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This fun summer reading challenge for adults makes reading fun and easy for adults who are busy but want to read more in the summer. It’s the most simplified version of a reading challenge: novices can tackle a reasonable amount of beach reading during lazy, hazy days, and the most avid readers can maintain a seasonal reading mood when so many new books are vying for their attention.

You can also download a free printable PDF bingo card as well as an Instagram story template to track and share your progress. Let’s “dive in!”

summer reading challenge infographic

Summer Reading Challenge for Adults

If you want to tackle a few good beachy reads over the summer, this challenge will help you be much more content with your reading goals and accomplishments this summer.

In creating this reading challenge, I had two very different types of readers in mind:

  1. those who want to read during other seasons but life gets in the way
  2. those who read avidly and want to be sure to incorporate seasonal reading into their TBR

These are the two most common types of readers I hear from at this time of year, so this challenge is designed to help types reach their summer reading goals.

This Summer Reading Challenge has three seasonal prompts to read just one book each month:

  • June: a book set in the summer
  • July: a book set at the beach
  • August: an “escape” book

June: A Book Set in Summer

In June, get started creating your own adult summer reading list by reading a book set in Summer.

My top five picks for this prompt are:

All the Summers in Between by Brooke Lea Foster: Foster’s latest release is her best yet. As two friends come together in the Hamptons after being torn apart several summers earlier, this novel blends a lot of things just right: historical fiction, a light mystery, and summery vibes. You’ll breeze through it!

Happy Place by Emily Henry: This wildly bestselling contemporary romance author transports the reader to an annual “friends vacation,” in Maine, where a longtime couple pretends they haven’t broken up. It’s as good (and popular) as all her books!

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez: A #1 New York Times bestseller, GMA Book Club pick, and one of my favorite reads of the year so far is this not-too-spicy romance novel that offers a stellar couple who are “fake dating” to break their curse, as well as a great supporting cast of quirky friends and family, all coping with real-life issues. This author never disappoints me!

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland: One of the best light novels to read, this novel transports the reader to the Catskills and is the perfect mix of Dirty Dancing and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey: For all the summer camp enthusiasts, this Southern book follows the potential closure of Camp Holly Springs. The owner and her nieces come together to try to save it while dealing with their own lives. It’s a delightful read!

July: A Book Set at the Beach

Summer reading for adults wouldn’t be complete without a book set at the beach.

My top five picks for this prompt are:

The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther: This romantic young adult/new adult book is about an island wedding that takes place on my favorite beach (Martha’s Vineyard!) and is inspired by Taylor Swift’s songs. What’s not to love?!

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han: This dramatic teen series is set at a beach house where two friendly families have stayed for years. As the protagonist comes of age, she is involved in a love triangle with the brothers of the other family and their mother’s illness. The Amazon Prime adaptation is also fantastic and perfect for binging in summer.

Swan Song by Elin Hilderbrand: While you can read any books by the “Queen of the Beach Reads” to fit this prompt, her latest (and final) release checks all the boxes. She took everything that readers love about her novels, from the Nantucket setting to the “rich people problems,” and truly upped the ante. It’s not to be missed.

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune: The popular romance author’s latest release is her best yet, in my humble opinion, thanks in part to the most picturesque Prince Edward Island setting and Anne of Green Gables references. This forbidden romance is much more spicy than my previous recommendations, for those who want a steamy summer.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren: This book remains my favorite enemies-to-lovers romance novel. It’s a universally beloved romantic comedy about a duo on a faux Hawaiin honeymoon. It’s fun AND funny!

August: An Escape Book

In the final month of Summer self-care, it’s important for readers to have an escape read from the “real” world before the Fall and things like back-to-school start back up.

My top five picks for this prompt are:

American Royals by Katharine McGee: This popular young adult book series reads like Gossip Girl and is about a modern-day America ruled by royals. So juicy!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: This fantasy contains the hottest-selling books all year, thanks to a resurgence of interest in it on social media. It begins as a loose re-telling of Beauty and the Beast in a mystical faerie land, and it’s as good as everyone says it is!

Cover Story by Susan Rigetti: This unputdownable book is the most suspenseful and intoxicating mix of Inventing Anna, The Dropout, and Catch Me If You Can. What’s more is that the ending is absolutely mind-blowing! I re-read it several times.

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Finlay Donovan: This book starts a fun mystery series in which a single mom and her nanny unexpectedly become involved in a series of murderous mysteries. Their escapades are a real hoot!

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee: This steamy romance novel fulfills many women’s fantasies. A single mom becomes involved with a hot young pop star. You can follow it up with the recent Amazon Prime adaptation!

Free Printable PDF Summer Reading Challenge Bingo Card

Just for fun, you can track my top picks for this challenge with the printable PDF bingo card below.

2024 summer reading challenge bingo card.

Instagram Story Template

Save the Instagram story template to your mobile device. Then, add the title of the book or image of the book cover you read each month for the prompt (or just some text of the title) and share it in your Instagram stories.

I also added a BONUS template with a “Christmas in July” pick if you’re so inclined. I did this myself last year and really enjoyed it!

If you tag me @jules.literarylifestyle, I will re-share your post!

summer reading challenge bookstagram story template.
summer reading challenge social media template with bonus christmas in july pick.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good summer reading goal?

A good summer reading goal is to read three books (one book per month) and to pick books that are summery, beachy, and escapist to match the season.

How to do the Summer Reading Challenge?

In June, read a book set in summer. In July, read a book set at the beach. In August, read an escapist book.

What is the theme for the Summer Reading Challenge 2024?

The theme for the Summer Reading Challenge 2024 is seasonal reading. In June, read a book set in summer. In July, read a book set at the beach. In August, read an escapist book.


The summer reading challenge for adults helps busy people read a few seasonally appropriate books whether you’re a novice or advanced reader. Be sure to download your Instagram story template to track and share your progress as you enjoy some fun beach reads this summer.

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  1. I love how so many of the covers of book in category three have such a similar motif! Was this a coincidence? 😀

  2. Will include a link to this delightful post in an upcoming blog post I’ll publish in June. Warm regards, Nancy Andres @ Colors 4 Health.