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Luckily, authors Elizabeth Gilbert ("Eat, Pray, Love" and "City of Girls"), Jasmine Guillory ("The Wedding Party"), Jane Green ("The Friends We Keep"), and Tomi Adeyemi ("Children of Blood and Bone") stopped by TODAY to recommend some of their favorite reads!
With genres ranging from sweet romances to suspenseful mysteries, and books that will help you find yourself or get lost in another world while reading on the beach, there's sure to be something for everyone in their recommendations.
"Daisy Jones & The Six" by Taylor Jenkins Reid, $16, Amazon
Gilbert chose this gripping novel as her beach read. With a story that brings readers through the whirlwind of the '70s rock scene, tying together equal parts mystery and romance, it's a story you won't want to end.
“The Farm” by Joanne Ramos, $18, Amazon
This chilling novel from Joanne Ramos, picked by Green, makes readers consider weighty issues like gender and class, race and religion, American meritocracy and motherhood, and the trade-offs women make to secure their own futures — and the futures of those they love.
“The Key to Happily Ever After” by Tif Marcelo, $13, Amazon
This light-hearted read, picked by Guillory, gives readers a witty, romantic look into the lives of three sisters who work as wedding planners. When their parents retire, the three take over the family business and quickly realize that fairytale weddings are never as smooth as they seem.
"Nocturna" by Maya Motayne, $13, Amazon
Adeyemi picked this sweeping fantasy novel from Maya Motayne. The first book in a trilogy, it includes familiar elements like risk-taking heroes and dramatic villains, with unique twists and a thrilling fantasy world.
"The Body Lies" by Jo Baker, $17, Amazon
Fans of dark, psychological dramas should pre-order this new book from Jo Baker, picked by Gilbert. With high-stakes storytelling and riveting suspense, this story goes beyond just a simple mystery as it addresses some of our own major societal problems.
"The Night Before" by Wendy Walker, $18, Amazon
Anyone a little wary of online dating will feel vindicated after finishing this riveting thrill ride from Wendy Walker, picked by Green. With shocking twists that keep you glued to the page and tense suspense that doesn't let up until the story ends, you won't be able to put this thriller down.
"The Hollow of Fear" by Sherry Thomas, $10, Amazon
This gender-bent twist on the Sherlock Holmes novels, picked by Guillory, is sure to thrill any mystery lover. With mysterious disappearances and malevolent suspects, the Victorian-set story has enough drama to last for days. Sherry Thomas fans will love yet another new twist on an old story, and new fans will find themselves with an entire series to enjoy.
"The Hazel Wood" by Melissa Albert, $10, Amazon
Adeyemi picked this stunning bestseller. With a plot that pulls the reader through an endless series of twists and surprises, it's a satisfying, dramatic read that doesn't let up on the mystery until the final page is turned.
"Black is the Body" by Emily Bernard, $11, Amazon
In a series of deeply personal essays, chosen by Gilbert, Emily Bernard details the experiences of her life. Each essay goes beyond the pre-existing narratives of race, and works to tell each story in a new way, as Bernard lived it.
"Very Nice" by Marcy Dermansky, $26, Amazon
Fans of situational comedies and rom-coms should pre-order this hilarious novel from Marcy Dermansky before its July 2 release date. Picked by Green, it features a small cast of wickedly funny characters and a plot straight out a Shakespearean romance.
"Ayesha at Last" by Uzma Jalaluddin, $11, Amazon
Guillory picked this modern twist on "Pride and Prejudice," by Uzma Jalaluddin. With a mix of the author's unique storytelling, and Jane Austen's charming storyline, this entertaining novel illustrates the social pressures facing Muslim-Indian adults and brings classic literature tropes into modern-day Toronto.
"A Very Large Expanse of Sea" by Tahereh Mafi, $15, Amazon
Adeyemi picked this powerful novel. Taking place in 2002, a year after 9/11, it shows just how hate can affect the way we see the world, while touching on relatable themes like fear, first love, and the challenges of letting down the walls you've built to protect yourself.
Books that take you on a journey
"On Being Human" by Jennifer Pastiloff, $18, Amazon
Gilbert picked this inspirational memoir from Jennifer Pastiloff. Centered around touchstone stories that she shares in her workshops, Pastiloff tells the story about how one can battle their own demons to grow into the person they were always meant to be.
"Inheritance" by Dani Shapiro, $16, Amazon
When Dani Shapiro submitted her DNA to a genealogy website, the results changed her entire life. In response, she put together this memoir, picked by Guillory, as she tracked the secrets within her family and tried to unlock the story of her own identity.
"Queenie" by Candace Carty-Williams, $12, Amazon
With a fresh take on what it means to be a modern woman, Candice Carty-Williams' novel, picked by Green, is honest, boldly political, and darkly humorous. As its main character ratchets from one bad idea to another, readers may recognize themselves in her — and maybe find some answers as she does.
"On a Sunbeam" by Tillie Walden, $15, Amazon
Adeyemi picked this thrilling graphic novel from Tillie Walden. With two interwoven timelines and characters that feel like old friends, accompanied by stunning artwork, this inventive novel is epic in every way.
Summer Reads for teens or kids
"Book of Boy" by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, $10, Amazon
This sweeping page-turner, picked by Gilbert, includes a medieval treasure hunt, beautiful artwork, and a plot that reads like a thrilling video game quest. With gorgeous prose and descriptions that leap off the page, it's an enchanting read that you won't want to put down.
"There's Something About Sweetie” by Sandhya Menon, $13, Amazon
Charming, romantic, and life-affirming, this hilarious novel, picked by Guillory, is a companion to Sandhya Manon's previous book, "When Dimple Met Rishi." Following a character from that book, this novel focuses on the brilliant qualities that make us ourselves, and explores what love means to two completely different people.
"The Rest of the Story" by Sarah Dessen, $16, Amazon
Green chose this heart-warming novel from Sarah Dessen. Told over the course of one magical summer, there's themes of romantic first loves and unexpected family connections, all told in Dessen's funny, familiar style.
"With the Fire on High" by Elisabeth Acevedo, $14, Amazon
Adeyemi chose this dazzling novel about embracing dreams and chasing the life you're looking for. Beautifully written and full of realistic characters and relationships, it's a great book for someone searching for a little bit of inspiration.
For more summer reads, check out:
- 12 of the best summer reads of 2019
- Interested in a book you saw on TODAY? Learn more here
- Jenna Bush Hager announces May book club pick