Similar to last year, I thought it’d be fun to pull together a list of beach reads for those of you looking for a new book this summer. Whether you’re lucky enough to be heading on a beach vacation or just sitting poolside in your neighborhood – these fun, page-turning picks should fulfill all of your summer reading desires!
SHOP THE POST
Searching for Sylvie Lee
This book was named one of the most anticipated books of the year by the New York Times and was this month’s pick for Jenna Bush Hager’s book club. With those kind of endorsements, sounds like this book is a no brainer!
Publisher’s Weekly says “Kwok’s thoughtful thriller (after Mambo in Chinatown) explores the Chinese immigrant experience in New York and Amsterdam, as the death of a grandmother leads two sisters to discover secrets about their family’s past.”
“This is a true beach read! You can’t put it down!” – Jenna Bush Hager, Today Show Book Club Pick
Based on true events, this pick is about a female spy during the cold war that finds herself in the FBI’s good old boys club. As someone who loved the TV show Alias, I’m always looking for a good spy thriller that involves a female. I’ve been told this is a page turner and keeps you on your toes the entire book.
NPR says “American Spy works on so many levels — it’s an expertly written spy thriller as well as a deeply intelligent literary novel that tackles issues of politics, race and gender in a way that’s never even close to being heavy-handed or didactic. Above all, it’s just so much fun to read — like the best of John le Carré, it’s extremely tough to put down. It marks the debut of an immensely talented writer who’s refreshingly unafraid to take risks, and has the skills to make those risks pay off.”
From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home
For those of you who love diving into a good personal memoir, this may be the pick for you. Set in Italy and filled with Italian recipes, traditions, and love – this has my name written all over it. Oh and it’s one of Reese Witherspoon’s recent book club picks – which typically does not disappoint.
Reese says: “This book gives me all the feels! This beautiful memoir takes us on Tembi’s personal journey of love, parenthood, and ultimately the loss of her husband. She learns to heal in the most beautiful way—through the support of three generations of women—and yes, there’s Italian food. Lots and lots of Italian food! I can’t wait for you to fall in love with this book the way I did.”
Where the Crawdads Sing
This book seems to be on everyone’s reading list these days and I always see someone on a flight with it. Mystery and romance found on the outerbanks of North Carolina sounds like the perfect combination for a beach read this summer.
The New York Times says “A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature….Owens here surveys the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast through the eyes of an abandoned child. And in her isolation that child makes us open our own eyes to the secret wonders—and dangers—of her private world.”
For any of you into Greek mythology or just looking for a little escape this international best seller is receiving rave reviews.
The New York Times says “Circe” is very pleasurable to read, combining lively versions of familiar tales (like the birth of the Minotaur or the arrival of Odysseus and his men on Circe’s island) and snippets of other, related standards (a glance at Daedalus and Icarus; a nod to the ultimate fate of Medea after she and Jason leave Aiaia) with a highly psychologized, redemptive and ultimately exculpatory account of the protagonist herself.”
The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters
I really enjoyed Balli Kaur Jaswal first book, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, so I’ve been looking forward to diving into this one. India is by far one of the most fascinating countries I’ve visited, so I always have a soft spot for novels set in this country.
USA Today says “Jaswal ably weaves a stirring tale of family, self-identity and acceptance that draws the reader in. The story flows, moving easily from heartfelt to humorous without feeling forced. There is a realness to the story. Particularly Jaswal’s characters. They are not some romanticized versions of people we often find in fiction. We see ourselves in them, warts and all, and, as a result, the reader becomes fully invested in them, both as individuals and as a family. What may seem to be a singular story about first-generation, London-bred Punjabi women evolves into a story universal to us all.”
Looking for more book recommendations? Check out last year’s post here.
What are your recommendations for a beach read this summer? I’d love to hear!