What should I read next? Summer 2022 releases to add to your TBR list

No need to ask 'What should I read next?' From romance and mystery, fantasy and sci-fi, our list has it all

woman in a hat reading at the beach
(Image credit: stock_colors/Getty Images)

What should I read next? Beach season has arrived, and we've uncovered the best summer book releases to add to your tote. 

Whether you're in the mood for a bit of romance, need an escape from reality or you're looking to up the ante, there's something with your name on it. Genres and options abound.

Pack the SPF (we've got the best sunscreen for face usage right here), cut up some melon and find your beach chair—it's time for a little seaside reading.

If you want to curl up by the ocean with a few favorites, we recommend reading the Bridgerton books in order, Firefly Lane books in order and the Shadow and Bone series...and following up with a TV marathon when you get home!

1. You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
$24.30, £11.09

Pub date: May 24, 2022 (US) May 26, 2022 (UK)

Feyi has had a difficult time coping after she lost the love of her life. But five years after his accident, she and her best friend decide it's time to test the waters. A casual but passionate encounter leads Feyi to one hot summer, quite literally: tropical getaways, decadent meals and so on. It seems Feyi even met someone she's compatible with, but she finds herself longing for his father—a bit of a conundrum, to say the least. Which direction will love lead our grieving protagonist?

2. Either/Or by Elif Batuman
$24.30, £13.59

Pub date: May 24, 2022 (US) May 26, 2022 (UK)

Selin is a Harvard sophomore in the mid 90s with a lot on her plate: she needs to figure out what exactly happened with her crush, Ivan, over the summer...and why Ivan's ex is determined to get in touch with her. (That can never be a good sign.) Thankfully, she has the help of older students while she navigates the murky waters of romance, college and early adulthood. Now with a firmer grasp on her reality, Selin decides the next order of business is to travel. We can't wait to see where the talented Batuman takes her. 

3. Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour
$18.89, £16.28

Pub date: May 31, 2022 (US), May 15, 2022 (UK)

The bestselling YA author takes her first dip into general fiction with two unsettled protagonists: Sara ran away at 16 and is now a well-respected bartender. Emilie is dying to connect with her Creole roots. The two meet while working at the restaurant Yerba Buena and fall for one another, but will their past mistakes cloud their future?  

summer book covers on a pool background

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh
$22.99, £11.99

Pub date: June 21, 2022 (US), June 23, 2022 (UK)

A far cry from the author's famed My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Lapvona takes on fantasy qualities and follows a motherless shepherd boy and his relationship with midwife, Ina, who appears to have supernatural powers that allow her to connect with the world around her. As you might've imagined, Ina's raised a few eyebrows from people in town.

5. Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
$19.69, £12.99

Pub date: August 30, 2022 (US, UK)

Watch Carrie Soto take what's rightfully hers when the tennis player returns to the game—and the US Open—post-retirement. 

6. The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager
$24.30, £17.60

Pub date: June 21, 2022 (US), July 7, 2022 (UK)

Casey Fletcher, a widowed actress, is in need of a breather. To destress, she makes her way over to her family's lake house in Vermont, seemingly the ideal location to unwind and shut out negativity from the outside world. She comes in contact with the couple across the way, who appear perfect. However, when she discovers that the wife has mysteriously disappeared, the truth begins to unravel. That quiet respite quickly turns into a nightmare.

summer book covers on sand background

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
$26.99, £22

Pub date: July 19, 2022 (US), July 21, 2022 (UK)

With nods to The Haunting of Hill House, Just Like Home introduces readers to Vera, who surprisingly returns home to the place where her father buried bodies, which just so happens to be where he raised his family. A parasitic artist moves into the house alongside Vera and her mother, and things get very suspicious, very quickly.

8. Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood 
$14.99, £7.37

Pub date: August 23, 2022 (US, UK)

A scientific love story for the ages, Hazelwood returns to her roots with Bee Königswasser, a physicist who's been asked to head a NASA neuroengineering project with Levi Ward. Sure he's easy on the eyes, but he's infuriating...and maybe not as horrible as she originally thought? The neuroscientist-turned New York Times bestseller has had quite a hold on #booktok, and if our hypothesis is correct, her sophomore story will be equally as entertaining as her debut novel.

9. Babel: An Arcane History by R.F. Kuang
$25.19, £13.59

Pub date: August 23, 2022 (US), September 1, 2022 (UK)

A must for fantasy fans, Babel takes place in the 1800s and focuses on Robin Swift, a Chinese boy in London who attends the prestigious—and more importantly, magical—Oxford University Royal Institute of Translation (a.k.a. Babel). Swift finds himself at a crossroads, as attending Babel is going against his roots. What will happen when Britain and China go to war?

summer book covers on grass background

(Image credit: Amazon)

10. The Sleepless by Victor Manibo

Pub date: August 2, 2022 (US), August 23, 2022 (UK)

Journalist Jamie Vega is among the Sleepless, meaning he can function without shut-eye. (Guess we'll just toss these tips for how to get better sleep (opens in new tab).) Things seem to be going fairly well, until Jamie's boss turns up dead ahead of a company takeover. Police suspect Jamie, and it doesn't seem to help that he has no recollection of what happened. (Other Sleepless people suffer from memory loss as well.) When he tries to uncover his boss' untimely death, Jamie tangos with extremists and corporate bullies, in turning bringing plenty of complexities to light. Was this medical experiment really worth the trouble?

11. Rainbow Rainbow by Lydia Conklin
$26, £14.99

Pub date: May 31, 2022 (US), June 9, 2022 (UK)

Hitting shelves just in time for Pride Month (opens in new tab), Rainbow Rainbow is a collection of stories that tackles the queer and trans experiences from an equally difficult yet humorous angle.

12. Are You Sara? by S.C. Lalli
$16.99, £10.99

Pub date: August 9, 2022 (US), September 15, 2022 (UK)

Not to be confused with Who Killed Sara? (opens in new tab), Lalli's mystery novel will make you think twice before getting in an Uber. Sara is a hardworking law student who coincidentally strikes up conversation with an unruly woman named Sarah at a bar. Though the two hail from opposite worlds, they form a connection. Somehow, on their journey home, the two end up mistakenly swapping their rides. When Sara finally gets back to her house, she she's a crime scene and a dead body—which belongs to Sarah.

summer book covers on towel background

(Image credit: Amazon)

13. Notes on Heartbreak by Annie Lord

Pub date: June 23, 2022

Watch a love story unfold in reverse—from its earth-shattering demise to its beautiful beginning. Perfect for fans of Out of Love (opens in new tab)

14. Acts of Service by Lillian Fishman
$24.30, £11.43

Pub date: May 3, 2022 (US), July 7, 2022 (UK)

A Samantha Jones of sorts for millennials and Gen Z, Eve explores her sexuality and questions society's wants and desires when it comes to intimacy. She has a steady girlfriend, but when she feels like she is spending the best years of her life tied down, she opts to post a few NSFW pics online, which leads her to Olivia...which leads them to Nate. There's plenty for Eve to untangle while attempting to find love in New York. 

15. Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola
$25.99, £13.59

Pub date: July 5, 2022 (US, UK)

Kiki, who's determined to steer the Afro-Caribbean women at Whitewell University in the proper direction romantically, might've made a small peccadillo. On her radio show, Brown Sugar, she suggests avoiding the dangerous Malakai Korede at all costs. But what happens when the two share a kiss?

summer book covers on floral background

(Image credit: Amazon)

16. The IT Girl by Ruth Ware 
$24.99, £11.99

Pub date: July 12, 2022 (US), August 4, 2022 (UK)

Queen of the mystery genre, Ware is at is again. This time, it focuses on a past killing that resurfaces. When "It-Girl" April and Hannah meet at Oxford, the two become inseparable, along with the rest of their clique—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily. But not terribly long into their college experience, April winds up dead. Fast forward 10 years, when Hannah and Will are on the verge of becoming parents, and a journalist shows up at their door, informing them that the man accused of killing April has died in jail and the mystery is being reexamined. Not exactly the good 'ol college days that typically come to mind.

17. Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen
$21.99, £13.19

Pub date: June 7, 2022 (US), June 9, 2022 (UK)

Ava Wong has it all: the successful career and family life, but if you look closely, her world is crumbling. The tightly-wrapped good girl reconnects with her wild college roommate, Winnie Fang, who just so happens to need a little help with her counterfeit handbag scheme...

18. Crying in the Bathroom by Erika L. Sánchez 
$27, £21.47

Pub date: July 12, 2022 (US, UK) 

Relatable and comforting, Sánchez's collection of essays touches on everything women experience: sex, depression, and so on. Described as "raunchy, insightful, unapologetic, and brutally honest," this not-to-be-missed release deserves some real estate on your shelves. 

19. Upgrade by Blake Crouch
$25.20, £14.95

Pub date: July 12, 2022 (US), July 7, 2022 (UK)

Logan Ramsay doesn't know what to attribute his sharpness to. But his intelligence turns out to be problematic when he realizes his genome has been hacked, in turn causing him to face a traumatic past he'd rather put to rest.

20. The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings
$26.99, £14.95

Pub date: August 9, 2022 (US), August 18, 2022 (UK)

Arguably very close to reality, Giddings' dystopian tale has traces of the Handmaid's Tale and focuses on society's control of women. In this novel, our Black protagonist Jo has had to grapple with her mother's death, and there have been many reasons why people believe she lost her life: murder, kidnapping and, most commonly, the "fact" that she's a witch. Though at 28 and ready to move on from the past, Jo might have a hard time doing so, as she is forced by the state marry by the age of 30 or enroll in a registry that is monitored. Anyone else a little shaken by this synopsis?

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 

The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara. 

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 

When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)