner from suspense master Megan Miranda.
Why I want to read this book: Megan Miranda has quietly become a staple in the suspense genre. She has released quite a few suspense novels that have been widely adored. I’m looking forward to seeing what is in store with her newest release!
Title: The Last Train To Key West by Chanel Cleeton
Release Date: June 16, 2020
Synopsis: For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler’s legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person’s paradise can be another’s prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape.
After the Cuban Revolution of 1933 leaves Mirta Perez’s family in a precarious position, she agrees to an arranged marriage with a notorious American. Following her wedding in Havana, Mirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. While she can’t deny the growing attraction to her new husband, his illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship, but her life.
Elizabeth Preston’s trip to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles after the Wall Street crash. Her quest takes her to the camps occupied by veterans of the Great War and pairs her with an unlikely ally on a treacherous hunt of his own.
Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women’s paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys.
Why I want to read this book: A few years back, I read and enjoyed Cleeton’s Next Year In Havana. Her writing is eloquent and her own personal Cuban heritage made reading about life in Cuba in the 1950’s all the more enjoyable. AND: It’s another historical fiction novel that is not WWII focused! I’m looking forward to learning about the Cuban revolution and it’s aftermath in this newest his-fic from Ms. Cleeton!
Title: Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Synopsis: Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. She’s grieving the death of her father (whom she has more in common with than she’d like to admit), avoiding her supportive mom and loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future.
Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighborhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickled-covered pizzas for her son’s happiness. As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other toward middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways.
Bold, tender, propulsive, and unexpected in countless ways, Jean Kyoung Frazier’s Pizza Girl is a moving and funny portrait of a flawed, unforgettable young woman as she tries to find her place in the world.
Why I want to read this book: Is it just me, or is summer the best time to read a coming-of-age novel? This one sounds weirdly wonderful, unique and quirky. And let’s be honest, that great cover got my attention, too!
Title: The Trapped Girl (Tracy Crosswhite #4) by Robert Dugoni
Release Date: Out now
Synopsis: When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?
After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s unsolved murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight. Once again, New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni delivers a taut, riveting thriller in the fourth installment of his acclaimed Tracy Crosswhite series.
Why I want to read this book: While I plan to read The Trapped Girl, this book is the fourth book in the Tracy Crosswhite detective series, which currently has seven published books. I decided to put this series on my summer reading list because I wanted to give readers other options and chances for library usage. We can’t all afford to buy every new book that comes out, and library downloads have really saved readers during times of quarantine. If you haven’t read this series, I recommend starting at the beginning!
Key West Food Critic cozy mystery series by Lucy Burdette: The epitome of easy reading, this cozy mystery series is fun, tropical and most importantly: devoid of eye rolling romance. These books are beach reads for people who don’t like reading romance novels. I will be reading at least one or two more from this series over the summer.
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner: While I won’t be reading this one, a lot of bookstagrammers have been reading this beach read and really loving it. If you do tend to like a light romance, this one might be for you.
The Dilemma by B.A. Paris: I have already read this June release but I loved it and highly recommend it, which is why I am adding it to this list.
Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry: Another June release that I have already read but should be on your summer reading list! Last year’s Freefall was amazing and the sophomore release from this author deserves just as much attention!
What You Wish For by Katherine Center: This author is quickly becoming a favorite of many readers. When I asked Instagram users what summer books they were looking forward to, this one had several votes. It’s a little too light for me, but I have read this author in the past and think she turns out some good stories.
That’s it! I am wishing you happy reading this summer! If you follow me on Instagram @lindsays_books, feel free to tag me and use the hashtag #lindsayssummer2020 and I will share your pictures on my page!