My 2016 Summer Reading List


I’m back on a reading kick lately and it feels great. My random recents include The Girl on the Train, Murder is Mesopotamia (I was Agatha Christie obsessed when I was little and when I found a copy in a museum shop in Berlin, I had to reread it), and Out of Africa (can’t wait to visit the Karen Blixen Museum here in Denmark). This morning I just placed a big order to Amazon for summertime. Below are 13 recent releases I’m looking forward to. Anything I’m missing? What have you recently read and loved? Can’t wait to hear your suggestions!


The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline

This highly anticipated debut novel takes place in 1960’s California and follows a young woman as she gets wrapped up in a Charles Manson-like cult. Thrilling, intriguing, and awesomely creepy.


The After Party: A Novel by Anton DiSclafani

Penned by the bestselling author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, this new novel tells the story of 1950s Texas socialites. It’s a charming historical fiction read for those intrigued by garden clubs and glittering balls.


Sweetbitter: A Novel by Stephanie Danler

This book is for the foodies out there. Set in Brooklyn, it’s been hailed as the new Kitchen Confidential. A hipster love triangle full of tattoos, champagne, and oysters.


The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

After happening upon his wife’s charm bracelet on the one-year anniversary of her death, a charming widower takes off on a life-changing journey to London, Paris, and India. Just reading the summary made my heart swell!


The Assistants by Camille Perri

If you’re at the bottom of the ladder working your way up, you’ll surely get chuckle out of this debut novel. Billed as “9 to 5 for the student loan generation” the story of assistant Tina Fontana looks entertaining and fun.


Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Leslie M. M. Blue

If you love Lady Brett Ashley, then you’re bound to enjoy this new piece of non-fiction that gives a behind-the-scenes view of Hemingway and his inner circle.


A Wife of Noble Character: A Novel by Yvonne Georgina Puig

I’ve never spent time in Texas, but boy does it fascinate me. Out in August, this is the hilarious tale of 30-year-old Vivienne Cally who is scheming for a rich husband “among Houston’s high-powered, oil-money elite.”


Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

I’ve already shared about this new novel by the author of The Vacationers. Set in Brooklyn, the story of three college bandmates that have grown-up and had families of their own is getting rave reviews.


The Summer Before the War: A Novel by Helen Simonson

Upon reading it was “a novel to cure your Downton Abbey withdrawal…” this book jumped to the top of my list. By the author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, comes this tale of small town England on the eve of World War I.


Rich and Pretty by Rumaam Alam
This widely hyped story of two life-long best friends, Sarah and Lauren, takes an honest look at modern female friendship and how it evolves as we grow up.


Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
I’d mentioned this one before. A modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice by the author of Prep? Count me in.


My Mrs. Brown: A Novel by William Norwich
The rave reviews of this novel by fashion writer William Norwich have me eager to give it a go. The story of a modest, middle-aged woman that travels to New York to splurge on a fabulous dress looks like a sweet and charming beach read.


The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
You’ve heard me mention this one before. Already a New York Times Bestseller, it’s a delightful, humorous tale of Upper East Side wealth, gossip, and family dysfunction.

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10 comments on “My 2016 Summer Reading List

  1. Cathy M.

    Great list! I definitely found a few new books to add to my ‘To Read’ list.
    I’m especially excited for “Everyone Behaves Badly.” Late to the game, I just finished “Z” and have begun reading “The Paris Wife.” It’s safe to say I’m loving anything ‘Lost Generation’-related right now.

  2. Jamie

    These all look great! I’m dying to get my hands on The Girls and love your interest in Texas high society – endlessly fascinating, right? A Wife of Noble Character sounds so good to me. I just started reading a biography of The Romanovs ( – I’ve actually never been to Russia, but am fascinated by everything about old Russia.

  3. Phyllis

    I love when you do these book posts. {Would love to read your thoughts/reviews after you’ve read them as well.} And now, thanks to you, I just added several purchases to my iPad. I will probably reemerge sometime in late August. :) Btw, I read The Assistants just last week. So entertaining and witty. I think you’re going to enjoy it!

  4. Katie Armour Post author

    Cathy – I’m a big “Lost Generation” fan too! I can’t wait to read Leslie’s book as well—sure to be a page turner!

    Jamie -The Romanovs sounds like something I’d love! It’s a short flight to Russia from Denmark and I’m anxious to visit sometime soon. Will have to read the book first, of course!

    Phyllis – Will try to start doing some follow up posts with my thoughts on the books (I like this idea as it holds me accountable to reading them!). Glad to hear you liked The Assistants! Will definitely check it out!

  5. Nicole

    Going to take some of these recommendations!

    I’m about half through “Eligible” and really enjoying it- great summer book!j

  6. Elizabeth R

    I am also looking forward to ‘Girls on Fire’, ‘The Girls in the Garden’, and ‘One True Loves’, and more!

  7. Kristina

    If you liked Out of Africa you should check out Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (The Paris Wife author). It’s fantastic!

  8. Sarah's Book Shelves

    Sweetbitter is FANTASTIC!! My favorite of your list! The Girls and The Nest are both really good too. And I’m also looking forward to A Wife of Noble Character.

    Since you read Out of Africa, another one you might want to try is Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. “Fiction” (but not really) about Beryl Markham’s life.

    Hope you do some great reading this summer!

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