Escape This Summer with a Great Book {Fiction Edition}

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While many of us may not be embarking on the travels we had hoped to take this summer, there’s still the quintessential way to escape reality during the long, hot days of summer– book reading.

Add up the money you’ll be saving from canceled air travel and hotel rooms and buy yourself some adventure that you can access right in your own backyard or on your comfy couch with the A/C gently blowing.

Here are some suggestions for your summer reading stack:

1. Murder at St Margaret by Lynn Morrison. If you’ve never read a cozy mystery, this is a perfect introduction to the genre. The setting is the beautiful University of Oxford, and this delightful tale includes murder, magic, and a feisty female protagonist who you’ll wish to befriend over tea and scones.

2. There, There by Tommy Orange. A critically acclaimed debut novel that takes a deep dive into what it really means to be an indigenous American. Described as heartbreaking and frustrating, yet hopeful, it will open your eyes to a world of fascinating characters who reflect the almost invisible existence of some marginalized Americans.

3. Beyond the Pale by Jennifer Millikin. Written by local Arizona novelist, Millikin serves up unexpected plot twists and turns in this emotional tale of three childhood friends who are reunited years later and must contend with the love triangle they never truly escaped.

4. The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell’Antonia. This fun read is like being handed a backstage pass to the filming of a Food Network competition show. The antics of two feuding sisters will cause you to both think deeply about your family relationships, and want to devour a bucket of crispy, fried chicken.

5. Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi. This book re-imagines the story behind Agent 355, who was a New York society girl-turned spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Escape into a detailed world of romance, intrigue, and danger in this work of historical fiction.

6. The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine. Another psychological thriller from the sister authors who write under a single pen name. A sinister plot with desperate characters will likely keep you up late into the night finishing this one.

7. Beach Read by Emily Henry. Set on the shores of Lake Michigan, this story looks to be the perfect summer read because it has everything: family secrets, social commentary, rivalry, smart banter, and steamy romance. Yes, please!

8. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. If the summer heat of Arizona has you dreaming of cooler destinations, take a trip to a remote corner of Alaska with this epic novel. It’s a compelling portrait of a family in crisis that will draw you in with its lovable characters and gorgeous descriptions of Alaskan scenery.

9. Letters to Mom and Dad and Things That Happened Along the Way by Lucee Santini. Written by one of our Scottsdale Moms contributors, this is the story of Zoe, a girl who thinks fashion modeling will be her ticket to a most glamorous life. Throughout her travels around the world, she writes endearing letters home to her parents as she gains confidence in herself.

10. Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang. This thoughtful story of a young, Asian-American journalist in an interracial relationship raises timely questions about racism, sexism, immigration, and the sacrifices that many women are asked to make for love.

Here’s to some marvelous journeys of the mind this summer – no carry-ons or passport needed!

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