11 Sun-Drenched Summer Book Club Books to Savor

Whenever the weather starts to heat up, I’m instantly dreaming of sandy beaches, refreshing drinks, and cool, glistening water. I love to read along with the seasons, and summer is no exception! Fortunately, there are lots of seasonal summer novels to enjoy – with a range of lighter beach reads and deep, emotional stories set during the summer. Read on for the best summer book club books that are ripe for discussion!

summer book club fiction book covers

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Perfect Book Club Novels for Summer

Looking for your next book club pick this summer? I’ve got you covered! The fiction books below are all at least partially set during summer (or have summer themes), and would all make perfect reads for books clubs to enjoy and discuss.

In my book club, we love to switch up the genre every month to keep things interesting. So in this list of summer reads, I’ve included a range of genres, like laugh-out-loud contemporary romances, engaging literary fiction, twisty mysteries, and more!

Need more book club ideas? Here are more wonderful, discussion-worthy book club books of 2024, page-turning thriller and mystery books for book clubs, and funny and feel-good novels perfect for book clubs.

Sandwich by Catherine Newman

Sandwich book cover

Genre: Literary/Contemporary Fiction

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Every year, Rocky’s family escapes to Cape Cod for a summer vacation full of sun, delicious food, and unexpected messes.

This year, Rocky grapples with menopause and being “sandwiched” between her aging parents and her growing children.

But something happens that forces Rocky to relive the past – including secrets she has kept from her family.

Release date: June 18th, 2024

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Tom Lake book cover

Genre: Literary Fiction/Romance

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At their family orchard in Michigan (during the summer of 2020), a mother tells her three daughters about her past romance with a famous actor – revealing truths that make them question everything they thought they knew about their mother and themselves.

You can find my Tom Lake book club guide with book club questions here!

Release date: August 1st, 2023

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

Just for the Summer book cover

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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If you’re looking for an emotional contemporary romance that’s also a great summer read, this is a perfect choice!

It’s listed on Goodreads as being part of a series, but it can be read as a standalone novel (there will just be a few character cameos from previous novels).

This story is about a man who’s unlucky in love (in fact, he thinks he’s cursed), and a woman who decides to help him break the curse with a quick summer fling. She rents a cabin on a lake in Minnesota (near where he lives) for the summer.

But of course, things don’t go according to plan – especially when their complicated lives catch up with them.

Here is a book club guide with a plot recap and discussion questions for Just for the Summer!

Release date: April 2nd, 2024

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid book cover

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Over the course of one late-summer night, four siblings – all children of famous singer Mick Riva – grapple with secrets, mistakes, and family drama, all while throwing a wild party at their extravagant home in Malibu.

By the next morning, things will have gotten out of control and the mansion will be up in flames.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my favorite authors, and every book I’ve read by her would make a great book club pick! Here are all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books in order.

Release date: June 1st, 2021 (U.S.)

Funny Story by Emily Henry

Funny Story book cover by Emily Henry

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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When Daphne’s fiancé realizes he’s in love with his childhood best friend Petra and calls off the engagement, Daphne finds herself stranded in a lakeside town in Michigan.

She needs a roommate but doesn’t know anyone, aside from the one person who might understand what she’s going through: Petra’s ex.

The two form a plan to help each other make it look like they’re having the best summer ever (while they secretly wallow in their misery).

Check out these other swoon-worthy romance novels for book clubs!

Release date: April 23rd, 2024

Swift River by Essie J. Chambers

Swift River book cover

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Historical Fiction

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This coming-of-age story set during a summer in New England in the late 1980s follows a young Black teenager – Diamond Newberry – as she grapples with identity, belonging, and the disappearance of her father.

When she receives a letter from a long-lost relative, it shines a light on hidden parts of her past. But how will it shape her future?

Here are more engrossing historical fiction novels perfect for book clubs!

Release date: June 4th, 2024

The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand

The Five Star Weekend book cover

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

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After the tragic death of her husband, a food blogger brings together a group of the five best friends she’s had at different points in her life for a relaxing weekend in Nantucket – but things don’t quite go to plan.

Release date: June 13th, 2023

The God of the Woods by Liz Moore

The God of the Woods book cover

Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction

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The bestselling author of Long Bright River is back with a new multi-layered family drama/mystery novel.

When a girl goes missing at summer camp in 1975, tensions flare between the rich family that owns the camp and the blue collar community that serves them.

Even stranger, this isn’t the first time one of the family’s children has gone missing – the girl’s older brother disappeared sixteen years ago.

Is it a pattern, or mere coincidence? And who’s to blame?

Release date: July 2nd, 2024

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Nothing to See Here book cover

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A funny, moving novel about a woman who becomes a caregiver to two children – only to find they have strange abilities. In fact, when agitated, they happen to burst into flames.

Can she make it through the scorching summer without drawing too much attention to the twins?

Release date: October 29th, 2019

The Same Bright Stars by Ethan Joella

The Same Bright Stars book cover

Genre: Literary/Contemporary Fiction

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Jack Schmidt is struggling to keep his family’s beachfront restaurant afloat, pouring all his time and energy into the place that’s been in his family for three generations.

But when the DelDine group comes along and offers to buy Schmidt’s, Jack must decide what matters most to him: freedom, companionship, and maybe a family – or honoring his family’s legacy.

Release date: July 2nd, 2024

The Wedding People by Alison Espach

The Wedding People book cover

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

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After years dreaming of traveling to the Cornwall Inn in Newport, Rhode Island, Phoebe Stone arrives – but without her husband. And as it turns out, she’s the only guest that isn’t there for a wedding.

Somehow, she and the bride find themselves confiding in each other. Soon, Phoebe realizes that chance encounters can have a huge effect on the paths our lives take.

I loved this book, and I have a strong feeling it will be a popular summer read! It would also be a fabulous 2024 book club book.

(Here are more details about the book, including a character list and book club questions for The Wedding People.)

Publication date: July 30th, 2024

Have you read any of these summer book club books (either with your book club or on your own)? What did you think?

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