8 Books You Need In Your Carry On This Summer

Because a good book is one of the best travel companions you can have.

For the early airport attendees, the beach loungers, the fireside fiction lovers, and the balcony bookworms––it’s no secret that sinking your teeth into a new novel on the go brings the story a whole new dimension. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our 8 favorite summer reads for 2022, tailored to your genre tastes, reading goals, and upcoming travel itineraries! From historical fiction to horror, these are 8 summer reads you won’t be able to put down, to inspire you and your next travel adventure!

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby via @rachelscozyreads on Instagram

If you’ve been meaning to catch up on your classics, The Great Gatsby is the place to start. Set on the opulent Gold Coast of Long Island at the peak of the 1920s jazz era, readers follow protagonist Nick Carraway through his interactions with eccentric millionaire Jay Gatsby, as he obsessively seeks the affections of his former lover, Daisy Buchanan. Chock-full of romance, drama, and extravagant parties thrown by the mysterious Gatsby himself, this classic has captivated readers on all fronts. Fitzgerald’s commentary on the nature of love and the American dream make this quick read a timeless story. Fans of the novel looking for a taste of the 1920s grandeur can visit and stay in the Oheka Castle in Huntington, Long Island, or tour the mansions of the Long Island Gold Coast from Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve, to Planting Fields Arboretum and State Historic Park.

2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Books You Need in Your Carry On This Summer The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo via @living_for_literature on Instagram

Historical fiction lovers, rise up! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has gained considerable popularity on social media, and for good reason: the novel simultaneously explores Golden Age Hollywood and the corruption accompanying it. When struggling journalist Monique Grant is requested by elusive Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo to write a biographical tell-all detailing Hugo’s seven high profile marriages, she’s presented with the career opportunity of a lifetime. There’s more to Hugo’s motivation in choosing Monique as her journalist, however, and as Evelyn’s past unravels throughout the narrative, Monique begins to understand the true cost of fame––and how her identity has been tied to Evelyn’s. Not only does Reid’s novel present her readers with Hollywood glamor and its gilded sheen, but additionally with compelling female leads, and brilliant bisexual and queer representation.

3. Atomic Habits, by James Clear

Atomic Habits
Atomic Habits via @booksnstarz via Instagram

Looking for a mind booster? James Clear’s Atomic Habits pulls no punches in its effective guide to restructuring habits we’d like to change. Clear’s focus on the systems that we as humans operate by, versus the habits we’d like to implement or dispose of, sets a foundation for the expansive growth and improvement of our lifestyles and the way our minds operate. A New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits is a great book to have en route to your next destination––because our horizons never stop expanding, and neither should we.

4. The Mist, by Stephen King

The Mist Books You Need in Your Carry On This Summer
The Mist via @horrorholic13 via Instagram

For the horror fanatics, small-town terror ensues in Stephen King’s novella The Mist. Set in coastal Maine, the fast-paced narrative follows father David Drayton and his son Billy on a grocery-trip-turned-nightmare when an otherworldly layer of mist consumes the town of Bridgton, inviting unwelcome supernatural visitors. Trapped inside the supermarket, survivors are forced to choose between safety within and help beyond––at risk of falling prey to what lurks in the mist. Ripe with ski and hiking trails, Bridgton is a year-round hotspot for travelers looking to get in touch with the great outdoors. Strap on your hiking shoes, pack a King novel, and beware of thunderstorms…

5. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous via @windermerereads via Instagram

A novel that will stick with you long after you’ve finished, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is written through the eyes of protagonist Little Dog, whose life parallels that of Vuong’s himself. A series of intimate letters to his mother, Hong, Little Dog traces his youth, familial history, and identity back so far as the Vietnam War. Deeply touching and philosophical, Vuong explores sexuality and masculinity, generational trauma, and beauty and memory as they relate to the life he’s lived thus far as a Vietnamese American. Whether traveling alone or with loved ones, Vuong’s novel is a wonderful companion and reminder to appreciate the world around you near and far.

6. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematory, by Caitlin Doughty

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes Books You Need in Your Carry On This Summer
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes via @readswithchristine on Instagram

Diving into nonfiction is one of the best ways to learn about the world around you, because there’s something for everyone! Doughty’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is an autobiographical account of her time working in a San Francisco-based crematory. Not quite your typical nonfiction novel, Doughty’s work is engaging and eye-opening for its macabre flair, sharp wit, providing a candid gaze into an industry none of us pay much mind to on a daily basis – the industry of death. Not only is this nonfiction narrative captivating, but extremely heartfelt in exploring the human experience, from life to death.

7. The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys Books You Need in Your Carry On This Summer
The Raven Boys via @tiamae.books on Instagram

If you’re in need of a new series, Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys is the first of four in the contemporary fantasy series, The Raven Cycle. Set in the fictional town of Henrietta in the very real state of Virginia, the narrative follows protagonist Blue, daughter of a powerful psychic whose supernatural abilities seem limited – until she encounters the spirit of a teenage boy named Gansey. Gansey is one of four “Raven-Boys” that Blue harbors warranted wariness toward until she joins them on their quest to find and uncover the truth and secrets of the ancient Welsh king Owain Glendower, confronting the supernatural and fantastical worlds around and within them all along the way. Intense, right? There’s nothing like a little bit of East Coast fantasy to get those travel gears turning: magic is everywhere, and with The Raven Cycle, you can bring it with you.

8. The Unhoneymooners, by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners Books You Need in Your Carry On This Summer
The Unhoneymooners via @books.with.courtney on Instagram

Everyone loves a beach read – and you won’t want to forget this one (or the sunscreen) on your next tropical trip! Lighthearted, clever, and oh-so romantic, Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners follows protagonist Olive, whose consistent spell of bad luck is purely opposite from that of her bride-to-be sister Amelia. Until Amelia, her groom, and the entire wedding party come down with food poisoning. The sole survivors? Olive and Ethan, the groom’s best man – and Olive’s de-facto nemesis. Rather than let the Hawaiian honeymoon go to waste, Olive and Ethan set off in the married couples’ place, and when lies begin to spiderweb and spiral, Olive finds that the trip may be more than she bargained for.

Juliana Riedman

Contributing Editor

A South shore Long Island Native, Juliana is scarcely seen without a book in hand. Whether on a plane or at the beach, her passion for reading is rivaled only by her drive to explore. From museum-hopping, coastal hiking to curling up with her cat; she is always seeking her next adventure - and her next good read.

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