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Need an escape? Try one of these staffer favorite summer reads

Updated ·10-min read
Three books
Take it from us, these are the best books to read this summer. (Photo: Amazon)

Searching for your next read can feel like a daunting task. With so many options to choose from, how do you narrow it down? We think the best way is to start with recommendations from other bibliophiles, so we've put together our suggestions just for you. From can't-put-down fiction to real-life scandal stories and modern retellings of Greek mythology, we've got a ton of variety for you to choose from here. Whether you're headed off on vacation or just need a mental escape, these are some of Yahoo's editors' favorite books.

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Kaleidoscope: A Novel

by Cecily Wong
$26 $27 at Amazon

A dazzling and heartfelt novel about two sisters caught in their parents’ ambition, the accident that brings it all crashing down, and the journey that follows.

"Feeling wanderlust? Me too. Well, if you don't have any plans for major travel just yet, prepare to be transported from the comfort of your couch. From Oregon and New York City to Mumbai and beyond, this page-turner will have you riding a wave of emotions. Share in the characters' love, loss and search for purpose in a callous world. I devoured Wong's first novel Diamond Head, too, so if you're a fast reader, I say get both!" —Stephanie Sisco


by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
$14 $18 at Amazon

The story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race, belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home.

"Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was one of the authors that made me fall deeply in love with books and reading. Her stories are smart, layered, and close to home which make them my pick for a perfect beach read this summer. Americanah is a thought provoking love story, coming of age story, fresh off the boat story, and so much more wrapped into one gift of a read." — Mana Faye

Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks

by Patrick Radden Keefe
$25 $30 at Amazon

From the prize-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Empire of Pain and Say Nothing — and one of the most decorated journalists of our time — twelve enthralling stories of skulduggery and intrigue.

"Keefe has been killing it for some time. His previous few books (on "the Troubles" in Ireland, the evil corporate geniuses behind the opioid crisis and NYC's Chinese mob) have become classics in short order. I have no doubt that his new one will follow suit. Besides, who doesn't love a good scoundrel story?" —Derek Arbogast

The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel

by Jojo Moyes
$6 $40 at Amazon

A sophisticated, page-turning double love story spanning forty years-an unforgettable Brief Encounter for our times.

"I was thoroughly enchanted by this book on vacation a few years ago. It’s kind of a combination of a star-crossed romance and a light mystery: a socialite trapped in a lifeless marriage wakes up from a coma and discovers she was having an affair but she has no idea who the man was! She slowly pieces the past together — I won’t spoil it, but it’s a total page-turner, however corny it sounds." — Rachel Roszmann

Ariadne: A Novel

by Jennifer Saint
$15 $28 at Amazon

Hypnotic, propulsive, and utterly transporting, Jennifer Saint's Ariadne forges a new epic, one that puts the forgotten women of Greek mythology back at the heart of the story, as they strive for a better world.

"After reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller a while back, I fell back in love with Greek mythology — and Ariadne quickly became one of my favorites. It's not exactly a lighthearted beach read, but you'll certainly breeze through it quickly (it's just 320 pages!) The story is about Ariadne, the Minotaur's sister, and her meeting with Theseus — and what happens after. So few Greek myth retellings place female characters at the forefront, so getting her perspective — especially when she's barely mentioned in Ovid's original work — is a real treat." — Izabella Zaydenberg

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

by John Carreyrou
$11 $17 at Amazon

The gripping story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos — one of the biggest corporate frauds in history — a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley, reported by a prize-winning journalist.

"I'm a sucker for a scam...and this book, detailing the rise and (massive) fall of medical startup Theranos, does not disappoint. Written by the Wall Street Journal author who broke the story, the book is a juicy beach read that gives insight into what made former CEO Elizabeth Holmes tick." — Nicole Sforza

It Happened One Summer: A Novel

by Tessa Bailey
$12 $16 at Amazon

A Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who’s cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small PNW beach town... where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong.

"Some of the best kinds of beach reads give the reader a similar feeling as the best beach days themselves: sunny, breezy, fun, and escapist. This book is exactly those things. A 'BookTok' fave of the moment, It Happened One Summer centers around the rich and spoiled Piper Bellinger, who is forced into 'exile' in a small Pacific Northwest beach town, where she first butts heads with - and then falls in love with - a gruff, handsome local sea captain named Brendan. It’s a sweet story that recalls the vibe of an easygoing rom-com, where you know that the leads will end up together, but the journey of getting there is really the fun. Plus, Bailey has been open with the fact that this story is heavily inspired by Schitt’s Creek, with Piper’s character and situation (and her growth!) being very similar to the character Alexis Rose on the hit show. For those who desperately miss their Schitt’s, and would love to disappear into a meet-cute with a dash of spice, this airy and adorable novel deserves a place in your beach bag!" —Carrie McCabe

Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold

by Bolu Babalola
$17 $17 at Amazon

In her debut collection, internationally acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola retells the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology with incredible new detail and vivacity.

"As an African, it's refreshing to read positive stories rooted in Black love written by a fellow African. Bolu Babalola elicits every emotion one might feel when it comes to love, from happiness to heartbreak. Her modern retelling is imaginative, relatable and most of all, complex without being complicated. If you're looking for a delightful read where the focus is on Black female empowerment, I'd encourage you open Love in Color." — Vinciane Ngomsi

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