My fiancé introduced me to Audible about a year ago and it’s been a constant companion for me ever since. While I love collecting coffee table books that I can revisit time and again, I’d rather listen to most career books and novels than purchase hard copies I usually read only once. (There are of course classics that I own hard copies of — just not my summer beach reads!) I turn on Audible when I’m driving to work, getting my nails done, or on the plane… It’s amazing how many more books I’ve “read” this way!

My Audible wishlist is about a mile long so I thought I’d share several titles I’m looking forward to making my way through this summer. Whenever I stumble upon a list of book recommendations, I look them all up on Audible and instantly add them to my wishlist so I never find myself without a handy recommendation. I’ll read anything from a fluffy romance novel (I used to devour these) to a book about career advice or self-improvement (Will and I both loved this). With summer upon us (as of yesterday!), I’m shifting my sights toward books I can sail through during a couple flights or a road trip. Here are ten books I want to read this summer:

Design Darling shares 10 books to read this summer 2016

1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. An in-depth look at the creative process from the author of Eat, Pray, Love? This sounds like a great way to head back from a trip feeling totally inspired. Sign me up.

2. Sweetbitter: A Novel by Stephanie Danler. A fictional behind-the-scenes look at the New York restaurant scene, written by a woman who worked as a back waiter for several well-known restaurants (including one of my favorites, Buvette!).

3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Written by a soon-to-be neurosurgeon diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at age 36, this memoir promises to be both thought-provoking and tear-jerking.

4. The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger. The author of The Devil Wears Prada‘s newest book combines tennis, travel, and glamour in her newest novel — what’s not to love?

5. Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls by Leandra Medine. When it comes to the blog world, there are few voices as well-known as Leandra Medine’s (and for good reason). Having recently discovered her podcast, I can’t wait to delve into this book of essays on the intersection between fashion and romance.

6. Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld. Any book that reinvents my beloved Jane Austen with a magazine writer, yoga instructor, and reality TV show has “beach book” written all over it.

7. The After Party by Anton DiSclafani. The New Englander-turned-Dallasite in me is forever fascinated by southern society. This story of 1950s Texas socialites is at the top of my list.

8. What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan. I’m about 3/4 of the way through this one and it gets better with every page (er, minute on Audible). A clever whodunit told from the alternating perspectives of a missing boy’s mother and the detective on the case, it’s kept me guessing at every turn.

9. The Nest by Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney. The story of four dysfunctional siblings living in New York that Amy Poehler calls “intoxicating”… Yes please.

10. Not Working by Lisa Owens. This novel about a twenty-something trying to make sense of her life has drawn comparisons to Bridget Jones — a can’t-miss beach read if you ask me.

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Have you read any of these? What are you reading currently?

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  1. Thank you so much for this list! I’m going on vacation tomorrow and desperately need to pick up a new book! Too excited for Not Working and the new one by Lauren Weisberger

  2. I just finished Eligible and it was so great!! I would definitely recommend putting it at the top of your list! 🙂

  3. I just finished The Nest and LOVED it!! I hadn’t read a good “fluff” book in awhile and finished the entire book in just a few short days!! I’ve now started Modern Lovers and Bittersweet is next on my list!!

  4. I’ve heard mixed reviews about The Nest, so I’ve yet to decide whether I want to read it…. I just ordered two new books from B&N, though: The Museum of Extraordinary Things and The Marriage Plot. Both sound great and have great reviews, so I’m excited for them to get here!

  5. I just finished Eligible yesterday and it was the perfect summer read! Pure fluff and fun! It’s almost 500 pages but I tore through it in just a few days. I just scrolled down and saw some other readers didn’t like it, which just goes to show how we all have different tastes 🙂

  6. I wouldnt recommend nest. It’s not good and has about a million characters who are all narrators at some point. I’ve heard a lot of people say the same thing about this book too.

  7. Love how this started with “My fiance”– still getting used to seeing this on your page, but so excited about it! I’ve read several of these and particularly enjoyed The Nest, and The After Party is next on my list! Tragically, there is realistically not a chance I could get through 10 books this summer, so I’m setting the bar nice and low at 5 🙂

  8. I’m such a fan of Audible as well! I’ve read a few of these books so far this spring – Eligible was fun, not great literature or anything but definitely a quick and entertaining read. The Nest I really wanted to like, but there just wasn’t enough character development for me. Sweetbitter I’m currently in the middle of, and really enjoying! Big Magic is on my list, as well as The After Party. I’m also in the middle of The Widow (on Audible), and loving it so far.

  9. Thanks for sharing – I love book lists. I have 2 bookish podcast recs: What Should I Read Next? with Anne Bogel and the New York Times Book Review podcast. Good for inspiring future reads! I loved “When Breath Becomes Air” and have “Sweet Bitter” on my list!

    I just finished Elena Ferrante’s “My Brilliant Friend” (translated from Italian) and can’t stop thinking about it. It might be tricky on audio (lots of Italian families in Naples – I had to reference the character list in the front of the book a bit) but it’s the first of a 4 book series, and I’m literally going on my lunch break today to buy the next 3!

  10. I just finished “Rich and Pretty” and would recommend skipping it. There was zero plot and while I’m all for a character study, the two main characters were pretty terrible. Can’t wait to start something good!

  11. Don’t waste your time on Eligible. Seriously one of the worst books I’ve ever read. If you like Jane Austen at all it will make you cringe and even if you don’t this book is trash even as a beach read.