I don't mean to alarm you, but we're officially halfway through 2019. While in some ways that feels like a massive win (We've made it this far! Hooray for us!) it can also be totally overwhelming (We only have six months left before 2020?!) But if your summer reading list is one of the things causing you stress, here are 20 books that Goodreads users love this summer. It's just the inspiration you need to kick your reading into high gear, because it's time to add those feelings of stress to your discard pile and focus on the stack of stellar reads you still have ample time to get to this summer.
The books below, all rated 4.0 or higher by readers on the site, vary in genre and theme. Whether you're into creepy thrillers, page-turning historical fiction, steamy rom-coms, inspiring nonfiction, heart-wrenching literary fiction, or the next big YA books, you'll find it below. Just remember: We've still got a few weeks left of sunshine and warm weather, perfect for grabbing a book and a blanket, and whiling away an afternoon. So go forth and read — and let this list of books that Goodreads users are loving be your guide.
'The Silent Patient' by Alex Michaelides
Famous painter Alicia Berenson had the perfect life — until the evening she killed her husband, and spoke another word. When criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber begins working with Alicia, his determination to unravel the mystery takes him down a twisting path that threatens to consume him.
'Daisy Jones & The Six' by Taylor Jenkins Reid
'City of Girls' by Elizabeth Gilbert
'Recursion' by Blake Crouch
As New York City cop Barry Sutton investigates False Memory Syndrome — a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived — he comes face-to-face with a force that attacks the very fabric of the past. Now he and neuroscientist Helena Smith must work together to defeat it.
'Red, White & Royal Blue' by Casey McQuiston
When First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz and Prince Henry of Wales accidentally cause an international incident at a royal wedding, the two are forced into a fake friendship for tabloid consumption. But as the two spend more time together, they find themselves in a relationship that might just change the course of history.
'Summer of ‘69' by Elin Hilderbrand
It's 1969, and for the Levin family, everything is changing. In the past, the children have spent every summer at their grandmother's home in Nantucket. But this year, each sibling is caught up in their own personals dramas — from pregnancy to deployment. And as the summer heats up, 13-year-old Jessie, the youngest, has a coming-of-age of her own.
'The Unhoneymooners' by Christina Lauren
At Olive's sister Ami's wedding, the entire congregation comes down with food poisoning — except Olive, and the best man, her sworn enemy, Ethan. When they're offered the bride and groom's all-expenses paid honeymoon trip, they pretend to be newlyweds to get the perks, leading to more than either bargained for.
'Lock Every Door' by Riley Sager
When Jules Larsen takes a new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan's most high-profile and mysterious buildings, she finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter, Ingrid. When Ingrid goes missing, Jules begins to dig deeper into building's dark secrets.
'The Mother-in-Law' by Sally Hepworth
From the moment Lucy met her mother-in-law, Diana, she was kept at arm's length. Now, Diana has been found dead, with a suicide note near her body claiming she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer. But the autopsy finds no cancer; it find traces of poison and suffocation. Who could possibly want Diana dead?
'Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered' by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark
In their first book, the hosts of the hit podcast My Favorite Murder take listeners behind-the-scenes of their own lives, sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with mental illness and addiction, irreverently recounting their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, and reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them.
'Ask Again, Yes' by Mary Beth Keane
Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are two NYPD rookies assigned to the same Bronx precinct in 1973. They aren’t close friends on the job, but end up living next door to each other. And what goes on behind closed doors in both houses sets the stage for a tragedy that reverberates over four decades.
'Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed' by Lori Gottlieb
In her memoir, therapist Lori Gottlieb invites readers into her world as both a clinician and a patient, pulling back the curtain on the the often hidden world of therapists. In the process, she reveals the truths and fictions we tell ourselves, and the power we all have to transform our lives.
'Girl, Stop Apologizing' by Rachel Hollis
'Evvie Drake Starts Over' by Linda Holmes
Evvie Drake is recently widowed. She rarely leaves her house, and keeps her own messy feelings of grief locked inside. Dean Tenney is a recently disgraced major league pitcher who wants to escape the spotlight. When Dean moves in to Evvie's spare apartment, their unexpected friendship soon turns into something more.
'On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous' by Ocean Vuong
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, the debut novel from poet Ocean Vuong, follows the speaker, Little Dog, as he composes a letter to his mother that unearths his family's history in Vietnam. He uses the past to serve as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all leading to an unforgettable revelation.
'The Bride Test' by Helen Hoang
Khai Diep's autism means he processes emotions differently — and he avoids relationships because of it. His mother decides to take matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride. She chooses Esme Tran, who sees this potential marriage as the big break her family needs.
'Sorcery of Thorns' by Margaret Rogerson
Elisabeth has been raised a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, always taught that all sorcerers are evil. When the library’s most dangerous grimoire is released, Elisabeth is implicated in the crime. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy.
'On the Come Up' by Angie Thomas
In The Hate U Give author Angie Thomas's second novel, 16-year-old Bri is on a mission to become a world-famous rapper — not only to follow in her late-father's footsteps, but to provide for her family. When one of her songs goes viral for all the wrong reasons, she must decide how to fight for her dreams with the odds stacked against her.
'Miracle Creek' by Angie Kim
In a small town in Virginia, there is a treatment center with a hyperbaric chamber that its owners claim can cure a range of conditions. When the chamber explodes and two people die, investigators discover that it wasn't an accident, a powerful courtroom showdown unfolds, revealing devastating secrets.
'A Woman Is No Man' by Etaf Rum
In present day Brooklyn, 18-year-old Deya's grandparents have forced her to start meeting with suitors. In the past, Deya’s mother, Isra, is forced to leave Palestine as a teenager to marry. When Deya receives a note from a mysterious woman, she begins to understand her family's secrets and how they intertwine with her life.