These Light and Fun Summer Reads are the ones that have happy endings, will make you smile or maybe even laugh out loud, and won’t feel mentally taxing on your summer vacation.
Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist
This nonfiction collection of essays tops the light and fun list because it’s a perfect blend of humor and inspiration. It’s a celebration of food, and is full of delicious recipes, but it’s also a book about making connections and building relationships. Shauna is personal and down to earth and I’m certain she’s the sort of person I’d really like to invite over for lunch.
This book, as I turned every page, just made me feel happy!
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
This book is for all my fellow Jane Eyre fans. It is a retelling of Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece, but Livesey has moved the story to the 1960’s and placed it in Scotland and Iceland.
The plot follows all the same signposts as the Bronte original – orphan with unkind relatives to sketchy private school to mysterious governess position – but it’s different enough that you won’t get bored. I loved the old classic so this made for a really fun read.
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
This is the best romantic novel I’ve read in a long time! It’s not realistic in any way, but it’s pure fun. It’s like a Meg Ryan / Tom Hanks movie – think You’ve Got Mail or Sleepless in Seattle, and just like those movies, you have two people falling in love who don’t know each other and don’t realize they are falling in love.
This adorable love story makes a perfect beach read and would make any long flight this summer much more bearable.
The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
This may be Chick Lit, but it can be surprisingly insightful too. This collection of short stories all follow the same character, Jane Rosenal, through relationships and friendships. The stories are so connected that it almost feels more like a novel than short stories.
The Girls’ Guide is really the stories of a girl coming of age and figuring out Life and Love. It’s light, it’s funny, and because they are short stories you can pick it up and put it down all summer long.
Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg
I love Molly Wizenberg’s first book and this book is even better! I included it on this list because it is such a happy book. It’s light, not in the sense that this is a fluffy read, but rather because it’s so uplifting.
Molly shares her personal journey through the early years of marriage and opening a restaurant and all the craziness and difficulty and happiness that ensues. It’s a really big hearted book, well written and one that I’m planning to read over again this summer.
The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
This book, from the 1980’s, is an oldie but an oh so goodie. When I think of summer reads, this is always the first book that comes to mind. It’s one of those cozy books that you just have a hard time putting down. It doesn’t hurt this serious Anglophile that this is a perfectly British book too.
This is the story of Penelope Keeling who narrates as an old woman looking back on her life. She takes you through World War II and all around England. It’s a family story that weaves through the generations and is in the end so heartwarming. A perfect summer read, yes perfect.
Silver Bay by JoJo Moyes
More British Chick Lit. I know, I know, but it makes for a light and fun summer read. It’s a twisty love triangle and it’s a little slow paced to begin with, but it makes for a well crafted story and an unexpected reveal before it’s all said and done.