Reading Group Center

8 Beach Reads You’ll Love

Let’s just get this out of the way: a beach read is any book you read on a beach. Even Moby-Dick or On the Origin of Species can be a beach read . . . if you read them on the beach. So now that we’ve gotten that off of our chests, here are a few of the books that we’ve already enjoyed reading seaside (and poolside and lakeside and next to the air conditioner) this year that we recommend wholeheartedly.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

“There’s rich, there’s filthy rich, and then there’s crazy rich. . . . A Pride and Prejudice-like send-up.” —People 

This New York Times bestseller tells the story of New Yorker Rachel Chu’s journey to the discovery that she’s unknowingly dating Singapore’s most eligible bachelor. Cue the Prada handbags and family pressure! The book hits the big screen in August, so now is the perfect time to dive in.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Buy the book

9780385534642The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

“So sparklingly alive, you’ll swear the pages are breathing in your hands. . . . The Night Circus defies both genres and expectations.” —The Boston Globe 

The Night Circus is a book about a circus and about magic and about love. But unlike other books about those things, you’ll feel like you’ve fallen headfirst into this mesmerizing story. It’s perfect for a marathon beach-reading session.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Buy the book

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

“Both timelessly beautiful and unbelievably timely.” —Chris Bohjalian

A captivating novel of family, fame, and religion that tells the story of the seventeen-year-old daughter of an evangelical preacher, star of the family’s hit reality show, and the secret pregnancy that threatens to blow their entire world apart.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Buy the book

9780804170079The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe

“A ravishing, stay-up-all-night-reading kind of novel—a sad, funny, almost impossibly good debut.” —MORE

One of our favorite novel topics is the complex friendships women form with other women, and the relationship in Rufi Thorpe’s The Girls from Corona Del Mar is among the best. When they meet, best friends Mia and Lorrie Ann are sure their lives are going to go a certain way. But as years pass, entirely different paths appear for the two friends, leading Mia to wonder how much she really ever knew Lorrie Ann. It’s a heartbreaking and heartwarming read—one you’ll want to discuss with your bestie right away.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Buy the book

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

“When women of color write history, we see the world as we have never seen it before. In Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Ingrid Rojas Contreras honors the lives of girls who witness war. Brava! I was swept up by this story.” —Sandra Cisneros

A mesmerizing debut set in Colombia at the height Pablo Escobar’s violent reign about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Buy the book

9781101974070Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

“The Devil Wears Prada of the wellness world. . . . It’s about time the New York City fitness scene—booming in 2017 like never before—got its roman à clef.” —Well+Good

Here is an outrageously funny novel about one woman’s attempt—through clay diets, naked yoga, green juice, and cultish workout classes—to win back her career, save her best friend, and lose thirty pounds.

Buy the book

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Social Creature is a wicked original with echoes of the greats (Patricia Highsmith, Gillian Flynn).” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.

Read an excerpt | Buy the book

9780307949806Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan

“This year’s best book about family.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

A sweeping, unforgettable novel from The New York Times bestselling author of Maine, about the hope, sacrifice, and love between two sisters and the secret that drives them apart.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Buy the book