2. I Know This Much Is True
“it’s not just a book. It’s a life experience.” —Oprah. Listen to Oprah, guys.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.”
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.
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.
86. Night Film
From the author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics comes a dark and twisty murder mystery that will keep you glued to its pages.
This novel is dripping with powerful and undeniable supernatural suspense. You’ll be totally absorbed.
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.
91. The Luxe
“Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.” This is Gossip Girl set in the 1890s. This book and the beach go together like peanut butter and chocolate.
92. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
A unique, voice-driven book that tells the story of a young autistic boy living in England. The book begins with the mysterious murder of a neighborhood dog. The character’s perspective on the world is so interesting, endearing, and carefully crafted by Mark Haddon.
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