Summer is here – and so is summer beach reading. With the extra time available, there is nothing better than choosing a new book to get away from.
What makes a good beach read?
If summer is about getting away from it all, then summer beach reading is about helping you get there. Perfect Beach Reading is an easy page turner that still has substance. Holidays are a great time to contemplate, after all.
Drawn largely from the ranks of Amazon’s best-selling books, these 13 Recommended Beach Readings will get you hooked. The choices are all available for purchase on Amazon, and all are rated four stars or higher on the site. Most were recently released in the past year, and all are available in hardcover and for the Kindle e-reader. (Check out theseto make those summer beach readings really beach safe.)
Are you looking for the perfect addition – and companion – to your summer vacation? Read on to find out what to read. The prices displayed are in effect at the time of publication.
“The last thing he said to me: a novel”
Months before the publication of Laura Dave’s latest tale (“The Divorce Party”), Reese Witherspoon and her production company landed the rights, and Julia Roberts signed on to star in her serial adaptation for Apple TV +. So, yeah, âThe Last Thing He Told Meâ has juice. It is the story of a woman, her teenage daughter-in-law and a missing husband. Vogue called the novel “light and bright, despite its daring plot”.
“The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel” (Kindle Edition), $ 14
“The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel” (Hardcover), $ 16
Glennon Doyle’s “Untamed” has been a bestseller ever since its release in March 2020. His New York Times No.1 hit memoir has raved celebrities from Reese Witherspoon to Oprah Winfrey, with millions of copies sold. This emotional page-turner tells the inspiring story of Doyle’s self-discovery. Find out what happens when she leaves discontent behind to live out her truth.
“Untamed” (Kindle Edition), $ 15
“Untamed” (Hardcover), $ 14
“Hail Mary Project”
Is there a more escapist genre than science fiction? If you are looking for a trip out of this world this summer, then “Project Hail Mary” may be your ticket. Andy Weir’s new novel, best known for “The Martian,” is about a man who wakes up in a spaceship without knowing why or who he is. Fortunately for humanity, he has just learned that he is not exactly without qualification for his station (he is an astronaut) or his mission (to save the Earth). Like the other books in this recap, âProject Hail Maryâ is for Hollywood: Ryan Gosling is set to star in the big screen version.
âHail Mary Projectâ (Kindle Edition), $ 15
“Hail Mary Project” (Hardcover), $ 14
“Seven days in June”
This new novel by Tia Williams (“The Accidental Diva”) seems tailor-made for beach readers. “Seven Days in June” takes place not only in summer, but also in the world of books. The story of two writers reconnecting after a teenage fling long ago has been hailed as “[o]one of the most anticipated romance novels of the summer âfrom Oprah Daily.
“Seven Days in June” (Kindle Edition), $ 14
“Seven Days in June” (Hardcover), $ 17
“Malibu Rising: a novel”
“Malibu Rising” is Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel. Reid previously offered one of the best beach readings of 2019 in âDaisy Jones & the Six,â a fake oral history of a 1970s fake music supergroup. This time, Reid tells a story that takes place mostly in 1983 and concerns a Southern California family, a house party – and a raging wildfire. Praised Publishers Weekly: âThis page-turning indulgence is perfect. “
âMalibu Risingâ (Kindle Edition), $ 14
“Malibu Rising” (Hardcover), $ 17
This new novel by Steven Rowley (“Lily and the Octopus”) has been named one of “[f]good eel books to brighten up your summer. In “The Guncle,” Patrick, known to his young niece and nephew as Gay Uncle Patrick, or GUP, unexpectedly becomes the keeper of the two tykes. “Rowley’s depth and humor will warm even the most jaded hearts,” the Post ruled.
“The Guncle” (Kindle Edition), $ 15
“The Guncle” (Hardcover), $ 21
“The chosen and the beautiful”
In “one of the must-see novels of 2021,” according to Bustle, author Nghi Vo (“The Empress of Salt and Fortune”) reinvents “The Great Gatsby” from Jordan Baker’s perspective. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, Jordan is a white southerner who is the love interest of Nick Carroway. In “The Chosen and the Beautiful”, she is a homosexual Vietnamese adoptee. âDid we mention that the book also mixes up magical realism? USA Today asked. (USA Today did – and the book does.)
“The Chosen One and the Beautiful” (Kindle Edition)
“The Chosen One and the Beautiful” (Hardcover)
“The other black girl: a novel”
This first novel by Zakiya Dalila Harris is creating a buzz. A choice by Amazon publishers as the best book of June 2021, “The Other Black Girl” draws inspiration from Harris’ old daily life at a large publishing house. Presented as a thriller, the novel tells the story of Nella, a 26-year-old editorial assistant at (wait for it) a major publishing house. Nella is the only black staff member in the otherwise all-white team until Hazel comes on board – and complications ensue. “Harris’ writing propels you into history,” said The New York Times.
“The Other Black Girl” (Kindle Edition), $ 13
“The Other Black Girl” (Hardcover), $ 13
“The ugly cry: a memory”
The first non-fiction read in this recap, âThe Ugly Cryâ is Danielle Henderson’s growing up story, as the book’s editor puts it, âBlack, bizarre and extremely uncool in a predominantly white neighborhood in northern New York State “. Henderson, who was raised by her grandmother, is a television writer (“Maniac”) and podcaster (“I Saw What You Did”). His memoirs are, according to the Associated Press, “powerful and energetic.”
“The Ugly Cry” (Hardcover), $ 15
“The Ugly Cry” (Hardcover), $ 20
“The people we meet on vacation”
Author Emily Henry literally wrote the book about beach readings – or, one of them at least: her 2020 entry, âBeach Read,â was a New York Times bestseller. The novelist returns this summer with âPeople We Meet on Vacation,â about two longtime friends Alex and Poppy resuming their annual summer ritual together. The Wall Street Journal called Henry’s dialogue “laughingly funny”.
âThe People We Meet on Vacationâ (Kindle Edition), $ 10
âThe People We Meet on Vacationâ (Paperback), $ 10
“Tiger Girl and Candy Kid: The Original Couple of American Gangsters”
No, real crime stories aren’t just for binge eating. âTiger Girl and the Candy Kidâ is a book by veteran author Glenn Stout about jazz age villains Margaret and Richard Whittemore, aka the âoriginal gangster coupleâ from the book’s subtitle. Stout’s work is one of the New York Times’ picks for the best new real crime books to read for the summer of 2021. “Stout did more than just relate the couple’s crimes,” Tina Jordan wrote for the Times. âHe tried to figure out what motivated the Whittemores. “
“Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid” (Kindle Edition), $ 15
“Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid” (Hardcover), $ 16
“Rich and Crazy Asians”
A classic beach reading experience requires a classic beach reading – or two. Here’s the top pick from that bucket: Kevin Kwan’s massive 2013 hit, âCrazy Rich Asiansâ. Whether you’re rereading the novel for the 100th time or reading it for the first time (after seeing the blockbuster film for the 100th time), you’ll be immersed in the madness that is Rachel Chu and Nick’s romance. Young.
“Crazy Rich Asians” (Kindle Edition), $ 10
“Crazy Rich Asians” (Paperback), $ 7.48
“Valley of the dolls”
This is our second choice for classic beach reading. Jacqueline Susann’s “Valley of the Dolls”, passionate and written with passion, was first published in 1966. Set in New York City after WWII, it is the story of three young women with big dreams and sometimes big drug problems. Summed up Nancy Bachrach once for NPR, “‘Valley of the Dolls’ is a corkscrew that’s been called trash, tawdry, glitzy, lusty, sordid, and sleazy – and that’s just the beginning of its appeal.”
“Valley of the Dolls” (Kindle Edition), $ 10
“Valley of the Dolls” (Paperback), $ 14