You know us at BookSparks – we LIVE for summer reading! A juicy new literary delight is the lemonade to our scorching adventure-thirsty summer days. In this month’s issue, to celebrate this thrilling season of books and the launch of our 6TH annual summer reading challenge, we dive into the past to relive our hottest summer reading experiences.
Here are 15 books that stole the world’s summer reading lovin’ hearts for the past decade and a half. Spoiler alert: They are BOUND to steal your imagination too (if they haven’t already).
2016 – Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford
This is our current go-to summer read in the BookSparks office! This novel centers around socially awkward Manhattanite Evelyn Beegan and her journey to become a socialite – while being totally untrue to her true personality, eek. Everybody Rise is the perfect summer escape to dive into if you need a reminder to always be true to yourself.
2015 – Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
If you haven’t had a few sleepless nights devouring this addictive thriller, what are you waiting for? The movie adaption starring Emily Blunt and Justin Theroux (swoon) comes out this fall. Get your reading glasses on and prep yourself for a major adrenaline session.
2014 – The One and Only by Emily Giffin
The thought of rereading this BookSparks all-star from the author of Something Borrowed induces waves of warm, fuzzy feelings. If you’re looking for a timeless summer read that encourages you to follow your heart, The One and Only is the inspiring novel that belongs on your bookshelf forever.
2013 – Inferno by Dan Brown
There was nothing hotter during 2013 than Dan Brown’s fourth installment of Robert Langdon’s captivating world adventures – and admittedly, it was one of his most mysterious yet. This thriller had readers sweating in nearly ever corner of the globe. The power of a book, huh?
2012 – Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Yes – 2012 was the year of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. We know our readers and writers have mixed feelings about this risqué release, but there is no denying that it stole the world’s attention and gave a renewed definition to “hot summer read.”
2011 – The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Our hearts are still giddy for this novel about the secret life of black maids in 1962 Mississippi. This game-changing read was the topic at every brunch table in America and succeeded in painting an honest yet hilarious portrait of the era Americans often try to forget.
2010 – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
Did you love The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Then you’re bound to get thrills off Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson’s final installment of his universally celebrated books. This ultimate finish to Larsson’s Millennium series left readers justified and avenged – no cliffhangers here.
2009 – Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
This heartbreaking rollercoaster of emotions by tear-master Jodi Picoult is guaranteed to make any parent bawl uncontrollably in their lawn chairs. If you’re looking to relive that teary family drama all over again, this emotionally potent beach read belongs in your tote bag.
2008 – Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
The novel reminds us of subways – because nearly everyone on the train was clinging to this book on their AM and PM commutes in 2008. Written by thriller king James Patterson, Sundays at Tiffany’s is a refreshing and outstanding romance that reminded readers that love – even when you think it’s all in your head – is the most powerful force on earth.
2007 – A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Our obsession with this Afghan-American author all started with his debut novel The Kite Runner and his second novel is equally and beautifully profound. This gorgeous tale about a mother-daughter relationship in Afghani society stirred emotions and moved readers all summer long in 2007.
2006 – The Husband by Dean Koontz
Someone takes small business owner and fiercely loyal husband Mitch Rafferty’s wife hostage and demands two million dollars for her release – or she’ll be killed. If that doesn’t sound like the ultimate summer thriller (plus it’s by Koontz) then we don’t know what life is.
2005 – True Believer by Nicholas Sparks
No author quite paints the portrait of sweet summer love like southern king Nicholas Sparks. Lakes, docks, fireflies, coastlines and everything sweet about American summers included, True Believer is the ultimate dose of romance from the ultimate romance master.
2004 – The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Nothing could touch this industry-changing novel’s spot on the New York Times bestseller list during the summer of 2004 (and it even dominated the summer lists in 2003). Still sending shockwaves of reading satisfaction through the world, The Da Vinci Code is one of the hottest summer reads in history.
2003 – The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
Though it lingered in the shadow of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, Mr. Sparks managed another thrilling summer romance that left an impression on our hearts forever. With sweet summer tears guaranteed (especially for dog lovers), The Guardian is an undeniably soul-warming reading experience that you won’t be able to put down.
2002 – The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
No one will ever forget reading the poignant perspective of Susie – a teenage girl who was raped, murdered and watches her family from heaven as they struggle to move forward with life. It breaks the heart all over again just to write this, but goodness, The Lovely Bones transforms your relationship with reading forever.
2001 – Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
This was the summer reading season of extraordinary thrillers. Our favorite was dished out by the padrone of fear himself: Stephen King. Dreamcatcher details the harrowing fate of four friends who encounter an alien invasion. You’ll have a few nightmares from this, but it’s fine.
Want to discover more hot reads to devour THIS summer? Join our Summer Reading Challenge to discover the best beach friendly reads this year!