© 2024 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Just in time for summer reading, here are some titles perfect for those sunny days

Today is the unofficial kickoff to summer, and that means the start of summer reading season. Part of me will always approach summer reading with a sense of nostalgia, remembering seasons spent browsing the shelves of my neighborhood public library, checking out stacks of Encyclopedia Brown books or the next novel in a beloved series, like “The Black Stallion” or “All Creatures Great and Small.”

These days, my summer reading spans lots of different genres, from rom-coms to literary fiction, travelogues to mysteries and thrillers — and yes, even some middle-grade books. There’s something special about sitting poolside with the perfect beach read, which this year might just be “Beach Read” by Emily Henry. I recently enjoyed Henry’s latest novel, “Funny Story,” and I’m eager to explore some titles from her backlist.

Other books I’m excited to check out this summer include “Real Americans” by Rachel Khong, a multigenerational family saga by the author of “Goodbye, Vitamin,” and “This Strange Eventful History” by Claire Messud. A title I recently picked up is “Dixon, Descending” by Karen Outen, which tells the story of two brothers who attempt to be the first Black American men to summit Mount Everest. When it’s 110 degrees outside in Wichita, I plan to be curled up on my couch, experiencing the frozen, snowy, ice-capped peaks of the Himalayas.

Some books are just perfect for summer, like “Love & Saffron” by Kim Fey, or a food memoir like “Taste” by Stanley Tucci. Anything by Kevin Wilson works great, as do psychological thrillers like “The Push” or “The Whispers” by Ashley Audrain. And if you’ve never read anything by Southern novelist Pat Conroy — “Beach Music” or “South of Broad” or “The Prince of Tides” — the next few months would be the perfect opportunity. (Sunscreen and boiled peanuts sold separately.)

New, old, fiction or nonfiction, summer reading is anything that works for you. So grab a book, lay claim to the hammock and just enjoy.

Suzanne Perez is a longtime journalist covering education and general news for KMUW and the Kansas News Service. Suzanne reviews new books for KMUW and is the co-host with Beth Golay of the Books & Whatnot podcast. Follow her on Twitter @SuzPerezICT.