• The Ultimate Summer 2024 Reading List

    Or, Beach Book Bingo

    It’s (un)officially summer, which means the living is easy, days and legs are stretching out languorously, and you’ve got sunshine hours to burn by the pool. (Unless, of course, you’re a parent.) But which books should fill your beach bag/backyard/pool house library this year? The internet, as always, has the an answer. So as usual, I have endeavored to find it.

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    If you’re new here, here’s how it works:

    1. I read all of the Most Anticipated Books of Summer and Best Summer Reading lists that flood the internet this time of year (or at least as many as I can find).
    2. I count how many times each individual book is mentioned.
    3. I collate that information for you in this handy list.

    There are noticeably fewer summer reading lists floating around this year. It’s possible some outlets are waiting later to run their summer reading lists, but it may also be a function of the state of online media (crumbling), or the fall of the list (imaginary), or something-something AI (possible, very very possible). But I still managed to read 23 lists, which recommended a grand total of 456 books. 59 of those books were mentioned at least 3 times, and these I have collated in descending order of popularity below.

    10 lists:

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    Lev Grossman, The Bright Sword

    Lev Grossman, The Bright Sword (July)

    9 lists:

    Julia Phillips, Bear

    Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Long Island Compromise (July)
    Julia Phillips, Bear (June)

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    8 lists:

    Rufi Thorpe, Margo’s Got Money Troubles

    Liz Moore, The God of the Woods (July)
    Rufi Thorpe, Margo’s Got Money Troubles (June)

    7 lists:

    state of paradise laura van den berg

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    Rachel Cusk, Parade (June)
    Questlove, with Ben Greenman, Hip-Hop is History (June)
    Laura van den Berg, State of Paradise (July)

    6 lists:

    cue the sun emily nussbaum

    Emily Nussbaum, Cue the Sun! The Invention of Reality TV (June)
    Yasmin Zaher, The Coin (July)

    5 lists:

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    Kaliane Bradley, The Ministry of Time (May)
    Kevin Kwan, Lies and Weddings (May)
    Claire Lombardo, Same As It Ever Was (June)
    Morgan Talty, Fire Exit (June)

    4 lists:

    Tracy O’Neill, Woman of Interest: A Memoir

    Kevin Barry, The Heart in Winter (July)
    Rachel Dodes & Lauren Mechling, The Memo (June)
    Yume Kitasei, The Stardust Grail (June)
    Glynnis MacNicol, I’m Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself: One Woman’s Pursuit of Pleasure in Paris (June)
    Sarah Manguso, Liars (July)
    Casey McQuiston, The Pairing (August)
    Dinaw Mengestu, Someone Like Us (July)
    Claire Messud, This Strange Eventful History (May)
    Yoko Ogawa, tr. Stephen Snyder, Mina’s Matchbox (August)
    Tracy O’Neill, Woman of Interest (June)
    Jodi Picoult, By Any Other Name (August)
    Ann Powers, Traveling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell (June)
    Riley Sager, Middle of the Night (June)
    Peng Shepherd, All This & More (July)
    Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, Catalina (July)
    Nicola Yoon, One of Our Kind (June)

    3 lists:

    Porochista Khakpour, Tehrangeles

    Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Anguish and Anarchy (June)
    Jessica Anthony, The Most (July)
    Megan Bannen, The Undermining of Twyla and Frank (July)
    Isabel Banta, Honey (June)
    Essie Chambers, Swift River (June)
    Griffin Dunne, The Friday Afternoon Club: A Family Memoir (June)
    Alison Espach, The Wedding People (July)
    Lucy Foley, The Midnight Feast (June)
    Jo Hamya, The Hypocrite (August)
    Elin Hilderbrand, Swan Song (June)
    Gabino Iglesias, House of Bone and Rain (August)
    Porochista Khakpour, Tehrangeles (June)
    Stephen King, You Like It Darker: Stories (May)
    Ananda Lima, Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil (June)
    Kate Quinn, The Briar Club (July)
    Tiya Miles, Night Flyer (June)
    Catherine Newman, Sandwich (June)
    Joesph O’Neill, Godwin (June)
    Helen Phillips, Hum (August)
    Ashley Poston, A Novel Love Story (June)
    Julie Satow, When Women Ran Fifth Avenue: Glamour and Power at the Dawn of American Fashion (June)
    Robin Sloan, Moonbound (June)
    Jesse Q. Sutanto, You Will Never Be Me (August)
    Anna Marie Tendler, Men Have Called Her Crazy (August)
    Chuck Tingle, Bury Your Gays (July)
    Paul Tremblay, Horror Movie (June)
    Fernanda Trias, tr. Heather Cleary, Pink Slime (July)
    Ruth Ware, One Perfect Couple (May)
    Sable Yong, Die Hot with a Vengeance (July)

    List of lists surveyed:

    TIME’s 24 New Books You Need to Read This Summer • The Washington Post’s 28 Books to Read This Summer • The Wall Street Journal’s Summer Books: Our Guide to the Best Reading of the Season • The Los Angeles Times’ 20 New Books You Need to Read This Summer • Kirkus Reviews’ 24 Hottest Summer Reads of 2024 • Publishers Weekly’s Summer Reads • NPR’s 20 New Books Hitting Shelves This Summer That Our Critics Can’t Wait to Read • The Boston Globe’s 75 Books We’re Most Excited to Read This Summer • Chicago Tribune’s Summer Books 2024 • People’s Most Anticipated Summer Books • Elle’s The Best New Books to Read in Summer 2024 • Vulture’s 22 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer • Bustle’s This Summer’s Most Anticipated Books • Polygon’s The 25 Must-Read Books of Summer 2024 • AARP’s 28 of Summer’s Top Books • Town & Country’s The 39 Must-Read Books of Summer 2024 • Goodreads’ Readers’ Most Anticipated Summer Books • Oprah Daily’s Your Summer Reading List is Here • New York Post’s The 32 Best Beach Reads for Summer 2024 • WBEZ Chicago’s Five Books You Should Read This Summer • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s 41 New Books for Summer Reading in 2024 • Romper’s The 13 New Books On Our Summer Reading List • and Lit Hub’s 18 New Novels You Need to Read This Summer.

    Emily Temple
    Emily Temple
    Emily Temple is the managing editor at Lit Hub. Her first novel, The Lightness, was published by William Morrow/HarperCollins in June 2020. You can buy it here.

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