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Top 9 Summer Reading Lists 2020

Cindy Burnett
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Summer reading

Summer reading lists are a great way to find a variety of new reads. 

One of my favorite things about summer is perusing all of the various summer reading lists. The term “summer reading list” cannot really be tied to one uniform type of list, but instead can usually be categorized in one of two ways. The first is a list of books that are already out in the world and ready to be read. The second is what I call a “most-anticipated list” – books that will release as the summer progresses. Occasionally, a list is a combination of the two.

This year, for the first time, Conversations from a Page released a summer reading list compiled of 20 titles that were published by the start of June 2020. We chose books across a variety of genres and only included titles that at least one of us read and really enjoyed. Most of them were released in the past twelve months, but because we chose two series, we included the first installment for those instead of the latest one. A few of my favorites on our list are:

  • Followers by Megan Angelo – A contemporary and futuristic page turner about the downside of social media
  • The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai –  A stunning historical fiction tale set in Vietnam
  • Murder at the Mena House by Erica Neubauer – A clever historical mystery set in 1920s Egypt
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – A beautifully-written story about racial identity, family, and history

This summer will look very different for most of us than summers past. Reading has been a great distraction for me when I am trying to focus on something other than the pandemic. If you are in the same boat or if you just want some new reading ideas, check out the 9 summer reading lists that I particularly enjoyed:

  • CFAP’s Summer Reading List  - Conversations from a Page. For our first summer reading list, we selected a wide range of genres and evenly split between paperbacks and hardcovers so that everyone can find a title that appeals to them. We include a downloadable PDF at the bottom of the list with a quick summary of each book, and we would love for you to check it out!
  • 28 of the Best Beach Reads of Summer 2020The Oprah Magazine. Oprah is the ultimate book expert, and her lists are varied and thoughtful. Her 2020 list is a hybrid that contains mostly books that have already been published, but she throws in several that will be released as the summer progresses.
  • Top 10 Books for Your Book Club in Summer 2020 - Book Club Chat. In line with her site’s focus, Heather’s list focuses on books that will make great book club selections this summer, and as always, she highlights some fabulous stories. On bookclubchat.com, Heather also creates substantive lists of questions for these books and many others for book clubs to use.
  • Summer Reading List 2020 – Really Into This. Sarah’s list is geared towards books that will release in June through August 2020. She is one of my favorite bloggers/bookstagrammers, and she never steers me wrong.
  • 7 Black Authors You Should Be Reading - SheReads.com. While this is not technically a summer reading list, I found this list to be interesting and useful for today’s world.
  • 2020 Summer Thriller’s Reading List by Book Lover’s Pizza. Some readers love to focus on thrillers in the summer.  If this is you, check out this list of 30 thrillers to keep you busy this summer.
  • 2020 Summer Reading List by Sarah’s Bookshelves. This list is sorted by category, and she plans to update the list as the summer passes. For those who enjoy podcasts, Sarah also runs a compelling book podcast where she recommends a variety of titles.
  • Summer Preview 2020 by Novel Visits. This list is a preview of 20 titles that will be publishing throughout the summer. She lists them by month in the order in which the books come out.
  • 22 Best Books to Read This Summer by Vogue Magazine. Vogue’s list is another most-anticipated list of new releases for this summer.  I find that Vogue often includes a few titles that I do not see elsewhere so I always review the magazine’s book lists.

I hope you enjoyed reviewing these reading lists and feel free to send me the summer reading lists that you find and enjoy. Happy reading!

Bored at home and want to discuss books with people over Zoom or are you looking for an online book club? Conversations from a Page has launched a Curated Book Discussion program. (cost-$5 or $30 for an annual pass). Email [email protected] for more info. 

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram, the Continuing the Conversation newsletter or Cindy’s Reading Recs

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