I've scoured tons of book recommendation reading lists and put together the list of the Ten Top Summer Books for Beach Reading to make finding the perfect read easy for you. If you are a book lover, like me, then we can probably agree that getting sucked into a delicious book while sitting in the sand or in a lounge chair is one of the very best simple pleasures in life.
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Summer Reads to Add To Your List
1. John Grisham's Camino Island
I truly enjoyed reading this book. In fact, I was sad when I got to the end. Here's the book description from Amazon:
A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.
Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.
Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company.
A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets. But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.
Light and Fun
Surprisingly, this book is light and fun. The characters and the setting kept me engaged and I finished this book in a day or two. If you like a light mystery without blood, gore and anything really scary, this is a great book for you.
2. Ann Kidd Taylor The Shark Club
This book is the perfect example of a beach read. It's light, fun and set in a tropical locale. From Amazon:
One summer day on the beach in Florida, two crazy things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a blacktip shark.
Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a world-traveling marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home to the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses where she was raised by her grandmother, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her.
While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive. A chance meeting on the beach with a plucky, irresistible little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve was growing up leaves her at a crossroads:
Should she re-kindle her romance with Daniel, the first love she left behind when she dove into her work? Or indulge in a new romance with her colleague, Nicholas, who turns up in her hometown to investigate an illegal shark-finning operation?
Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, calypso bands, and perfect ocean views, The Shark Club is a story of the mysterious passions of one woman’s life: her first love and new love; the sea and sharks that inhabit it.
3. David Sedaris Theft by Finding Diaries 1977-2002
I haven't gotten through my stack of summer reading books, so I haven't yet read this, but you can never go wrong reading a book by the wickedly funny David Sedaris.
From Amazon: For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.
Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is the story of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.
Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can't fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It's a potent reminder that when you're as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, there's no such thing as a boring day.
4. Sarah Dunn The Arrangement
Named one of the 9 Most Addictive Books of 2017 (So Far) by Kirkus, this book should absolutely be on your summer reading list.
When friends at a wine-soaked dinner party reveal they've made their marriage open, sensible Lucy balks. There's a part of her, though-the part that worries she's become too comfortable being invisible-that's intrigued. Why not try a short marital experiment? Six months, clear ground rules, zero questions asked. When an affair with a man in the city begins to seem more enticing than the happily-ever-after she's known for the past nine years, Lucy must decide what truly makes her happy-“real life,” or the “experiment?”
5. Kevin Kwan Rich People Problems
Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians (soon to be a film starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Gemma Chan) and China Rich Girlfriend, is back with a new novel of a family split by their fortune, an ex-wife going crazy with jealousy, a family fight about couture gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia's greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance.
From Amazon: When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside—but he's not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch’s massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park—a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore—Nicholas’s childhood home turns into a hotbed of speculation and sabotage.
Even More Fabulous Summer Reads
6. Michael Connelly's The Late Show
Connelly's books are always a fun read. If you like a good thriller, this is a sure bet.
Set in Los Angeles, Detective Renee Ballard, a young woman fighting to prove herself as a Detective on LAPD's toughest beat, the late shift, aka “The Late Show.” A once up-and-coming Detective, Ballard is given this shift as retaliation for filing a sexual harassment claim against a Supervisor.
Each morning, she turns over her cases to the day shift until one day, she catches two cases she can't shake: the brutal beating of a prostitute and the killing of a young woman in a night club shooting.
7. Jill Eisenstadt's Swell
And I thought our family was crazy… next to the Glassman family, we're super vanilla. And that's exactly what makes Swell a fabulous summer read.
From Amazon: Thirty years after From Rockaway (“A great first novel” –Harper's Bazaar), Jill Eisenstadt returns with a darkly funny new work of fiction that exposes a city and a family at their most vulnerable.
When Sue Glassman's family needs a new home, Sue relents, after years of resisting, and agrees to convert to Judaism.
On the weekend of Sue's conversion party, ninety-year-old Rose, who (literally) got away with murder on the premises years earlier, shows up uninvited. Towing a suitcase-sized pocketbook, having escaped an assisted living facility in Forest Hills, Rose seems intent on moving back in. Enter neighbor Tim–formerly Timmy (see From Rockaway), a former lifeguard, former firefighter, and reformed alcoholic–who feels, for reasons even he can't explain, inordinately protective of the Glassmans.
The collective nervous breakdown occasioned by Rose's return swells to operatic heights in a novel that charms and surprises on every page as it unflinchingly addresses the perils of living in a world rife with uncertainty.
8. Sheryl Sandburg's Option B
Written after the sudden death of her beloved husband, Sandburg's book is a masterpiece focusing on adjusting to shocking change. After leaving Fresh Brothers, the company founded by me and my husband, Adam, I often felt lost and out of sorts. Option B allows you to look at a loss in a positive light.
If you know someone going through a major life change, I highly recommend this book. I realize this isn't your typical breezy, light summer read. However, it's so powerful and moving I felt it needed to be on this list.
9. Dennis Lehane Since We Fell
The new novel from Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and Shutter Island. I absolutely LOVED reading this book. It's a crazy ride full of suspense, romance and adventure.
From Amazon: Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself.
Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths. By turns heart- breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. It is Dennis Lehane at his very best.
10. Karen Dionne The Marsh King's Daughter
During a recent get away to the La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs with a bunch of girlfriends and their kids, I devoured this book in less than 24 hours. It's an epic read and should totally be on your summer reading list.
From Amazon: At last, Helena Pelletier has the life she deserves. A loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a business that fills her days. Then she catches an emergency news announcement and realizes she was a fool to think she could ever leave her worst days behind her.
Helena has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. No electricity, no heat, no running water, not a single human beyond the three of them.
Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature—fishing, tracking, hunting. And despite her father’s odd temperament and sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too . . . until she learned precisely how savage a person he could be.
Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? What book is on your summer reading list?
As always, thank you for reading!