I don't know about you, but when summer really hits and I finally slow down for a second, all I want to do is sit my ass down on the beach with a book. But when I'm actually ready to do it, I become paralyzed because: what book? Enter Holly Parmelee, the friend we all need in our lives. Call her day or night and she can rattle off a list of books for you based on the mood you're in. It's kind of uncanny, actually (in all fairness she did work in publishing for 13 years, so she does have a natural leg up on the rest of us), and I thought only fair to share her selects with you. Since she gave me this list, I've already devoured two of the books and am about to start a third. And I can promise you is that each one is better than the next. Happy reading! 

Less: A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer
Arthur Less, a hapless, failed novelist, decides to escape town to avoid his ex-boyfriend’s wedding. On his comic, anxiety-ridden journey around the world he attempts to deal with his own mid-life crisis in this charming, witty novel.

Monsters: A Love Story by Liz Kay
Smart, funny, and addictive novel about two broken people - a widowed poet and a womanizing Hollywood movie star – and their unlikely, unconventional love story.

Beautiful Animals: A Novel by Lawrence Osborne  
A slow-burning literary thriller about two privileged young women vacationing on a Greek Island that find trouble when they help a mysterious stranger. A smart, summer vacation page turner with a noir-ish vibe.

The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
A shrewd homage to the classic English whodunits of Agatha Christie, this well-plotted mystery within a mystery, is about the sudden death of a bestselling crime writer and the missing pages of his last manuscript.

The Sisters Chase by Sarah Healy
An absorbing, gripping novel about two sisters trying to survive after their mother’s sudden death. Part road trip and part mystery, this dark novel is filled with unexpected twists and turns that will keep you riveted until the very end.

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro
A slim, beautifully written memoir about the bestselling novelist’s 18-year marriage and how it - and all marriages – are transformed by time and memory.

Sex and Rage: Advice to Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time by Eve Babitz
A reissue after nearly forty years - Sex and Rage (possibly the best title ever) - is being rediscovered by a new generation.  A provocative, gritty novel about a young woman navigating young adulthood in 1970’s

Holly Parmelee is the Features Editor of Serendipity Magazine. She also worked for 13 years at the publisher Little, Brown and Company. She does not go anywhere without a book  (or two) in her bag.