Roundup of Best Summer Beach Books Plus My “To Read” List
It’s no secret I’m a book worm. I love reading. It is seriously my favorite pastime. As a kid, I hid under the covers with a book and a flashlight. As an adult, I have stayed up way, way too late to finish a good book.
With two kids, a job and volunteer work, I don’t have as much time to read anymore. Even so, I read at least one book a month, usually two or three. I don’t watch much TV, so once the boys go to bed, I usually read. I also squeeze in reading when they are watching their shows on TV. At minimum, I read a book for my book club every month, but I usually like to also read something I choose.
Truth be told, as a parent, I don’t get to sit around at the beach or pool with a good book. I’m usually chasing the kids or in the water with them. While I don’t get to read at the beach, I prefer light reads in the summer. It just feels more summer-y.
Roundup of Best Summer Beach Books
These are some of my favorite books that would be great to read on vacation or at the beach (if you actually get to read at the beach!). They’re older books, which means, you can probably find them at the library if you don’t want to buy them. I spend a lot of money on eBooks, but I also like to use my local library whenever I can.
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- “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” Maria Semple: I would describe this as a silly mystery. Basically, Bernadette, a mother and wife, disappears and her husband and daughter are trying to find her. The story of her disappearance is kind of silly and Bernadette is quirky. Definitely a light read.
- “What Alice Forgot,” Liane Moriarty: Do you ever think of what you 10 years ago would think about your life now? That’s basically what happens in this book. Alice has a head injury and lost the last 10 years of her life. It’s like she’s dropped into her life without any history. I really enjoyed this book, as well as her other books “The Husband’s Secret” and “Big Little Lies.”
- “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald,” Therese Anne Fowler: After reading “The Paris Wife” for my book club, I was intrigued by the characters in the book so I decided to read a bit more about Zelda Fitzgerald since she was present in “The Paris Wife.” While not a biography, this book is based on Zelda Fitzgerald’s life and very entertaining. Life during the 20s was so different from now!
- “The Mermaid Chair,” Sue Monk Kidd: I read this a few summers ago but the story stuck with me. A woman goes back to her “hometown” to care for her mother and feels free and welcome back to the community.
- “Moloka’i,” Alan Brennert: A client loaned this book to me and I devoured it in a weekend. It reads like a true story about people who were sent to live in a leprosy colony although it is historical fiction. The whole concept was pretty fascinating to me that people who contracted leprosy were sent to a remote island to live away from their families. This is a really interesting (and positive) read.
- “Valley of the Dolls,” Jacqueline Susann: I read this book several years ago at the pool in Hawaii. It is definitely a fun poolside read about three girls striving to make it and using “dolls” to cope.
- “Water for Elephants,” Sara Gruen: Even if you saw the movie (I don’t so I can’t compare), the book is always better. Always. Set during the depression, two misfits meet while traveling with the circus. This was a really entertaining book.
- “The Shoemaker’s Wife,” Adriana Trigiani: I read this book last summer and enjoyed it so much that I read another book by the same author (“The Supreme Macaroni Company”).
If none of these options strike your fancy, I recommend you check out books by Sophia Kinsella (Shopoholic series), Jody Picoult (heavier topics), Lori Lansens or Liane Moriarty. I’ve never been disappointed by any of these authors.
What Books Are On My Summer Reading List?
If you’re wondering what books are on my current “to read” list, here is my summer reading list:
- “Gone With The Wind,” Margaret Mitchell: I am about 20% in and am really enjoying it.
- “The Underground Railroad,” Colson Whitehead: This is my book club’s book for June
- “Truly Madly Guilty,” Liane Moriarty: I have enjoyed three of her books so far so I thought I’d try another.
- “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” Diane Ackerman: I am always interested in World War 2 era books so this book looks like it’s right up my alley.
- “Crimes Against A Book Club,” Kathy Cooperman: This was one of my free books through Amazon Prime so I’m hoping to read it over the summer.
- “Beautiful Ruins,” Jess Walter: Two people have recommended this book to me so I’m hoping to finally read it this summer.
That’s my short list of books I hope to read this summer. Of course, I will also have my July and August book club books but we haven’t selected them yet so I’ll share them when I know what they are.