Imagine you’re laying out in a hammock under the shade of tall, leafy trees, a still, indigo blue lake all but fifty feet away. There’s a cool glass of lemonade with a colorful straw sitting on a stool just with within reach of your hand, and birds singing in the background. Only one thing is missing: a book to lose yourself in.
Hopefully that’ll be the moment when you reach in your tote bag (placed just close enough you don’t actually have to get up, obviously) to grab one of the engrossing reads featured in the slideshow above. All personally recommended by one of our editors, this bunch of thought-provoking novels and memoirs are guaranteed to make your lazy summer days even better. Click through for 26 great ways to spend your free time. (And, of course, if you can’t enjoy their picks at an idyllic waterfront cottage, any park, beach or even your air-conditioned bedroom will do. A good book is a good book wherever you read it!)
Editor’s Pro-Tip: Have your GoodReads app open—or, if you don’t already use it, sign up immediately! It’s a great way to keep track of books you’ve read, books you want to read, and get recommendations based on your preferences and from your friends.