11 of the Best Beach Books to Read this Summer

July 9 2018
Share 11 of the Best Beach Books to Read this Summer

I live for summer. And for summer reading. There’s nothing better than a day spent under the sun reading a great beach book—except, of course, a whole week of doing so. Now, I know the phrase “beach book” can mean any number of things. But to me, it’s a fun read that I can understand halfway to sun stroke and half drunk on rosé. I want something light and entertaining, with a compelling plot or a riotous cast of characters. If this sounds like your speed, here are 11 books to throw in your beach bag.

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The Shark Club
by Ann Kidd Taylor

Palm trees, blood-orange sunsets, a love triangle, and . . . sharks? Sure, why not. THE SHARK CLUB is the intoxicating story of a young woman who finds herself torn between her first love and new love, her family and her career as a marine biologist. Oh, and not to mention the illegal shark-finning operation she investigates. This novel is such a fun read.

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The Shark Club
Ann Kidd Taylor

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Sailing Lessons
by Hannah McKinnon

Heavily apply sunscreen before you start reading this one. Because once you start, you won't want to stop—no matter how hot it gets outside. Set on the shores of Cape Cod, SAILING LESSONS is the heartfelt story of the Bailey sisters' reunion with their long-lost father, suffering from cancer and seeking absolution

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Sailing Lessons
Hannah McKinnon

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Quicksand
by Steve Toltz

QUICKSAND is a fearlessly funny and outrageously inventive novel about two lifelong friends—Liam, a struggling writer and failing cop, and Aldo, an entrepreneur with an uncanny knack for disaster. Inspired by his friend's worsening luck, Liam bases his next novel on Aldo's misfortunes and hopeless quest to win back the love of his life. A perfect paperback to read with your toes in the sand.

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Quicksand
Steve Toltz

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The Summer Wives
by Beatriz Williams

It's the summer of 1951, and Miranda Schuyler finds herself catapulted into an unfamiliar world of status and swimming pools after her father dies in WWII and her mother remarries. The summer ends in a catastrophe that shatters the seaside town's tranquility and leaves Miranda banished. Nearly two decades later, she returns on a quest for justice, intent on uncovering every last secret the island harbors. With themes of love, class, power, and redemption, you're not going to want to miss THE SUMMER WIVES.

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The Summer Wives
Beatriz Williams

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Mrs. Fletcher
by Tom Perrotta

Sharp, witty, and provocative, MRS. FLETCHER is the suburban drama to read this summer. About a 46-year-old divorcee trying to figure out what comes next, this novel is a timeless examination of sexuality, identity, parenthood, and the big clarifying mistakes people can make when they're no longer sure of who they are or where they belong. Take a break from the sun, and get in bed with MRS. FLETCHER.

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Mrs. Fletcher
Tom Perrotta

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All These Beautiful Strangers
by Elizabeth Klehfoth

I tore through the pages of this psychological thriller, and you will too. ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS is the story of a young woman haunted by a family tragedy and caught up in a dangerous game incited by a secret society at her boarding school. Highly charged and appropriately juicy, this is novel is like Gossip Girl meets THE SECRET HISTORY. Need I say more?

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All These Beautiful Strangers
Elizabeth Klehfoth

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The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go
by Amy E. Reichert

Three generations. Seven days. One big secret. Don your flower crown, plop yourself in an Adirondack chair, and pick up this superb mother-daughter story. THE OPTIMIST'S GUIDE TO LETTING GO is the about three women whose time to reckon with a life-altering secret is running out.

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The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go
Amy E. Reichert

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Perennials
by Mandy Berman

I'm always a little nostalgic for my summer camp days as a kid. This year, I'm taking PERENNIALS to the beach and reliving the fun. This evocative novel is the story of two friends reunited as counselors at their old camp. But their relationship has grown more complicated as they've gotten older, and they've started keeping secrets from each other. As friction builds, a tragic event forces the girls to confront their pasts and the possibilities of their futures.

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Perennials
Mandy Berman

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From Rockaway
by Jill Eisenstadt

No lifeguard on duty? No problem. I've got three for you. Timmy, Chowderhead, and Peg are lifeguards who spending their summers drinking and being rowdy. When the three are reunited with their friend Alex, the girl who got away from their working-class town, tensions erupt during the Death Keg, a near-sacred lifeguard ritual involving daring and self-destructive feats.

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From Rockaway
Jill Eisenstadt

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Close
Playing with Matches
by Hannah Orenstein

Summer lovin' happened so fast in PLAYING WITH MATCHES, a romantic comedy about a young matchmaker balancing her messy personal life with the demands of her eccentric clients. It's an addictive story about dating in today's swipe-centric culture and a young woman trying to find her place in the world.

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Playing with Matches
Hannah Orenstein

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MENTIONED IN:

The 10 Most Popular Books of February

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 26, 2021

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By Charlie Gilmour | February 25, 2021

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By Sara Roncero-Menendez | February 22, 2021

A Profound Historical Novel about Slavery, Sacrifice, and Survival

By Holly Claytor | February 19, 2021

Close

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