Books to Read at the Beach

A Roundup of my top 10 book recommendations for this Summer

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I absolutely love summertime and after the shitshow known as 2020, I really wanted to make this summer great. So, right now, I’m getting ready to go on my second of three (!) planned vacations for the season and if there’s one thing I absolutely can’t travel without, it’s a good book to read.

I actually almost never go anywhere without a book (seriously, I’m one of those people that’ll read in line at the post office) so the idea of not having a good book to read while on vacation is downright unthinkable.

With that in mind – here are my recommendations for great books to read this summer. Whether you’re on vacation, at the pool, or just lounging around the house, you’ll want to grab one of these to read. ?

Summer Books To Read

1. One To Watch

Are you a fan of The Bachelorette? If so, then this is the PERFECT beach book for you!

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London takes the premise of everyone’s favorite matchmaking reality show and adds a new, modern twist. The main character, Bea, is a plus-sized fashion blogger. When she’s selected as the lead on a Bachelorette-inspired TV show, she becomes the first ever plus-sized Bachelorette. It’s romance, sure – but there’s a strong element of body positivity and juicy gossip.

2. Happy and You Know It

Happy and You Know it, by Laura Hankin, was one of my absolute FAVORITE books to read last year. I devoured this book – I’m talking, up-to-two-in-the-morning-reading devoured. (So, fair warning – don’t pick this one up unless you’re OK with being sleep-deprived for a few nights.)

The book follows a group of wealthy moms in New York City and the young musician they hire for their playgroup. I’m all for books about rich people behaving badly and this one delivers.

3. A Special Place for Women

Laura Hankin’s new book really proves (at least in my opinion) that she’s going to be one of the best new author’s of this generation.

A Special Place for Women is about a group of wealthy New York women who operate a secret society. On the surface, Nevertheless is just a social club, albeit a very exclusive and mysterious one filled with only the most elite of members. But it’s rumored to be much more than that.

To find out what the fuss is all about, and to save her failing journalism career, Jillian Beckley decides to infiltrate the club to get the inside scoop.

It’s definitely an addictive read – I couldn’t put it down and finished it over the course of a weekend.

4. Malibu Rising

The latest novel from Taylor Jenkins Reid, Malibu Rising follows a group of famous siblings over the course of one night in Malibu that will inevitably change their lives forever.

I just finished this book a few days ago and I have a serious book hangover now.

Anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid is worth picking up this summer, but I’d highly recommend either Daisy Jones and the Six or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

You May Also Like: June 2021 Book Wrap Up

5. Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid was the book I recommended the most to people in 2020. It’s not exactly a “beach read,” but I’d still tell you to pick it up for your next vacation.

It follows a young, black nanny who’s accused of kidnapping the white child she babysits and everything that happens in the aftermath. A thoroughly engrossing novel exploring privilege and race, you’ll finish it in less than week (even if you are on vacation).

6. The Mother In-Law

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth is a domestic drama with a thriller/mystery element to it.

When Lucy’s mother-in-law, Diana, dies unexpectedly, the police suspect foul-play. Given Lucy’s tumultuous relationship with her husband’s icy mother, she’s immediately a suspect.

It’s full of twists and turns, but has a surprisingly tender heart.

7. The Push

Oh my god. When I finished reading The Push by Ashley Audrain earlier this month, that was my reaction. For like, a full week!

I can’t even give a proper synopsis of this book, but I’ll tell you that it’s definitely the darkest one on this list. If you’re into domestic or psychological thrillers, though, then run – don’t walk – to buy this book.

By far one of my favorite books to read this year without a doubt.

8. 28 Summers

No summer reading list would be complete without the queen of beach-reads herself: Elin Hilderbrand. I’m not even a huge fan of books that are classified as “beach-reads,” but I’ve read (and loved) every single one of Ms. Hilderbrand’s novels.

Along with her most recent book, 28 Summers, I included a few of my past favorites too. (And yes – The Sixth Wedding technically hasn’t been released yet, but that’s how confident I am in her writing!)

9. Red, White, and Royal Blue

With her debut novel, Red, White, and Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston became an instant New York Times Bestseller.

An LGBTQ romance between the First Son of the United States (FSOTUS, I guess?) and a member of the British Royal Family, this is one of the cutest books to read.

For anyone who loves light, breezy summer reads, this one should be on your list.

You May Also Like: Red, White, and Royal Blue Book Review

10. City of Girls

After Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert made a return to fiction with City of Girls and boy did she deliver.

The novel, set in the 1940’s, follows protagonist Vivian Morris as she explores Manhattan along with her own budding sexuality. At age 19, Vivian is kicked out of college and her wealthy parents decide to send her to New York City to live with her aunt. There, she meets a cast of interesting people and discovers a whole new side of herself.

This book was so engrossing – I absolutely loved it and it’s definitely one to consider packing on your next vacay.

One Last Recommendation Before I Go:

If you haven’t already made the switch to an e-reader, trust me, I get it. There’s nothing like the feel of a good book, but I’d still suggest getting a Kindle.

This is the one I have; it’s waterproof and light-weight and I use it when I travel and when I’m out at a pool. I even use it when I take a bath (I can’t risk getting the pages of a real book wet!)

Check Price Here


So, there you have it! My recommendations for the best books to read this summer (or, honestly, any time of year). You can always rent one of these from your local library (if you have an e-book, most libraries let you borrow digital copies, too!) but as a writer myself, I have to encourage you to buy one. We should all be showing support to authors.

Have you read any of these books? Do you have a favorite that I didn’t include here? Let me know in the comments below – I always love feedback! And, as always, thanks for reading.


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  1. avatar

    These suggestions all sound great! I really liked the summary of A Special Place for Women, seems like a book is really enjoy. I have told myself I need to read more female authors so these are excellent suggestions, thanks for sharing!

    1. avatar

      I would highly suggest giving Laura Hankin a try – I absolutely love her books and she seems so sweet (I follow her on social media and she’s very engaged with her readers!)

  2. avatar

    These are all such great book suggestions ! Thank you

  3. avatar

    Great selection

    1. avatar

      Thanks for reading!

  4. avatar
    Brianna Stryker says:

    Great post! I totally feel you about 2020 sucking and wanting to make this summer much better. I am also the same way, I love taking a book with me wherever I go so I needed this post. I will definitely be adding several of these to my reading list. I can already see myself taking 28 Summers to the beach with me! Thanks for sharing this list.

    1. avatar

      Yes, it was soo good!! I read it last summer actually, but if you haven’t read it yet definitely do. You’ll be addicted to her, for sure.

  5. avatar

    This seems to be a great collection to spend a lovely summer vacation with reading! I like the way you’ve given a precise about each book! Thanks for sharing this, Katie!

    1. avatar

      Thank you! So glad you liked it. Reading is very subjective, so some people might not like my picks, but I tend to gravitate towards commercial, literary, and domestic thrillers.

      1. avatar

        That seems a great list. Loved the way you have given the brief of each book. I am adding some in my reading list too but I am more excited for The Push. Thanks for sharing this list!!

        1. avatar

          Oh my god you’re gonna love it!! If you do end up reading it, PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. I keep trying to find people who’ve read it so I can discuss it!

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30ish Lifestyle blogger, relationship "expert," and modern-day agony aunt.
Sometimes humorous, always honest.