Need some great adult reads to add to your summer reading list? Last week, I shared my top 50 must-read YA novels for this summer, but if you prefer something a little more grownup, read on for 50 fab pics for your TBR pile!
My reading tastes are pretty much all over the place. I go on YA binges for months, then I’ll read a “grown up” book and get on an adult reads kick. I can also go from fantasy to mystery to medical thrillers and back in the blink of an eye.
If you’re the same, you’ll love this summer reading list for adults. It includes a little bit of everything, so no matter which genre you love most, you’ll find something perfect!
*One quick note before we start: the links below are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a tiny commission at no extra charge to you.
Summer Reading List for Adults
Same rules apply here as with my other summer reading lists:
- Some of these books are part of a series and they may not be the first one in it. I’ve noted the series name, though, so you can start from the beginning.
- The majority of these books either came out in the last 90 days or are coming out before the end of the summer.
- I’m breaking it up into genre chunks to make it easier for you to navigate. Check out my top pick in each genre!
- Also, I abhor when people put science fiction and fantasy together because they’re vastly different things, so each gets its own section.
- What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
- The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
- The Scribbly Man: The Children of D’Hara, Episode 1 by Terry Goodkind
- Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah
- The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson
It’s hard to choose a favorite from this genre, but What the Wind Knows is definitely high up there on my own summer reading list. It’s a genre-bender, so I wasn’t even sure where to put it. If you like time travel, romance, and historical fiction mashed up together, check it out. It has some incredible reviews and ratings!
- Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
- A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
- The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling
- The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
I am definitely reading Middlegame by Seanan McGuire! I’m a HUGE fan, and this one sounds fantastic! It’s kind of a cross between fantasy and sci-fi, but I put it under this section because of the genetic engineering component (or at least that’s how it sounds in the blurb). Sorry, there’s no preview yet. There is, however, a “look inside” on the Amazon page.
- The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell
- The Invited by Jennifer McMahon
- Cari Mora by Thomas Harris (May 21)
- Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
- The Hiding Place by C. J. Tudor
I don’t read as much horror as I used to because I am more easily freaked out these days, but The Invited sounds good. Instead of moving into an already-haunted house, the couple in the story builds one out of special materials on a piece of land that already has a dark and twisted past. I choose horror based on whether or not something could happen to me. Since I’m not insane enough to build a haunted house, this one feels like a safe read for me!
Suspenseful Mysteries & Thrillers
- The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
- My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
- An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks
- Butterflies Should be Free by Lee Wardlow
- Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer
If you love a good psychological thriller as much as I do, An Anonymous Girl sounds like a great read! Jessica Farris signs up to be part of a study on ethics, but when the doc takes his experiment from an exam room to the real world, Jess has a hard time figuring out what is part of the study and what’s real…or who to trust!
- Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
- Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts
- The Chef’s Secret by Crystal King
- Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein
- The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey
I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction, to be honest, but Finding Dorothy sounds interesting. Although written as fiction, it’s closely based on the real story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as told by Baum’s wife, Maud.
- The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros
- Weathering the Storm by Suzie Bronk Hunt
- Joy: And 52 Other Very Short Stories by Erin McGraw
- The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan
- Stray City by Chelsey Johnson
Contemporary fiction covers such a wide range of styles, so it’s hard to pick a top read from this section. It’s also not really one of my preferred genres. That said, I think The Last Letter sounds good if you want a cry, or Stray City if you want a laugh.
- The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack
- Wild Country (World of the Others, The Book 2) by Anne Bishop
- Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
- The Cliff House by RaeAnne Thayne
- Cold Peril by Emily Jane Trent
When it comes to the romance genre, I prefer mine on the side with a huge helping of suspense, fantasy, or the paranormal as the main course. The Time Collector is a thriller, but it also has elements of the paranormal, making it a natural top choice!
Survival & Apocalyptic Fiction
- Winter World by A.G. Riddle
- Where Hope Remains: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival Thriller by Nick Oetken
- Sky Fall: A Post Apocalyptic Survival Thriller by Logan Keys
- The Lightest Object in the Universe by Kimi Eisele (July 9)
- The Chaos Function by Jack Skillingstead
I really liked A. G. Riddle’s The Atlantis Gene...right up until I found out what the antagonists really were. Then, sadly, I lost interest. However, I did enjoy his writing style, and Winter World sounds more like my type of story. The premise kind of reminds me of a combination of The Day After Tomorrow mixed with a little Deep Impact (two of my favorite disaster movies).
Biographies & Autobiographies
- The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates
- Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl
- First: Sandra Day O’Connor by Evan Thomas
- I Miss You When I Blink: Essays by Mary Laura Philpott
- The Stan Lee Story XXL by Roy Thomas ( July 16, 2019)
At the top of my list is the Stan Lee Story, but the book is really quite expensive (it’s also really quite robust, so there’s that). I added it to this list because it’s definitely a must-read if you can afford it (or borrow it). If it’s not in your budget, there’s another book coming out in October called A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee that’s a little more in the normal book price range.
- 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See by Joe Yogerst
- Marvel Encyclopedia, New Edition by Stan Lee and DK
- Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry
- #IMomSoHard by Kristin Hensley
- Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam Higginbotham
I will definitely be reading Lessons from Lucy. I think we humans can learn a lot from our dogs! Don’t worry, from what I can tell, it’s a happy book. Not like Marley and Me, which left me traumatized for life!
I hope you enjoyed this adult summer reading list and found at least a few great titles to add to your TBR pile!
What’s on your summer reading list this year? I’d love to hear your recommendations!