The Components of a Great Summer (on Book Covers)

June 25, 2021 | M. Elwood

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I love summer and I really love seeing summer activities depicted on book covers. You can tell I work at a library, can't you?

We don't really know what this summer will bring, but let's enjoy it all. 

Live vicariously through these book covers. 


Whatever you do this summer, you're going to want some cool sunglasses.

Dial a for aunties

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

This comedic look at overbearing families and murder has been getting great reviews. Meddy Chan wonders if her family is cursed; all the men seem to leave. It doesn't stop Meddy's mother from setting her up with a blind date. The date ends badly when Meddy accidentally kills the man. Fortunately, she has four aunts to help her deal with the aftermath. Reviewers use the word "hijinks" frequently when speaking of this book. 

The heart principle

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

This is the third book in Hoang's The Kiss Quotient series. Although the same characters appear in all the books, each book can be read on its own. Violinist Anna Sun is burned out.  She recently achieved a career boost when a YouTube video unexpectedly went viral but she now finds the pressure to perform overwhelming. Her romantic life isn't going well either. Her boyfriend has announced he wants an open relationship. Anna agrees, planning to have a few meaningless sexual adventures but when she meets Quan Diep, she realizes that their relationship could be more than meaningless. 

The release date for this one is August but you can place holds now. 

Weekend away

The Weekend Away by Sarah Alderson

Although the cover is a nearly perfect summer scene, the book is a dark psychological thriller. Kate and Orla are longtime friends who take an annual weekend trip to get away from work, children, husbands and other stressors. This year they've gone to Lisbon. After an evening out Orla wakes up to find Kate has vanished. With no support from the police she sets out to find out what happened to her friend. 



If you spend any time in the sun, you should think about getting a really great hat. It provides sun protection and you'll look cool. 

All our summers

All Our Summers by Holly Chamberlin

Sisters Carol and Bonnie grew up in Tideland, Maine. Carol left for New York City as soon as she was old enough leaving Bonnie behind to take care of their parents and Ferndean House, their ancestral home. Both women, now in their 60s, both plan to move into Ferndean House but neither wants to share. Will the sisters be able to heal their relationship and work out their differences. 

Big summer

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

After a long struggle with body image issues, Daphne Berg has become a powerful social media influencer. She is surprised when former friend Drue Cavanaugh asks her to be maid of honour at the social event of the season. When they were friends, Drue was a beautiful but manipulative person who exploited Daphne's insecurities. Why is she trying to get back in Daphne's life now? 

Summer longing

Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner

Recent retiree Ruth Cooperman arrives in Provincetown for a quiet summer, hoping to find a permanent home on Cape Cod. Her plans are disrupted by the appearance of an abandoned baby on the porch of her rental cottage. Soon women from different parts of the community step forward to help care for the child.


Flip Flops

You're also going to need some sandals. I like flip flops myself. 

Footprints in the sand

Footprints in the Sand by Mary Jane Clark

Piper Donovan is a struggling actor and cake decorator. She has gone to Florida to to attend her cousin's wedding where she's going to provide the cake and act as maid of honour. As the wedding draws closer, a series of disturbing events occurs and when a body is found at the wedding venue, Piper sets out to discover what is really happening. 

Hello summer

Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews

Conley Hawkins left her small town for a job at a big city newspaper but unexpectedly finds herself unemployed. With no options, she returns to her hometown where she is pressured into working for the family business – the local newspaper. Conley is not thrilled when she is asked to write the paper's breezy gossip column. When she witnesses an accident that leads to the death of a congressman, Conley feels like she finally has a story worth investigating. 


Outdoor Seating

Now that you're looking great you're also going to need a good chair. Whether you choose a chaise lounge, hammock or Muskoka chair, you're going to want to sit outside and enjoying the sights and sounds of summer – even if it's just from your own balcony. 

Closely harbored secrets

Closely Harbored Secrets by Bree Baker

A beach, a chair, a drink and a seagull in a pirate hat – what more do you need for a perfect summer day? This is the fifth book in the Seaside Café cozy mystery series. This book actually takes place at Halloween but the cover is so summery I wanted to include it. Tea shop owner Everly Swan stumbles upon a murder victim during the annual haunted walking tour and cannot resist helping handsome Detective Grady Hays investigate the crime. 

Imagine summer

Imagine Summer by Shelley Noble

Skylar Mackenzie is planning a weekend event to celebrate her new business, a toy store and creativity center in a Rhode Island beach town but her work is thrown into chaos by the arrival of her estranged half-sister Amy and Connor Reid – the man who broke her heart. 

One perfect summer

One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak

Serentity Alston's life changes when she does genetic genealogy testing. Instead of learning about her family's past, she discovers information about the present. Serenity discovers she has two half sisters she had never suspected even existed. She invites her new sisters to her family cabin in Lake Tahoe where the women unexpectedly bond. 

People we meet on vacation

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Alex and Poppy are two very different people who become friends. After meeting at university, they realize that despite their differences, they are perfect travel partners who go on vacation together once a year. After one difficult trip, they break apart and don't speak for two years but Poppy is missing Alex. Could he be something more than a friend? She talks him into one last vacation with plans to resurrect their friendship.



There's nothing like swimming in the summer whether you use a pool or a natural body of water. 

Girls of summer

Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer

After the break up of her marriage, Lisa focused on being a good mother to her children. Now that they're adults, she has time to concentrate on her own needs and begins dating Mack, a local contractor 10 years younger than Lisa. Besides the age difference, the relationship is complicated when Lisa's son Theo returns to Nantucket and resurrects his old relationship with Mack's daughter, Beth. 

The guncle

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Patrick was a sitcom star who retired after his partner's death to live a lonely and secluded life in Palm Springs. Now his brother needs a big favour. His wife has died leaving him in charge of their two children and he needs to go to rehab before he will be any use to them. He asks Patrick to take over temporarily. Reluctant at first, Patrick agrees and finds himself a substitute parent without any idea about what that means. 

Perfect guests

The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

This psychological thriller tells two stories connected by mysterious Raven Hall, an old manor house. The first story takes place in 1988 when orphaned teen Beth Soames is brought to live at Raven Hall as a companion for the residents' daughter Nina. She realizes too late that she is at the house for a more sinister reason. In present day, struggling actor Sadie Langton is offered a part in a live murder mystery game at Raven Hall but she quickly suspects that there is another reason she's at the house. 


Road Trips

Road trips are something I've really missed and I look forward to exploring the world again soon. 

Road trip

The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary

Addie and Dylan haven't seen each other since their acrimonious breakup two years ago. Now they've literally run into each other again. On the way to a mutual friend's wedding Dylan crashes into Addie's car.  The car Dylan is driving is wrecked and the only way to ensure he gets to the wedding on time is to hitch a ride with Addie – and her half-sister Debs, their friend Rodney and Dylan's friend Marcus. The five of them plus luggage squeeze into a mini Cooper for the road trip of a life time. 

Summer seekers

The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan

A recent scare with an intruder in her house has eighty-year-old Kathleen's family encouraging her to move into a retirement home. Kathleen, who fought off the intruder with a skillet, has other ideas. She wants an adventure and decides a road trip along Route 66 is the perfect thing. Martha, a woman in her 20s, answers Kathleen's advertisement for a driver and the women set off to explore America together. 



Last summer at the golden

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland

I've never been to a resort myself but my mother still speaks fondly of the vacations she took as a child that were like the ones shown in this book. 

The Goldman and Weingold families have run the Golden Hotel resort since 1960. Both the hotel and the founders are ageing and the families have drifted apart. A developer is waiting in the wings for a decision to sell but can the families walk away from something they have loved for so long?


Food and Drink 

While you're out having fun this summer, take time to enjoy the foods of summer. Who doesn't want an ice cream cone on a hot day? It's also a great time for picnics and fruits and vegetables. It really is a delicious time of year. 

Chilled to the cone

Chilled to the Cone by Ellie Alexander

Juliet Capshaw, owner of Torte bakeshop in Ashland, Oregon is given the opportunity to showcase her iced drinks and frozen custard products at a popup shop. When a local street performer dies nearby Jules decides to investigate. 

Death by intermission 

Death by Intermission by Alexis Morgan

Abby McCree is helping out with Snowberry Creek, Washington's outdoor movie screenings. When Abby and her mother Phoebe are cleaning up the next day, they find a murder victim who has been stabbed with a knife belonging to Phoebe's new boyfriend. Owen is definitely acting suspicious and Abby decides to investigate the murder herself. 

Farm to trouble

Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower

Shiloh Bellamy, a successful television producer, decides to return to her hometown in Michigan and save the family farm. She has a plan to turn it into a sustainable organic farm with a café. People in the town, including her own father, are openly hostile to Shiloh and she isn't sure why. It gets worse when Shiloh's main investor is murdered. Shiloh's father is the prime suspect and it's in her best interest to solve the murder. 

A game of cones

A Game of Cones by Abby Collette

Bronwyn Crewes is trying to revamp the family ice cream shop by experimenting with new flavours and taking inspiration from her grandmother's old recipes. Everything seems to be going well but plans for a new mall has some of her fellow business owners worried about their future. A public meeting with the developer's representative turns into a shouting match. Shortly after, the representative is murdered and the prime suspect is one of Bronwyn's friends.


Whatever you plan to do this summer, enjoy every moment!