Envision yourself lying on a beach reading a novel, with the peaceful lapping of the ocean waves. It’s almost that time of year again! Start planning your summer beach reading now! Each book on this list is hand-selected to hold your attention, keep you entertained, but not so complicated to make you overthink on your vacation.
2021 Beach Reading List
The One by John Marrs
Move over Match.com – the new way to find your soulmate is by using DNA to find a match for you out there. Seems too good to be true? Read on to hear stories of participants who were matched based on their DNA and the outcomes. We recommend reading the book before the Netflix release.
This novel by Sally Hepworth shows a different take on the mother-in-law story; it shows a complicated relationship between a woman and her not-so-evil mother-in-law who is suddenly dead. As Lucy tries to solve this mystery, you will quickly learn that you can both love and hate characters and of course there are two sides to every story.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Ever wonder what may have happened if you made other choices? The Midnight Library has books filled with the infinite possibilities of the lives not lived. As Nora travels through the library, she is forced to decide what is truly fulfilling in life and what makes it worth living in the first place. Warning: This can be triggering for suicide.
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
Anything by Elin Hilderbrand is truly a great beach reading option; but this novel, in particular, takes us to our favorite beaches. You can almost feel the sand between your toes. It paints the perfect picture of Nantucket, as you learn of a love history that is not exactly the storybook fairytale.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
A great romance story of two enemy writers who end up living next door to each other, with their baggage in tow. Both struggling with writer’s block and a slew of personal issues, they decide to create a challenge for each other, however, they end up breaking all their defined rules. As if the title doesn’t speak for itself, this is a great book for beach reading.
The Lies that Bind by Emily Giffin
Folks are not always what they seem. Bonding over late-night tequila shots and the “don’t do it – you will regret it” conversation over calling an ex, this unlikely pair ends up falling head over heels in love. Then, on September 11, things come crashing down and Grant goes missing. As Cecily searches for him, she discovers she is not the only one looking for him and that Grant has many secrets of his own.
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
It’s the perfect steamy summer beach read. The Idea of You is the story of a woman in her forties who ends up in a steamy but sweet love affair with a singer/songwriter type in his early twenties. Once you start this beach reading you will be unable to put it down!
The Royal We by Heather Cooks
This is Kate Middleton fan fiction – the story of an American girl who meets the man of her dreams, who just happens to be the prince of England. This trilogy follows them through college, breakups, a crazy royal wedding party, troubled sibling relationships, and much more as they face their new life together. This book was pure fun and juicy, which makes for perfect beach reading material.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
The setting alone is enough to rope you into a wedding of a beautiful, high-power couple on a secluded island off the coast of Ireland. But throw in a murder? It becomes a fast-paced, unputdownable thriller as you try to figure out both: who was murdered and who did it?
The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John
If being on a billionaire’s yacht in the sparkling Mediterranean is your idea of the perfect vacation, this piece of beach reading will transport you there. However, like most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This novel is full of secrets, betrayals, sex, and near-death experiences. How much is one willing to sacrifice to live this luxurious life?
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner
This sparkling novel shows the complexities of female friendship, the pitfalls of what most deem an easy existence: being an influencer that forces your life to be lived online for all to view, and the struggle to figure out what matters most. This light murder mystery will keep you guessing until the end.
This one is a total page-turner on an unexpected topic! It depicts a group of entitled parents who will do anything to get their children into the most prestigious universities. You may find yourself shocked with all the backstabbing, ruthlessness, and routing for the underdog!
You may find this family drama a little different than you expect when it opens with a murder. This dynamic novel full of secrets, lies, and tension is set in a personal favorite beach community. The whole time you are beach reading, you will feel like you are on Fripp Island as you try to figure out who did it!
This is an often-overlooked story of the Kennedy saga: the tale of what led to Jackie marrying Aristotle Onassis. This fascinating novel offers an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the rivalry between two of the world’s most glamorous women in a dual-narrated novel by Jackie and Onassis’ long-time lover, opera singer Maria Callas.
The Queen’s Secret by Karen Harper
A book about the Queen Mother, not someone we hear much about. But this dynamic lady was a guiding light for her husband, King George, as well as Queen Elizabeth. This historical fiction novel focuses on her work behind the scenes during WWII. This is her story; her triumphs and her struggles, including some secrets which she protects at first and then tries to bring them to light.
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
The story is a retelling of Jane Eyre, set in modern-day Alabama. It is fun to see the similarities to the original classic but with a fresh twist. Jane, who has been in and out of foster care her whole life, moves to Birmingham and she starts walking dogs in the ritzy community of Thornfield Estate (think giant mansions and many rich housewives). When she meets rich, gorgeous, recently widowed Eddie, the two fall in love and things escalate quickly, but all is not perfect as they both struggle to overcome their past.
Ladies of the House by Lauren Edmonson
Another retelling of a classic: this time Sense and Sensibility. There are wonderful nods back to Jane Austen’s original work but is set in DC and the key characters are involved in the political scene. Witty and well-written, strong female characters, a story of love and hope.
Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies by Vicki Zimmerman
This book is charming and delightful but might just leave you hungry. As Kate moves back in with her mom as a result of her recent breakup and job, failure, her life is not as she pictures it just months before her 40th birthday. When she befriends a grumpy and very smart 97-year-old lady named Cecily, they form an unlikely friendship that will change them both forever.
Marnie desperately wants an ordinary life: a perfect husband, a handful of children, the picket fence, etc. While engaged to the man of her dreams, she meets his eccentric great-aunt Blix, a matchmaker living in Brooklyn. Blix and Marnie become instant friends. While Marnie’s marriage and her friendship with Blix are both short-lived (the marriage combusts after two weeks and Blix passes away), the friendship with Blix changes her life. Blix leaves Marnie questioning all the things she thought she wanted from life and her Brooklyn brownstone.
Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey
This trilogy is about a family in Peachtree Bluff, Georgia. All of the characters are so likable, relatable, and flawed. The mother Ansley, who has always done the right thing for her family and her three daughters, uptight, upper east sider Caroline, beautiful Emerson the actress, and Sloane whose husband is overseas. When things go south for Caroline, she flees New York to hide out in Peachtree Bluff.
We hope your summer is full of relaxing afternoons, curled up on the beach reading a good book and lemonade (or cocktail). This beach reading list will truly transport you on many wonderful adventures and to even more fabulous locations.
WANT TO MORE BEACH READING?
Check out this article on 10 GUARANTEED BEST BOOKS FOR A BOOK CLUB.
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