5 Summer-Perfect Reads

Whether you’re experiencing a beach day or a travel delay, these books will keep you entertained

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"The Vacationers"

by Emma Straub; Riverhead


Franny Post’s family is in trouble: Her husband was recently caught having an affair, her son is dating the wrong woman and her daughter can’t wait to leave for college. Family therapists wouldn’t advise taking this explosive situation on the road, but that’s just what Franny does. Joining the Posts for two weeks in Mallorca, Spain, are Franny’s best friend, the friend’s jealous husband and her son’s waste-of-time girlfriend. Secrets are spilled and tears are shed, but their messy path to absolution will restore your faith in the indestructible bonds of family. 


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"Meant to Be"

by Lauren Pizza; Skyhorse


Lauren Pizza died, briefly, when she was 13 years old and afterward was able—she claims—to communicate with the dead. Her family thinks she’s crazy but, as she rationalizes in this funny new memoir, “being open to people, ideas, and experiences that are not what you might expect, that don’t fall within the well-defined lines of ‘normal,’ can lead to great things.”


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"Dark Aemilia"

by Sally O'Reilly; Picador


In this fictional take on the very real life of Aemilia Lanyer, England’s first published female poet, O’Reilly imagines the fate that befalls her as Shakespeare’s one true love in 17th-century London. 


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"French Ghosts, Russian Nights, and American Outlaws"

by Susan Spano; Roaring Forties Press


Start planning your next vacation with inspiration from this collection of essays by seasoned travel journalist and former New York Times columnist (The Frugal Traveler) Susan Spano. Her lively accounts of eating smoked reindeer on a snowmobiling trip in the Swedish Lapland, walking 45 miles solo along Italy’s Emerald Coast and bonefishing in the Yucatán Peninsula will reawaken your sense of adventure.


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"Home Sweet Anywhere"

by Lynne Martin; Sourcebooks


On the cusp of 70 and motivated by a new “now or never” outlook, Lynne Martin and her husband nixed the idea of a quiet retirement and set out to see the world. Their plan: To travel not as harried tourists but as “temporary locals” in far-flung cities around the globe. In this guide to the ultimate unretirement, Martin describes how it feels to sell her house, leave behind her children and grandchildren and learn what it means to live home free. 


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Next: 6 Fresh Summer Reads

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