This fun Summer reading challenge for adults urges you to join us and read three books this Summer (one per month): one set in Summer, one set at the beach, and a final one that feels like an escape.
This post gives you a list of recommendations for each prompt, and it also provides an Instagram story template for you to track and be accountable for your progress as you complete the adult Summer reading challenge.
This Summer reading challenge for adults certainly isn't the first -- there are many Summer reading challenges out there!
But, I do think it's the most simplified version for both novices to tackle a reasonable amount of reading during lazy, hazy days, and for the most avid readers to maintain a seasonal reading mood when so many new books are vying for their attention.
So, if last year, you struggled to get a few good reads in over the Summer or if you strayed too much from the spirit of the season, you can be much more content with your reading goals and accomplishments this Summer.
This adult reading challenge has three seasonal prompts to read just one book each month:
- a book set in Summer in June;
- a book set at the beach in July;
- and an "escape" book in August.
Below are all the more specific details of the Summer reading challenge for adults, including answers to frequently asked questions, specific book recommendations, and ideas to make your Summer reading more fun.
Monthly Summer Reading Challenge for Adults
Yes, you can do this Summer reading challenge online simply by reading this post, creating your wish list of which book to read each month this Summer, and posting your book on Instagram each Summer month once you have read it.
Summer reading is important for adults because it allows you to take a breather from the stresses of real life at a time when you may already be planning for more days or weeks of relaxation.
It's also important to encourage your children to accomplish their own Summer reading assignments by reading alongside with you as an accountability partner.
Lastly, reading provides so many life-changing benefits, from learning new things to reducing stress, improving your writing and communication skills, developing your empathy, and so much more.
June: A Book Set in Summer
In June, get started creating your own adult Summer reading list by reading a book set in Summer.
I have read as many as I possibly could over the years and keep my guide to books set in Summer updated for you each year, so you can have an many books as possible to choose from.
A few of my favorites include:
- Last Summer at the Golden Hotel: Dirty Dancing meets The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Need I say more?!
- Malibu Rising: from beloved author Taylor Jenkins Reid, a wealthy 1980s surfing family experiences one explosive Summer night at a house party that forever changes one family.
- One Italian Summer: one of my favorite books of 2022, read by Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham in audiobook format, following a young woman coping with her mother's death via magical realism on the sunny Positano coast.
- The Summer Wives: from the queen of female historical fiction, Beatriz Williams, comes a beachy Rhode Island mystery with the feel of a soap opera
July: A Book Set at the Beach
Summer reading for adults wouldn't be complete without a book set at the beach. There's no shortage of options out there, but a few great places for you to start finding the right book for you are:
- Guide to Elin Hilderbrand books: The queen of the beach reads, whose books are set in Nantucket
- Guide to books set in Martha's Vineyard: my personal favorite beaches
There are many to choose from there, but I will recommend just one that made BOTH lists: Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand, a five-star read for me that transports the reader to a pivotal Summer including not just the family drama and romance Hilderbrand is know for, but also events like the moon landing and the drowning in Martha's Vineyard connected to Ted Kennedy.
August: An Escape Book
In the final month of the Summer, I think it's important for readers to truly feel an escape from the "real" world in whatever form feels right to them, before the Fall and things like back-to-school starts back up.
The types of books that can fit this prompt include:
- A book set in an inspiring part of the world, like Italy or Key West
- A page-turning psychological thriller
- A juicy memoir or shocking non-fiction book
- A breezy and lighthearted novel
- An easy beach read
- An indulgent love story
Since this is such a broad prompt, I can recommend a few that both I and my readers love:
- The Last Mrs. Parrish: a Reese's book club thriller that's consistently the bestselling book on this website
- The Light We Lost: another Reese's book club pick that's a tearjerking love story and consistently the second bestselling book on this website
- The Silent Patient: a super quick, page turning thriller that's been universally beloved over the past few years
- The Plot: a unique literary thriller with suspense and shocking twists, as well as a Tonight Show Summer Reads pick
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: a shocking historical fiction and love story that EVERYONE (seriously, everyone!) loves
- To All the Boys I've Loved Before: the most charming young adult story of a teen's love life, which has garnered a cult following
- American Royals: a popular series that reads like Gossip Girl if America was ruled by royals
- Open Book: Jessica Simpson's juicy, salacious, scandalous, and no-holds-barred memoir
- The Unhoneymooners: a universally beloved romantic comedy about an enemies-to-lovers duo on a faux Hawaiin honeymoon
Summer Reading Challenge Ideas
First, join the adult Summer reading challenge for adults, so you can create a book list that actually gets you excited about seasonal reading, track your accomplishments, and reach your goals more easily. Next, you can make Summer reading fun by reading outdoors, enjoying a cold beverage, listening to music, watching a book's adaptation, and having book club events with your family and friends.
Instagram Story Template for the Summer Reading Challenge for Adults
Download the Instagram story template below and save it to your mobile device. Then, add the title of the book or image of the book cover you read each month for the prompt and share it in your Instagram stories.
(If you tag me @bookish_jules, I will re-share your post!)
Feel free to share the blank template with your friends as well, so they can read along with us too!
That's the Summer reading challenge for adults!
Be sure to download your Instagram story template and mark your calendar with your wish list of "to be read" books while you have fun in the sun this Summertime.