The Petite Bijou Summer 2020 Reading List

Hi, everyone! I was so excited when Mariam asked me to share my picks for summer reading, as I’m passionate about sharing great books. But I must say, it was not an easy task narrowing them down! There is an incredible amount of books that have been released thus far this year or that are slated for release this summer from a diverse range of established and debut authors. So, I’ve put together a list of 10 to add to take with you to the pool, beach, and park this summer or just to enjoy cozy at home. 

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The Petite Bijou Summer Reading List

“Beach Read” by Emily Henry

As the title would suggest, I think this book might be the book of Summer 2020. Set at neighboring beach houses in Michigan, this is the story of romance author January Andrews and literary fiction author Augustus Everett, two college rivals who are both struggling with writer’s block and strike a deal to trade writing styles to get out of their ruts. This is a fun, clever, lighthearted read that’s perfect for the season.

“The Heir Affair”  by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

The long-awaited sequel to The Royal We (add that to your list immediately if you haven’t already read it), this story follows Nicholas and Bex, who are loosely based on Prince William and Kate Middleton, as they navigate the aftermath of their spontaneous wedding, which shocked the rest of the royal family. If you love the royal family, this series is a must read.

“Oona Out of Order” by Margarita Monitmore

This is one of those books that you might have a hard time putting down because it’s just so compelling. Oona is celebrating her 19th birthday on New Year’s Eve 1982 but wakes up 32 years in the future in a house she doesn’t recognize. With each passing year, Oona leaps to another year at random, experiencing her life completely out of order. This was not only a fun, fast-paced read, but one that makes you think about what it means to live in the present. 

“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett

This is the story of the Vignes twins who were raised in a southern Black community and ran away from home at age 16 to lead very different lives. One sister secretly passes for white and is married to a white man who doesn’t know about her past. The other sister lives in their old hometown with her Black daughter. Their story traces from the ‘50s to the ‘90s and explores the history of ‘passing’, how our pasts shape our decisions, and complex family relationships. 

“The Antidote for Everything” by Kimmery Martin

This is a great medical drama set between Charleston and Amsterdam that follows a doctor and her best friend as they navigate controversial decisions being made by their hospital about the treatment of transgender patients. There are a lot of important subjects covered in this book, but it also touches on romance and is written with a much-needed touch of humor.

“Home Before Dark” by Riley Sager

Every summer, I look forward to a new Riley Sager book and they have yet to disappoint. The latest horror/thriller in his arsenal is Home Before Dark, which follows Maggie, a woman who grew up in a haunted Victorian estate that became famous when her father published a book about their paranormal encounters there. Maggie doesn’t believe her father’s stories, but when she moves back to the home 25 years later, that begins to change. 

“The Stationery Shop” by Marjan Kamali

Set in 1953 Tehran, this is the story of Roya and Baman, who meet and fall in love in their local stationery shop and bookstore. The night before their wedding, Baman disappears during a government coup d’etat and it takes the next several decades for Roya to understand what happened. This is a beautiful, albeit heartbreaking story, with gorgeous descriptions of Iran that will make you long to travel again. 

“Clap When You Land” by Elizabeth Acevedo

This is a unique story in that it’s written in verse. It follows Camino, who is expecting her father to arrive to visit her in the Dominican Republic but finds out that his plane has crashed. In New York, Yahaira also learns that her father was killed in a plane crash, but the two girls don’t know that they share the same father. 

“Rodham” by Curtis Sittenfeld

Following her 2008 novel American Wife, which was a fictionalized version of Laura Bush’s life story, Curtis Sittenfeld has delivered Rodham, a novel which imagines an alternate universe where Hillary Rodham chose to pursue her own political career rather than marrying Bill Clinton.

“The Second Home” by Christina Clancy

Three siblings spend a terrible summer at their family’s home on Cape Cod that creates a rift between them. After their parents die many years later, the two sisters are left to decide what happens to the house but are confronted by their estranged adopted brother who has other ideas. This is a classic story of dysfunctional family set on the beach, making it a great pick for summer. 

“Saint X” by Alexis Schaitkin

While on a family vacation in the Caribbean, Claire’s older sister goes missing. Her body is soon found and two men who work at the resort are arrested. Many years later when Claire is an adult living in New York City, she encounters one of the men and begins to obsessively pursue the truth about who her sister really was and what happened to her.

“The City We Became” by NK Jemisin 

This is the first in a new series that explores the idea that every city has its own unique soul. This book in particular is about New York City, where an ancient evil is stirring and threatening to destroy the city. With impressive world building and complex characters, this is a great pick if you’re looking for an exciting read.

If you end up purchasing and reading any of these books. tag @thepetitebijou on Instagram Stories and we’ll feature your story on our stories!

Behind The Blog

The Petite Bijou is an online destination featuring wholesome yet sophisticated living and styling tips for women. The site is run by survivor, lifestyle influencer, and writer Mariam, who also runs The Bijou Show, a self help podcast.

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