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Essential Beach Reads To Enjoy On Your Next Vacation
Now that the kids are out of school, summer can finally start! The slower pace during the summer gives me more time to do things that get pushed aside during the rest of the year — especially, read more books, one of my favorite pastimes. Even though our family isn’t taking a vacation to Hawaii or some dream beach locale, I can still armchair travel with my beach reads.
Don’t let the “beach reads” in the title fool you though. My definition of an essential beach read is simple: an engrossing book that lets me escape my everyday life. Each book on my list is perfect for reading in a lounge chair by the pool, on a cruise ship by the sea, or in the comfort of your air-conditioned home. Let your kids enjoy summer their way — with screens, frolicking by the pool, or running around at the park — while you curl up to one of these exciting beach reads.
More Great Reads:
22 Beach Reads For Spring Break
A Study in Scarlet Women
Who says Sherlock can’t be a woman? Sherry Thomas’ A Study in Scarlet Women is the first book in her new Lady Sherlock series that’s set in the same time period as the original books. Charlotte Holmes becomes a social outcast for offering herself as a mistress to a married man, forcing her to live on her own. Soon she finds herself solving a mystery to clear her family’s name. Readers will love how Charlotte embraces her sleuthing abilities to earn her Lady Sherlock name.
Behind Closed Doors
Fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train will gobble up psychological thriller Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris. On the surface, Jack and Grace are the perfect couple. Jack is a high-powered attorney who has never lost a case while Grace is the perfect homemaker, party hostess, and gardener. But, cracks show in their perfect life the more we learn about Grace. She’s never allowed out of her home without Jack by her side. She never answers the phone or meets her friends out for coffee. And there's more. Wait till you find out what life is really like in their household behind closed doors.
St. Martin's Press
Crazy Rich Asians
Kevin Kwan’s debut novel, Crazy Rich Asians, jumps right into the hectic lives of upper class Chinese families. When the heir to one of the largest fortunes in Asian brings his American-born girlfriend to the biggest wedding bash, all hell breaks loose. There’s plenty of drama, gossip, and comedy to keep you turning the pages. After you inhale this one, grab a copy of Kwan’s next book China Rich Girlfriend.
Photo: Anchor Books
Dating You Hating You
The writing duo known as Christina Lauren write funny, sexy romantic comedies. Their newest book, Dating You/ Hating You, will not disappoint. Carter and Evie are both high-powered Hollywood agents at competing firms who hit it off at a party. That is, until their firms merge and they must compete for the same position. The almost blossoming romance turns into an all out war. Can their love survive?
Photo: Gallery Books
The Dress Shop of Dreams
Everyone needs a little magic in their lives and shopkeeper Etta endows more than magic in the dresses in her shop. With a few stitches on the perfect dress, Etta helps women find true love, self-confidence, and happiness -- but she cannot work the magic on herself in
The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag. Instead, she focuses her energy on her studious, uptight granddaughter Cora -- but her magic does not work the way she intended it to. This fun novel will make you wish you had your own magic dress shop. Photo: Ballantine Books
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
In by Balli Kaur Jaswal, Nikki, the daughter of Indian British immigrants, has distanced herself from her Sikh community. After her father’s death leaves her family financially strapped, she finds herself teaching creative writing to Sikh widows. When a student brings in a box of sexy stories, Nikki uses it as inspiration for her students’ writings. As their class grows in popularity, they must keep their erotic writings a secret from the Brotherhood, a group of conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s moral police. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
Photo: William Morrow
Everything You Want Me to Be
If you like small towns with dark secrets, then add by Mindy Mejia to your list. Hattie has always been the good girl, so the town is shocked when she is found brutally stabbed to death. It turns out that Hattie was involved in a compromising and potentially explosive secret online relationship. The novel reconstructs the last year of her life and unveils more of the town’s secrets. Full of twists, this book will keep you guessing until the end. Everything You Want Me to Be
Who knew running a farm in rural New Zealand could be so hilarious? In her memoir
Dirty Chick , San Francisco transplant Antonia Murphy eagerly jumps into raising spitting llamas and horny goats, and truant cows. All while raising a family. One day her eldest son, who was born with a rare mysterious genetic condition, has a medical crisis, but her newfound farming community helps Antonia and her husband more than they ever expected.
Photo: Gotham Books
The Husband’s Secret
While her husband is halfway across the world on a business trip, Cecilia discovers a sealed letter written during his teenage years. Hidden amongst old papers, the envelope asks that she open it after he’s died. As she wrestles with opening the letter or waiting until he returns, Cecilia re-examines her perfect suburban life. Is her marriage, three kids, and everything she’s worked for based on a lie? As she digs deeper, she realizes that the letter has the potential to destroy their entire lives in The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.
I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual
Fans of Ajayi’s blog Awesomely Luvvie will cackle at her hilarious essays in I’m Judging You. She tackles topics like social media, bad boyfriends, and racism with a giant serving of judgement and humor. Underneath the side-eye are lessons on life and being a good person. Read it this summer in preparation for the upcoming Shonda Rhimes produced ABC cable series on based on the book.
Little Paris Bookshop
Monsieur Perdu used to be a romantic. Lost and heartbroken, he finally opens a letter his lover left him years ago. A self-proclaimed book apothecary, Perdu owns the famous floating bookshop. Mere minutes after speaking with a person, he prescribes them a book that will heal them. Perdu can solve everyone’s problems, but his own. Finally he opens the letter and pulls anchor and sets his barge down the Seine to the south of France, in search of his great love. Little Paris Bookshop is a love story and armchair traveling adventure all in one.
Photo: Crown Publishing
Love and Miss Communication
Have you ever wanted to quit Facebook forever? In Love and Miss Communication , Evie suffers major heartbreak on Facebook and hits a roadblock to make partner at her law firm. Overwhelmed by her woes and the social media rat race, she tosses her computer and vows to stay offline until her 35th birthday. Can she find love without texts and online dating?
Photo: William Morrow
What if medical science could keep you healthy from everything, even the common code? In Mira Grant’s Parasite , a genetically modified tapeworm does just that. In the near future, this Intestinal Bodyguard fights illnesses and even secrets designer drugs. Almost every person has one implanted inside them. So what happens when they start to mutate? Fans of The Girl with All the Gifts by M.E. Carey will love this fast paced science-fiction thriller.
Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile takes us to the modern south all the complexities that its history brings. Returning home is never easy. After inheriting hundreds of acres of sugarcane land, single mother Charley is determined to rebuild her life in Louisiana. She must rebuild a crumbling farm while making her way in a white man’s world -- all while raising her 11-year-old daughter. Read the book and catch up on season one of Queen Sugar tv series on Oprah Winfrey Network before season two begins later on July 12.
Michelle Moran’s speciality is fiction about the lives of bada*s women from history. Her latest book, Rebel Queen, recounts Queen Lakshmi’s attempt to hold on to her people’s way of life before Britain colonized India. Lakshmi and her all-female army rallied troops and fought until the very end. Sita, one of her most trusted protectors, must decide between the man she loves and her love for her queen. Moran’s novel is filled with lush settings and draws upon Indian culture without exoticizing it. She has a knack of drawing you into the history of other cultures.
Photo: Touchstone Books
The Rosie Project
Genetics professor Don Tillman is exacting, brilliant, and socially inept. He’s searching for his wife by issuing a 16-page questionnaire to all potential candidates. Rosie “fails” his questionnaire, yet he cannot stay away from her charm. Instead of being upset, she asks him to help her identify her biological father. Don jumps right into The Rosie Project and got much more than he bargained for. Readers will find Don frustratingly charming as he finds himself attracted to an imperfect match. After you finish it, make sure to grab the sequel, The Rosie Effect . Photo: Simon & Schuster
If you love the food mecca that is New York City, then the novel
by famous food critic Ruth Reichl is for you. Even though Billie has a palate that can name all the ingredients in one dish with a few tastes, she has given up cooking. Instead, she takes a job as an editor’s assistant at a food magazine in Manhattan. Just as she’s settled in, the magazine is abruptly shuttered, but she stays on to monitor the magazine’s hotline. Bored sitting at a desk all day, she discovers a mysterious letter exchange between a young reader and James Beard. Delicious!
Photo: Random House
Sarong Party Girls
Follow along as Jazzy and her girlfriends make a plan to marry rich, white Western expats -- the ultimate status symbol in Singapore -- before the year is out in Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan. Their quest leads them into the grittier side of Singapore and brings to light the battles between old money and new money. Will she and her friends be able to move up Singapore’s financial and class ladders without losing themselves in the process? Find out!
Photo: William Morrow
As a young girl, Rose falls through the earth and wakes up in a square hole, its walls glowing in a mysterious alien language. Her rescuers find her curled atop a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, scientists still can’t uncover where the “relic” came from or what the hand does. Rose, now a highly trained physicist, leads a secret team to crack the hand’s code. Will they discover its secrets before humanity destroys itself over these relics? Sleeping Giants by Sylvan Neuvel is told in parts via interviews and diary entries, much like Andy Weir’s The Martian.
Photo: Del Rey
by Laline Paull was so engrossing that I finished it in one sitting. Part The Bees Handmaid’s Tale, part The Hunger Games, this novel is set in the complex society structure of a beehive. Flora was born to be a sanitation worker -- the lowest caste in the hive -- but she feels different from her coworkers. But Flora is not like other bees. While she adores the queen and the hive, her curiosity and wish for more in her life can get her kicked out -- or worse, killed. A novel about bees might sound strange, but this is a must read. Photo: Ecco Books
The Trouble with Love
Sometimes spring break calls for a fun fling with a couple whose chemistry just leaps off the page. Look no further than
by Lauren Layne. I’m not a big romance reader, but I absolutely adored the verbal sparring between Emma and Alex. The two never expected to cross paths in New York City after they broke off their engagement many years ago, but now Alex is her temporary boss at a popular women’s magazine. They’ve both changed since they left their small North Carolinian town, but is it for the better? The Trouble With Love Photo: Loveswept
Perfect for a beach read,
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm is an immensely satisfying novel filled with stolen art, love, lies, and changing identities. Living in France under the name Grace, Julie is hiding from her small Tennessee hometown and the two men she loves, who have just been released on parole for a crime that Grace planned.The job went sour, but Grace was already on a plane to Europe -- with a stolen oil painting in her suitcase. Facing the inevitable, she waits for her past to catch up with her.
Photo: Viking Books
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