Summer reading has always been a beloved pastime for many people, and for good reason. It offers an escape from the heat and the hustle and bustle of everyday life.. This is especially true when it comes to books that focus on the beach, as they have the ability to transport readers to a place of relaxation and tranquility.
Whether you’re reading in your backyard or at the beach itself, these beach reads are sure to provide a sense of summer bliss. So, without further ado, here are 33 summer beach reads that are also set at the beach or in the ocean!
Beach Reads By Genre
Mystery Books: The Perfect Beach Read
Mystery books are perfect for the beach – they offer just the right mix of suspense, intrigue, and excitement to keep you engaged while you soak up the sun.
There’s something about the beach setting in the books on our list that makes the books all the more thrilling. Perhaps it’s endless expanse of the ocean that make us more susceptible to getting lost in the story.
Or maybe it’s because they keep you on the edge of your seat, always wondering what’s going to happen next. Designed to keep you guessing while you follow the detective or armature sleuth as they gather clues, interview suspects, and solve the crime or puzzle. Lose yourself in the story for hours on end, can you solve the crime first?
So if you’re looking for a thrilling and immersive beach read this summer, look no further than these must read mystery books!
Must Read Mystery Books for the Beach
Jack Mullen, a law student in New York City, receives the devastating news that his brother Peter has drowned in the ocean off East Hampton. Jack is convinced that his brother’s death was not an accident, and he is determined to find out the truth. However, his investigation is met with resistance from the wealthy and powerful residents of the beach town who seem to have something to hide.
As Jack delves deeper into the circumstances surrounding his brother’s death, he uncovers a web of deceit and scandal that implicates some of the most prominent figures in the community. He discovers that Peter was not just a lowly parking attendant, but also a high-priced gigolo catering to the sexual desires of the rich and famous. With each revelation, Jack becomes more convinced that his brother’s death was not accidental, but rather a carefully orchestrated act of revenge.
The Beach House
by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge
In this summer beach read, it’s Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.
But it’s going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony-and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom’s famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect. Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read.
The Perfect Couple
by Elin Hilderbrand
Her family’s cottage was a place of innocence for twelve-year-old Julie Bauer – until her sister was murdered. It’s been many years since that August night, but Julie’s memories of Izzy’s death still haunt her.
Now someone from her past is asking questions about what really happened that night. About Julie’s own complicity. About a devastating secret her mother kept from them all. About the person who went to prison for Izzy’s murder – and the person who didn’t.
Julie must gather the courage to revisit her past and untangle the complex emotions that led to one unspeakable act of violence on the bay at midnight.
The Bay at Midnight
by Diane Chamberlain
When movie producer Cody Ziegler goes missing from The Homestead’s Millionaires’ Row, his wife, retired actress Olivia, immediately claims foul play. A million-dollar ransom demand soon follows, with clear instructions not to involve the cops. In desperation she enlists the Retired Detectives Club.
Racing against the clock, the four retirees set to work.
When Cody’s car turns up in a nearby lake with a shocking surprise inside, the case becomes even more complicated. But with Philip and Lizzie’s marriage on the rocks, and threatening notes sending Moira into a spin, the Retired Detectives Club risks falling apart before getting any closer to the truth.
Death at Paradise Palm
by SSteph Broadribb
Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.
With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. When a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon in this summer beach read.
The Sunset Beach
by Mary Kay Andrews
Fantasy Beach Reads: Escape into Adventure
Before we dive into our lists of fantasy beach reads, let’s take a moment to explore why fantasy books make such great summer reads in the first place!
At its core, reading is all about escapism. And what better way to escape the stresses of everyday life than by immersing yourself in a completely different world? Fantasy books offer the ultimate form of escapism, transporting readers to far off lands filled with magic, mythical creatures, and epic adventures.
Finally, fantasy books offer the perfect opportunity to flex your imagination muscles. With their vivid descriptions of fantastical worlds, creatures, and magic, fantasy books encourage readers to imagine and create in a way that few other genres can.
So, whether you’re lounging on a beach chair or soaking up the sun on the sand, these books will take you on an unforgettable journey. Get ready to be transported to far off lands where anything is possible. If you’re looking for an escape this summer, pick up one of these fantastic fantasy summer beach reads and let your imagination run wild.
Our Fantasy Beach Reads
Something strange is happening in Seabrook. The town’s lighthouse-dormant for over thirty years and famously haunted-has inexplicably started shining, and its mysterious glow is sparking feverish gossip throughout the spooked community.
Amy Tucker is only visiting for the night and has no plans to get caught up in the hysteria, but that changes when she meets Ryan, the loyal, hard-working son of a ranch owner who lives on the outskirts of town.
But as they grow closer, and as the lighthouse glows ever brighter, a startling discovery about Ryan leaves Amy questioning everything she thought she knew. To uncover the truth about her new friend, Amy will need to enter Seabrook’s ominous tower, where waiting inside she will not only find the reason why fate has brought them together… but a shocking secret that will change the course of their lives forever.
by Christopher Parker
Kathleen has always been dramatic. She suffers from the bizarre malady of experiencing stabbing pain in her feet. On her sixteenth birthday, she woke screaming from the sensation that her tongue had been cut out. No doctor can find a medical explanation for her pain. Only the touch of seawater can ease her pain, and just temporarily at that.
Now Kathleen is a twenty-five-year-old opera student in Boston and shows immense promise as a soprano. Her girlfriend Harry, a mezzo in the same program, worries endlessly about Kathleen’s phantom pain and obsession with the sea. When Kathleen suffers yet another dangerous breakdown, Harry convinces Kathleen to visit her hometown in Ireland to learn more about her family history.
In Ireland, they discover that the mystery—and the tragedy—of Kathleen’s family history is far older and stranger than they could have imagined. Kathleen’s fate seems sealed, and the only way out is a terrible choice between a mermaid’s two sirens—the sea, and her lover. But both choices mean death…
The Mermaid’s Daughter
by Ann Claycomb
Some race to win. Others race to survive. It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition – the first girl ever to do so.
She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby–it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of siren kind for good–But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
To Kill a Kingdom
by Alexandra Christo
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood.
Bewildered, Zachary uncovers a series of clues that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas.
Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
The Starless Sea
by Erin Morgenstern
Summer Romance Novels: Why They’re Perfect for Your Summer List
Summer is the perfect season for love, and nothing captures the magic of the season quite like a good romance novel. With their captivating stories and swoon worthy characters, romance novels are the ideal genre for summer reading. Whether you’re relaxing on the beach, lounging by the pool, or simply enjoying a lazy day at home, a good summer romance novel is sure to transport you to a world of love, passion, and happiness.
The Appeal of Summer Romance Novels
Romance novels are designed to transport readers to a world where love conquers all. In a world that can often feel dark and overwhelming, romance novels offer a much needed dose of hope and optimism.
Romance novels can also be much more than just steamy love affairs. Many novels explore deeper themes of self discovery, personal growth, and overcoming adversity. These novels can be both uplifting and inspiring, reminding readers that anything is possible with the power of love.
Whatever the reason, romance novels are a perennial favorite among readers, and their popularity only increases during the summer months.
Summer Romance Beach Reads
USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts returns with a brand-new series set on the charming Washington coast
Once happily married, Jenna Jones is about to turn forty, and this year for her birthday she’s getting a divorce.
Still, as her mother always says, every storm brings a rainbow. Then she gets a very unexpected gift from her great-aunt Edie, The Driftwood Inn. It looks like Jenna’s financial problems are solved!
Or not. The town is a little more run-down than Jenna remembers, but that’s nothing compared to the ramshackle state of The Driftwood Inn. Aunt Edie is confident they can return it to its former glory, though Jenna feels like she’s jumped from the proverbial frying pan into the beach fire.
But who knows? With the help of her new friends and a couple of handsome citizens, perhaps that rainbow is on the horizon after all. Because, no matter what, life is always good at the beach.
Welcome to Moonlight Harbor
by Sheila Roberts
Cara Rutledge returns to her Southern home on the idyllic Isle of Palms. Only through reconnecting with family, friends, and the rhythms of the lowcountry can Cara release the hold of the past and open herself to the possibility of a new career and love.
Meanwhile, her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate with an uncertain future, leaves her historic home in Charleston, with all its entitlement and expectations, and heads to her aunt’s beach house. On the island, she is free to join the turtle team, learn to surf, and fall in love. Remembering the lessons of her beloved grandmother, Lovie, the original “turtle lady,” Linnea rediscovers a meaningful purpose to her life and finds the courage she needs to break from tradition.
In “this tender and openhearted novel of familial expectations, new boundaries, and the power of forgiveness” (Booklist), three generations of the Rutledge family gather together to find the strength, love, and commitment to break destructive family patterns and to forge new bonds that will endure long beyond one summer reunion.
Beach House Reunion
by Beach House Reunion
Abbie Fox hasn’t seen her father or two younger sisters in almost two years, during which she’s jetted around the world and experienced life, if not love. But now Lily, the baby of the family, is sending Abbie urgent emails begging her to return home to Nantucket.
Over the course of the summer, the sisters’ lives grow as turbulent as the unpredictable currents encircling Nantucket. When Abbie encounters an incredibly appealing married man, she breaks her own rules in the name of love, fearing all the while that she’ll regret it.
Meanwhile, type-A Emma learns a new definition of success, and strong-minded Lily must reconcile her dreams with reality. Even Marina, who has come to Nantucket to forget heartbreak and betrayal, faces an astonishing turn of events that will find her torn between fate and freedom. At summer’s end, these unforgettable women will face profound choices—and undergo personal transformations that will surprise even themselves.
by Nancy Thayer
Mack Petersen, manager of the hotel, has been working at The Beach Club for 12 summers. Only this summer is different. His boss, the owner of the hotel, Bill Elliot, shows up in the spring with a new set of demands. His girlfriend Maribel is pressing Mack to get married and Vance, the African-American bellman, who has hated Mack since the day Mack stole his job 12 years ago, threatens him in a deadly scene. Mack knows something’s got to give.
Love O’Donnell, the new front desk person straight from the slopes of Aspen, is desperately searching for a stranger to father her child. The bellman, Jem Crandall, who posed as Mr. November in his college calendar, is on his way to LA to break into agenting, until he falls in love with Maribel. Emotions are at a peak when a hurricane threatens to wash away The Beach Club and all it stands for.
The Beach Club
by Elin Hilderbrand
For Cricket, a summer on Nantucket with her best friend Jules is a life-changing dream come true. That is, until Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy, and Jules becomes a stranger. And instead of lying on the beach working on her tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise. But it’s the things she hadn’t counted on most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off limits that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.
Cricket is headed to Brown University in the fall, but to help pay for her living expenses, she returns to work on Nantucket for the summer, where she finds challenges she hadn’t anticipated. As her world opens up in new ways, Cricket questions the future she’s been working toward her whole life. With the pull of a love triangle complicating everything, she’ll have to learn that success isn’t just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she’s been trying to ignore her own heart.
by Leila Howland
Thriller Books: The Ultimate Choice for Beach Reading
Thriller books provide a perfect mix of intense action, gripping suspense, and heart-pumping excitement that will keep you engrossed from start to finish. Different from mystery novels, thrillers have an added layer of intensity that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. So, why should you choose a thriller book for your next beach trip? Let’s find out.
What makes thrillers different from other genres?
Thrillers often involve a protagonist facing a life threatening situation and being pushed to their limits in order to survive. The stakes are high, and the tension is palpable. Thrillers also have a strong focus on plot and pacing, with the goal of keeping the reader engaged and invested in the story.
Many books will do this by incorporating anything car chases to gunfights to high stakes heists. These adrenaline pumping action scenes will keep you hooked from the first page to the last. The fast pace of these books is perfect for the beach, where you want to be entertained without being bogged down by too much detail or exposition.
So, pack your sunscreen, grab a beach towel, and get ready for a wild ride with a thrilling book in hand with one of these summer beach reads.
Our List of Thriller Beach Reads
If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?
Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .
Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?
Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .
Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?
Something in the Water
by Catherine Steadman
Littleport, Maine, has always felt like two separate towns: an ideal vacation enclave for the wealthy, whose summer homes line the coastline; and a simple harbor community for the year round residents whose livelihoods rely on service to the visitors.
Typically, fierce friendships never develop between a local and a summer girl—but that’s just what happens with visitor Sadie Loman and Littleport resident Avery Greer. Each summer for almost a decade, the girls are inseparable—until Sadie is found dead. While the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother, Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name, before the facts get twisted against her.
The Last House Guest
by Megan Miranda
The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.
And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?
The Guest List
by Lucy Foley
These Beachy Historical Fiction Novels Will Transport You to Another Time and Place
As summer approaches, many of us are already dreaming of lazy days spent lounging on the beach, soaking up the sun and losing ourselves in a good book. And what better way to get lost in a story than by immersing ourselves in the richly detailed world of historical fiction?
Historical fiction, meanwhile, has always been a popular genre because it allows us to explore different time periods and cultures in a way that feels both immersive and educational. Add a beach setting into the mix, and you have a recipe for a truly unforgettable reading experience.
Here are some of our top picks for beachy historical fiction novels that are sure to transport you to another time and place.
Historical Fiction Beach Reads That Top Our List
The Bahamas, 1941. Newly widowed Leonora “Lulu” Randolph arrives in the Bahamas to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier.
Or so Lulu imagines. But as she infiltrates the Duke and Duchess’s social circle, and the powerful cabal that controls the islands’ political and financial affairs, she uncovers evidence that beneath the glister of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly—and even treasonous—reality.
Then Nassau’s wealthiest man is murdered in one of the most notorious cases of the century, and the resulting coverup reeks of royal privilege. Benedict Thorpe disappears without a trace, and Lulu embarks on a journey to London and beyond to unpick Thorpe’s complicated family history: a fateful love affair, a wartime tragedy, and a mother from whom all joy is stolen.
The Golden Hour
by Beatriz Williams
Violet Iverson and her young daughter, Ella, are piecing their lives together after the disappearance of her husband. As rumors swirl and questions about his loyalties surface, Violet believes Ella knows something. But Ella is stubbornly silent. Something—or someone—has scared her.
With the island overrun by troops training for a secret mission, tension and suspicion between neighbors is rising. To get through the difficult days, Violet bands together with her close friends and they open a pie stand near the military base, offering the soldiers a little homemade comfort.
Try as she might, Violet can’t ignore her attraction to the brash marine who comes to her aid when the women are accused of spying. Desperate to discover the truth behind what happened to her husband, while keeping her friends and daughter safe, Violet is torn by guilt, fear and longing as she faces losing everything. Again.
Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers
by Sara Ackerman
The year is 1900, Galveston flourishes in the Gilded Age. It hails as the pride of Texas exports.
On the morning of September 8th, 1900, the hopes and dreams of Galvestonians will come to a tragic halt. In a time before storms were named, The Great Storm of Galveston, Texas has all but become a legend.
Through the eyes of Clara and the Gladys family, the past comes alive with love and hope, sorrow and tragedy. A historical novel that encompasses the scope of the storm, and the people affected by it.
A chilling re-telling of the day when mother nature would bring an island to the floor of the Gulf waters. A triumph of human spirit, and a testament to the great people who rose up amidst tragedy to rebuild against all odds.
Saltwater and Driftwood
by Anna J Walner
In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys.
After the Cuban Revolution of 1933 leaves Mirta Perez’s family in a precarious position, she agrees to an arranged marriage with a notorious American. Following her wedding in Havana, Mirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. While she can’t deny the growing attraction to her new husband, his illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship, but her life.
Elizabeth Preston’s trip to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles after the Wall Street crash. Her quest takes her to the camps occupied by veterans of the Great War and pairs her with an unlikely ally on a treacherous hunt of his own.
Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women’s paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys.
The Last Train to Key West
by Chanel Cleeton
Dystopian Beach Reads: An Escape to a Darker World
Are you tired of the typical happy go lucky beach reads? Do you crave something more intense and thought provoking? Look no further than the dystopian genre. These books offer a unique combo of the sun soaked beach setting and a darker, often apocalyptic, world.
Dystopian books may provide more than just an escape from reality. These books often explore important societal issues and can offer a unique perspective on the world we live in. The beach setting can also serve as a reminder of the beauty and fragility of our planet, and the importance of taking care of it.
From tales of survival and adventure to stories of post apocalyptic worlds, these beach reads will take you on a thrilling journey to a different reality.
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray.
Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.
The Age of Miracles
by Karen Thompson Walker
After a nuclear World War III has destroyed most of the globe, the few remaining survivors in southern Australia await the radioactive cloud that is heading their way and bringing certain death to everyone in its path. Among them is an American submarine captain struggling to resist the knowledge that his wife and children in the United States must be dead.
Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from somewhere near Seattle, and Captain Towers must lead his submarine crew on a bleak tour of the ruined world in a desperate search for signs of life. Both terrifying and intensely moving, On the Beach is a remarkably convincing portrait of how ordinary people might face the most unimaginable nightmare.
On the Beach
by Nevil Shute
A strange plague called the ‘Gets’ is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys, then the not-so-small things, like how to drive or the letters of the alphabet. Their bodies forget how to function involuntarily. There is no cure.
But far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, a universal healer hailed as “ambrosia” has been discovered. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But when the station goes incommunicado, a brave few descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.
by Nick Cutter
Beach Reads Young Adult Genre
Beach themed young adult novels offer light and fun coming of age stories about romance, and friendship. Many of these novels also explore deep emotional journeys, dealing with heavy themes such as grief, loss, and identity.
Whether you’re looking for a lighthearted romance or a deep emotional journey, beach themed young adult novels offer something for everyone. On our list, the beach setting adds to the atmosphere of the story, making it the perfect summer beach read. So grab your sunscreen, a beach towel, and one of these captivating novels, and get ready to be transported to the sunny shores.
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad.
They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
The Summer I Turned Pretty
by Jenny Han
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Don’t miss the #1 New York Times bestselling prequel, Family of Liars.
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
In the town of Waterby on Fire Island, the rhythms and rituals of summer are sacrosanct: the ceremonial arrivals and departures by ferry; yacht club dinners with terrible food and breathtaking views and the virtual decree against shoes.
Sisters Riley and Alice, now in their twenties, have been returning to their parents’ modest beach house every summer for their entire lives. Petite, tenacious Riley is a tomboy and a lifeguard, always ready for a midnight swim, a gale force sail, or a barefoot sprint down the beach. Beautiful Alice is lithe, gentle, a reader and a thinker, and worshipful of her older sister.
And there was Paul, a friend as important to both girls has now finally returned to the island after three years away. But his return marks a season of tremendous change, and when a simmering attraction, a serious illness, and a deep secret all collide, the three friends are launched into an unfamiliar adult world, a world from which their summer haven can no longer protect them.
The Last Summer (of You and Me)
by Ann Brashares
When Meredith Fox lost her sister, Claire, eighteen months ago, she shut everyone out. But this summer she’s determined to join the world again.
The annual family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard seems like the perfect place to reconnect. Her entire extended family is gathering for a big summer wedding, and although Meredith is dateless after being unexpectedly dumped, she’s excited to participate in the traditional Fox family game of assassin that will take place during the week of wedding festivities. Claire always loved the game, and Meredith is determined to honor her legacy.
But when Meredith forms an assassin alliance with a cute groomsman, she finds herself getting distracted. Meredith tries to focus on the game and win it for her sister, but she can’t help falling for him. And as the week progresses, she realizes she’s not only at risk of losing the game, but also her heart.
The Summer of Broken Rules
by K. L. Walther
Waverly Lyons has been caught in the middle of her parents’ divorce for as long as she can remember. This summer, the battle rages over who she’ll spend her vacation with, and when Waverly’s options are shot down, it’s bye-bye Fairbanks, Alaska and hello Holden, Florida to stay with her aunt.
Coming from the tundra of the north, the beach culture isn’t exactly Waverly’s forte. The sun may just be her mortal enemy, and her vibe is decidedly not chill. To top it off? Her ability to swim is nonexistent.
Enter Blake, the (superhot) boy next door. Charming and sweet, he welcomes Waverly into his circle. For the first time in her life, Waverly has friends, a social life, and soon enough, feelings . . . for Blake. As the two grow closer, Waverly’s fortunes begin to look up. But every summer must come to an end, and letting go is hardest when you’ve finally found where you belong.
by Kate Marchant
Non Fiction Beach Reads
Choosing a non fiction book about the beach for your summer read can offer a unique perspective and a wealth of information. Non fiction books can provide insight into the natural history of the beach, the wildlife that inhabit the area, or the cultural significance of the beach in different parts of the world.
After water and air, sand is the natural resource that we consume more than any other–even more than oil. Every concrete building and paved road on Earth, every computer screen and silicon chip, is made from sand. From Egypt’s pyramids to the Hubble telescope, from the world’s tallest skyscraper to the sidewalk below it, from Chartres’ stained-glass windows to your iPhone, sand shelters us, empowers us, engages us, and inspires us. It’s the ingredient that makes possible our cities, our science, our lives–and our future.
And, incredibly, we’re running out of it.
The World in a Grain is the compelling true story of the hugely important and diminishing natural resource that grows more essential every day, and of the people who mine it, sell it, build with it–and sometimes, even kill for it. It’s also a provocative examination of the serious human and environmental costs incurred by our dependence on sand, which has received little public attention. Not all sand is created equal: Some of the easiest sand to get to is the least useful.
The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization
by Vince Beiser
Fed up with teenage life in the suburbs, Jaimal Yogis ran off to Hawaii with little more than a copy of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha and enough cash for a surfboard.
His journey is a coming-of-age saga that takes him from communes to monasteries, from the warm Pacific to the icy New York shore.
Equal parts spiritual memoir and surfer’s tale, this is a chronicle of finding meditative focus in the barrel of a wave and eternal truth in the great salty blue.
Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea
by Jaimal Yogis
The true story of a couple who lost everything and embarked on a transformative journey walking the South West Coast Path in England
Just days after Raynor Winn learns that Moth, her husband of thirty-two years, is terminally ill, their house and farm are taken away, along with their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, through Devon and Cornwall.
Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea, and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable and life-affirming journey. Powerfully written and unflinchingly honest, The Salt Path is ultimately a portrayal of home—how it can be lost, rebuilt, and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.
The Salt Path: A Memoir
by Raynor Winn
Whether you’re lounging on a sandy beach or relaxing in the shade, there’s nothing quite like diving into a good book during the summer months. From thrilling mysteries and heartwarming romances to thought-provoking non-fiction, the 33 summer beach reads on this list offer something for everyone. So get ready to lose yourself in the pages of these captivating stories. Happy reading!