My 2024 Summer Reading List

Once the Summer Reading Guide is out in the world, one of my favorite beginning-of-summer traditions is making a list of the books that I’m planning to read over the summer (2023 list here, 2022 list here2021 list here2020 list here2019 list here2018 list here,  2017 list here, and 2016 list here).

I usually only get to about half of them (for me, summer reading – and really most reading – is all about what catches my eye and feels like the right book for that moment) and that is okay by me!

It gives me a good place to start and helps me if I’m feeling indecisive about what to pick up next!

Here are 11 books on my personal summer reading list this year!

best summer reads

My 2024 Summer Reading List

All Creatures great and small All Creatures Great and Small by James Harriot 
Our family has been watching the PBS show for the last few years (it’s so good!) and I haven’t read the books since I was a kid! This summer, I’m planning to listen to the audio version narrated by the actor from the PBS series and I just cannot wait!

Slow DanceSlow Dance by Rainbow Rowell
Her books Attachments, Landline, and Fangirl are some of my favorites and I cannot wait to read her new release coming out in July about two best friends from high school who promised they’d never let their friendship change but drifted apart as their lives went separate ways. Now they’re reuniting at the wedding of a mutual friend and maybe this is the moment they missed all those years ago.

Real AmericansReal Americans by Rachel Khong
I’ve been seeing SO MUCH BUZZ about this book, but when I saw that it was being compared to Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow that sealed the deal for me, because I absolutely loved that book. Cannot wait to pick up this book that spans three generations of a family and what it really means to belong.

Summer RomanceSummer Romance by Annabel Monaghan
What’s summer reading without a little romance? I loved her book Nora Goes Off Script, so I’m excited to dive into this one! It follows Ali who is a professional organizer and a personal mess as she becomes a new single mom. Will a summer romance make her life more or less messy?

The Heaven and Earth Grocery StoreThe Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
This book is SO BUZZY and I cannot wait to read it this summer! If you’ve read it, I’d love for you to weigh in on if I should read a paper copy or go for the audio version!


The UnweddingThe Unwedding by Ally Condie
I loved Matched back when it came out almost 15 years ago (and now my 13 year old has loved that series too!) – I’m so excited about her newest novel which is her first adult mystery about a woman who travels alone to a resort which is hosting a wedding. She’s not involved in the wedding. . . until she’s the one who finds the groom dead in the pool.

The unselected journals of Emma M LionThe Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lions by Beth Brower
If there is one book/series that has been recommended to me over and over again in the last year, it’s this one! I started the first one and gave up, but a million people have told me the first one (and two) are slow and then they’ll be my favorite books of all time. They’re all included on Kindle Unlimited too, so that makes it easy. This is the summer for me to dive in!


Jackpot SummerJackpot Summer by Elyssa Friedland
I’m seeing this book popping up all over the place (it is one of the add-on books for Book of the Month Club in June!) and lottery winning is a trope I’m always drawn to!

Family StyleFamily Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam by Thien Pham
I love a good graphic novel and especially after having read The Women and Tap Code this year about the Vietnam war, my interest in this one is sky high!


Unlikely AnimalsUnlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett
I know nothing about this book except that my friend Kim of Talk Wordy to Me said it was one of her favorite books of the year and that the narration is by Kirby Heyborne who I love! Those are good enough reasons for me!

The Many Lives of Mama LoveThe Many Lives of Mama Love by Lara Love Hardin
As soon as I saw the premise of this book, I was in! It’s about a suburban housewife who is funding her heroin use by stealing credit cards from her neighbors. Until she’s convicted of 32 felonies and finds herself in prison. Post prison? She becomes a ghostwriter!

What’s on your summer reading list this year? I’d love to hear!

And if you’d like a printable copy of my summer reading list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!

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  1. Just finished The Many Lives of Mama Love and loved it! I found myself looking for reasons to listen to it on Spotify. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

    1. I LOVED Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. I am glad that I started listening to this book on my commute. I was not ready to sit down and read such a deep group of characters. I eventually got a paper copy because I did not want to leave the characters in my driveway when I shut the car off!

  2. The Many Lives of Mama Love was so gripping, I couldn’t put it down! I was more than halfway through when I realized it was a memoir 😱. Enjoy!

  3. There are some new to me books on your list that I’ll have to look into more as possibilities for me this summer too. Thanks!

  4. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store is a really heavy book. The subject matter and events that happen are so challenging and horrific to read about. That said I would still highly recommend this book. I did not know that going in. Some of the characters are so good and some so horrible. The good ones make the book. Whether to read or listen, I don’t know. I always read.

  5. My book club read both The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store as well as The Many Lives of Mama Love. Nobody likes The Heaven and Earth Grocery store so I’m curious to see what you think of it. It is on so many lists and I don’t understand why. lol. We all loved The Many Lives of Mama Love!

  6. Thanks for this list. Summer is the time that I just devour ALL of the books, so I definitely requested a few of these from the library and audiobooks from Libby.
    I am looking forward to Shari Lapena’s new release, What Have You Done?
    Others on my list are Elin Hilderbrand’s final novel, The Swan Song, William Kent Krueger’s The River We Remember and Megan Miranda’s Daughter of Mine. I’m finally going to read Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.

    1. Unlikely Animals was one of my favorite books last year!!! I read in print. Excited to read Real Americans and also Ministry of Time this summer!

  7. I am an avid reader and hate leaving any book unfinished. Unfortunately, I dropped The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store more than half way in and never looked back. It’s a grind. Good luck!

  8. I read The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store and loved it! I also read All Creatures Great and Small and really enjoyed that one, as well. I will have to add some of these to my already long reading list!!

  9. I’m a little confused by this list, who wrote it Janseen or Analese?

    I’m intrigued to read The Many Lives of Mama Love

  10. I listened to the Heaven and Earth Grocery Store on my way to and from work. It takes place in the 30’s and describes the day to day lives of Jews and blacks. The main characters draw you in so when the reader gets to the ugly part, you’re vested. I thought it was well done. Sometimes what you read makes you ask some hard questions. It was worth my time.

  11. May I add more? The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store is a story about love. How one woman brought together two communities. How love protects and saves people, how love overcomes the worst of us, and how love moves us to do the right thing even when it’s hard.

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