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Twelfth Annual PAN Summer Reading List

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Ariel Novak, Vice President at PAN Communications, headshot
Ariel Novak
Vice President, Technology | Boston, MA
  • Blog
  • Culture/Agency Life

Twelfth Annual PAN Summer Reading List

Ariel Novak, Vice President at PAN Communications, headshot
Ariel Novak
Vice President, Technology | Boston, MA

The PAN Summer Reading List — now in its twelfth year — is a favorite PAN tradition, right up there with Summer Fridays … which provide extra time for reading on the beach! This year, we have more choices than ever, from crime to romance to some great non-fiction picks. But, as Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton says, “you don’t have to take my word for it.” Here’s what PAN employees around the globe are reading this summer:


Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr: “This book is extraordinary! The multiple timelines and protagonists create little stories within that offer something for everyone, and there’s excitement waiting to see how the author brings it all together. It’s a brilliant read about preserving books and stories across generations as well as what it means to be a good steward of the earth.” — Sophie Tsagronis

Happy Place by Emily Henry: “Anyone who has read Emily Henry’s other books knows her books are great beach reads! Super cute, fun books and I always fly through them. Haven’t read this one yet as I’m saving it for a pool day but heard great things about it so far.” — Emma Nugent

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult: “Named one of the best books of the year by She Reads, I absolutely loved this book. Picoult has such a beautiful and intricate way of telling stories and this time, it was about Diana, a woman with a plan that rarely was set off-track and her surgeon boyfriend, living in New York, about to take their dream vacation to the Galapagos islands (where Diana expected a proposal) when the pandemic hit. This book was so unique in that it was the first of its kind that I’ve read where the pandemic was a plot line and so accurately portrayed the real anxieties, worries, and even nonchalance that all of us felt at one time. With an epilogue set in May of 2023 its certainly an interesting mindset!” — Alyssa Molino

The Herd by Emily Edwards: “A timely, dramatic and thought provoking debate about one of the biggest issues – vaccinations – written about in a highly sensitive way. This book was impossible to put down with every page making you think about your own personal views on the topic.” — Sofia Cabrera

Almond by Won-Pyung Sohn: “An amazing story full of symbolism that explored human emotion, relationships and youth. This is a translation from a Korean author so brings a very different perspective than your usual coming of age story. The writing style is so unique and a heart-wrenching read!” — Aneesa Mahmood

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle: “This book not only hits on themes of mother/daughter relationships and all the emotions wrapped in that, but also lets you live vicariously to experience Positano. While the premise can be a leap, it made you feel like you were transported back in both time and location.” — Catherine Doyle

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand: “The undeniable queen of the beach read, if it’s Summer then I’m reading anything Elin is serving up <3 ” — LeeAnn Coviello

American Gods by Neil Gaiman: “I know it’s well known and likely well-read but I’m just going through it now and I’m OBSESSED. Worth it. Trust.” — Sana Haque

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne: “One of the most tremendous books I’ve ever read. A heartfelt story of LGBTQ+ love in conservative Ireland that will make you cry, laugh, and full of joy at its perfect ending. This is over 580 pages too — a perfect read for a long vacation, flight, or day at the beach.” — Jess Stefanowicz

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin: “2022’s Book of the Year for a REASON! A novel that will stay with you for years with a beautiful story of friendship, love, and hardship. The level of detail about the video game industry will be a huge hit for any gamer or tech-adjacent person, and the Boston setting will hit home for many who call PAN HQ home!” — Jess Stefanowicz

Every Summer After by Carly Fortune: “The perfect summer romance beach read that will leave you longing for your days of summer by the water through the story of six summers of romance. You watch the two main characters grow apart with a bond so strong it hurts. I could not put this book down!” — Allie Garrett

All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers: “An easy vacation read for my fellow crime junkies by the host of Crime Junkies herself. All the comforts of a mystery with a twist at the end — I’m not a huge reader, but I couldn’t put this one down.” — Samantha Smoak

The Wild Boys: A Book of the Dead By William S Burroughs: “A grotesquely fun yet nightmarish romp that serves as a timeless allegory to the horrors of modernity. Also, it inspired the Duran Duran song.” — Alun Parker

The Lonely Hearts Book Club By Lucy Gilmore: “This is the perfect book to read if you find yourself in a rut. It reminds you to grab hold of life, be kinder to the people around you and love your friends and family while you can. It will inspire you to talk to someone new, start a new hobby or reread a favorite book. I went out and bought Anne of Green Gables immediately afterwards … you’ll know why. 5/5 stars.” — Kally Lavoie

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid: “As a former athlete who was coached by her dad, this book hit me right in the feels. Another fantastic story by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Carrie Soto is Back hit the right beat of emotion, excitement and sport. Recommend to any other former/current athletes, TJR fans or anyone looking for a great summer read!” — Britt Poulin

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell: “Loosely based on the true story of Duchess Lucrezia de’ Medici who was rumored to be murdered by her husband the Duke of Ferrara, this beautifully written and emotional story of resilience will transport you to Renaissance Italy. I was completely immersed in this book.” — Ariel Novak


The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness by Robert Waldinger M.D.: “A collection of interesting insights and real-life examples of just how critical good relationships are in order to have a happy, meaningful existence!” — Emily Hubbard

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell: “Fascinating read about how words play such a huge role in the indoctrination of cult members and why we think of certain phrases as “culty” as well as a deep dive into the modern-day cults that some of us are a part of (I’m looking at you, SoulCycle!). A great non-fiction addition to your reading list!” — Katie King

Don’t Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff: “Still a relevant read to understanding the many, many flaws in American political messaging and why some sides aren’t doing as well as they expect to. Political, really good for PR folk when it comes to navigating communication and messaging.” — Sana Haque

Up to Speed: The Groundbreaking Science of Women Athletes by Christine Yu: “A fascinating look at the research – and lack of research – around women athletes. It offers interesting insights into how women (whether elite athletes or casual Peloton riders) can improve their athletic performance and overall health. It’s motivating me to start running again this summer!” — Ariel Novak

For more inspiration, check out some of our past years’ lists here:

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