NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – For many, summertime swelter signals the perfect time to pick up a good book – a good beach read – and escape reality.

But what books must you have on your summer reading list?

CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock asked an expert for recommendations.

What constitutes summer reading? It depends on who you ask.

“Airy things I don’t have time to think about,” said Leslie Blount of Brooklyn. “It’s not going to make me cry.”

“Light fun, makes you feel good,” said Grace Pyun of Fort Greene.

“Anything that can help progress my career and some of those soft skills,” said Sarwang Shah of Astoria.

“I think you can have something that’s fun and escapist but doesn’t totally require you turn off your brain,” said Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, who’s the co-owner of the Greenlight Bookstore.

Bagnulo curated this collection of summer reads:

The Perfect Mother, by Aimee Malloy of Brooklyn. It centers around a Brooklyn mommy group. “It’s total suspense,” Bagnulo said. “An unexpected event occurs. There’s all this suspension, tension… interpersonal stuff, super gripping.”

The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner. “It’s set primarily in a women’s prison in California, but that’s just the beginning,” Bagnulo said.

Adjustment Day, by Chuck Palhniuk, who also wrote Fight Club. “I think ‘Adjustment Day’ is like what if ‘Fight Club’ became a corporate project,” Bagnulo said. She told Murdock it’s dark and hilarious in a terrifying way.

Less Is More, by Andrew Sean Greer. It won the Pulitzer Prize. Bagnulow calls it a travel book filled with wit. “It’s about a writer in his 50s invited to the wedding of an ex.”

Feel Free, by Zadie Smith. Bagnulow calls it a fantastic beach read, filled with pop culture commentary.

Children of Blood & Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi. “We had a copy in the window, people kept grabbing it over and over again,” Bagnulow said.

Hello Lighthouse, by Sophie Blackall of Brooklyn. “It looks like summer to me,” Bagnulow said.

 

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