9 Quintessential Summer Novels

For the same reason you don't want to watch Meatballs in November, you don't want to read about winter...or Christmas...or wool sweaters in July. 

Here, nine books that take place in the hot summer months--all of them suitable for your beach bag.

“To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Set in the small, sleepy town of Maycomb, Alabama, Harper Lee's celebrated novel follows the Finch children's life-changing adventure--and shows just how much can happen in the course of one summer.

“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart

The affluent, attractive and seemingly perfect Sinclair family's facade unravels over the course of this captivating novel as they summer on Martha's Vineyard.

“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway's classic takes place in the scorching July heat of Pamplona, Spain, during the annual Running of the Bulls Festival.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare

Before you call us crazy for suggesting you read Shakespeare at the beach, hear us out. The play is whimsical, comical and even a bit crude. Not to mention you'll look like the smartest person on the beach. 

“Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter

Jess Walter's beautiful, witty and gripping novel ping-pongs across time and between two summers: one on the Italian coast and the other in Hollywood. 

“Tender is the Night” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

When you're done reading and re-reading The Great Gatsbypick up this F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. While a couple spends the blistering summer months vacationing in the picturesque French Riviera, we see into their turbulent history and watch their crumbling marriage unfold.

“Summer Sisters” by Judy Blume

Let's be honest: You can never have too much Judy Blume in your life. And what better time to pick up this favorite coming-of-age beach read as you wait for the release of her newest novel?

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez

Delve through a century's worth of magical realism in García Márquez's most widely read novel, set in the idyllic-turned-war-torn town of Macondo, Colombia.

“The Vacationers” by Emma Straub

Even a gorgeous July rental house on a serene beach in Mallorca, Spain, isn't quite enough to contain the Post family's problems and secrets.