Nothing goes quite as well together as books and the beach, and we’ve compiled a list of extra long books to enjoy while working on your tan. So before you head out to relax at the shore, pick your choice among thrilling mysteries, epic and eye-opening biographies, haunting historical fiction, and more, all more than 400 pages. Just remember it’s hot out there, stay hydrated.
Meet the captivating Beatrice Lacey, who is determined to hold on to her familial estate, no matter who or what gets in her way. This is a gripping, seductive, and sumptuous Gothic period piece about power, family secrets, and greed. And lucky for us, it’s the first in an epic trilogy.
Page count: 656
Before it hits theaters, check out the much-loved and acclaimed novel CRAZY RICH ASIANS. A hilarious and clever satire, Kevin Kwan’s debut follows a New Yorker traveling to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family—only he didn’t prepare her for scheming relatives, jealous bridesmaids, and determined social climbers.
Page count: 544
Stephen E. Ambrose’s superb biography of Meriwether Lewis reads less like nonfiction and more like a thrilling novel. Follow the complex, brilliant, and troubled captain of the Corps of the Discovery across the continent to his tragic and untimely end in Tennessee. A fascinating and engrossing work of epic proportions.
Page count: 521
I’m a huge history nerd and one of my favorite topics is the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific Ocean. Right now, I’d love to sit outside on a warm day and learn more about these complex men and follow them (and Sacagawea, of course) on their life-changing and dangerous journey. —Kerry
Stieg Larsson’s masterwork gives us a Sherlock Holmes for the twenty-first century: Lisbeth Salander, who uses her hacking abilities to solve a gripping murder mystery in Sweden. A dark tale of family secrets, financial intrigue, and issues of consent, this thriller sinks its hooks into you and never lets go.
Page count: 672
Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist, and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander team up to investigate the 40 year disappearance of Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families. Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.
A novel that is perfect for fans of poetry, mysteries, and romances, POSSESSION follows two academics researching the suspected love affair between two Victorian poets. This is a lush, dazzling, and intelligent emotional journey you’ll want to take again and again.
Page count: 576
“I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed.”
Winner of England’s Booker Prize and the literary sensation of 1990, Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire—from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany—what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas.
Before it was a fantastical TV series, AMERICAN GODS was a groundbreaking modern classic by bestselling author Neil Gaiman. When Shadow is released from prison after the death of his wife, he finds himself employed by the strange Mr. Wednesday. Thus starts an inventive and enthralling war between the new and old gods in America’s heartland.
Page count: 784
A master of inventive fiction, Neil Gaiman delves into the murky depths where reality and imagination meet. Now in American Gods, he works his literary magic to extraordinary results. Winner of the 2002 Hugo Award, Nebula Award, and Bram Stoker Award, American Gods is one of Gaiman's landmark works. Shadow dreamed of nothing but leaving prison and starting a new life. But the day before his release, his wife and best friend are killed in an accident. On the plane home to the funeral, he meets Mr. Wednesday—a beguiling stranger who seems to know everything about him. A trickster and rogue, Mr. Wednesday offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. With nowhere left to go, Shadow accepts, and soon learns that his role in Mr. Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous and dark than he could have ever imagined. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought—and the prize is the very soul of America.
THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH is the story of a monk who is determined to build a giant Gothic cathedral against the backdrop of civil war in medieval Britain. Filled with political and religious conspiracies, greed, and the struggle between good and evil, this is a passionate and mesmerizing historical novel.
Page count: 992
This two-novel epic set in medieval England centers around a Gothic cathedral and the pride, love, and greed it inspires in the townspeople affected by its creation. Political, social, and religious upheaval make for a storyline that’s fast paced and action packed without sacrificing historical detail.
The classic and complicated novel that helped change the dialogue about race in the United States, INVISIBLE MAN follows a young black man from his childhood in the South to experiencing hate, violence, and unrest in New York as an adult. Poetic, moving, and rousing, this is rightfully one of the most important novels of the twentieth century.
Page count: 581
A milestone in American literature, this novel has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952. A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. Ralph Ellison was awarded in 1969.
The sunny days of summer are the perfect time to have a chill run down your spine, and this collection brings you some of the best in shivery fiction. Go beyond reality with these deliciously weird stories that span the globe, from authors as varied as Franz Kafka, Stephen King, Haruki Murakami, and George R. R. Martin.
Page count: 1,152
Transporting you to fourteenth-century Norway, this immersive saga charts one headstrong woman from her schooldays to her turbulent marriage and motherhood of seven sons. From sword fights to spiritual quests and unrequited love to black magic, this is an enchanting, poetic, and moving novel that you will want to frequently return to.
Page count: 1,168
The novel that introduced Hannibal Lecter, one of literature’s greatest villains, RED DRAGON follows troubled FBI profiler Will Graham as he attempts to understand and pursue a horrifying serial killer before he strikes again. Filled with suspense, whip-smart prose, and fascinating characters that have stood the test of time, Thomas Harris’s thriller is vividly crafted.
Page count: 464
Earlier Hannibal Lecter, and nearly as terrifying as the aforementioned SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Lecter may be crime fiction’s most notorious villain after Professor Moriarty.
A startling and eye-opening history of the complex class system in the United States, WHITE TRASH explores how the landless, white poor have been a crucial part of American politics and culture for hundreds of years. A timely, sprawling epic, this is a gripping and new way to look at American history.
Page count: 480
Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic novel of rural England during the nineteenth century follows two families amid love, loss, and scandal. Filled with brilliant critiques of Victorian England and the struggle to accept change in a rapidly evolving world, this study of human nature and society is perfect for fans of Jane Austen’s classics.
Page count: 720
While you wait for the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King’s horror masterpiece, take a crack at reading the terrifying novel. Travel to Derry, Maine, where something evil has been haunting its residents for centuries, and be sure to read this landmark horror tale with the lights on.
Page count: 1,168
For fans of “Stranger Things”
Teeming with the best kind of ‘80s nostalgia, the perfect follow-up read to this summer’s Netflix hit “Stranger Things” is Stephen King’s classic thriller IT. Seven adults are forced to revisit the horrors they once experienced when they were teens, battling an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. With the town’s terrible history repeating, they must once again face the evil monster.