When we need good advice we turn straight to the experts. That’s why we asked Jane Green, the queen of summer beach books, what we should be reading this season. Green is the author of over 20 bestselling novels, including the just published The Friends We Keep, and has her finger firmly on the pulse of what’s happening in the literary world. So, pack your beach bag with the 7 page-turners that Jane is loving this summer. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

shop the post

Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky
If you loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette, you’ll love this new novel which combines has Maria Semple’s quirkiness with Marcy Dermansky’s original dark humor. Rachel Klein makes the mistake of kissing her Creative Writing Professor, who ends up moving into her mother’s suburban Connecticut home, and it all goes horribly wrong from there in the most deliciously dark, funny, and beautifully written way.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo 
Lisa Taddeo is a journalist who spent 10 years observing the desires and sexual needs of three women in America. One is recovering from a secret relationship with a teacher in high school, one is trapped in a sexless marriage and having an affair with a former flame from her youth, and one is married to a man who encourages her to have sex with other people. It provides stunning insight into the lives of these three real women, and is both compelling, and utterly novelistic. I couldn’t put it down.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Although best known for Eat, Pray, Love, her real skills are as a novelist. She is a gorgeous writer, who tackles the New York theater world in the 1940’s, and brings all her wisdom and heart to the page.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Everyone is talking about this book this summer. It’s about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship between their children, a tragedy that reverberates through the community, the daily intimacies of marriage and the power of forgiveness. Who can resist?

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong 
One of the most anticipated books of the year, is a letter from a son to his mother who cannot read. Described as luminous, it is also raw, compassionate, and real, and critics are saying it may be the most important debut novel of the decade. 

How Not To Die Alone by Richard Roper
If you loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, you will love this. Very much in the same vein, Andrew told a lie years ago, but how will he deal with it now that he’s finally growing close to someone at work. It’s a book about loneliness, love, and taking chances when it’s the very last thing you thought you would do. 

The Farm by Joanne Ramos
I loved this smart, thoughtful book about women’s choices, privilege and class. Golden Oaks is a luxury baby farm where (mostly) immigrants are paid a fortune to give birth to children of the uber wealthy. Gripping, realistic, although it deals with very real issues, it’s also a breezy, easy read.

about jane

Jane Green is published in over 25 languages, and has over ten million books in print worldwide.

She has been part of the ABC News team, has had her own radio show on BBC Radio London and has made regular appearances on TV and radio. She contributes to a number of newspapers and magazines, and has a weekly column in The Lady magazine, England’s longest running weekly magazine. A graduate of the International Culinary Institute in New York, Green is an avid cook, amateur decorator, and passionate gardener. She is also a regular storyteller for The Moth. A resident of Westport, Connecticut, she lives there with her husband, a small menagerie of animals and (too) many children.