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The Ultimate Summer Reading List: 100 Beach Reads

To finish this list, you'd have to read approx. 1 book every day between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Totally doable, right?

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1. Bittersweet

Goodness gracious, this book is addictive. For fans of ABC's "Revenge" and Gossip Girl, this books is suspenseful, thrilling, and a total guilty pleasure. What's that sound? Oh, that's your beach bag calling for this book.

3. We Were Liars

This book makes you feel feelings. We'll let one Goodreads reviewer, Blythe, speak for us:

"sobbing. sobbing. sobbing. so much love for this book, and its perfect, perfect ending.

i can't even capitalize right now. i don't even want to capitalize right now.

in fetal position.


my souuuuul."

4. The Vacationers

This book has been getting a lot of buzz, and rightly so. The story follows a family's trip to Mallorca, from take-off to return flight, and all the delectable family drama that happens along the way. This little book has a lot of heart and is full of scenes that will make you laugh out loud. Plus, this cover rocks.

5. Rules of Civility

A fearless modern heroine claims her place in the New York City of Gatsby. The swooping descriptions of the big apple at that time reveal a place of dark alleys and soaring ballrooms. The perfect book for a city gal taking a break on a beach.

7. Let's Pretend This Never Happened

This book is probably the wackiest memoir we've ever read. Our favorite character is the wild-animal-obsessed father who does something with a squirrel that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. But seriously, this book has such a strong, brave voice that separates stories into chapters for easy reading between dips in the pool.

8. The Divorce Papers

This book is a whole new kind of romantic comedy. The whole thing is shared through personal correspondence, emails, legal documents, and office memos. It's an easy breezy read that will make you laugh out loud.

9. Speak

This book is...breathtaking. The lead character's voice is so strong that even after only reading a few pages you feel as if you've known her your entire life. Her story is a heartbreaking yet empowering one that is especially relevant with the #YesAllWomen conversations dominating social media.

11. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This book has a cult following, and lots of Tumblr quote images created from it's pages, for a reason. The main character Charlie takes you back to high school and encounters familiar struggles--how to make friends, the intensity of a crush, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, and experimenting with drugs.

12. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Mindy Kaling's book is just plain adorable, witty, and hilarious. It's such a fun rea (with pictures, too!) Mindy will be your girl crush by the time you reach the end of this book--guaranteed.

14. The Martian

This book is a story about an astronaut who accidentally gets stranded on Mars. And Nasa says it's like...98% accurate. And did we mention that the astronaut in question has a bit of a potty mouth while he comes up with CRAZY GENIUS ways to stay alive. It's awesome.

15. Lean In

While this feels a little too real-life career-y for a beach read, Sheryl Sandberg's accessible advice and real-life stories are so interesting and readable you won't be able to put it down. Bottom line: Guaranteed, this will get you FIRED. UP. on the beach about how women can and should and need to rule the world. (Beyonce playlist optional but encouraged)

23. Devil in the White City

This book about the word's fair in Chicago came out a few years ago, but remains a classic beach read, in our opinion. Just a warning, you'll be so absorbed you may forget to reapply sunscreen.

31. Seating Arrangements

According to the New York Times: " and frothy debut novel...Beneath the surface of this summery romp, however, lie animosities, well-paced sexual suspense and a clash between appearances and authenticity. " Enough said.

32. The Paris Wife

Just about as romantic as a book can get. This is beautiful, heartbreaking story of the love affair between literature’s original “bad boy” Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson Hemingway.

34. Much Ado About Nothing

We had to show Shakespeare some love on this list. The Bard's romantic plays were no doubt the beach reads of 17th century England. Much Ado About Nothing is a particular favorite, with witty Beatrice and her fantastic love-hate relationship with Benedick.

36. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

From a Goodreads reviewer: "My boyfriend got just as hooked on Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore as I did—at the same time, in fact. While on vacation, I noticed my book would go missing, only to turn up a few hours later with the bookmark stuck between new pages. We began a heated battle to be the first one to finish the book."

38. The Hobbit

The shortest of the LOTR books, The Hobbit is an easy-reading journey into Middle Earth. Hobbits, dragons, elves, and all sort of magical mischief make this a great beach read for any fantasty-lover.

43. Under The Tuscan Sun

In this memoir, Frances Mayes buys an abandoned villa in the lush Tuscan countryside. She takes the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. A gorgeous book in a gorgeous setting, with just the right amount of romance.

45. The Help

This book shares three perspectives on living in Jackson, Mississippi during the incredibly tense civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960's. Each character's voice is strong and totally unique. It is unputdownable.

46. Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Jonathan Franzen says: "The characters in Where'd You Go, Bernadette may be in real emotional pain, but Semple has the wit and perspective and imagination to make their story hilarious. I tore through this book with heedless pleasure." Sign us up.

51. Bossypants

This is still one of our favorite covers of all time, and this book is ideal for a carefree day at the pool. Warning, you may find that one of your friends will abscond with the book while you're swimming.

54. Ophelia Speaks

This is such a powerful book. A collection of creative writing pieces from adolescent girls who have been through the real trials and tribulations of becoming a woman. Some of the pieces are desperately sad, some triumphant.

68. Like Water for Chocolate

Originally written in Spanish, this beautiful book is a tale of tradition and personal growth. A girl is forbidden from marrying the man she loves because it is her duty as the youngest daughter to care for her mother. She pours her feelings into her cooking.

76. Wool

This is an intense book. It was originally a self-published short story that grew into a phenomenon of its own. This powerful sci-fi dystopia is sometimes genuinely terrifying but always totally exhilarating.

78. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

This book is very unique. It combines fiction and photography to build the spine-tingling story of an abandoned orphanage for troubled kids. That might not be so abandoned after all...

79. Young Money

If you were fascinated by world created in "Wolf of Wall Street" read this well-told exploration of the richest of the rich in Manhattan. This book takes work hard, play hard to a whole other level.

82. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A funny and heartwarming tale of a retirement community in a former guesthouse in Bangalore. It's a sunny read that also touches on some powerful themes, namely how cultures adapt and combine in modern times.

85. Defending Jacob

Andy, a prominent lawyer, has everything going for him: a great career, a happy family, and respect from his neighbors. Suddenly, a horrible crime rocks his perfect world, and he finds himself defending his own son.

90. Confessions of a Shopaholic

This light-hearted read tells the story of a young woman whose flashy lifestyle and penchant for expensive footwear drags her deeply into debt. Suddenly, her job as a reporter pulls her into a cover story that she truly cares about, changing her life forever.