We’re in the midst of that deliciously lazy season where we’re free to read for pure joy and pleasure. Which is why we’re excited to introduce you to our handpicked selection of 11 titles that are perfect for toting to the beach, the mountains, the pool, or even the backyard. And this year, we’re adding a new twist: Refreshing cocktail ideas to accompany each book. Sounds like the perfect way to slip— or better yet sip—your way into summer.
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
Summer wouldn’t be the same without a new Elin Hilderbrand novel to pack into our beach bags. Here,Lizbet Keaton is tasked with the challenge of reopening the Hotel Nantucket, the once rundown Gilded Age hotel, and returning it to its former glory. But there is trouble in paradise as the hotel can’t seem to escape the scandal of a tragic fire that killed a young chambermaid in 1922. An eccentric cast of hotel employees, demanding guests, and even a ghost who roams the hallways offer intersecting storylines that keep the plot moving briskly along. The icing on the cake: A traveler’s guide to Nantucket is included at the end with all of Hilderbrand’s personal favorites—which is worth the price of the novel alone.
>>>TO SIP: Nantucket favorite Cisco Brewers Whale’s Tale Pale Ale
Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe
After exposing the evils of the Sackler family (Empire of Pain) and digging deep into “The Troubles” in Ireland (Say Nothing) award-winning writer Patrick Radden Keefe turns his investigative eye to grifters and crooks. These 12 enthralling—and true!—stories are collected from the journalist’s most celebrated articles in The New Yorker. A true-crime lover’s dream, these meticulously reported stories portray money launderers, forgers, black arms merchants, criminals and heroes. Trust us, you won’t be able to resist learning more about every deceitful move they made.
>>> TO SIP: A nice scotch or whiskey
Horse: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks returns with a fascinating saga based on the true story of a record-breaking thoroughbred and sire, Lexington, in the mid-19th century. Brooks weaves together multiple narratives and timelines, including the story of Jarrett, Lexington’s enslaved trainer; artist Thomas Scott who painted Lexington several times during his life; Theo, a graduate student focusing on how black Americans were depicted in art; and Jess a scientist who helps analyze Lexington’s skeleton. From these disparate strands emerge a sweeping tale of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history. This is historical fiction at its very best.
>>>TO SIP: A mint julep, the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby
Carrie Soto Is Back: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid
In this captivating read, legendary athlete Carrie Soto retired from tennis as the greatest player in the world. Six years later, she is stunned as she watches an amazing new phenom beat her record. Although she is 37 years old and nowhere near the physical shape she was in when she was competing, Carrie decides to make a comeback for one epic final season. Along with her father and longtime coach, she reluctantly enlists the help of Bowe Huntley, an old boyfriend, to help her win back her title. Taylor Jenkins Reid never fails to deliver the perfect, summer read (hello bestsellers, Malibu Rising, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and Daisy Jones and The Six) and Carrie Soto is Back is sure to be another grand slam.
>>>TO SIP: The Honey Deuce, a spiked lemonade cocktail and the signature drink of the U.S. Open.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Cutthroat literary agent Nora Stephens is focused on two things: her clients and her job. At her pregnant sister’s request, she reluctantly agrees to go on a girls’ trip to Sunshine Falls, a charming Southern town. What she doesn’t expect is to repeatedly run into her brooding work rival Charlie Lastra, an editor from New York City. Despite her quest to avoid him, she can’t deny their sparking chemistry, witty banter and unavoidable emotional connection. Will Nora and Charlie discover they’re actually a match made in heaven? If you’re looking for a smart, bookish, romantic comedy about sisterly love, book love, and yes, romantic love, then you’ll fall head over heels for Book Lovers.
>>> TO SIP: The Southern setting calls for Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea
Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley
Cult Classic begins in lower Manhattan when recently engaged Lola steps outside from dinner with former colleagues and runs into an ex-boyfriend. And the next night it happens again. And then again. Is this a coincidence or is something else at play? Does her best friend and former boss, a magazine editor turned mystical guru, have anything to do with it? This fantastical story is wholly original, clever, and crazy-smart fun. Sloane Crosley is one of the sharpest and wittiest authors writing today and this utterly captivating novel will have you tearing through the pages.
>>>TO SIP: A Manhattan, naturally, for this New York story
Dilettante: True Tales of Excess, Triumph, and Disaster by Dana Brown
This standout memoir set in the ’90s is about a young, inexperienced waiter who lands a coveted job as assistant to Graydon Carter, the legendary editor of Vanity Fair. Carter took a gamble by hiring Brown and it paid off in spades for both men as Brown rose from an assis- tant to one of Vanity Fair’s top editors. But Dilettante is so much more than just a dishy tale about the magazine world (although it is that too). Brown took full advantage of Carter’s mentoring and adhered to his frequent mantra to “Pay attention, work hard and ‘don’t F- it up.’” As Brown writes, “What I lacked in knowledge, experience, and training I was going to make up for in blood, sweat and tears.” And boy, did he.
>>> TO SIP: We’re going back to the ’90s so it has to be a Cosmopolitan
Alias Emma by Ava Glass
Newly minted secret agent Emma Makepeace (not her real name) is about to have the longest night of her life. A high-octane thriller, the British spy has just 12 hours to deliver the son of a Russian dissident into protective custody. To do so, she’ll have to avoid the city’s hacked security cameras and travel undetected with him through the streets of London. Can she make it without them being spotted . . . or killed? Buckle up for a heart-pounding ride.
>>> TO SIP: To conjure another famous British spy, an ice-cold martini.
The Latecomer: A Novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz
The bestselling author of The Plot is back with a character-driven family drama about the wealthy, New York City-based Oppenheimer family. Parents Salo and Joanna are eager for children and eventually welcome triplets via IVF. As the trio prepares to leave for college, the already dysfunctional family starts to seriously spiral. Facing empty nest syndrome, Joanna decides to have their embryo sibling implanted in a surrogate. Will the unexpected fourth child—the latecomer—be able to repair the fractured family?
>>> TO SIP: Savor this beautifully written novel with a glass of Cognac.
Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris
No one spins a tale quite like humorist and bestselling author David Sedaris. The NPR regular is celebrated for his caustic observations of modern life and for turning the most mundane situations into sidesplitting hilarity. This new collection of personal essays tackles everything from the pandemic, to surviving lockdown, aging, and the death of his father, all of which are presented with his signature mix of poignant heartbreak and sardonic humor. Consider listening to this on audio because no one reads his work better than Sedaris himself.
>>> TO SIP: Sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon. A sweet/tart combo just like the book.
The Foundling: A Novel by Ann Leary
The Foundling is a riveting novel about childhood best friends whose relationship is tested when they reconnect as employee and inmate at a women’s asylum in 1927 Pennsylvania. The institute in question is part of the controversial eugenics movement that put women deemed mentally incompetent in institutions to prevent them from reproducing. It’s difficult to believe this practice existed in our country, but bestselling author Ann Leary explains that her grandmother’s personal experience inspired this novel. A shocking, but true chapter in American history.
>>> TO SIP: A crisp rosé wine
THE BOOZY BOOK CLUB
We’re not the only ones to pair our picks with sips. Inspired by their love of books, celebration and female authors, the co-founders of Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea, a spiked sparkling tea, created the Boozy Book Club in 2021. Join in to listen to their conversations with each monthly author, while—of course— sipping a Boozy Tea, at theowlsbrew.com/boozy-bookclub.The July pick is Lizzie & Dante by Mary Bly. Want to catch up on some of their past reads? Here’s a look: