Politically-Themed Books For Your Fourth Of July Beach Bag

By Kerri Jarema

One of the days most people look forward to in the summer is the Fourth of July. I know when I think of the season I picture pool days and barbecues, beach trips and fireworks... and the Fourth has all of that and more. It really starts to feel like summer once July comes around, and with that it also means summer reading is finally in full swing. For some, your TBR might not change too much with the seasons, as you continue to plug along on your ever-growing stack of must-reads. But for others the idea of reading seasonally appropriate themed books is just too fun to resist. And even though you might already have a ton of summery reads on your list, might we suggest you take the opportunity to add a couple political-themed reads to your beach bag during your Fourth of July activities?

And no, we're not talking about hefty biographies of past presidents or in-depth non-fiction about the inner workings of the government. We're talking contemporary political lives, from the daily dramas of political professionals to the sons and daughters of politicians finding love in the spotlight, the 11 YA and Adult books below are all the ideal companions to the patriotic holiday.

'All-American Girl' by Meg Cabot

Samantha Madison is dealing with a lot. Her little sister is a certified genius, her older sister is the most popular girl in school, she's in love with her big sister's boyfriend, she got caught selling celebrity portraits at school, and she is now being forced to take an art class. But things go from bad to worse when she unintentionally saves the President from an assassination attempt. Now she's famous, and the whole world thinks she's a hero. Oh, and there's one more thing... the President's son just might be in love with her.

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'The Wrong Side Of Right' by Jenn Marie Thorne

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible — or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

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'The Unexpected Everything' by Morgan Matson

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks). But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing — if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

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'Isla And The Happily Ever After' by Stephanie Perkins

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including senator's son Josh's political and highly publicized family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

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'Supreme Courtship' by Christopher Buckley

After one nominee is rejected for insufficiently appreciating To Kill A Mockingbird, the President chooses someone so beloved by voters that the Senate won't have the guts to reject her: Judge Pepper Cartwright, the star of the nation's most popular reality show, Courtroom Six. Will Pepper, a straight-talking Texan, survive a confirmation battle in the Senate? Will becoming one of the most powerful women in the world ruin her love life? And even if she can make it to the Supreme Court, how will she get along with her eight highly skeptical colleagues.? Soon, Pepper finds herself in the middle of a constitutional crisis, a presidential reelection campaign that the president is determined to lose, and oral arguments of a romantic nature.

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'The Hopefuls' by Jennifer Close

A New York newlywed, Beth was supportive when her husband, Matt, decided to follow his political dreams all the way to Washington. Yet soon after they move to D.C., Beth realizes that she hates everything about it: the traffic circles, the ubiquitous Ann Taylor suits, the humidity that descends each summer, and, most of all, the lonely dinner parties where anyone who doesn’t work in politics is politely ignored. Things start to change when the couple meets a charismatic White House staffer named Jimmy and his wife, Ashleigh. The four become inseparable, coordinating brunches, birthdays, and long weekends away. But as Jimmy’s star rises higher and higher, the couples’ friendship — and Beth’s relationship with Matt — is threatened by jealousy, competition, and rumors.

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'The Kept Woman' by Susan Donovan

Playing by the rules has left Samantha Monroe with an AWOL ex-husband, maxed out credit cards, and the task of raising three children on a hairstylist's salary. It's time for a new game plan. When Sam learns that politician Jack Tolliver needs someone to play the part of his fiancee for six months in return for a generous paycheck, she's ready to sign up on the spot. Jack needs Sam and her kids to help tone down his image from womanizing cad to dependable dad. Keeping nosey news-hounds from discovering that his engagement is a charade is going to be a tough job, but one kiss from Sam and suddenly Jack is ready to put in all the overtime necessary.

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'American Wife' by Curtis Sittenfeld

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown, she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is admitted into a world of privilege. When her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with. As her husband’s presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.

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'The Senator's Wife' by Sue Miller

Meri is newly married, pregnant, and standing on the cusp of her life as a wife and mother, recognizing with some terror the gap between reality and expectation. Delia — wife of the two-term liberal senator Tom Naughton — is Meri’s new neighbor in the adjacent New England town house. Tom’s chronic infidelity has been an open secret in Washington circles, but despite the complexity of their relationship, the bond between them remains strong. Soon Delia and Meri find themselves leading strangely parallel lives, as they both reckon with the contours and mysteries of marriage: one refined and abraded by years of complicated intimacy, the other barely begun.

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