Reading by the Season: Summer

Welcome to a new Spine & Leaf Books segment: Reading by the Season!

Four times a year I’ll be releasing a new list of 12 books inspired by the season.

Sometimes the setting will take place in a particular month or time of year, other times it’s just a vibe. Some are based on the title relating to the season. Maybe a few will be personal; I will remember when I first read the book and unconsciously relate to a time and place.

I hope you find some books on this list that will feel great to read in the season.

Summer Books

Summer is here and my list of summer books is as well. Enjoy these 12 book selections to read this summer.

One per week(ish) will keep you going during the hottest months of the year. Take them to the beach. Take them camping. Take them to that comfy hammock out back.

I hope you find some daring and adventurous books to brighten your summer!

Brave New World

1932’s most famous dystopian sci-fi is even more relevant today than when it was first published. Scientific advancements can solve a lot of problems like reproductive issues, hunger, and housing, but they can’t fix human nature.

Running with Sherman

Get some fitness and running motivation with ultrarunner Christopher McDougall’s fourth book. It’s funny, it’s charming, it’s uniquely original.

Shutter Island

This is a spooky, psychological thriller that will leave you saying “What?!” when you get to the end. Even if you’ve seen the movie, you won’t be disappointed with this book.

Little Fires Everywhere

This book is full of dramatic secrets set in the picture-perfect suburban life of the Richardsons. When mother/daughter duo Mia and Pearl move to town they shake things up by befriending the Richardson children and providing something their perfect parents can’t.


Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness after his plane crashes. He’s got nothing but a hatchet and the clothes on his back. Can he survive? Does he want to?

Where the Crawdads Sing

This one has been drawing in fans to its wild dramas since its release in 2018. With the movie set to be released this summer, catch up on the mystery and see what all the hype has been about.

The Grace Year

All of the 16-year-old girls are banished from a remote village for an entire year. If they survive the wilds, and each other, they can return to marry, bear children, and send their daughters to the wilderness. Dystopian world meets modern-day dilemmas.

Looking for Alaska

This is a quick-read coming-of-age novel that will leave you wanting more. Alaska and her friends are high schoolers that get lost on a path none of them could have predicted. It’s sad. It’s relevant. It’s classic John Green.

A Separate Peace

Two friends. One summer. Gene and Finn are polar opposites that have a lot to learn about life, regret, and moving forward. Their teenage escapades are marred by war and injury.

The Great Gatsby

A classic like The Great Gatsby will never go out of style. Follow the drama of Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, and Daisy Buchanan as they party around Long Island in the 1920s.

The Notebook

If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book yet, now is your chance. It’s the ultimate love story that will have you bawling your eyes out at the beginning, middle, and end. That’s all that really needs to be said for a book like this.

The Fault in Our Stars

Hazel has cancer. And she’s fallen in love. A teen love story like this doesn’t come along that often. This heart-wrenching novel will have you crying and laughing throughout.

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