Ready to hit the beach or lounge by the pool with a good book? Here is a list of our top picks for page-turning beach reads, which you can find on Amazon or at a bookshop near you.
1. A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
For those who like a good mystery-thriller, this is the book to pick up. Grab your swimsuit and let’s go! The novel by best selling author Shari Lapena centers around newlywed couple Karen and Tom Krupp, a young woman and man who live what appears to be a perfect love story.
Everything seems normal, until one day Tom comes home to find that Karen has left without a trace, even leaving her purse behind. When Karen is found, she has gotten into a car accident and lost her memory, leaving everyone with even more questions. Enjoy the twists in this nailbiter, one of the best books in recent years.
2. One Day by David Nicholls
Looking for a romance book to add to your reading list that’s a little different than the norm? This one just might become your favorite summer book.
Dexter and Emma meet on July 15th, 1988, on the night of their graduation. They are set to go their separate ways the following day, but they just can’t seem to escape each other. So where will we find them on this one single day… next year, and the year after that, and the year after that?
Equal parts heartbreaking, hilarious and suspenseful, this romantic comedy will have you on an emotional rollercoaster in the best way.
3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Famous actress Evelyn Hugo has lived her life in the public eye but is somehow still full of intrigue and secrets. Only Evelyn knows the truth about what happened behind the scenes in her long string of scandals, husbands, and heartbreaks.
Finding herself towards the end of her life, she finally agrees to do an exclusive interview with unknown reporter Monique Grant. Why Monique? She has no idea. This book is so addictive you will be hooked immediately, and so believable that you will forget that this is fiction and not a memoir.
If you like what you read and were just introduced to this author for the first time, make sure to check out Jenkins Reid’s other great books, Malibu Rising and Daisy Jones & the Six as well.
4. Educated by Tara Westover
The New York Times bestselling memoir follows the life experiences of Tara Westover, a high school girl who never received any type of formal education until she was 17 years old. Tara’s parents are doomsday preppers who live in paranoia and are skeptical of schools, hospitals, and pretty much any government institution. Thus, they didn’t send their children to school (but didn’t homeschool them either) and offered only homeopathic remedies even for serious injuries and ailments.
A story of resilience and survival in the face of what seems like insurmountable odds, Tara’s experience overcoming a childhood of trauma and abuse, and eventually going on to graduate college, is a must-read. While the subject matter is not as light as some of the books on this list, the story is compelling and you will not be able to put it down.
5. When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal </h2>
A fictional drama that checks off a lot of boxes, When We Believed in Mermaids is an engrossing story about two sisters, Kit and Josie. When the story begins, Kit is utterly shocked to see her sister in the background of a news broadcast from New Zealand. She is shocked because Josie had supposedly been killed 15 years earlier.
The reverse murder mystery begins when Kit ventures to New Zealand to find her sister. Along the way, she sets off a chain of events that will impact her and her sister forever. This book has romance, passion, lies, betrayal, and mystery; a little something for everyone. You will not want to leave your beach chair, so throw on a coverup and enjoy!
6. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
The only historical fiction on this list, book-lovers will adore The Four Winds. Set in Texas in 1934, during the Dust Bowl era, the main character Elsa Martinelli has to decide whether to stay and fight for the ailing land that she knows and loves or journey west to California to seek a better life.
Along the way, Elsa experiences tragedies, victories, despair, and even manages to find love. Though this is fiction, it sheds light on an often overlooked part of American history, and one that everyone should read about.
A moving story of a mother’s love and a captivating portrait of the struggle for the American Dream, this hard-hitting novel will have you Googling every book Kristin Hannah has ever written.
7. Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen</h2>
Full disclosure: This new book hasn’t been released yet, but we are so excited for it to hit the shelves in early June of 2022. Counterfeit is about two Asian American women and best friends, Winnie and Ava, who collaborate on an ingenious counterfeit scheme that involves importing deceptively authentic-looking dupes of luxury handbags.
Described as swift and sharply comic, this would-be book club favorite interrogates the myth of the model minority while examining some harrowing truths behind upscale designer storefronts and Chinese factories. We can’t wait to get our hands on this one, get ourselves into our bathing suits, and binge-read by the pool!
8. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens </h2>
This fictional tale tells the story of Kya, a.k.a “The Marsh Girl.” She lives on the outskirts of town, in the marsh, and locals look down on her with harsh judgment and derision. When she was a young child, her mother left one day without warning and without looking back, eventually leaving Kya alone with her often absent, drunk, and sometimes abusive father.
She grows up in the marsh and learns how to survive and also appreciate nature. Kya meets Tate, who teaches her to read and shows her what happiness and acceptance can feel like. Just when you think that everything is turning around for Kya, local football legend Chase Andrews is found dead, and rumors find their way back to The Marsh Girl. Thoughtful, emotional, poetic, and compelling, this story will stay with you long after you leave the beach.
9. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
If you’re familiar with Colleen Hoover’s work, then you know that everything she touches turns to gold. It Ends With Us, a dramatic romance filled with twists and turns, is no exception. You will not be able to put this book down!
The main character Lily offers up a strong female protagonist who leaves her small-town life in Maine to move to Boston and start her own business. Though she is totally focused on her career, she ends up meeting Ryle, a neurosurgeon, and it feels like things are truly falling into place.
However, Ryle comes with a caveat: he has a mysterious “no dating” rule that he follows religiously, which intrigues Lily even more. Things become complicated when Lily’s first love, Atlas Corrigan, suddenly reappears in her life and makes her question everything she has built in Boston.
10. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
If you could go back and change one thing about your life, what would it be? If you had the chance to make infinite changes and see what the outcomes would be, would you take that chance?
In The Midnight Library, a library exists somewhere beyond the edge of the cosmos, with a limitless number of books, each telling the narrative of a different reality of your life. One book is about your current life, while the other is about the alternate life you could have had if you had made a different choice at any point in time. What if you had the opportunity to go to the library and see for yourself how our life might have been?
The main character Nora Seed is presented with a difficult choice. She must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place, as she faces the possibility of changing her life for the better. Sometimes dark, sometimes funny, and always a fast-paced fun read, this beautifully nuanced novel is sure to satisfy.
11. Beach Read by Emily Henry
Okay, so the title is a bit obvious, but we just had to include this one. Ironically, this fun fiction is anything but your typical beachy romance book.
Both January and Gus are published authors who live in nearby beach houses. They are complete opposites in just about every way. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that they'll be living in adjoining beach cottages for the next three months, broke and stuck with writer's block.
January has a lot of questions after visiting her late father's seaside cottage. Her recent life experiences have placed her in a rut when it comes to writing the kind of romance she usually writes. Gus writes more serious literary fiction, so they decide to switch genres to see who can create and sell a book first. To accomplish this, they spend a lot of time together and embark on little adventures along the way to help one another.
Never underestimate the power of a good book. Stories have the power to change the way we see the world, teach us, and entertain us. These books are all page-turners that will have you on the edge of your beach chair the entire time you are reading them. Enjoy your time on the beach, and in the pages of a good book!