During the cold winter months, we often dream of beaches, a warm breeze, or an afternoon by the pool. We may not be able to sit under the sun, but we can do the next best thing by cozying up to a good book set in a warm destination. To make this easier for your reading pleasure, we’ve compiled a list of novels set in sunny places, from suburban Los Angeles to an island off the coast of Kenya.
“Deliciously modern . . . drama, diamonds, and satire galore.”—Vanity Fair
We can always count on Kevin Kwan’s books to put us in a good mood, but this novel has the added plus of being set on the warm seaside of Capri, a delightful reading destination. The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with the glittering tale of a young woman who finds herself torn between two men: the WASPy fiancé of her family’s dreams and George Zao, the man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with.
“Ms. Russell is one in a million. . . . A suspenseful, deeply haunted book.”—The New York Times
Thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life at Swamplandia!, her family’s island home and gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades. But when illness fells Ava’s mother, the park’s indomitable headliner, the family is plunged into chaos.
To the Land of Long Lost Friends by Alexander McCall Smith
“[McCall Smith is] a master. . . . There’s beauty and revelation of one kind or another expertly into every line.”—The Christian Science Monitor
In the latest book in the widely beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Precious Ramotswe takes on a case for a childhood acquaintance and finds that family relationships are always a tricky proposition—even for Botswana’s premier female detective.
Camino Winds by John Grisham
“The type of wild but smart caper that Grisham’s readers love.” —Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing
John Grisham, number-one bestselling author and master of the legal thriller, sweeps you away to Camino Island for a little sun, sand, mystery, and mayhem. When a hurricane hits the island, it takes the life of Nelson Kerr, a friend of Bruce Cable’s and an author of thrillers. But the nature of Nelson’s injuries suggests that the storm wasn’t the cause of his death. Who would want Nelson dead?
Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier
“Fresh, funny, bittersweet. . . . This book delivers humor, humanity and hubris.” —The New York Times Book Review
In the tradition of audacious and wryly funny novels like The Idiot and Convenience Store Woman, Pizza Girl is the wildly original coming-of-age story of a pregnant pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles who becomes obsessed with one of her customers.
Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend
“Enchanted Islands is a many faceted jewel. It’s a spy thriller, a survivalist memoir, and a portrait of a marriage. . . . Fabulous. . . . Will carry you away.” —Chicago Tribune
Set in the rolling hills of San Francisco and amidst the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands, Enchanted Islands tells the story of two childhood friends. Rosalie is a housewife and mother, while Frances works for the Office of Naval Intelligence and has just been given a top-secret assignment. This vividly descriptive novel will transport you to warmer places.
Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen
“Carl Hiaasen remains the undefeated, unscored-upon conscience of Florida, maybe the conscience of the whole country.” —James Patterson
From the author of Skinny Dip and Razor Girl, Squeeze Me is a hilarious, New York Times best-selling novel of social and political intrigues, set against the glittering backdrop of Florida’s gold coast.
The Goddesses by Swan Huntley
“An addictive fictional saga in which a jilted wife goes to the mat to save her marriage and her morale.”—O, The Oprah Magazine, “10 Titles to Pick Up Now”
From the author of We Could Be Beautiful, The Goddesses is a lush and compelling novel about a woman who moves to Hawaii, only to find herself drawn into a dangerous and mysterious friendship.
The Dragonfly Sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
“A dazzling coming-of-age tale. . . . This lushly written epic of contemporary cultural clashes and world politics is as magically enveloping as a fairy tale.”—People
The award-winning author of Dust, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor’s latest novel, Dragonfly Sea, is set on the island of Pate, off the coast of Kenya. This vibrant, stunning coming-of-age novel is about a young woman struggling to find her place in a vast world—a poignant exploration of fate, mortality, love, and loss.
The Girls from Corona Del Mar by Rufi Thorpe
A knockout. . . . Worldly, rambunctious, feminist, morally interrogative.” —Elle
This beautiful coming-of-age story follows two best friends, Mia and Lorrie Ann, on the California coast, as their paths diverge—one free to fall in love, one burdened with responsibility. As Lorrie Ann begins to challenge what is expected of her, Mia questions how well she ever really knew her in the first place.