Goodreads Blog

21 Hottest Books of Summer

Posted by Hayley on June 28, 2016
You're going to need a bigger beach bag (or a bigger Want to Read shelf). We've crunched the numbers to bring you the books with the most buzz on Goodreads! From a scorching literary debut inspired by the Manson murders to a crackling apocalyptic thriller about a spontaneous combustion epidemic, we've got white-hot stories for every type of reader. Which ones do you want to read?


Fiction
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The Girls
by Emma Cline

This powerful debut, set in late '60s California and inspired by the Manson murders, climbs inside the mind of Evie, an insecure teen seduced by a cult.


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Lily and the Octopus
by Steven Rowley

With humor and elements of magic realism, this semi-autobiographical novel describes the bond between Ted and his best friend, aging dachshund Lily.


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LaRose
by Louise Erdrich

In this poetic novel, a hunting accident changes the lives of two families living in a small North Dakota reservation town.


Young Adult
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My Lady Jane
by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Three YA authors play fast and loose with history in this fantastical, comic retelling of the story of Lady Jane Grey involving magic and shapeshifting.


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The Unexpected Everything
by Morgan Matson

Ambitious superscheduler Andi loses her dream internship, forcing her to face a big empty summer of uncertainty in this funny, sweet, and inspiring novel.

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The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi

Indian and Greek mythology merge in this fantasy debut about a teenage queen who embarks on a hazardous journey of self-discovery and romance.


Nonfiction
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Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War
by Mary Roach

The popular science author trains her sights on the weird and wonderful techniques used to keep soldiers safe, sane, and healthy.


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Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution
by Nathaniel Philbrick

The tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold unfolds in this compelling account of the middle years of the American Revolution.


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The Gene: An Intimate History
by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The physician and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University makes the past and future of genetics personal in this eye-opening book.


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Lab Girl
by Hope Jahren

Nature and love unite in this unique blend of memoir and science writing by geobiologist Jahren, who cherishes plants as well as her research partner.


Mystery and Thriller
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Hidden Bodies
by John Hart

A wrongfully accused cop seeks justice, a young girl is kidnapped, and a boy plots revenge in this elaborate mystery set in a small town on the brink of chaos.


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Before the Fall
by Noah Hawley

In this gripping thriller, a frenzied media demands answers after a private jet crashes off Martha's Vineyard, leaving only two survivors.


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The Girl in the Ice
by Robert Bryndza

Troubled detective Erika Foster investigates the murder of a socialite discovered under a thick sheet of ice in a South London park.

Historical Fiction
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Homegoing
by Yaa Gyasi

This bewitching, heartbreaking novel examines seven generations shaped by the horrors of the slave trade and its fallout in Africa and the United States.


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Barkskins
by Annie Proulx
Two Frenchmen leave their homes to work as wood-cutters (or "barkskins"), triggering centuries of turmoil in this sweeping saga of greed and lust.

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The Lilac Girls
by Martha Hall Kelly
Inspired by actual events, this unforgettable novel follows three characters whose lives converge at Ravensbrück, the women's-only concentration camp.

Romance
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Idol
by Kristen Callihan

In this irresistible romance, a spunky recluse finds a rock star on her lawn—specifically the world's sexiest rock star on the world's un-sexiest bender.


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Stuck-Up Suit
by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

When the hot guy on her morning commute leaves his phone, Soraya returns it to his office (with a dirty picture of herself) in this sizzling read.


Science Fiction and Fantasy
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Age of Myth
by Michael J. Sullivan

A young man grapples with his destiny as a God Killer in this spellbinding tale of power and rebellion, the first in a new epic fantasy series.


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The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories
by Ken Liu

This breathtaking collection of short stories probes at the heart of what makes us human, utilizing a full arsenal of fantastical characters and settings.

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The Fireman
by Joe Hill

In this apocalyptic thriller, a pregnant nurse navigates a world on the verge of collapse following a pandemic of spontaneous combustion.


Which book are you most excited to read this summer? Let us know in the comments!


Comments (showing 1-50 of 181) (181 new)


message 1: by Nancy (new)

Nancy The Girls by Emma Cline and End of Watch by Stephen King are the two in my current stack of books I am most looking forward to reading. There has been great buzz about the Cline book recently.


message 2: by Kj (new)

Kj Russ IDOL sounds hot.


message 3: by Sara (new)

Sara Age of myth!


message 4: by Jade (new)

Jade Van Dijk It ends with us!


message 5: by M-n (new)

M-n grunts


message 6: by ⊱ Poppy ⊰ (new)

⊱ Poppy ⊰ The Unexpected Everything & The Girls.


message 7: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Meade None of the above.


message 8: by Mirela (new)

Mirela Ivancevic From the list Hidden Bodies
by John Hart :)


message 9: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Ten from this list!!


message 10: by Reading Faerie (new)

Reading Faerie The Star-Touched Queen is the only one I added. Not all, but most of the stuff on this list looks like utter rubbish. : (


message 11: by Vera (new)

Vera The Girls and The Girl on Ice


message 12: by Amber (new)

Amber I'm most excited to read The Fireman by Joe Hill!


message 13: by Mary (new)

Mary I think Before the Fall sounds interesting.


message 14: by Meni (new)

Meni I suggest Dr.Mind by Burbuqe Raufi


message 15: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Teese The Fireman and Lily and the Octopus.


message 16: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Thomas Enjoyed Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica


message 17: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Belk After The Fall is at the top of my want list.


message 18: by Burma (new)

Burma Turner I can't wait to read The Fireman by Joe Hill!


message 19: by Marianne (new)

Marianne Redemption Road by John Hart.


message 20: by Holly (new)

Holly McKie The Girls by Emma Cline sounds amazing!!! I'm just starting Eleanor & Park which is living up to the expectations so far, and I'm hoping to delve into Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher at some point for a bit of light summer reading.


message 21: by Stella (new)

Stella Indermuehle The list is long! Barkskins, The City of the Mirrors, The Crow Girl and a re-read of Battlefield Earth. Life is good!


message 22: by Bishakha (new)

Bishakha Mookherjee The Lilac Girls
by Martha Hall Kelly

Stuck-Up Suit
by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward


message 23: by Becca (new)

Becca I am currently reading The Girls and really enjoying it. I want to read Homegoing and The Star-Touched Queen, as well. I am on the fence about The Fireman, but probably will read it.


message 24: by Rosalinda (new)

Rosalinda Morgan None of the above. I'm currently reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.


message 25: by Stella (new)

Stella Indermuehle Becca wrote: "I am currently reading The Girls and really enjoying it. I want to read Homegoing and The Star-Touched Queen, as well. I am on the fence about The Fireman, but probably will read it."

Becca wrote: "I am currently reading The Girls and really enjoying it. I want to read Homegoing and The Star-Touched Queen, as well. I am on the fence about The Fireman, but probably will read it."

I have read The Girls and The Fireman. I enjoyed both, but thought that The Fireman was better. Of course they are very different kinds of books. Comparing isn't really fair.


message 26: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Rosalinda wrote: "None of the above. I'm currently reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini."

Fantastic book Rosalinda. Hope you are enjoying it!


message 27: by Rosalinda (new)

Rosalinda Morgan Caroline wrote: "Rosalinda wrote: "None of the above. I'm currently reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini."

Fantastic book Rosalinda. Hope you are enjoying it!"


Caroline, Yes, I'm enjoying it very much and learning a lot about Afghanistan.


message 28: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Singhal Idol and Stuck up suit .
Can't wait to read them


message 29: by Mikayla (new)

Mikayla Leslie wrote: "None of the above."

Exactly the same.


message 30: by Keiry (new)

Keiry Ko The Girl in the Ice seems interesting for me.


message 31: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Age of Myth!


message 32: by Natalia (last edited Jun 29, 2016 10:52AM) (new)

Natalia In south america is winter and it is very cold weather here in Argentina. We are going to start winter holiday here, in few weeks for students, teachers and for somebody who is lucky to take vacations on this part of the year. In my case, I will read books that I dropped in the last months.


message 33: by Renee (last edited Jun 29, 2016 11:00AM) (new)

Renee I dropped everything else I was reading or going to read when I got my hands on a copy of Trail of Echoes by Rachel Howzell Hall. That series and Yaa Gyasi's HOMECOMING have made my summer.


message 34: by Joanne (new)

Joanne Six of these were already on my TBR and one I've read (The Girls).


message 35: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Definitely The Girls! Have been patiently anticipating this one. Picked it up at the library last night and hope to start reading it this weekend (4th of July= extra reading day)!


message 36: by Scarlet (new)

Scarlet I99 Kj wrote: "IDOL sounds hot."

Agreed!


message 37: by Neil (new)

Neil Friedman Before the Fall. Anyone that can translate "Fargo," the film into a well-written, hit television series, has got to be an excellent writer and I look forward to Noah Hawley's latest work.


message 38: by Sharon (new)

Sharon can't wait to read The Fireman by Joe Hill!!


message 39: by Mary Jane (new)

Mary Jane Definitely Lily and the Octopus, mainly because I've read really good reviews about it, but I'm also a fanatic dog lover and devour books about man's best friend


message 40: by Samantha (new)

Samantha From this list, The Girls sounds good. I just started We Could Be Beautiful which I've been excited about.


message 41: by Omi (new)

Omi Age of myth


message 42: by Mihika (new)

Mihika The girl in the ice


Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* I haven't heard of any of these other than the Joe Hill book....


message 44: by Dorian (new)

Dorian I am not familiar with any of these books but based on the overview, The Girls by Emma Cline sounds like a great read.


message 45: by Diane (new)

Diane Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley is wonderful for all the animal lovers. I read it in 3 days.


message 46: by Asagi (new)

Asagi This list is so uninteresting. Nothing sounds good


message 47: by Andrea (new)

Andrea I have 11 of these on my summer reading list :) Reading The Gene and Homegoing right now, and recently finished Grunt.


message 48: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey Frost Have The Girls on library reserve and looking forward to Lilac Girls and The Fireman.


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

I vote The Girls!


message 50: by Nicol (new)

Nicol La Rose by Louise Erdrich
The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza


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