Ahhhh, summer reading! Is there anything better than grabbing a few summer beach reads and heading towards the sand, sea and sun on a hot summer day? I, unfortunately, live almost as far away from a beach as possible, even though I swear my soul was meant to live near the sea!
However, that’s not stopping me from sharing my favourite summer beach reads. These are some of my favourites to read whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach, on a hammock in your backyard, or curled up on your deck with your morning coffee.
All of these are books that I’ve recently read and highly recommend for a nice, light, can’t-put-it-down read. Just a note: some of these are pretty new fiction; others have been out for a few years. And full disclosure: my tastes are basically chick lit/romance books, historical/WWII fiction and thrillers, which are the categories all of these fall into.
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- 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (via Amazon)
Alright, I have a confession. This might be one of my favourite “chick-lit” books in recent memory. I didn’t have many expectations going on, so that could be part of it. But I found this a very enjoyable, hard-to-put down read. Although it follows the typical “girl falls for boy she shouldn’t” pattern, I fell in love with both main characters. Plus, it’s the perfect mix of romantic with a side of sexy tossed in here and there, making it a perfect summer read.
2. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (via Amazon)
What happens when you find yourself stranded in an elevator with a handsome stranger? A great book all about the adventures that come out of it, that’s what. I found this book very entertaining. Although it’s a bit predictable, you can’t help but cheer on the characters’ relationship and dash towards happily-ever-after.
3. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (via Amazon)
This book is a breath of fresh air! It’s so well-written that I actually had to look up whether the “band” (i.e. characters) in the book were real or fictional. The writing style was unlike any book I’ve ever read before. Taylor Jenkins-Reid develops and describes all the characters so well that it feels like you’re in the room having an actual conversation with them.
4. Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo (via Amazon)
Although this book has been out for a year and a bit, I discovered it in the clearance section at a bookstore and am I ever glad I did! This book crosses two genres I love (historical fiction and romance) to make a perfect marriage of the two. It follows the journey of two sisters and their journey for love during WWII and the trials that come with it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who loves reading WWII books and romance novels.
5. In a Dark, Dark, Wood by Ruth Ware (via Amazon)
A classic whodunnit that will leave you wanting to turn the next page. When strangers converge on an isolated home in the woods for a bachelorette party, they all question why the group has been brought together. Turns out, there’s a reason, and it’s a dark one. This book will leave you hanging and wanting to learn what happens next.
6. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
This is my new favourite book, hands-down! Quinn focuses on a protagonist who is a female spy during WWII. The tells an important story about female roles during the war and just how important women were in helping bring down the Nazis. Anyone who loves historical fiction and powerful female heroines will fall in love with this book and the untold stories about women’s role in the war.
7. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa (via Amazon)
Just when I thought I knew everything that went on during World War II, Correa narrates the journey of Jews travelling to Cuba to escape exile during the Nazi invasion of Europe. Correa describes how Jews attempted to cross the Atlantic for freedom and ended up in Cuba, which was not without its own challenges. The focus of characters based in the present and characters based in the past and how they intersect makes the book an interesting read that engages you with the characters throughout.
8. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (via Amazon)
It’s 1940 in New York City. A small-town girl gets kicked out of college and is sent to New York City to live with her aunt, who runs a theatre. Of course, the theatre is used to entertain soldiers during WWII and showgirls are the main draw. Vivian becomes fascinated with the theatre scene and the life of its showgirls. It’s through this experience and her close friendship with them that she learns to find herself and be the bold woman she was meant to be.City of Girls sends a powerful message about female desire and feminism during a time when these were supposed to be “suppressed.”
The bold female characters that Gilbert develops share their exploits, trials and tribulations and show how not every female aspired towards the expected goal of finding a man, settling down and having a family. I felt that the first part of the book was interesting and captivating, but the end of the books drags on a bit longer than it should. However, it was an entertaining read with a good underlying message. For that reason, I recommend you put it on your summer reading list.
9. Summer at the Lake by Erica James (via Amazon)
This was the first novel I read by Erica James and I wanted to keep reading every time I picked the book up! Drawing on the parallel storylines of different characters and how they intersect, Summer at the Lake takes place in current times, but reflects on the past and how it all swirls together to connect the characters. Thread several romances into the mix and you have a light-hearted, feel-good summer read.
10. Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams (via Amazon)
I’ll admit…this one took me a bit of time to get into, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. This is techinically the third book in a trilogy, but I didn’t realize that when I bougth it. And it doesn’t matter…you don’t really need to know any of the history from the past two books to get caught up to read this one. And bonus…it has one of the prettiest book covers I’ve ever seen, so I plan to keep it on display on my shelf.
11. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (via Amazon)|
If you haven’t heard of this book series, I can guarantee you’ve seen advertisements for it on TV or Netflix. This books is LONG but so worth it! The main character finds herself with her husband, Frank, in the 1940s. Her curiosity takes her to a special circle in the Scottish highlands one evening, and all of a sudden she finds herself travelling back in time.Caught between two worlds and two men she loves, Claire must figure out how to move on (and how to change history along the way). This is an epic romance story for the ages, and one you’ll find yourself immersed in with every turn of the page.
12. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (via Amazon)
A psychological thriller to the ultimate degree! This was one book that I just could not put down. I love all the twists, turns and unpredictability throughout the entire book. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves good suspense with a twist.
13. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin (via Amazon)
Darcy and Rachel have been through everything together. Best friends since elementary, there’s nothing these two haven’t shared or experienced with one another. So when Darcy gets engaged to Dex, of course Rachel would have a big part in their big day. But an unexpected turn of events puts their friendship to the ultimate test…can two unseparable best friends survive the biggest friendship test?
14. The Devil Wears Prada by Laura Weisberger (via Amazon)
Most of you have probably already seen the movie (with Meryl Streep’s most amazing performance ever, I might add). But if you haven’t read the book, do yourself a favour and pick up Weisberger’s novel. The characters are even more colourful in the book than they are on the screen (although Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt certainly did great justice to their roles). This delightful read will resonate with everyone who’s ever done an internship or low-paying job for the experience and boost on their resumé.
15. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (via Amazon)
Another great book before it was a movie, Flynn’s Gone Girl will have you turning the page frantically, needing to know what’s next. Full of unexpected twists and turns, Flynn will have you on the edge of your seat and second-guessing which characters are innocent…or not.
Other recommended summer beach reads
The titles below are on my “to-read” list, but I can’t give a commentary on them because I haven’t read them yet! I own most of these ones and just haven’t had a chance to read them yet. These ones are also on my summer reading list this year:
- Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- The Spanish Promise by Karen Swan
- The Tempation of Gracie by Santa Montefiore
- When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
- Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys
- Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansel
- The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen
- Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews
Listen to these on Audible
Of course, if you’re someone who would rather listen to an audio book rather than read books, you can listen to any of these titles through Audible. Sign up for a free 30-day trial today and see what all the hype is about (and make room in your beach bag for other essentials).
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