40 Summer Beach Reads You Won't Be Able to Put Down

Relax with one of these page-turners while enjoying the sunshine.

summer beach reads
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Whether you're planning on taking a beach break this summer or just want to unwind with a good read on your patio, we've got the books that will keep you in a sunny mood all season long. So kick back, put your feet up, and get lost in another world.

1 of 40
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Ballantine Books
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin

$17

Nina Browning is living the good life raising her children amongst Nashville's elite, while Tom Volpe is a single dad who works multiple jobs to provide for his daughter. When a photo is taken during a drunken moment at a party, their lives become intertwined and they're left questioning their closest relationships.

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2 of 40
summer beach reads
Penguin Press
There Are No Grown-ups by Pamela Druckerman

$16

When people start calling Pamela Druckerman — an American living in Paris — madame, she's forced to confront how the age she feels inside differs from the way people see her. Part memoir, part instruction guide, this well-researched book will keep you laughing and pondering what it really means to grow older

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3 of 40
summer beach reads
Simon & Schuster
Marriage Vacation by Pauline Brooks

$13

In the TV show Younger, Sutton Foster plays a book editor in New York City who signs a novel by her boss's estranged wife. Now, in real life mimicking fiction, the book is here. It's about a woman who takes a trip away from her husband and kids to remember who she is outside of her roles as wife and mother. It's steamy, smart, and just the right amount of suck-you-in fantasy.

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4 of 40
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Chronicle Books
Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl

$14

Twelve-year-old Alice responds to her parents' separation by moving into a tent in the back yard, where she plans to live until her father returns home. Alice spends her days practicing with her swim team, babysitting the next door neighbor, and getting to know a new friend, Harriet. The nostalgia and heat of the summer will keep you thinking about this book long after you're done.

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5 of 40
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Arcade Publishing
Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michaelangelo by Stephanie Storey

$17

Historical fiction at its best, this novel lays out the rivalry between the two great artists and brings them to life in Florence in the 16th century. Their feud runs deep as Leonardo is at the peak of his career (but has lost the commission for The David) and Michaelangelo is desperately trying to establish himself as a great artist while struggling to sculpt The David.

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6 of 40
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Random House
The High Season by Judy Blundell

$18

In order to afford her beloved Hamptons home, Ruthie Beamish's family moves out each summer so that it can be rented. But this year's rich celebrity tenant wants to take over more than just her house — she's moving in on Ruthie's ex-husband, her daughter's affections, and even the museum where she's head curator.

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7 of 40
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Doubleday
Social Creature by Tara Isabella

$20

Twenty-something Louise is juggling three jobs and crashing in a dumpy illegal sublet when, by chance, she meets Lavinia, a rich socialite who amuses herself by pulling Louise into her glittering circle, and then pushing her back out. But Louise isn't going so easily. Who is the victim and who is the villain? The lines are blurred in this fiercely compelling book.

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8 of 40
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St. Martin's Press
How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

$16

In minutes, Margaret Jacobsen’s life changes twice: First, when her dreamy amateur pilot boyfriend proposes mid-air, and again when the plane crashes, leaving Margaret permanently injured. Her fiancé is unable to cope, her big new job offer is rescinded, and she is forced to depend on her family. She heals with grace, humor, and even finds romance.

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9 of 40
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Penguin Books Ltd
All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth

$8

Charlie is a 17-year-old student who's tapped to join the A's, a secret society at her elite boarding school — the same school her wealthy father attended. But to become a member, she must first play The Game, a scavenger hunt that begins to uncover ugly truths about her own family and her mother's disappearance years earlier.

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10 of 40
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The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer Heacock

$11

Cat Carmichael is the owner of a thriving naughty bakeshop — who hasn't been intimate with her boyfriend in almost two years thanks to a muscular condition called vaginismus. Determined to find a cure before their next anniversary, life gets more than a little awkward when the shop's cutest customer offers to be her physical therapist.

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11 of 40
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Lake Union Publishing
A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi

$7

In California, Priya has all the material trappings of a successful life, but desperately longs for a child. In India, Asha can barely afford to care for her two children, yet dreams of a better education for them. The two women connect through the Happy Mothers House, a "baby farm" where surrogates carry children for wealthy couples. Each woman must put her trust in the other to make her dreams come true.

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12 of 40
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Lee Boudreaux / Back Bay Books
From Rockaway by Jill Eisenstadt

$11

Fans of St. Elmo's Fire will recognize the youthful despair present in Jill Eisenstadt's debut novel about a tight-knit group of friends in their first years after high-school graduation. Alex manages to escape "Rotaway" on a college scholarship, while her ex and friends spend their days working and their nights drinking. What will happen when everyone reunites for one last kegger?

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13 of 40
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All Stories Are Love Stories by Elizabeth Percer

$4

Two major earthquakes strike San Francisco within an hour of each other, destroying the city. In the midst of the chaos, three characters come together and their lives are forever changed as a result. This captivating, and at times heartrending, novel demonstrates the powerful forces of nature and love.

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14 of 40
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The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

$15

Beatrice Nash, the new schoolteacher in a small English town, craves independence after her father's death, but she is soon drawn into the lives of the other residents, many of whom she comes to care for. What begins as a study of small-town society becomes a compelling account of war and its aftermath.

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15 of 40
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My Mrs. Brown by William Norwich

$15

Emilia Brown is an elderly widow who was never one for frivolity, but when she spots a beautiful Oscar de la Renta dress while helping inventory an estate, she is entranced — she must own it. Motivated by a moving secret, she embarks on a journey to raise enough money to travel to New York City and purchase the dress of her dreams.

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16 of 40
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Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen

$15

Taking place from the 1960s to the present, the story follows Mimi Miller as she grows up in Miller's Valley, a tiny community whose future is threatened. Quindlen creates fascinating characters, most notably Mimi's mother and her troubled brother, and writes movingly about how family secrets thread through generations and continue to affect lives.

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17 of 40
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chris cleave
Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

$5

This World War II novel follows 18-year-old Mary North, a fiercely independent aristocrat determined to do her part to help the war effort, despite what her family thinks about her actions. Caught in a love triangle between a civil servant, Tom, and his best friend, Alistair, a soldier, Mary must do whatever she can to survive the devastating consequences of love and war.

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18 of 40
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antonia hayes
Relativity by Antonia Hayes

$15

Ethan is a 12-year-old with a brilliant mind for physics. Raised by a single mother, he begins to wonder about his dad's identity when he's suddenly hospitalized, the reason possibly linked to a tragic incident from his infancy. Ethan and his parents are pulled back together and must confront the regrettable events that once tore them apart.

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19 of 40
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phaedra patrick
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

$11

Quiet and reserved, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper always stuck to his daily routine — until he finds an unfamiliar bracelet belonging to his late wife, Miriam, a year after her death. He embarks on a multicountry journey to uncover Miriam's secret past, learning along the way how to heal from loss and embrace life's unpredictability.

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20 of 40
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lisa jewell
The Girls In the Garden by Lisa Jewell

$5

Controversy surrounds a London neighborhood after a young girl finds her 13-year-old sister, Grace, unconscious and hidden in a remote corner of a communal garden. The entire community denies any part in the act, and an investigation ensues, ultimately revealing secrets and betrayals that lie beneath the neighborhood's picturesque exteriors.

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21 of 40
Eight Hundred Grapes
Courtesy of Publisher
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

$10

When Georgia returns from Los Angeles to her family's small Sonoma, CA, vineyard in a mud-covered wedding dress, things are not what they seem. The ceremony is still five days away, but big secrets about her fiancé and her family are surfacing — and Georgia's marriage plans are unraveling.

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22 of 40
Lady of Good Family
Courtesy of Publisher
A Lady of Good Family by Jeanne Mackin

$14

This charming historical novel is an imagined account of the life of Beatrix Farrand, one of the first female landscape architects. A chance meeting with a handsome stranger in a rose garden leads Beatrix to weigh her desire for independence against the joys of romance.

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23 of 40
Music for Wartime
Courtesy of Publisher
Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai

$9

This varied collection of short stories focuses on finding beauty in the darkest of times. From a story about a boy who sees ghosts to one about a reality show producer who manipulates an on-screen romance, these tales will delight and haunt you long after you have closed the book.

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24 of 40
The Marriage of Opposites
Courtesy of Publisher
The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

$9

Living on the lush island of St. Thomas and pushed into an arranged marriage, Rachel Pomie worries she'll never know passionate love. But a friend foresees that this marriage is only the start of Rachel's story. As the prophecy comes true, she finds out what she must sacrifice in the name of love.

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25 of 40
Let Me Die in His Footsteps
Courtesy of Publisher
Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy

$12

This lyrical novel follows three generations of Kentucky women cursed with "the know-how," a knack for predicting the future. Fearing her talent may be a work of evil, Annie endeavors to find out the truth about her family lineage, the curse and an old, unsolved crime.

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26 of 40
window opens by Elisabeth Egan
Courtesy of Publisher
A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

$11

Forced to bring in more money when her husband quits his firm, mom and book lover Alice Pearse takes a job at an exciting but semi-sinister company that aims to revolutionize reading. As cracks begin to form in both her work and family life, Alice struggles to reinvent herself.

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27 of 40
Master Plan
Courtesy of Publisher
A Master Plan for Rescue by Janis Cooke Newman

$11

When an 11-year-old boy from New York and a man from Berlin meet during World War II, they devise a plan to memorialize the people they've loved and lost. Their poignant tale explores the power of hope, and proves that one idea can change the lives of many.

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28 of 40
Sunlit Night
Courtesy of Publisher
The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein

$20

A Viking museum near the top of the world proves an unusual setting for an even more unusual romance. When a young girl named Frances flees to an isolated artist's colony in Norway, she finds a friend in Yasha, who is there to bury his father. This funny and deftly written novel reflects on how running away and coming home can be the same thing.

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29 of 40
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Courtesy of Publisher
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

$7

The twists and turns in this novel kept us on the edge of our seats," says BJ Levis, member of the Coffee Talk book club of Louisville, KY. The story begins when Simon Watson, a librarian who lives alone on Long Island Sound, finds a water-damaged diary that once belonged to the owner of a traveling circus in the 1700s. One of the many mysterious entries tells of a circus mermaid who drowned — just as Simon's mother and grandmother did. Fearing his family is cursed, Simon must quickly try to solve the diary's secrets before his sister (also a circus performer) suffers the same fate. "The plot totally pulled us in," says BJ. "It was like a puzzle, and we had a blast trying to put the pieces together."

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30 of 40
Etta and Otto and Russell and James
emma hooper
Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

$10

In this lyrical novel, an 83-year-old woman, Etta, walks hundreds of miles from her farmhouse in Canada to the ocean, which she's never seen. Etta's husband, Otto, a WWII veteran, stays home and writes her love letters. The couple's lifelong romance is a touching reminder that age really is just a number.

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