The best summer reads of 2019

Summer’s long days are made for reading. Whether you’re trying to keep cool next to your dripping window air conditioner or lounging on a deck chair with a crisp glass of rosé, a good book only makes the season better. Below are three of the most highly recommended books of the summer, because you can’t spend all your time reading celebrity gossip on the internet.

Little Darlings, by Melanie Golding

melanie golding little darlings book
A disturbing trip through a new mother’s worst nightmare.Amazon

In this gripping debut novel from English author Melanie Golding, every new mother’s worst nightmare comes true. Or does it? Lauren Tranter, a mother of newborn twins is approached in the hospital by a woman wanting to switch babies. Lauren calls the police, but they, the hospital and her husband all believe she is delusional after the trauma of childbirth. When the twins go briefly missing while under her care, Lauren insists the babies that have been returned to her are not her twins, but have been possessed by the mysterious woman’s children. Is she right? Is she suffering from post-partum psychosis? Described as “unforgettable” by the New York Times, this thrilling and disturbing page-turner will soon be turned into a major motion picture


See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy, by Frances Mayes

frances mayes see you in the piazza book
Travel to Italy from the comfort of your living room.Amazon

Unable to take yourself to Italy yourself this summer? Let Frances Mayes’ new travelogue take you through all 20 regions of the country. By the beloved author of Under the Tuscan Sun, See You in the Piazza introduces you to the hidden gems of Italy only a local (or near-local, since Mayes herself insists “to know Italy takes ten lifetimes”) could show you. The book is arranged geographically as she and her husband eat and drink their way throughout the country. There are even several recipes from the lovingly described meals so you can bring a piece of Italy to wherever you happen to be spending your summer.


Summer of ’69, by Elin Hilderbrand

elin hilderbrand summer of '69 book
The summer of ’69 changed America, and the Levin Family.Amazon

This #1 New York Times best seller, described by People Magazine as “an engrossing tale of an iconic American summer,” is the first historical novel from Elin Hilderbrand. The Levin family has spent every summer at their grandmother’s house in Nantucket, but amid the turmoil of 1969, nothing is as it was. The eldest daughter is stuck at home pregnant with twins, another sister is working on Martha’s Vineyard, and the son has been deployed to Vietnam. That leaves young Jessie with her mother and grandmother as the four siblings try to navigate the tumultuous summer. Liz Egan of the New York Times Book Review says Summer of ’69 will “make you forget the dynamics of your own dysfunctional people as you crowd into a too-small vacation rental.” That alone should be worth the price of purchase.