A memorable summer break demands a book, whether you’re spending it by the sea or on your stoop. To find out which summer reads should be your companions on a warm and lazy weekend, we turned to the experts at some of our favorite local independent bookstores.

Beach Read’ by Emily Henry

My recommendation is a romance called “Beach Read.” Too on the nose? Don’t worry — it absolutely lives up to its title. January is a successful romance writer who has lost her belief in love. Gus is a literary fiction wunderkind, struggling through the next great American novel. They both have writer’s block, they used to be college rivals, and now they’re next-door neighbors as well. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you already know where this is going, but getting there is a total delight. The tension is palpable, the banter is perfect, and the observations about literature versus genre fiction will thrill savvy readers of both. Here’s a novel that’s perfect quarantine reading, because once you start it, you won’t care where you are and you won’t be able to put it down. — Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop

‘Boyfriend Material’ by Alexis Hall

I’ve had a hard time reading lately, but I am absolutely loving Alexis Hall’s upcoming fake-dating romance “Boyfriend Material,” which comes out the first week of July. This is the first book in a long time where the dialogue has made me laugh out loud! Luc is such a witty, snarky narrator, and I love the dynamic between him and the buttoned-up, nice-but-awkward Oliver, who agrees to be his fake boyfriend in order to clean up Luc’s image. Anyone looking for a funny, feel-good romance with a side of British wit will fall for this book. — Lelia Nebeker, One More Page

‘Clap When You Land’ by Elizabeth Acevedo

This phenomenal read is perfect for teens and adults alike. The rich writing chronicles the life of two teens living two different worlds: one in the Dominican Republic, the other in New York. Their lives unexpectedly intertwine after a plane crash ends tragically.

I love that the entire book is written in verse and incorporates pops of Spanish throughout. Intertwining another language allows you an opportunity to truly immerse yourself in learning in a unique way. It’s a fast-paced read that all can enjoy, and offers insightful behind the scenes perspective of love, trust, Dominican culture and ideals and so much more. — Ramunda Young, Mahogany Books

‘Here for It’ by R. Eric Thomas

A central question of this book is, “Why do we keep working toward a better future when things seem to be getting worse?” and man, if that isn’t the question I ask every day getting out of bed during covid-19! R. Eric Thomas’s essay collection, which features stories from a queer, brown childhood in mostly white spaces to his current writing career, has a hopeful and hilarious tone that does not ignore just how hard, and radical, it is to work toward happiness in a world designed to keep you down. — Hannah Oliver Depp, Loyalty Bookstores

More ideas for Memorial Day Weekend: