I’ve never been a fan of the term “beach read”, partially because I think it gets used a little flippantly at times and partially because I’ve never really been that much of a beach person. That being said, I do believe that some books are better suited for summer reading than others, and this year I’ve decided to put together a list of my top recommendations for the hot months. Though the books on this list are all unique and original, what they all have in common is that their gripping, well written, and highly entertaining. Let’s get right into it!
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
A violent event on summer night shapes the lives of two families living next door to each other. Their youngest children, previously best friends, are torn apart, and spent the next decade of their lives slowly finding their way back to one another. This beautiful novel about family, friendship and forgiveness is the perfect summer read, and Mary Beth Keane’s lovely writing will draw you in and keep you turning pages at lightspeed. Read my full review HERE and buy your own copy HERE.
The New Me by Halle Butler
A cynical 30-year-old woman can’t quite get her life together, but when a potential job opening comes up she finds herself completely obsessed with the “new life” the position could offer her. The only problem is that she’s spending so much time focusing on the future that she may be ruining her chances in the present. This hilarious and critical office novel is the perfect thing to read during some time off from work over the summer. Read my full review HERE and buy your own copy HERE.
Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle
It’s not a summer reading list without a gripping psychological thriller, and the author of Three Days Missing is back to deliver on that front. Beth has been planning to flee her abusive husband for a year, and now the day has come and she’s fully equipped with a new identity and plans to move to a new city. Hundreds of miles away Jeffrey returns home from work to find his wife Sabine missing, with all signs pointing to foul play. The police officer on the case refuses to give up, and what unfolds is a riveting story filled with suspense and carefully created character. Buy your own copy HERE.
The Pisces by Melissa Broder
Devastated by a recent break up, a 38-year-old Ph.D. candidate takes an offer to house sit on Venice Beach for the summer. As her mental and emotional states declined she becomes wrapped up in a mysterious romance with a guy who may or may not be a merman. Melissa Broder’s hilarious and highly unique perspective of femininity in the modern age will draw you in and make you reconsider your view of the modern world. The Pisces is a new take on the classic summer romance novel. Read my full review HERE and buy your own copy HERE.
This Will Only Hurt A Little by Busy Philipps
Beloved actress Busy Philipps (known for her roles in Dawson’s Creek, Freaks and Geeks and ER) shares stories of her childhood and the path that led her to fame. With heartbreaking honesty, keen analytical thought, and a sharp sense of humour, Philipps explores what it’s like to be a woman in the spotlight, and her personal stories will draw you in and keep you wanting more. Read my full review HERE and buy your own copy HERE.
The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
The author of All The Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger is back with another page-turning thriller. A young woman spends her summer working in a small coastal vacation town, but finds her life turned upside down when new evidence proves her best friends’ death a year earlier may not have been a suicide after all. Matters are complicated by the fact that she works for her best friends’ family - one of the wealthiest families in town. Miranda’s mastery of the mystery genre and the beach-side setting make this book a slam dunk for summer reading. Buy your own copy HERE.
Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
The hilarious women behind hit true crime podcast My Favorite Murder have finally obeyed their fans’ command and written a joint memoir. Tag along as K&G tell stories about their experiences with addiction, failed romance, and mental illness, all with their signature dark humour and blunt honesty. This non-fiction story will entertain beach readers, road trippers, and staycationers alike. Buy your own copy HERE.
I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott
Acclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott shares stories of what happens when you check off all of the boxes in life’s to-do list only to find that you may need to completely rewrite the list. This essay collection contains incredibly insight on working life, finding happiness and opening oneself up to life’s possibilities. I Miss You When I Blink is just the right combination of uplifting, interesting and affecting to make it the perfect book for summer. Buy your own copy HERE.
Roar by Cecelia Ahern
In her new short story collection, Cecelia Ahern, author of Where Rainbows End, explores female life from a variety of vantage points. One woman is tortured by sinister bite marks appearing on her skin, another is swallowed up by the floor during a mortifying presentation, and yet another tries to return and exchange her husband like an ill-fitting piece of clothing. Each story has the strength to stand alone, but together they have the power to remind readers just how incredibly women really are. Buy your own copy HERE!
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Romance meets 1960s rock & roll in this oral-history-style novel from the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Singer Daisy Jones joins forces with renowned band The Six to write and record one best-selling album. But her time with the band will change her - and her new co-creators - forever. Reid explores difficult topics like mental illness and addiction, but ultimately Daisy Jones & The Six is a fun, freeing story that will make you want to turn on some music and dance. Read my full review HERE and buy your own copy HERE!