10 Best Books for Summer

Whether you're looking for a mystery or memoir, chick-lit or historical fiction, we have a book for you. Check out our picks for this summer's best reads.

For the Hammock: "Then Came You" by Jennifer Weiner
The queen of chick lit returns with a new novel about four women, bound by obligation and opportunity, who must struggle to become a family.

Related: What We're Reading This Month

To Curl Up With: "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain
The twenties are roaring, and a not-yet-famous Ernest Hemingway has just met the woman who will be his first (of four) wives; she narrates this engrossing novel about their love and its undoing.

To Haunt You: "State of Wonder" by Ann Patchett
A researcher flies to Brazil in search of her former mentor, who in turn is hunting for a drug that can extend fertility past 60. Delusion? Think Heart of Darkness with formidable female leads.

For True Mom Confessions: "Planting Dandelions" by Kyran Pittman
Pittman's memoir wryly and perceptively traces her improbable path from a bohemian 70s childhood in Newfoundland to her current "semi-domesticated" life as a wife and a mother of three in the American South.

Related: Summer Getaway Guide

To Inspire You: "The Gap Year" by Sarah Bird
A shy teen takes up with the high school football star, then vanishes with her trust fund. Her parents (exes) reunite to track her down. A funny story about growing pains, with a twist or three.

For a Touch of Glam: "The Memory of All That" by Katharine Weber
Weber's family boasts a slew of characters: Grandma was Gershwin's mistress, while a granddad inspired Annie's Daddy Warbucks. This rollicking memoir does them all justice.

For a Page-Turner: "Conquistadora" by Esmeralda Santiago
A Spanish bride sails to Puerto Rico in 1844 to help run her in-laws' plantation. There, she battles heat, disease, and the cruelty of slavery - and comes out on top, defying convention at every turn.

To Carry You Away: "Caleb's Crossing" by Geraldine Brooks
Curl up, literary romantics: It's 1665, and a secret, risky friendship is set to unfold between a Native American graduate of Harvard and a minister's daughter who herself yearns for education

Related: Best Books of 2010

To Inspire You: "Nothing Daunted" by Dorothy Wickenden
Drawing on a cache of old letters, Wickenden tells the true story of two Smith grads (one of them her grandmother) who venture out to rugged Colorado in 1916 to teach in a frontier school and leave an indelible mark.

To Grip You: "Sister" by Rosamund Lupton
When her artist sister is found dead, Bee doesn't buy the suicide verdict. She moves into Tess's London flat, befriends her friends, and gnaws her way toward the truth. Taut and tingling.

What book are you planning to bring to the beach this summer? Tell us in the comments.

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