HomeFeaturesBook ListsSummer Reading Guide 2022

Summer Reading Guide 2022

In true Cheryl fashion I’ve overthought this article to death, not knowing if I wanted to make a “backlist summer reading list” or an “exciting upcoming Summer 2022 releases guide” or just a list of my own personal summer reads recommendations! So after a month of deliberating I decided the best article is a combination of all three! 

Some current Summer-y reads to get you started, a list of upcoming releases I’m excited for, and an “in case you missed it” backlist recommendations guide. 


Get your summer reading started ASAP … 

Lessons in Chemistry

Written by Bonnie Garmus

Published by Doubleday Books

My only complaint about this novel is that its cover comes across as literary rom-com bubblegum, even though there is nothing wrong with that genre whatsoever, it is misleading and resulting in the wrong book potentially being overlooked by its target audience. This is a story about sexism as we follow an incredibly bright women in the 1960s as she battles the rampant sexism in higher learning academics and the field of science. Battling grief, trauma, motherhood and her passion, it is a battle cry for the injustices women faced, and continue to face, in the workplace. The gravitas is balanced with excellent humour.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Remarkably Bright Creatures

Written by Shelby Van Pelt

Published by Ecco Press

Lighten your mind with this tender, hilarious story about the unlikely relationship between a 70 year old woman, who works as a night janitor at an aquarium, and the giant pacific octopus she confides in, Marcellus. The voice of Marcellus, who appears in random chapters journalling his days in captivity (and observations of lowly humans) are sure to put a smile on your face.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Book Lovers

Written by Emily Henry

Published by Berkley Books

Starting out in YA fiction Emily Henry has become THE go-to author for summer romance reads. Book Lovers is everywhere, and rightly so, as it is her best novel yet following two workaholics – an NYC book agent and book editor. If they were a character in a novel they edit, they would be the character that gets in the way of the main character’s happy ending, ie) they are one who gets dumped. But what would their happy ending look like??

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Black Cake

Written by Charmaine Wilkerson

Published by Ballantine Books

Benny and Byron, siblings who were once close but are now estranged, reunite after their mother’s passing to go over her will and discover she has left them a puzzling inheritance: a traditional Caribbean black cake a voice recording that will shatter all they knew to be true about her. The pages turn quickly in this novel that is a little bit mystery, a little bit history, and whole pile of family drama as the mysteries and pieces of disparate stories are slowly pieced together.

Full review HERE.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

A Novel Obsession

Written by Caitlin Barasch

Published by Dutton Books

Maybe a thriller, maybe not, but this is a train wreck of a story told from the perspective of an unlikeable narrator as she becomes obsessed with her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, befriending her, and making all manner of head-scratching, eye-popping decisions thereafter in order to write a novel about her. You know it isn’t going to end well, but something about this story kept me hooked.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Marrying the Ketchups

Written by Jennifer Close

Published by Knopf Publishing Group

Truthfully, I haven’t yet read this one but it is next on my list and I’m very intrigued … A comedy that follows three generations of a Chicago family and their restaurant – sounds like the perfect summer read.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

This Time Tomorrow

Written by Emma Straub

Published by Riverhead Books

Known for her warm hearted novels with insightful observations into our shared humanity, Emma returns with This Time Tomorrow about a woman who falls asleep on her 40th birthday only to wake up on her 16th birthday with her father, who is currently dying, alive and well. Seeing him through new eyes and examining her life choices and where she has ended up, this is a deeply introspective novel about how we live our lives, the seemingly insignificant choices we make, and the connections/bonds of family & friendships.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Upcoming Releases to Look Out For:

The Hotel Nantucket

Written by Elin Hilderbrand

Published by Little Brown and Company

I have to read Elin’s books every summer, it isn’t summer without them and I highly suggest listening to them on audiobook. Everyone is narrated by the same narrator – Erin Bennet – who is simply fabulous. Elin’s books are always a bright, breezy, Nantucket escape for me (a place I’ll likely never be able to visit!) and are packed with delectable descriptions of food, intelligent characters, some romance and often a mystery to juicy things up. This year’s release takes us to a once famous but now crumbling hotel on the island that is trying to make a comeback. With an eclectic cast of characters including new billionaire owner, celebrity instagram influencer, and the ghost of a 19 year old chambermaid that died in a fire … it’s bound to be one interesting summer read!

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Written by Gabrielle Zevin

Published by Knopf Publishing Group

I became a major Zevin fan after The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry destroyed me – which also makes a great summer read – so I’m very eager to read her new release takes a matrix style spin when two college friends create a gaming world that allows people to exist virtually. Exploring themes of love, fame, tragedy and grief, this is blurbed as “a love story, but one you’ve never read before.”

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Potions

Written by Kate Khayari

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Everything draws me in about this story from the cover to the plot. 1923 London, Saffron Everleigh is a woman scholar trying to overcome sexism and claw her way into the botany department at the University of London when one night, at an after school dinner party, one of the professors is poisoned to death and the lead suspect is Saffron’s mentor. Now it’s up to her, and a certain Alexander Ashton – to use her knowledge of botany to clear her mentor’s name.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Woman of Light

Written by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Published by One World

My fellow historical fiction with a magical tinge lovers, we have a story centred in 1930’s Denver where Luz “little light” Lopez, a tea leaf and laundress has been left alone after her brother is run out of town by an angry, white mob. Driven by her visions she returns to her Indigenous homeland where she witnesses the devastation of her people and land. It is up to her to make sure her people’s stories are remembered.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Acts of Violet

Written by Margarita Montimore

Published by Flatiron Books

From the author of Oona Out of Order comes a new novel about a famous magician who has disappeared and her sister who is left to determine what happened. Honestly, this story had me at magician and what I know is brief: Violet, a famous magician disappears without a trace, her down-to-earth sister Sasha is left behind to raise her daughter Quinn who idolizes her Aunt Violet, and Cameron, a podcaster who is hoping to make his big break by interviewing Sasha (the very last thing she wants to do!). Sounds like a bright, twisty, mystery family drama.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Written by Geraldine Brooks

Published by Viking

Another for the historical fiction crowd and I’m sad to say I’ve never read a book by this famous, Pulitzer Prize winning author – but this is the summer to change that! Spanning over 100 years this is a novel about racial injustice, bonds between animals and humans, art, and one of the most famous race horses of all time. From Kentucky, to New York City to Washington, DC this novel sounds grand in scope!

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Carrie Soto is Back

Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published by Ballantine Books

A TJR novel is usually just a big treat, and I know very little about this except for the fact that it follows a character we met in the mega popular Malibu Rising last year and her return to competitive tennis. Also, that it is TJR, who is a master of characterization and smart, escapist fiction.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

In Case You Missed It, Backlist titles for your TBR:

The Guncle

Written by Steven Rowley

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

I’m currently reading and loving this novel and had to add it to my list! A tender story about what happens when gay uncle Patrick (Guncle) is left as guardian to his niece and nephew. A former cast member of a popular TV show, Patrick now lives a quietly predictable, but pleasant, life in Palm Springs … not exactly the environment for a 9-year-old and 6-year-old…

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The SirenThe Siren

Written by Katherine St. John

Published by Grand Central Publishing

Hollywood royalty, a comeback star, an independent movie being filmed on a tropical location, an incoming hurricane and …. murder? This novel is begging to be added to your beach read TBR stack.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Mary Jane book coverMary Jane

Written by Jessica Anya Blau

Published by Custom House

Summer is the perfect time to read this coming of age story about a 14-year-old girl, Mary Jane, who takes a summer job babysitting for the unconventional Cone family. Coming from a very staunchly religious upbringing, this new home that is full of open discussions on sex, drugs, rock and roll, and *gasp* take out food, is very different to say the least! But this world also opens her eyes to liberation, love, and her true self.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Final Revival of Opal and NevThe Final Revival of Opal & Nev

Written by Dawnie Walton

Published by 37 Ink

For fans of historical fiction novels that explore that ripe era of musical drama (the 1970s), Dawnie Walton brings an impactful punch to the cannon by exposing the racial injustice of the time through her infamous musical duo, the titular Opal and Nev.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Early Morning Riser

Written by Katherine Heiny

Published by Knopf Publishing Group

Something to be said about simple, sweet stories that highlight the joys of a simple life well lived. This novel follows Kate, a newly arrived small town Elementary school teacher, who falls in love with Duncan – the good natured, charming and handsome man that has seemingly slept with almost every woman in town. Can their relationship work? Sounds like your average rom-com, but I promise it is more nuanced and deep.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Deacon King Kong book coverDeacon King Kong

Written by James McBride

Published by Riverhead Books

Especially on audiobook, I loved this historical fiction that is oftentimes downright hilarious while dealing with heavy topics of racial injustice spotlighting marginalized groups in housing projects. It’s a hot 1969 September day at Brooklyn’s Causeway Housing Project when Sportcoat, the harmless, bumbling church deacon, walks up to the biggest drug dealer of the projects and, for reasons unknown to anyone, shoots him (he doesn’t die). What follows is a deep dive into the heart of why Sportcoat made this choice, and its impact on the people surrounding the event – Sportcoat, the Black and Latinx residents of the projects, crime families, drug lords, corrupt & honest police, and the victim himself.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org


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