Speaking of vacations, I made a mistake last summer…

I packed a book that looked fun. It was about friendship! There were pictures of friendship bracelets on the cover! Surely, I thought, there was a feel-good story to be found inside. But, halfway through, the main character’s dog was killed in a horrible accident. I couldn’t shake the image, and I spent my last few precious days riddled with anxiety as to whether my own dog was safe back at home.

I’m not alone with my experience. Joanna read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter — a candidate for The Darkest Story Ever Told — on her honeymoon.

Since a book can dramatically change the tenor of a trip, choosing a great vacation read is as important as choosing which swimsuit to bring. But what does the ideal book look like? I would say: entertaining but not suspenseful, light but not dumb.

With that in mind, here are three books I’m excited to check out this season:

* Find Me, the acclaimed debut novel from the author of these amazing stories.

* I Take You, the tale of a bride-to-be who can’t commit that turns the concept of “chick lit” firmly on its head.

* So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, an examination of shame in our digital world, that manages to be both brilliant and funny.

What are your recommendations for smart, fun books? What are your all-time favorite vacation reads? Are there any books you’re excited to check out this summer? We would LOVE to hear…