There's something about summertime that jolts aspirational readers into actually picking up a new book. Whether you've finally found some downtime during the summer break or are headed on a beach vacation, we've curated a list of summer must-reads from the folks around Boston who know books best. Here are six local bookstores' recommendations.

Brookline Booksmith

"Red, White & Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston
"One of our most popular paperbacks for several weeks now. ... A lot of people want fun or funny, not-too-heavy-but-still-good-writing for their summer books, and [this] definitely fits that." - Peter Win, co-owner and manager

"The Porpoise" by Mark Haddon
"[Paul Theriault, bookseller and newsletter editor] always thinks of good summer reads as something captivating that you read fairly quickly, and he is loving that one." - Peter Win, co-owner and manager

Harvard Bookstore

"Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee" by Casey Cep
"A series of murders in rural Alabama in the 1970s forms the jumping off point for this combination of true crime, biography, and literary history. The trials enthralled the region, including novelist Harper Lee, who was seeking a new book idea after the overwhelming success of 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'" - Rachel Cass, buying and inventory manager

"The Flight Portfolio" by Julie Orringer
"Julie Orringer's second novel follows Varian Fry, an American journalist who spent the war years helping to rescue Jewish artists from occupied Europe. Our marketing manager, Serena Longo, says the book is 'so good you'll want to both tear through it and savor it [Orringer has] achieved that rare and wonderful feat: a 500-page novel without a wasted word.'" - Rachel Cass, buying and inventory manager

Trident Booksellers & Café

"Gods of Jade and Shadow" by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
"As a Latinx woman, I'm always on the lookout for diverse titles, and this one, inspired by Mexican folklore, set during the Jazz Age, combines fantasy and history in a wonderful way that is unlike anything I've read before. This is perfect for fans of Katherine Arden." - Clarissa Hadge, bookstore manager

"The Summer Demands" by Deborah Shapiro
"Taking place over the course of a summer here in Massachusetts, the story follows Emily, a soon-to-be 40-year-old who inherits a camp with her husband. Shapiro looks at friendships between women, desire, and coming to terms with what one wants later in life. This title feels like reading journal entries from real life and is a perfect book to lose yourself in." - Clarissa Hadge, bookstore manager

Papercuts J.P.

"Patsy" by Nicole Dennis-Benn
"The main themes of this book are immigration, motherhood and sacrifice. It’s about the kinds of sacrifices women have to make in order to choose themselves and carve out a life for themselves. ... It’s a really important time to read this book, given everything in the news. It shows that immigrants are real people, and aren’t just statistics." - Mwahaki King, assistant manager

"Three Women" by Lisa Taddeo
"This book deals with female sexual desire, women falling in love and having agency over their own desire. … It’s going to be a really, really important book because of the way it deals with female sexual desire and giving women agency in the same way that men have. ... The fact that’s it’s real women, not fiction, makes it all the more powerful." - Mwahaki King, assistant manager

Porter Square Books

"The Guest Book" by Sarah Blake
A "wonderful, complicated novel" and a "a great New England book" about a family that owns a summer house on an island off the coast of Maine, "it takes place both in the 1930s, when the family first acquires the house, and then one or two generations later, when the kids are struggling to figure out how they can afford to keep it. … It’s a brilliantly told story, [and] jumps very well between the different time periods that it takes place in. … [It] is really about the fading of the old money and power structure after the end of the war and how this family fell from the position it was in to its current state." - David Sandberg, co-owner

"On the Come Up" by Angie Thomas
“It’s really hard to follow up an incredibly successful debut novel with a really good second one, and Thomas totally pulled it off. The main character is a young woman … and she’s a rapper. Her father had been a rapper and died on the streets. It’s about her sort of coming of age as a poet and a rapper and teenager and dealing with issues of race and how she’s treated because she’s a girl, and the history of her father on the streets. She sort of has to process all that and essentially transform it into her raps. And it’s just brilliantly done. … Don’t make the mistake, if you’re an adult, of thinking that only teenagers should read YA books. It’s an absolutely fabulous read for an adult.” - David Sandberg, co-owner

Brattle Book Shop

"Leadership: In Turbulent Times" by Doris Kearns Goodwin
"A great book on what presidential style and leadership can be." - Ken Gloss, proprietor

"The Best American Sports Writing" annual series edited by Glenn Stout
"I highly recommend any of the yearly books and particularly the Best Sports Writing of the Century. Great writing on all types of sports is fun reading anytime, but summer is perfect." - Ken Gloss, proprietor

This article has been updated to reflect the correct name of the book by Julie Orringer. It is "The Flight Portfolio," not "Flight Behavior."