On a plane, train, road trip, beach chair or pool cabana … a light summer read is the best companion for summer travel. First of all, books don’t criticize your 80’s road trip music choices, they never complain about a sibling ‘breathing its air’, and I’ve never seen a book eat the last Oreo! Take these five new recent novels along for your summer reading this year.

There’s Something Magical about Reading on the Beach.

5 New Book Suggestions for summer Travel reading

Photo Credit Carissa Rogers

Other vacations are fine, but a book and a beach chair are all one needs to be truly prepared to enjoy and remember the sights and sounds and even the smells of a boardwalk on a summer vacation.

When you reminisce and discuss that one novel you read on the Jersey Shore a few years back… you’ll be reminded of your then-5-year-old and his insatiable quest for MORE SHELLS MOM!

That funny story you were reading will bring back the way your then-teenage daughter could despair about her lack of perfect swimwear attire while simultaneously laughing with glee at the chance to bury her little sister in a sand pit!

3 Summer Reading Requirements:

  1. It can’t be too long. If you can’t finish the book during a 3-day beach weekend it doesn’t count as a summer read!
  2. It can’t be too deep. A book does not qualify as a ‘light read’ if you have to take mental breaks because it’s more like an encyclopedia. That book will have to wait until winter to properly enjoy, it’s a rule. —Goes without saying non-fiction need not apply.
  3. The content of the novel must have a smidgen of romance seasoned with just the right amount of tears and suspense to equal the perfect novel for hot summer travel.

Oh sure, photos can do the same thing… Bring back memories—blah blah blah—remind you of copper sunrises and burnt orange sunsets.  But a photo won’t stain your brain with the smells of greasy French fries covered in honey mustard sauce or flood your ears with the ghosts of squawking seagulls. You need the after effects of a novel-remembered to enrich your whole body memories of a summertime escape.

Inserting Appropriate Quote from a Book, How True:

“My family never went skiing. My dad was afraid of heights and my mom felt that a vacation was only a vacation if it involved reading at least two books on the beach.”
― Lisa Greenwald, Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes

5 New Summer Book Suggestions

Newest book by Lori Roy smells of lavender and an old fashioned hanging. Let Me Die In His Footsteps

New out in June by author Lori Roy. The title of this book confused me for a long time. I even Tweeted the author (@LoriRoyAuthor) to see if she could help me out. I think it should have been titled Walking in the Lavender Fields, because the former Tobacco farm transformed into lavender fields are practically a character in the book!

Roy’s writing is fresh and confusing and wonderful all on the same page. She describes a scene better than anything I’ve read in a long time. (Especially those rows of lavender!)

From two points of view, a coming-of-age girl in the 50’s and her mother telling her story back in the mid 30’s, and jumping off from the real-life last legal hanging in Kentucky, this story unfolds and refolds and wraps you up with its lavender kisses and smells. $19.86 June 2, 2015, release date

Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule

Historical fiction focusing on the relationship between Mrs. Julia Grant and her slave also named Julia—but renamed Jule. The wife of Ulysses S. Grant, the Union general who became president of the United States after the Civil War, came from a slave owning family. This book, written by Jennifer Chiaverini who also wrote Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, shares the story of young Julia and Jule then follows them as Julia marries Ulysses and eventually Jule joins the Grant household.

I called this historical fiction, but don’t worry, this book still counts as light reading. It flows fast. It gives the detail of life before and during the Civil War in a way that allows you to peek into a divided time of our country from the point of view of two women who were literally straddling that divide. $18.36 Hardcover

It may or may not be murder, hard to tell in the chaos of a school trivia night fundraiser gone wrong.Big Little Lies

Liane Moriarty is my current favorite BFF author. You can’t go wrong with any of her books. Big Little Lies is her latest, written in her unique Aussie voice. Three suburban women and their ‘Kindy’ challenges with 5-year-olds, ex-husbands, PTO uber-moms and a death that may or may not be murder. Hard to tell from the school trivia night fundraising chaos!

I adore her writing, especially the way she creates dialogue you can totally imagine yourself saying. Humor and sadness, tipped with deeper issues like spouse abuse and shame all fill this novel with characters you wish you knew in real life! $14.11 Hardcover—but the paperback should be out soon.

Trail of Broken Wings

This debut novel by Sejal Badani is currently listed as an April 2015 Kindle First book for Amazon Prime members. That means you can snag it for FREE for until April 30, 2015!

I especially enjoyed this debut novel by Sejal Badani about the relationships between a first generation family emigrated from India. Their story is at once foreign and secret and still a little too close to home. Three daughters raised in a traditional Indian family, now grown and fiercely determining their own futures. And then their harsh father falls into a coma and they are all beckoned back into the family drama they can never really escape. Can they forgive each other? Can they forgive their father? $4.99 Kindle eBook.

My sunshine away by M.O. Walsh vacation reading listMy Sunshine Away

It took me a few chapters into this book to realize the title is referencing the folk song. As in: Please Don’t Take… my sunshine away. How brilliant is that?!

M.O. Walsh—aside from having a GREAT NAME, has written a lovely, and painful, and delicious coming-of-age novel. It starts from a pre-pubescent teen boy’s point of view and ends with a young father’s vantage point. A boring suburban street in the deep south has enough pain, teen love and abuse to make it a surprisingly not-boring tale.

The story opens with a young girl’s rape. I know. This doesn’t sound like the kind of book that belongs on a summer reading list. Stick with me, I promise the story and characters triumph and simply LIVE through their adolescent pain. Walsh’s sing-song prose is calming and soothing and will drag you unknowingly deep into the secrets of one Louisiana neighborhood. Much like the ebb and flow of the ocean surrounding you on a beach-y afternoon lost in a terrific story.
$18.36 hardcover

What’s on your nightstand?

(Or Kindle Reader… or requested on your library hold list?!)
What ONE book would you suggest as a fabulous summer vacation book?

5 New Novels in time for 2015 summer travel

Disclosure: Some of these books were given to me to read at no cost to me. I get a LOT of books sent my way, I ONLY suggest the ones I like and actually read. There are no affiliate codes in this post.