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We may never have learned to surf and our beach-volleyball skills leave something to be desired, but when it comes to summer reading, we’re operating at an Olympic level. Here are eight novels we can’t wait to dive into.

RELATED: Everything You Need in Your Beach Bag This Summer

hamptons books after party
Cover: Riverhead Books; Background: Twenty20

“THE AFTER PARTY” BY ANTON DISCLAFANI

Put on your reddest lipstick and pour yourself a drink: You’re about to be plunged into the glamorous world of 1950s Texas society, as you follow lifelong friends Joan and Cece through one pivotal summer.

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hamptons books all summer long
Cover: William Morrow Paperbacks; Background: Twenty20

“ALL SUMMER LONG” BY DOROTHEA BENTON FRANK

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to retreat to a quieter way of living, this novel—which follows a Southern gentleman returning to his hometown with his New York wife in tow—makes the case that the simple life is never actually that simple.

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hamptons books exit west
Cover: Riverhead Books; Background: Twenty20

“EXIT WEST” BY MOHSIN HAMID

This is the book you’ll be hearing about all year. Mohsin Hamid’s tale of two people who fall in love—and are then forced to escape their country as it’s torn apart by violence—is lush, powerful and evocative. It’s both a timeless love story and a timely commentary on immigration.

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hamptons books infinite summer
Cover: Other Press; Background: Twenty20

“INFINITE SUMMER” BY EDOARDO NESI (TRANSLATED BY ALICE KILGARRIFF)

Both a portrait of 1970s Italy and a tale of family ambition, this novel (out July 11) follows three young men and their families as they attempt to build a textile factory from scratch. Read it, then book a ticket to Tuscany ASAP.

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hamptons books lilac girls
Cover: Ballantine Books; Background: Twenty20

“LILAC GIRLS” BY MARTHA HALL KELLY

Fans of sweeping wartime epics need to pick up this beautifully written novel, stat. Set during World War II, the story follows three very different women (a New York socialite, a German doctor and a Polish teenager) through several tumultuous years. While at times incredibly sad, it’s also a powerful reminder of the importance of real friendships, dignity and grace.

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hamptons books perennials
Cover: Random House; Background: Twenty20

“PERENNIALS” BY MANDY BERMAN

This debut novel is the nostalgic camp friendship saga that will have you daydreaming about your own childhood. Summer BFFs Rachel and Fiona reunite as counselors at the camp where they first met, only to discover how much has changed since their days as carefree kids.

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hamptons books see what i have done
Cover: Atlantic Monthly Press; Background: Twenty20

“SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE” BY SARAH SCHMIDT

You’ve never read the Lizzie Borden story like this. Sarah Schmidt’s captivating debut novel (out August 1) retells one of the most famous murder cases of all time from the views of four people, focusing less on the actual murders and instead on the secrets of a turbulent household. 

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hamptons books summer we read gatsby
Cover: Plume; Background: Twenty20

“THE SUMMER WE READ GATSBY” BY DANIELLE GANEK

What, you didn’t think we’d forget to include a book set in the Hamptons, did you? Cassie and Peck are half-sisters with little in common when they inherit a beach house from an eccentric relative, and the story that unfolds is both a tribute to the classic Fitzgerald tale and the East End itself.

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RELATED: 20 Amazing Things to Do in the Hamptons This June

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