Probably left over from my days in high school, I still get a thrill planning the books to read for summer vacation. There’s something magical about uninterrupted time to read while my toes are buried deep in the sand and the waves are gently lapping at my legs. Knowing I can take a quick break for a salty dip and then go straight back to reading is my idea of a most relaxed beach vacation. These are the best books for summer that you’ll definitely want to pack in your beach bag!
12 Best Books for Summer
For fans of the Mystery/Thriller
By the author who brought us Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers a fresh thriller just in time for summer. A river that claims a disproportionate number of females as its victims in a town where nothing is as it appears. A fast-paced thriller to keep you entertained and focused while soaking up the sun and sand.
A thriller about books and bookstores? And written by the legendary John Grisham? Why yes, please!
By turns, heart-breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. Said to be Dennis Lehane’s best novel yet!
Introducing her most compelling heroine yet, Heather Gudenkauf delivers a taut and emotional thriller that proves she’s at the top of her class. This is one author I pre-order every single time, her books are just that good.
For those who prefer General Fiction
A spellbinding story of mothers and daughters and the stunning summer estate that has fallen to ruin. New possibilities, old loves and the rugged beauty of Nantucket make The Book of Summer a timeless tale.
The Hollywood star at the center of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo sounds vaguely familiar. Could it be the character Evelyn Hugo is inspired by an iconic Hollywood figure of recent bygone days? Regardless, this is a novel you won’t be able to put down.
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country. Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours is a riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminding us how even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever—if she can bear to confront the secrets she avoided all her life. But if she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.
Transporting readers to sunny Florida in this lush and enthralling historical novel. Cocoa Beach is an enchanting blend of love, suspense, betrayal, and redemption set among the rumrunners and scoundrels of Prohibition-era Cocoa Beach.
And if you enjoy Non-Fiction
This sweet book will have you laughing and nodding along as 90-year old Norma, her son, and daughter-in-law, and their 70-pound poodle, Ringo travel the country in a 36-foot motor home. A story about family, loving and living life, and doing so on your own terms. Driving Miss Norma is the perfect beach read for anyone who enjoys a life-affirming memoir.
The perfect cookbook to extend that beach vacation! The Beach House Cookbook is the lighter fare, crisp, cool flavors and the yummy deliciousness you’d expect from this southern author.
An intellectual and emotional thriller that is also a different kind of murder mystery, The Fact Of a Body is a book not only about how the story of one crime was constructed―but about how we grapple with our own personal histories. Along the way it tackles questions about the nature of forgiveness, and if a single narrative can ever really contain something as definitive as the truth.
If you prefer southern fiction for your days at the beach try The Best 8 Southern Fiction Novels to be Released this Year.
Love this list! I’m adding your stack to my stack of must-reads. 🙂 Thanks!
let me know if you end up with a favorite out of this list! I think the one I loved the most is Heather Gudenkauf’s latest, Not a Sound.
Great list. And I need Eleanor Oliphant in my life, if only for the fabulous cover.