Summer Reading Recommendations from Favorite Authors

Posted by Cybil on May 6, 2019
Authors tend to be very well-read people. To help you find some excellent summer reads, we rounded up authors from across the reading spectrum to answer a simple question: Which three books would you recommend to your readers this summer?

Below you'll find some great picks from beloved authors. Be sure to add your favorites to your Want to Read shelf ahead of your next summer getaway or staycation!

Want to dig into a genre? You can also check out recommendations from top sci-fi & fantasy, mystery & thriller, young adult, and romance authors.


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Saunders was known for his short stories, including Tenth of December, when he published his first novel in 2017, Lincoln in the Bardo. The novel went on to win the Man Booker Prize and receive a 2017 Goodreads Choice Award nomination for historical fiction.

Here are his summer reading picks:


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Gay is the author of several books, both fiction and nonfiction, including the bestselling Bad Feminist and Hunger. She also writes Marvel's World of Wakanda series and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Hannah has written more than a dozen books, but it was her World War II novel The Nightingale that made her a household name. Her latest novel, The Great Alone, won the 2018 Goodreads Choice Award for historical fiction.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Kaur is the bestselling author of two collections of poetry. Her first book of poems, Milk and Honey, sold more than 2.5 million copies and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for a year. Her followup collection, The Sun and Her Flowers, won the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for poetry.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Lee's bestselling Pachinko, a multigenerational tale of a Korean family, has become a book club favorite and earned a 2017 Goodreads Choice Award nomination for historical fiction.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection. In 2011, she won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for A Visit from the Goon Squad. Her most recent novel, Manhattan Beach, is a New York Times bestseller.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Gilbert is best known for her wildly popular memoir Eat, Pray, Love. This June she returns to fiction with City of Girls, a sexy tale of the New York City theater world during the 1940s.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Cullen received acclaim for Columbine, an investigation into the 1999 high school shooting; it won the 2009 Goodreads Choice Award for nonfiction. This year he published Parkland: Birth of a Movement.

Here are his summer reading picks:


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Jones' An American Marriage made it onto just about every "best of the year" list you can think of in 2018 and was recommended by the likes of Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey. Of course, it was also nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award for fiction.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Bowen is the bestselling author of the Royal Spyness series and Molly Murphy mysteries. She's also known for her historical fiction novels, including her latest book, The Victory Garden.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Westover's 2018 memoir, Educated, was a blockbuster hit, with recommendations from Barack Obama and Bill Gates. It also won the 2018 Goodreads Choice Award for memoir.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Reid is the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Maybe in Another Life, among other books. Her latest novel, Daisy Jones & the Six, is a New York Times bestseller and was a recent pick for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of five novels, including Prep and Eligible. Her first story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It, was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Norris is the author of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen and a copy editor for The New Yorker. Her new book is Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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The food writer and former Gourmet magazine editor has written numerous food books, including Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table and Comfort Me with Apples.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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This thriller writer is best known for the beloved World War II novel Beneath a Scarlet Sky, which earned a 2017 Goodreads Choice Award nomination in historical fiction.

Here are his summer reading picks:


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Andrews is the New York Times–bestselling author of 24 novels, including Summer Rental and The Weekenders. Her latest novel is the vacation-ready Sunset Beach.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Houston's latest book is the memoir Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country. She's also the author of two novels, an essay collection, and two short story collections, including Cowboys Are My Weakness.

Here are her summer reading picks:


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Which author's suggestions are you adding to your Want to Read shelf? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out the complete guide to Summer Reading, including:
Summer Reading from Mystery & Thriller Authors
Summer Reading from Sci-Fi & Fantasy Authors
Summer Reading from YA Authors

Comments Showing 1-50 of 60 (60 new)


message 1: by Twerking (new)

Twerking To Beethoven Thanx but no, thanx.


message 2: by Dave (new)

Dave Cullen How cool that 2 of us picked Lucia Berlin A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories.


message 3: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Young Thanks for the recommendations Rhys ❤️📚


message 4: by Coco (new)

Coco Ihle Rhys, I love your books! Thanks so much for your recommendations!


message 5: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Great post! Several of these are on my TBR already, including all three of Sittenfeld's choices and all three of Ruth Reichl's. Wow! I didn't see any I want to add.


message 6: by Aleta (new)

Aleta Thank you! Really enjoy your books!


message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol Bisig I love Georgie, and Darcy! You should send Kate the first three books in the series! I genuinely believe she will love them! Who wouldn't?
Thank you for hours of enjoyable fun!
carolintallahassee.com


message 8: by C (new)

C This list has so many good books I can't wait to dive into!


message 9: by Lieselot (new)

Lieselot Mauroo I know one that I'll def. be reading someday very soon, though it's one from an author that recommended these summer readings to us, lol, and not one from an actual recommendation (which also look great, btw). I'll be reading Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders soon. Bought it a few weeks ago, seems very very interesting. Curious what I'll think of it.


message 10: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash George Saunders recommends one of my favourite authors (Clarice Lispecter) and one of my least favourite (Jon McGregor). About par for the course


message 11: by Nigel (new)

Nigel Bird What a tasty set of books that is.


message 12: by Barbara (new)

Barbara I read The Overstory by Richard Powers and it was my favorite book of 2018. A must read!


message 13: by Heather (new)

Heather Speirs Lieselot wrote: "I know one that I'll def. be reading someday very soon, though it's one from an author that recommended these summer readings to us, lol, and not one from an actual recommendation (which also look ..."
I loved it as an audio book, and then went on to read it in print. The audio helps to distinguish voices.


message 14: by Claire (new)

Claire Elaine Some wonderful recommendations, so thank you for sharing. I would have thought I'd have read more of these selections than I had!


A S H L E Y ⚡️ I loooved My Sister, the Serial Killer and I can’t wait to read Run Away 🖤


message 16: by Kristine (new)

Kristine I loved Pam Houston’s story collection Waltzing the Cat. Glad to be reminded of her and to see all these great looking recommendations.


Margaret Guadarrama I read such a variety of genres that recommendations aren't really helpful to me. I do, love Kristin Hannah's books and have read quite a few of them.


message 18: by Claire (new)

Claire Elaine Margaret Guadarrama wrote: "I read such a variety of genres that recommendations aren't really helpful to me. I do, love Kristin Hannah's books and have read quite a few of them."
If you like Kristin Hannah, you might like Mark Sullivan's "Beneath a Scarlet Sky" which was on this list of recommendations.


message 19: by Serena (new)

Serena "From Sand and Ash" is one of my all time favorite reads. It is so beautifully written in a lyrical style. From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon Amy Harmon is my favorite author. I'm so happy to see that it was recommended by Mark Sullivan. His book "Beneath a Scarlet Sky" is on my TBR list.


message 20: by Elliott (new)

Elliott Kristin, Nightingale and Great Alone rule, in my book...


message 21: by Madalina (new)

Madalina I would love to see Stephen King's picks on this list!


message 22: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Filler Thanks for Elizabeth Gilberts picks! She's a fav author and person, so I know these must be great!


message 23: by Judy (new)

Judy Thank you so much. I enjoyed your book so much. Look forward to reading your pix.


message 24: by Mary (new)

Mary Manning Thanks for the recommendations. I hadn’t heard of most of them but it’s always nice to read a new book.


message 25: by Cláudia (new)

Cláudia Santos Thank you very much. I picked three, but I will wait for the Portuguese version.


message 26: by Jill (new)

Jill Thanks for this! Love some of these authors so it is wonderful to see what they liked. Found a few to add to my Want to Read list!


message 27: by Jaye (new)

Jaye Great post. I am always looking for new titles for my TBR list. I also appreciate the insight of authors that I already read and respect.
Thanks!


message 28: by Lillian (new)

Lillian I added at least four. My TBR is so long 📚


message 29: by Linda (new)

Linda Snow These picks are too fantastic! Between reading & streaming, it’s clear that one cannot hold full time family and outside jobs, plus get through all the rad reading and watching that one craves! I picked one from each author, but when will I get to read them?


message 30: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Thank you for this list! It’s great that we are introduced to what the authors are reading. We see such eclectic styles! If everyone read what we wanted them to read or thought they should read, how boring!


message 31: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Siarkiewicz Thanks for posting the list! Added several books that I want to read.


message 32: by Teri Kohls (new)

Teri Kohls Love your books!


message 33: by Fran (new)

Fran Fisher Great theme for a booklist. I have enjoyed so many of these writers and this is a good way to keep connected.


message 34: by Colleen Chi-Girl (new)

Colleen              Chi-Girl I love the authors you chose and their selections! Many thanks.


message 35: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Great book list. Thanks


message 36: by Terry (new)

Terry Gould Thank you so much for this new list of treasures. I can't wait to start!


message 38: by Connie (new)

Connie Love these recommendations! It's so interesting to see some of the books these talented authors are enjoying! Great post. Thanks for sharing!


message 39: by Nitya (new)

Nitya Great post! So helpful in terms of building a reading list for the summer


message 40: by K (new)

K King Nitya wrote: "Great post! So helpful in terms of building a reading list for the summer"

Lieselot wrote: "I know one that I'll def. be reading someday very soon, though it's one from an author that recommended these summer readings to us, lol, and not one from an actual recommendation (which also look ..."

One of the strangest books I have ever read.


message 41: by pinarnar (new)

pinarnar Dave wrote: "How cool that 2 of us picked Lucia Berlin A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories."

It's been sitting on my shelf for awhile -- you've inspired me to pick it up finally.


message 42: by Gigi (new)

Gigi Thank you and I found some awesome selections for my summer reads list.


message 43: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Kent Thank you! This list is so insightful! I love knowing which books my favorite authors love.


message 44: by Seri (new)

Seri Hertel Love this!! Thank you for all of the great recommendations! I am almost sad that I flew through Taylor Jenkins Reid’s ‘Daisy Jones and The Six’ because it would be the best Hawaii vacay read for me later this summer. Highly recommend to all especially music lovers!


message 45: by Gina (new)

Gina Twerking wrote: "Thanx but no, thanx."

Wow, great attitude!


message 47: by André (new)

André Janssens We all can't read the same books as the majority. It's best to find books on your own; otherwise we all would know the same things and no one would be actually free to roam.


message 48: by André (new)

André Janssens ...having said that...of course we should all read "The Overstory".


William C Wasserman The preponderance of recommended books are fiction rather than non-fiction. My reading is virtually all non-fiction so most of your recommendations have nothing to do with my likes and dislikes.

Of your non-fiction recommendations, not a single author I like is included. As I recall, when I joined Goodreads I completed a questionnaire designed to identify my reading preferences. I suggest you rename your list "Recommendations from Our Favorite Authors" as none of mine are included in your list.


message 50: by Michael (new)

Michael Ostrogorsky Nothing hotter than fire-breathing dragons. And goddesses who control death and time!

She Was Not Quite What You Would Call Refined


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