Summer Reading Is For Adults, Too

By Lynn Ann Lobash, Associate Director, Readers Services and Engagement
July 1, 2020
beach postcard

Evening, Old Orchard Beach, ME. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 74289

Summer is upon us and that means you may be spending time at the beach or poolside or maybe just taking a staycation and hanging out on your couch. No matter your favorite place to read, here are some books that scream summer vacation. All of these titles are available as e-books through our SimplyE app.

Vacation Fiction

Chances are...

Chances are… by Richard Russo

One beautiful September day, three 66-year-old men convene on Martha’s Vineyard. Friends since meeting in college, they must puzzle out a lingering mystery from the summer of 1971.

The Red House

The Red Houseby Mark Haddon

Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside.

The Vacationers

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Secrets, joys, and jealousies surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.

The Wangs vs. the World

The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang

A wealthy Chinese American family loses it all, then takes a healing, uproarious road trip across the United States.

The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10by Ruth Ware

Assigned to review an exclusive North Sea luxury cruise, travel journalist Lo Blacklock witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. When all the passengers remain accounted for,  Lo struggles to convince everyone that what she saw was real.






Notes from an Apocalypse

Notes from an Apocalypse by Mark O’Connell

A funny and hopeful meditation on life in the age of climate decline that tours survival bunkers in South Dakota, ventures to New Zealand to a favored retreat of billionaires banking on civilization's collapse, engages with would-be Mars colonists, and conspiracists. 

White Sands

White Sandsby Geoff Dyer

A collection of travel essays describes a series of unrelated trips and the people the author encountered, including the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Lightning Field in New Mexico, and Watts Towers in Los Angeles.



Vacationlandby John Hodgman

A memoir of the author's cursed travels through the woods of Massachusetts and coastal Maine.

Assassination Vacation

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

A tour of key historic sites in America where incidents of political violence have occurred.

The Cooking Gene

The Cooking Geneby Michael Twitty

A culinary historian uses the story of his own ancestors, both black and white, to trace the origin of barbecue, soul food, and Southern cuisine, revealing the power of food to bring people together.

Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!