If lying by a pool with a good book in hand is how you enjoy your summer, then this list is for you! We rounded up our favorite Beach Reads. Some books have been out for a while, and some are coming soon!
If You Dream of Starting A New Life
By Laure Dugas
A Parisian, who grew up in a family that makes champagne, takes a job selling wine for her uncle so she can move to New York City. Surrounded by champagne makers her whole life, she leaves France disinterested in wine, but in love with the idea of starting a new American life. As she makes new friends, she also discovers a hidden love for wine. Weekly wine parties are her excuse to explore different varietals as her romantic relationship hits some roadblocks. This memoire is based on Laure’s actual experience. Not only did I learn a lot about wine and France, I loved every second of her adventure in New York. Wine and cheese parties on New York rooftops under the stars with friends, what could make for better summer reading?
Karen Wheeler’s 4-Part Series
I am so in love with this writer that I read these 4 books in a row. A fashion writer from London leaves England to start a new life in France. The first book Tout Sweet has the tagline “Hanging up my high heels for a new life in France.” I loved every second of her adventure buying a cottage, renovating it and meeting the locals. Her descriptions of exploring the nearby fields with her dog are particularly memorable. I can still see him jumping happily through the tall grass, as you do when a writer is this good. The series follows her life in France, falling in love, living through a tragedy, and then on a road trip through Spain and Portugal.
Women in Sunlight
By Frances Meyes
This came out in April and is going on my summer reading list. By the author of Under a Tuscan Sun, three American expats find friendship in Italy.
If You Love Epic Novels
By Donna Tartt
This is the epic story of a boy who loses his mother at a museum during a terrorist attack. In all of the commotion, he steals a priceless painting called The Goldfinch that changes the course of his life. It is a painting of a little bird chained to a bar. For three days I was chained like that Goldfinch to this book. I got a sunburn from neglecting to reapply sunscreen. I cared so deeply about the main characters that I worried about them during dinner. My dreams were vivid the nights after reading this book. Her characters are so well written that they remind you of people in your own life, and those from your favorite children’s stories. I shed heavy tears and mourned with the main character through his life. Her action descriptions are so cinematic that I’m not surprised the movie rights have been snapped up.
The Time in Between
By: María Dueñas
This is the story of an incredible woman who is forced reinvent herself as Madrid’s most prominent couturiere during the World War II. I found myself not only captivated by the story but entranced by the amazing cast of brave female characters.
If You Want To Read About Dream Vacations
By Emma Straub
A privileged literary Manhattan-based family heads to sunny Mallorca and drama unfolds. Husband and wife are celebrating their marriage of 35 years. Their daughter who loves reading the classics needs to escape an embarrassing situation. Their son brings along his girlfriend who no one in the family appreciates. Mom’s fun best friend and his boyfriend (or ‘interlopers’ according to Dad) come along for the journey. Secrets emerge, relationships end, tennis is played, and all while they soak up the beauty of Spain.
Brooklyn-based author Emily Straub did a great job of transporting me to sunny Mallorca. I could feel the cool tiles of their villa, see the large-scale pottery surrounding them, hear the splashes of the pool and feel the golden sun and dry heat. She also did a great job of letting me inside all of the characters’ minds to see their point of view. I particularly enjoyed the last few lines of the book. If you want to travel to Mallorca, this book is for you!
The Blue Bistro
By Elin Hilderbrand
Adrienne Dealey has no restaurant experience but manages to get a much-needed summer job at Nantucket’s hottest restaurant The Blue Bistro after getting dumped. While she is taught about the business by owner Thatcher Smith, an attraction develops. Why does he keep going back to the mysterious chef Fiona? One of “The Queen of the Beach Reads” Elin Hilderbrand’s best books by far. I love her version of Nantucket so much I visited the island just to try the restaurants and bars her characters frequent. Gorgeous beaches, mysteries, love affairs, great food and cold white wine are always on the menu in Elin’s world!
I am counting down the days until her next book The Perfect Couple comes out on June 19th! Her fast-paced books always provide a great escape.
The Forever Summer
By Jamie Brenner
For the same reason that I love Elin Hilderbrand for writing about a cast of characters who find themselves embroiled in beach house drama, wine and flip flops; so too I loved The Forever Summer.
Her latest book The Husband Hour is also going on my summer reading list. Lauren, a young widow, retreats to her family cottage on the Jersey shore when a documentary filmmaker shows up and forces her to reckon with old family secrets.
by Janna King
Brand ambassadors for an upscale clothing line find their perfect summer in Nantucket turned upside down by some not-so-perfect job complications. This one sounds promising and on theme.
If You Love to Read About Food
By Stephanie Danler
A young woman leaves her hometown to build a new life in New York. She gets a job at a hot Manhattan restaurant and finds herself in the middle of a love triangle as she learns everything there is to know about food and wine. This book is sad at times, but so beautifully written that you can’t put it down, or ever forget it.
By Ruth Reichl
Billie Breslin has a rare gift. She can identify any ingredient from a dish, so why does she refuse to cook? She moves to New York to work at a popular food magazine which soon shuts down. She is offered a part-time position to answer customer inquires. After another quiet day at the empty office, a trip to the magazine’s library sets her on a life-changing journey when she discovers an old letter. This unpredictable book is peppered with delightful characters and delicious food descriptions.
If You Love Chick Lit
When Life Gives You Lululemons
By Lauren Weisberger
I have no idea why this book is only $2.51 on kindle considering it just came out a few days ago. I’m only a few chapters in and I’m loving it. This is a follow up to The Devil Wears Prada. It focuses on Emily (Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant who is now an image consultant to the stars) and her two friends who are both full-time moms (an ex-lawyer and an ex-super model) and find themselves hiding from scandal as they sport their lululemons in suburban Connecticut. Ridiculous housewives, spoiled celebrities and friendship make up this romp. Who doesn’t love a cameo by none other than Miranda herself? We all want Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep to reprise their characters on the big screen so my hopes are set on a movie deal for this one.
My (not so) Perfect Life
By Sophie Kinsella
This came out last summer and I laughed out loud as I read it. Katie Brenner uses social media to make her life appear the way she thinks it should. She also idealizes her boss Demeter who seems to have it all. After getting fired by her cruel boss, Katie retreats to her family farm and sets them up as a hot site for city dwellers looking for a retreat to the country. When her ex-boss Demeter shows up as a client, Katie exacts her (hilarious) revenge. Katie quickly learns that things aren’t always as they seem. A light read by the Shopoholic writer, but not an empty one. It’s more of a reminder to laugh at ourselves and the perfection-obsessed culture we all have to navigate.
By Marian Keyes
If your husband says he’s leaving you for six months to “find himself” in south-east Asia, then technically you are on a break too, right? For Amy this surprise begins as a nightmare until she slowly starts to appreciate the opportunity; despite the local gossips and financial challenges. What I like about the book is that what starts off as slightly outrageous set-up ends up feeling so personal I started to wonder if author Marian Keyes and her husband had been through the same thing. Impressive insights, laughs and the stuff of marriages remind us why we love this author so much.
All We Ever Wanted – Out June 26th
By Emily Griffin
Three people are thrown together as a social media scandal rips through Nashville’s elite society. In a world amongst so much wealth and privilege, the characters are forced to question their closest relationships, who they are, and how to courageously live a life of meaning. From the author of Something Borrowed, and Something Blue, this one will definitely be an intriguing page turner.
What will you be reading this summer?