The Books on My Summer 2021 TBR

It's time for one of my favorite posts of the year – sharing the books I'll be reading this summer! Every year on the blog, with the exception of 2020, I've paired vacation destinations with the books I'd want to read at each. It's like a mini summer reading guide, if you will. For today's post, I'm featuring my actual Summer 2021 TBR. Every book I've chosen is one that I'm planning on reading this summer, a mix of newer releases with a few older books that I've been meaning to pick up. No matter where I'm headed, I've got the perfect book to bring with me!

At the beach, I tend to gravitate towards contemporary and/or romance. I want something that's easy to get into and hard to put down because I want to binge it all in one sitting, if possible. After reading Dolly Alderton's memoir, I've been looking forward to her adult contemporary debut, Ghosts, chronicling the woes of modern romance. The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell is a historical romance that opens with an artist stumbling upon a naked man in an alley. Scandalous! And Toyko Ever After by Emiko Jean sounds like the YA princess story I need in my life.

I'll read almost anything in the mountains, but it's definitely a place where I'll pick up something slower. It just prompts me to sit down and relax. A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus is middle grade about a group of siblings during WWII. I'm in love with the cover! And I want to read Freely and Lightly by Emily Lex, a memoir, partly for the lovely watercolor illustrations throughout. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan is a family drama from an author I've loved in the past. And I look forward to returning to Port William in Wendell Berry's Jayber Crow.

With life starting to get back to normal, summer could be the perfect time to fly somewhere – maybe to visit family/friends you haven't seen in forever! When I'm flying, I can get in the zone and tear through a good book. The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews is a contemporary with a mystery to it, which would definitely hook me. The Layover by Lacie Waldon is an obvious choice since the heroine is a flight attendant, but I had to do it. And The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton is a historical romance that sounds like so much fun.

Most of my summer will be spent sitting on my screened-in porch. Whether I'm watching my boys play or winding down after a long day, I'll have a book with me. At home, I'm open to heavier topics or more emotional stories. All four of these books deal with moments where life doesn't turn out the way characters expected. Competitive Grieving by Nora Zelevansky and Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny are adult contemporary, Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee is a YA historical fiction, and Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner is a memoir. 

What I pack in my pool bag is similar to what I'd take to the beach, except I need it to be even more engrossing. Without the ocean's roar, I need my book to transport somewhere that I don't hear loud music and annoying conversations. The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons might be an unusual choice based on that criteria, but I didn't want to put it down after sampling the first chapter. And The Summer Job by Lizzie Dent and The Siren by Katherine St. John both sound dramatic, which is exactly what I need for an afternoon by the pool!

At the lake, I lean towards something shorter to sit and read on the dock. On a boat, I don't even bother to pack a book. Northern Spy by Flynn Berry is a thriller, so it stands out for being both short and fast-paced. A book inspired by Greek mythology – Ariadne by Jennifer Saint – may seem like an outlier, but I'm so obsessed with the subject matter these days that I likely wouldn't be able to put it down. And Where I Come From by Rick Bragg is a book of short stories from one of my favorite Southern writers. I don't think I could go wrong with any of these choices!

This post was inspired by a Top Ten Tuesday topic, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
Here's a look back at my "summer bags" through the years: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019

What are you hoping to read this summer?


  1. Crying in H Mart has been on a few lists this week. I think it sounds great.

    My post:

  2. Wow your summer sounds fantastic - mountains, beach, airplane etc, I'm a bit Jelly! Love how you have categorised your reads by location, very clever!

  3. I miss your blog! Hope you're doing well :)

  4. Hi, I really miss you. Hope you and your family are ok.

  5. Just another message to add that I miss your posts! I hope all is well and you're reading lots of good books!

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