Time’s 12 Greatest summer reads….perfect timing. I was just looking for a poolside book.

I think I would have to add at LEAST one Jane Austen book to this list…Persuasion would probably be my pick for summer reading. Also, my favorite book from last summer was “Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles.



To celebrate the beginning of a new season, TIME editors have compiled a list of our favorite summer reads from the past 40 years. What defines a summer read? To us, it’s the kind of buzzed-about book that seems to flourish in warmer months, equally ubiquitous on beaches and in subway cars. (Not all summer reads are mindless page-turners—one of our selected titles is a brainy mystery that touches on medieval studies and semiotics.) Once you’ve perused the list, take our poll and help us crown the All-Time, Ultimate Summer Read.

And we acknowledge that our list is by no means definitive—though we think it’s a darn good representation of 40 years of seasonal tomes. So we invite you to help fill in our gaps—to correct what you might think are our egregious oversights—by telling us which books should join our list. Tweet your picks—or share what you plan on reading this summer—using the hashtag 

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