5) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and any subsequent sequels - By Ann Brashares
Yes, this would technically fall under "young adult fiction" and/or "guilty pleasure," but it's still one of my favorite book series. The stories of four friends who share a pair of pants that miraculously fit them all perfectly are funny, poignant, and very sad at times. But always an enjoyable summer read. Ann Brashares apparently released another book recently where the girls are 29...I'm very curious (and excited) to read it.
4) Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch - By Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
This is, hands down, the best apocalyptic comedy ever written. Well, it may be the only apocalyptic comedy ever written. But still! This book is amazing, clever, and absolutely hysterical. Gaiman & Pratchett make a great team and have created an ingenious story about the apocalypse and all those involved, including but not limited to The Four Horsemen, the Antichrist, an angel named Aziraphale and a demon named Crowley. So. Much. Fun. Read it! P.S. Fun Fact - I gave this to my staunch Catholic Dad one year for his birthday. He found it offensive. Oops.
3) My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere - By Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean is one of my favorite writers. Do you ever feel like a writer just GETS you? That's how I feel about Orlean's work. This book of travel essays--focusing on many different places, from Cuba to Bhutan--is full of rich, vivid details and fascinating portraits of people, places, and things both well-known and obscure. Her writing is often so detailed that it's challenging to read sometimes, but that's what I love about it. This book is especially fun if you're unable to travel over the summer - You can curl up with it and be transported all around the world.
2) Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and any subsequent sequels - By Rebecca Wells
Ohh, my heart. This book! One of the most wonderful stories I've ever read. The movie did a decent job adapting it, but there are so many great details and twists and turns that didn't make it in. The characters are SO vivid and funny, and the plot is a roller coaster of different emotions. My favorite character is Genvieve Whitman with her fabulous outfits and Bayou French. You'll never forget these women. The sequels, Little Altars Everywhere and Ya-Yas in Bloom are just as good, but you should definitely read Divine Secrets first to understand the characters.
1) Valley of the Dolls - By Jacqueline Susann
My friends, this is the ultimate summer read. It's so delightfully trashy and too engrossing to put down! It's also very long (in a good way); it took me most of the summer to get through it. I remember reading this on a beach in Hawaii when I was there with my family a few years ago. I don't know what it is about this book, but it's just the perfect book to read on a beach or by the pool or any other summertime activities. I hope you enjoy the divine trashiness as much as I did! The campy movie doesn't do it justice, by the way. Read the book!