Are you ready to fill your to-read list with good summer reads? The Summer Reading List 2022 will help you find all the best books to read this summer.
I recently sat down to figure out my summer plans.
This year, I’ve got a big trip planned in June. After that, we’ll be doing all our typical summer things: beach days, hikes, camping, bike rides, and pickleball.
As always, I’ve made sure to pencil in plenty of time to get through my summer reading list for 2022.
Of course, you only want the best summer reads to appear on your summer book list. No one has time to waste reading overrated bestsellers.
That’s where I step in. I’ve already read dozens of new and upcoming releases, and I’ve compiled suggestions for summer reading for adults.
Plus, I’ve got books becoming movies, the hottest new releases, 2020 bestsellers, and some older reads you might have missed.
Best Books of Summer 2022
In one of the best books for your 2022 summer reading list, estranged siblings Byron and Benny are brought back together by their mother’s death. For their inheritance, they find a traditional Caribbean black cake and a voice recording from their mother. Eleanor’s message tells the turbulent story of her life, one full of secrets and a long-lost child that will leave the siblings questioning everything they thought they knew.
The Next Thing You Know
As an end-of-life doula, Nova’s job is to help the terminally ill cope with their impending death. Her most challenging client: Mason Shaylor, an up-and-coming indie singer-songwriter, who comes in asking for help to say goodbye after a deteriorating condition that has already caused him to lose his ability to play the guitar. Months later after Mason dies in a car crash, Mason’s mom comes in accusing Nova of assisting Mason’s suicide. Now Nova questions everything she thought she knew about a patient she had become extremely close to in this top-level tearjerker perfect for your summer reading list in 2022.
The Younger Wife
Tully and Rachel find themselves thrown for a loop when their father announces he is divorcing their mother with dementia and marrying a woman younger than both of them. As they dig deeper into Heather’s secrets and confront their own issues, comments from their mother make them suspect that their parents’ marriage may not have been as idyllic as they thought. Knowing the wedding will end in blood, The Younger Wife is an addictive domestic thriller that keeps you engaged as you play amateur detective, judging the reliability of the narrators and deciding who you think is guilty.
Book of Night
Holly Black debuts her first adult fantasy book about a world of shadow magic. For a cost, shadows can be altered for beauty or power, but the alterations take hours or days off your life. In this magical world, Charlie Hall is a bartender with a side hustle as a low-level con artist. When a figure from her past returns, Charlie is dragged into the magical underground market for shadow trading in this new modern dark fantasy series.
The House Across the Lake
I’m not sure your summer reading list could be complete without a new thriller from Riley Sager. After a slew of negative press, a recently widowed actress retreats to her family’s Vermont lake house. Casey passes the time spying on her neighbors across the lake: Tom the rich tech innovator and his gorgeous wife Katherine, a former model. When Casey and Katherine become friends, she realizes their marriage isn’t as idyllic as she assumed and becomes even more suspicious when Katherine disappears.
Take My Hand
Take My Hand is inspired by the true story of government overreach in the forced sterilization of poor Black girls in Alabama. In 1973, Civil Townsend is excited to use her new nursing degree to make a difference in the lives of the African-American community in Montgomery, Alabama. However, Civil is shocked to find her first patients are two young Black girls on birth control simply because they are poor and welfare is demanding it.
Books Becoming Movies in 2022
Where the Crawdads Sing
For years, Kya Clark has survived alone in the marshes of the North Carolina coast. Dubbed “The Marsh Girl” by the locals, she raises herself in nature after her family abandons her. Now, as she comes of age, she begins to yearn for something more than her loneliness – maybe even a connection with the locals. An exquisitely written tale, Where the Crawdads Sing is the perfect summer read, especially since the highly-anticipated film adaption is coming out in July.
Anatomy of a Scandal
When a government minister is accused of rape, a courtroom drama ensues. Sophie Whitehouse knows her charming successful husband James isn’t perfect. While she’s disappointed in his affair, she knows he couldn’t be capable of rape. On the flip side, Kate, the lawyer in charge of prosecuting the crime, is convinced James is guilty. Which one is right?
Considered the unluckiest assassin in the world, Nanao boards a bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka with a simple mission: snatch a briefcase and get off at the next stop. However, Nanao is surprised to discover four other assassins on the train whose missions all intersect in surprising ways. This Japanese thriller starring Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock hits theaters in July.
Summer Reading List 2022
The It Girl
April was the first person Hannah met at Oxford, and they quickly became inseparable with their group of friends until April was killed. A decade after April’s murder, Hannah learns that the recently deceased convicted killer may have been innocent. With a journalist probing for details and the murderer likely still out there, Hannah reconnects with her old friend group to uncover their long-buried secrets.
Family of Liars
After a resurgence of popularity, E. Lockhart has penned a prequel to her TikTok sensation We Were Liars (a book I wholeheartedly recommend for any summer reading list). Every summer, the Sinclair family vacations on their private island off the coast of Massachusetts. In Family of Liars, Lockhart takes you back a generation, to the parents’ youthful summer of secrets and sorrows that ends in betrayal, mistakes, and lasting consequences.
If you are looking for a Grey’s Anatomy-style romance for your summer reading list in 2022, look no further than this hot debut. Ghanaian-American Angela Appiah has achieved the pinnacle of success as an immigrant child: medical school, a professional boyfriend, and a loyal group of successful friends. When her boyfriend dumps her, she fails her medical exam, and her best friend stops talking to her, Angela begins to question if this life is what she wants or what her parents have chosen for her.
Although she struggles to interact with people, her love of order and cleanliness makes Molly Gray an excellent maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. When Molly discovers a wealthy guest dead in his hotel bed, the police peg her as the prime suspect due to her unusual behaviors. With the help of her friends, Molly must investigate the murder to prove her innocence in this locked-room mystery. If you are in the mood for a cozy mystery for your summer reading, The Maid delivers: the twists and turns are intriguing but not shocking and everyone gets their happily ever after.
MSNBC news anchor Katy Dur recounts a lifetime of chasing news. Her parents Marika Gerard and Bob (now Zoey) Tur gained fame and wealth as helicopter journalists covering such events as O.J. Simpson’s car chase. By high school, they had lost it all, leaving Tur with a complicated relationship with her parents. Telling of her own rise from local reporter to foreign correspondent and eventually news anchor, Tur ponders on the roles and responsibilities of journalists.
When Women Were Dragons
In her imaginative new historical fantasy, Kelly Barnhill details the Mass Dragoining of 1955. In a shocking event, hundreds of thousands of ordinary mothers and wives transform into dragons and fly away. Was it by choice and where did they go? Alex can’t stop wondering after her beloved aunt is involved, but the subject is taboo though the consequences to her family are far-reaching.
Book Club Reads For Summer 2022
Sara Nović gives you an insightful look into deaf culture with a story about the personal and political crises that surround students and the headmistress at the River Valley School for the Deaf. Charlie is a rebellious transfer student who has never met another deaf person and Austin is the school’s golden boy who is shocked when his baby sister is born hearing. Meanwhile, February is desperately trying to keep the school open and her marriage intact.
How to Raise an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi, author of the bestseller How to Be an Antiracist, wants to help parents raise the next generation of antiracist thinkers with his latest summer book release. At first, Kendi didn’t want to talk to his child about racism, fearing it would stain her innocence and steal her joy. However, research shows the opposite. By teaching children the reality of racism and the myth of race, we can build an antiracist society in a diverse world.
I Must Betray You
Although communist countries are falling all over Europe, in 1989, Romania is still ruled by the cruel dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. Blackmailed by the secret police, seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu is forced to become an informer, walking the edge between deceiving the Securitate while still protecting his family. I Must Betray You is exactly what you want from young adult historical fiction for your summer reading list 2022. Sepetys showcases the everyday teenage life in a unique setting with a narrative that is as compelling as it is informative.
The Many Daughters of Afong Moy
Former poet laureate Dorothy Moy has always channeled her dissociative episodes and mental health into her work. When her daughter starts showing similar behaviors and remembering items from the lives of past ancestors, Dorothy undergoes an experimental treatment to alleviate inherited trauma. As Dorothy becomes intimately connected with the past generations of women in her family, she finds a stranger is searching for her in each time period.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
From the author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes a new release perfect for your summer reading list 2022. On a bitterly cold day, Sam Masur runs into Sadie Green on a train platform and a legendary friendship is formed. Together, they created the blockbuster video game Ichigo, a way for them to escape the harsh realities of life. Over the next three decades, their friendship is tested as their success leads them to money, fame, love, and betrayal.
The Best Books Of Summer 2021
Taylor Jenkins Reid
In 1983, four famous siblings throw an epic summer party at their Malibu mansion. Secrets come out, the party gets out of control, and a fire will burn it all down by dawn. Malibu Rising is a gorgeous family drama that surpasses a simple beach read. The story of the Riva children abandoned by their famous rockstar father is heartbreakingly sad and yet still hopeful. The characters come alive as each sibling ponders if they can escape their parents’ fates.
S. A. Cosby
When a gay couple is murdered, their ex-con fathers band together to deal out retribution. Both Ike and Buddy Lee struggled to accept their gay sons, straining their relationships. Now the two, one Black and one white, must confront their prejudices about their children and each other as they deal out bloody revenge in Cosby’s latest thriller. With a high-action plot (and LOTS of violence), Cosby keeps you on the edge of your seat while merging weighty themes of two ex-cons coming to grips with their failures as fathers.
A hit summer memoir from the owner and chef of an acclaimed restaurant in Maine tells of the challenges of finding your voice and rebuilding a life. Growing up in rural Maine, Erin French fell in love with food while working at her father’s diner. After dropping out of college when she got pregnant, French eventually established her own successful restaurant. When a crumbling marriage and addiction cause her to lose it all, French manages to slowly rebuild her personal and culinary life and find solace in the food she loves. A stunning memoir, French’s down-to-earth writing of her experience will cut straight to anyone’s heart while foodies will love her luscious culinary descriptions.
We Are the Brennans
After a car accident, Sunday Brennan returns to her large Irish family in New York. Five years earlier, she had abandoned them and her high school sweetheart with no explanation. Determined to rebuild her relationships, Sunday is startled when a man threatens the family’s business and forces the family to confront painful mistakes. Delving into the ways guilt and shame can affect our interactions, We Are the Brennans is a great choice for your summer reading list this year.
The Lost Apothecary
In 1791, Nella uses her London apothecary shop to sell poisons for women to use against abusive men. The only rules are that the poisons cannot be used against another woman and that you must leave a record in the apothecary’s register. When she befriends a 12-year-old girl, the consequences will last generations. With feminist themes throughout the book, this beautifully rich novel would be a great one for a summer book club discussion.
Backlist Reads For Your Summer Reading List
When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a body buried in her backyard, it sends her on a journey of self-discovery based on a 100-year-old murder. In 1921, Will Tillman lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a town segregated by Jim Crow laws and pervaded by racial violence. A misunderstanding prompts a single violent outburst, propelling Will into the midst of the Tulsa Race Riots.
Amid the worst drought in a century, the farming community of Kiewarra, Australia, is rocked by a murder-suicide in a local family. For the first time since he was run out of town as a teen, Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns home for the funeral. The parents of his best friend are convinced their son could not have murdered his family and Falk agrees to help the local sheriff investigate in this compulsive mystery that will draw you in from the very first page.
Sitcom writer Georgie McCool knows her marriage is struggling, but she can’t pass up the chance to pitch the pilot show she’s been dreaming about for years, even if it means missing Christmas. While he’s away, she finds that calling Neal on the landline results in her talking to a younger version of her husband in the days just before he proposed. With the time-traveling communication messing with her head, Georgie recalls her courtship with Neal and ponders what to do about her marriage.
The Boys in the Boat
Daniel James Brown
In a sport dominated by elite East Coast schools, a group of young men, sons of dockworkers, loggers, and farmers, at the University of Washington rowed to the Olympic Gold Medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Led by an enigmatic coach and aided by a visionary boat builder, the nine working-class boys came together with determination and commitment to become world champions.
The Dutch House
Shortly after World War II, a real estate mogul buys The Dutch House, a lavish estate outside of Philadelphia. This purchase changes everything for his children, Danny and Maeve – driving out their mother, and leading to Cyril’s remarriage and their exile from the house by their stepmother. A story of the bond between siblings, The Dutch House warns of the dangers of obsessive nostalgia.
I just wanted to give out one more young adult suggestion to round out your summer reading list 2022. Maddy lives her whole life in a bubble. She has a rare disease that causes her to be allergic to everything. Trapped in her house all day every day, she is curious when a cute boy moves in next door. Soon, Maddy has fallen head over heels for Olly and must decide how much she is willing to risk in this young adult novel.
What’s on Your 2022 Summer Reading List?
What do you think? What summer reads did I forget to add to my list? Did I include any overhyped authors on my summer reading list? As always, let me know in the comments!
More Summer Reading Lists:
I’m actually reading Book Of Night right now and it’s really interesting. I really wanna see how this book goes!
Gaili Schoen says
Thanks so much! These are great and I appreciate all you do to gather these lists and synopses together! Can’t wait for more reading time this summer!
On the backlist I have read The Dry and The Dutch House. Liked both.
I just finished Douglas Stuart’s Young Mungo. Read until after 1 a.m. I think this was my third 5 star of the year so far. I have not been so moved by a story in a while. Perhaps since Shuggie Bain.
Not for everyone. But the book is beautifully written and full of rich, memorable characters. The ending made me cry.
I just picked up The Dictionary of Lost Words. So I will see if I am able to completely switch gears after Young Mungo. Also set in Scotland, but an entirely different book. This was Reese’s pick for May.
I have The Candy House, which was raved about by author Ann Patchett. It is Belletrist’s pick for May.
Those two books should keep me busy for a while.
Just have to add that I had the best browse at my local library stacks today. Something I am so grateful for and in no way take for granted during this Covid lull.
I’d gone in to pick up The Dictionary of Lost Words, which was set aside for me. Then I proceeded to check what else was available. I always scope out the new releases section. Today I decided to dive in deeper and browse beyond the front of the library.
I ended up with an older Anne Tyler: Clock Dance. Who doesn’t love Anne Tyler? This has a great cover with a very cheerful Saguaro on the cover. I’ve read many of hers, including her latest French Braid, but missed this one.
Secondly, I looked up Oprah’s past picks on my phone & then found An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, which I do not think I’ve read yet. Oprah is always a reliable source.
I got Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg. Love the Bluejay on the cover. And I think this was fairly popular a while back. I may have it mixed up with something else.
Also picked up a Clara Black book, Three Hours in Paris. Totally outside my wheelhouse.
So aside from those two main reads, I am all set with some backlist books too!
I thoroughly enjoyed my browse. Hope my varied list inspires. I always love seeing what others are reading.