I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. Of all the gifts my mother bestowed upon me throughout my life, a love of reading is perhaps the greatest. She instilled a love for the written word in me from the very beginning and today, I couldn’t imagine my life without books. They are truly one of my life’s greatest pleasures. When summer vacation rolled around when I was a kid, I would write a list of all the books I would read that summer and day by day, I’d plow through that list, reading in corners all over the house, out in the summer sunshine in the backyard and late into those long, humid, summer nights.

Books are my constant travel companion. I can’t leave home without one – and oftentimes two. So as we head into the summer, I’ve got my list of must-reads ready – not hastily scrawled on a piece of paper as when I was a child, but curated on GoodReads, where I keep track of all the books I’ve read, am currently reading and want to read. The summer is the perfect time for easy, entertaining reading – preferably done dockside, poolside or beachside, with a drink in hand. Here are my top picks for the season:

the-knockoffThe Knockoff
By Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

Part The Devil Wears Prada, part All About Eve, this modern day novel tells the tale of life in digital publishing – and it’s a no holds barred look at the tensions between old and new media. As a digital editor at a magazine, I’m laughing my way through page after page of truths about the business I know and love. Whether you’re Internet obsessed or have no idea what the difference is between the Twitter and the Facebook, this delicious insider’s peek behind the doors of a New York City magazine are guaranteed to make you chuckle.

china-rich-girlfriendChina Rich Girlfriend
By Kevin Kwan

China Rich Girlfriend is the follow-up to Kevin Kwan’s debut novel Crazy Rich Asians, in which he hilariously exposed (fictitiously, of course) the lives of extravagantly wealthy Chinese expats living in Singapore. Protagonist Rachel Chu, a (gasp!) American Born Chinese, known as an ABC, is back under the scrutiny of her fiancé’s disapproving family, while searching for the truth about her own. Taking readers on a romp through the exclusive places accessible only to the crazy rich, Kwan introduces us to a cast of characters who it sounds like we’ll love and hate in equal measure.

finding-audreyFinding Audrey
By Sophie Kinsella

The author of the bestselling Shopaholic books is back but this time, she’s writing Young Adult fiction. In Finding Audrey, Kinsella explores the difficult subjects of mental illness and bullying with sensitivity and humour. Fourteen-year-old Audrey is suffering from an anxiety disorder but is drawn out of herself through a profound connection with her brother’s friend in a way that aids her recovery. I’ve long been a fan of Kinsella’s wit and clever writing and am looking forward to joining her as she attempts something new.


second-lifeSecond Life
By S. J. Watson

S. J. Watson’s debut novel Before I Go To Sleep was the most unputdownable book I read in 2011. A high speed psychological thriller, this book kept me up way past my bedtime each night until I’d finished it. So it’s no surprise that I am waiting with breath that is bated for Watson’s second book to be released. Second Life, also a psychological thriller, is called a ‘masterwork of suspense’ and that’s about all I need to know to add it to my must-read list for this summer. (If you haven’t read Before I Go To Sleep yet, get off your computer or put down your phone and go read it now.)

broken-promiseBroken Promise
By Linwood Barclay

I started reading Linwood Barclay way back in the ‘80s when he penned a humorous lifestyle column for The Toronto Star. Since then, he’s become a prolific crime writer and Broken Promise, like all his preceding works, promises to deliver another dark and thrilling ride, complete with murder, mystery and mayhem. To date, I’ve read eight of Barclay’s books and each one has been a gripping page turner. I’m expecting more of the same chills and thrills from Broken Promise.


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