Summer time is the perfect time to pick up a great book and expand your horizons. Whether it’s building your confidence in your professional development, reading a memoir by your role model, or diving into a page turning novel, here are 14 books (both fiction and non-fiction) to devour during your time at the beach, traveling, and everything in between this summer as we gear up for yet another presidential election.

MEMOIR: With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace by Nikki Haley

No list of books for conservative and Republican women would be complete without Ambassador Nikki Haley, of course. If you haven’t picked up a copy of With All Due Respect, you’re missing out. Add this to your reading list this summer. In this memoir, you get a front row seat to the tough decisions Haley made as Governor of South Carolina and Ambassador to the United Nations. Haley also tackles topics like being a woman in politics, race relations, and world affairs. Get your copy here.

FICTION: Campaign Widows by Aimee Agresti

Campaign Widows follows four women and one man, known as the campaign widows, who all have significant others that are on the presidential campaign trail in different capacities. It’s like Real Housewives meets the West Wing with a focus on female friendships. With the 2020 election just months away, this novel will put you in the election season mood! Get your copy here.

BIOGRAPHY: First: Sandra Day O’Connor by Evan Thomas

Ruth Bader Ginsburg might get all the fanfare, but Sandra Day O’Connor was the first. Get to know the justice appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1980 and follow her through her journey as the first female Supreme Court justice. This book is thick, but it is a worthwhile read and left me feeling inspired by the path O’Connor paved for women everywhere. Get your copy here.

HISTORICAL FICTION: American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton

I loved this book so much that I insisted we pick as a FFL book club pick for May. I fell in love with Alice’s story. She is the oldest daughter of Teddy Roosevelt and the wife of the Speaker of the House, but she was so much more than those titles. Alice was truly a woman before her time and a total spitfire. You will laugh at her sass on every page and get a real feel as to why she was often referred to as the Other Washington Monument. Get your copy here.

MEMOIR: Dare to Fly: Simple Lessons in Never Giving Up by Martha McSally

Memoir meets self help in Senator Martha McSally’s new book, Dare To Fly. McSally shares her experience in the military as well as insight into other parts of her life. She tackles tough topics like gender based discrimination, sexual assault and more. Get your copy here.

FICTION: 28 Summers By Elin Hilderbrand 

If you like a splash of politics with your romance, this book might be for you. This novel is inspired by the movie, Same Time Next Year and follows an one-weekend-per-year affair between Mallory Blessings and Jake McCloud. We follow their separate lives with marriage, children, and career changes as well as their weekend affair each year. Jake’s wife, Ursula, becomes a United States Senator, then the front-runner for the upcoming presidential election. This is more romance than political, but it comes with good political undertones and would make the perfect beach read for the politico. Get your copy here.

NON-FICTION: Pearls of Wisdom: Little Pieces of Advice (That Go a Long Way) by Barbara Bush

Former First Lady Barbara Bush left us in 2018, and her family and friends came together to share their favorite pearls of wisdom they learned from her. This is a heartwarming and quick read about Barbara Bush’s legacy. If you love the Bush family, you will love this book! It is the perfect book for recent graduates as they embark on a new chapter in their life. Pick up your copy here.

FICTION: American Royals by Katharine McGee

What if America had a royal family? What if George Washington would have become king of the United States? In this alternative history, George Washington took the throne and then in present day, his descendant Beatrice is poised to become the first Queen of the United States. This novel follows Beatrice, Samantha, Daphne, and Nina as they navigate, scandal, drama and romance. It’s basically a Gossip Girl with a royal and historic twist, plus the sequel comes out September 1st. Pick up your copy here.

RELATED: 25 Books Coming Out This Summer That You Won’t Be Able To Put Down

MEMOIR: Daughter of the Heartland: My Ode To the Country That Raised Me by Joni Ernst

Joni Ernst is the first woman to represent Congress from Iowa and the first female combat veteran elected to the United States Senate, so you know she has a lot to share. In this memoir, you get a candid look at the Joni Ernst and her experiences. She shares a close look at her upbringing, military experience, running for office, sexual and domestic abuse, her recent divorce and more. It’s also a love letter to Iowa and America. It’s a quick and easy read that will leave you inspired by Ernst’s journey. Get your copy here.

FICTION: Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

Olivia Monroe unexpectedly falls for a junior United States senator from California and media scrutiny ensues. This is a rom-com with a splash of politics and will be the perfect book for your beach bag this summer. Get your copy here.

NON-FICTION: Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino

How could we ever forget the Kavanaugh confirmation? And many of us probably don’t want to relive it, but this book gives an insider account as to what really went on during the media circus. It almost reads like a fictional political drama. The book also walks us through what the future might look like for any forthcoming Supreme Court justices. Get your copy here.

FICTION: The Last Flight by Julie Clark

Claire Cook is married into a political dynasty. The rest of the world fawns over the Kennedyesque family, but Claire knows what happens behind closed doors. She is in a physically and emotionally abusive marriage to Rory, the son of a progressive former Senator. Claire is determined to escape, so she takes a last minute chance to switch flights with a stranger at the airport. Then, a national tragedy happens that puts Claire’s escape plan in jeopardy. Will Rory find her? Will Claire finally find freedom? Was Eva on the flight? This is a page turning thriller with a splash of politics. Get your copy here.

NON-FICTION:  First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower

First Women is an intimate and fascinating look into the lives of our modern First Ladies. The book focuses on all the modern first ladies from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama and gives a front row seat to the underestimated and challenging role of a First Lady. Brower interviewed hundreds of inside sources including friends, residence staff, political advisors and social secretaries. They revealed the First Ladies’ inner rivalries, friendships, and political crusades. The results are shocking. Get your copy here.

FICTION: Most Likely by Sarah Watson

Four best friends. One future president. Will it be Ava, CJ, Jordan or Martha? This heartwarming novel follows four best friends their senior year of high school and one of them is the first female president. You won’t know who gets the gig until the very last chapter. This novel is like a younger and more wholesome Sex and the City meets the West Wing. It’s also FFL’s book club pick for the month of June! Pick up your copy here.

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Amanda O