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5 of the best summer reads, according to bestselling author Brad Thor

From thrillers to histories, this list has something for everyone!
/ Source: TODAY

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During the summer, we have more time for everything ... cookouts with family, time to visit with friends we haven't seen in a while, and most importantly — more time to read! Author, and frequent TODAY guest, Brad Thor, shared his picks for some of the best summer books, if you're looking for a good place to get started!

With a mix of genres ranging from thrillers to American history, there's sure to be something for everyone in this list.

"Life With Picasso," by Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake

"I am fascinated by great artists. This (reissued) novel from 55 years ago, about the love affair between Pablo Picasso (age 61) and artist Françoise Gilot (age 21), sounds like an irresistible HBO or Netflix series. The fact that this passionate, almost decade-long affair doesn’t end well only makes it more so," Thor explained.

"The Chain," by Adrian McKinty

"My Twitter pal and fellow author, Don Winslow ('The Border') has been R-A-V-I-N-G about this thriller," Thor told TODAY. "It is being called 'Jaws' for parents. Your child gets kidnapped and the only way you get your child back is to commit an equally horrifying (if not more so) abduction. No doubt — this will be a one-sitting read."

"True Believer," by Jack Carr

"I was a huge fan of Navy-SEAL-turned-author Jack Carr’s debut novel 'The Terminal List.' His knock-them-dead protagonist, James Reece is back in a globe-trotting tale of action, intrigue and suspense that is getting 5-star reviews from advance readers and promises to be even more of an addictive page turner than his amazing debut," Thor said of this new novel.

"The Russian," by Ben Coes

"I have been a Ben Coes fan from the beginning. This is a new series of his and it has me very excited," said Thor. "I love the idea of creating a covert team to go after the Russian Mafia on its own turf, with the gloves off, and absolutely no rules. The description alone is enough to have me X’ing off the days on my calendar until release day."

"The Vagabonds," by Jeff Guinn

"It has been said that Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone invented the road trip. For 10 years (beginning in 1915), the men vacationed together by car each summer, calling themselves 'The Vagabonds.' Sure, there were chefs, butlers, and a ton of other staff to keep things 'comfortable,' but these trips were supposedly all about the journey as they explored America’s roadways and tried to come up with ways to better automobile travel," said Thor. "It sounds like a wonderful combination of American cars, American ingenuity, and American history. Count me in!"

Brad Thor's bestselling thriller, "Backlash," is also out now — the perfect final addition to your beach bag!