Sandy’s Summer Reads: July

Sandy's All-Encompassing Summer Reading List For July |

Are you ready to add more books to your summer reading list for July? These recommended titles feature everything from Picasso’s mystery muse to the benefits of hopping into the pool. So curl up into a cozy spot on the couch (or in the patio shade) and get ready to turn some pages!


Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui | Nonfiction

Swimming has now surpassed walking and cycling to lower high blood pressure and decrease the stiffness for arthritis according to recent longevity studies. Why We Swim is well written and filled with research about how swimming is good for aging bodies and how weightlessness makes this exercise pain-free and without the damage of impact exercise.

Readers Recommend:

Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life

by Dara Torres

Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer by Lynn Cox

America’s Girl: Gertrude Ederle Changed the World by Tim Dahlberg


28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand (#1 NYT Best Seller!) | Fiction

Inspired by the 1978 movie, Same Time Next Year, this is a story of secret lovers meeting on Nantucket for 28 Summers. This beach read is filled with pop-culture nostalgia going back to 1993. It’s an entertaining yet bittersweet love story, with an astute commentary on marriage. It tells of some good, and bad ones along the way. The audiobook comes highly recommended.

Readers Recommend:

Same Time Next Year

by Bernard Slade

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Girls of Summer: A Novel by Nancy Thayer


The Margot Affair by Sanse Lemoine | Fiction

Margot is the secret daughter of a long-standing affair between a French culture minister and a famous stage actress. The Margot Affair is a book of complicated relationships, deceit, desire and transgressions. Margot learns how one impulsive decision can change her world and the lives of those around her in ways she could have never imagined.

Readers Recommend:

Bonjour Tristesse (Hello Sadness)

by Françoise Sagan

Atonement: A Novel by Ian McEwan

The Last Affair by Margot Hunt


Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life by Bridgette Benkemoun | Biography

Dora Maar was a surrealist photographer, painter and one of Picasso’s lovers from 1935 to 1943. This biography is part detective story, part social history and part excellent gossip. Finding Dora Maar uses the miracle of a 1951 address book to reconstruct the life of an important woman artist who knew everyone. This is a beautifully written and fascinating book.

Readers Recommend:

Dora Maar

by Damarice Amao

Picasso: Life with Dora Maar by Anne Baldassari

Picasso’s Weeping Woman: Life and Art of Dora Maar by Mary Ann Caws


Death By Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh | Mystery

A 72-year-old widow who lives alone with her beloved dog finds a hand written note that implies a murder has taken place on her property. She does not call the police to ask for help, but works to solve the murder using her dark fantasies. The more she indulges her fantasies, the reader sees how isolated she has become from the world, her own past, and from herself.

Readers Recommend:

My Year of Life and Relaxation

by Ottessa Moshfegh

Eileen: A Novel by Ottessa Moshfegh

Sisters: A Novel by Daisy Johnson


Miss Iceland by Audur Ava Olafsdottir | Historical Fiction

This is a convincing portrayal of the struggle for freedom in the 1960s as a young Icelandic woman wants to become a writer in a male-dominated literary world. Miss Iceland is a moving story of friendship and artistic fulfillment. The book leaves the reader feeling optimistic despite the rampant sexism and homophobia in Iceland’s society at that time.

Readers Recommend:

The Greenhouse

by Andur Ava Olafsdottir

Hotel Silence by Andur Ava Olafsdottir

Whiteout: Dark Iceland by Ragnar Jonasson


The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda | Psychological Thriller

This psychological thriller is about a girl who became a sensation when she went missing as a six year-old child. Twenty years later, events from the past have come back to haunt her, causing her to question all that she thought she knew. The Girl From Widow Hills has a fascinating premise for a murder mystery with several twists and turns and a surprise ending.

Readers Recommend:

The Lucky One: A Novel

by Lori Rader-Day

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

We hope you enjoyed this summer reading list for July! If you missed last month’s reading list, catch up on Sandy’s reading recommendations for June! And if you’d like some extra-credit reading for the year, make sure you’ve bookmarked these 10 books every woman should read in 2020.

7 Summer Reads for July