I have been reading A LOT this year. My goal was to read 25 books this year, and I’ve already blown way past this at 41 books and counting. As the temperatures rise, my husband and I have been spending more time at the beach. And besides falling asleep and playing in the water, I enjoy nothing more than a good, fluffy, light, beach read.
Here are my picks for the best beach reads I’ve read this year. These are not all necessarily new books, they just happen to be books I’ve read over the past few months.
This is the story of a social climber who befriends a socialite in an effort to marry the socialite’s husband. It’s a very campy premise, and this book is a very entertaining, quick read. There’s not much likable about the protagonist, so you’re not rooting for her, but if you like reality TV, this should not be an issue. If you enjoyed Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, this is not quite as dramatic, or as well written, but the pace keeps you turning those pages!
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be married to a Hollywood Celebrity, this book gives a fictional look at what happens when your spouse becomes a celebrity overnight. Honestly, I wonder about this all the time, especially with Reality TV that makes people famous for good or bad reasons overnight. A very entertaining book by the author of The Devil Wears Prada
This book tells the story of a mom from Texas who moves to NYC with her family - husband and 3 kids, and suddenly finds herself acting as the personal assistant of a very famous, but very bratty rock star. What might it be like to be Justin Beiber’s handler? This book gives you a sneak peek.
Janey Sweet is the CEO of a fashion business, and one day, her business partner and childhood friend makes her take a sabbatical to go on a diet. Yes, this is the premise of this book, but don’t tune me out just yet. So Janey starts working out, and that’s where things get funny and interesting. Veiled references to Soul Cycle and Tracy Anderson, but it’s fun to speculate if any of this is true 😉
I really enjoyed this book - it’s a love story that flips back and forth between past and present. This is a slow burn kinda book, with a happy ending. There’s a ridiculous “thing that happened” that causes the conflict, but honestly, it could have been easily avoided with a conversation. But, some of that realization comes with maturity, and well, let’s just say that you shouldn’t let this diminish the enjoyment of the book. If you remember what it was like to fall in love for the first time, or if you vividly remember falling in love with your current significant other, you will probably enjoy this book.
It’s entirely possible that I have a bias towards this book because it is written by the child of Indian immigrants in Canada, and an Indian immigrant myself, there are a lot of very South Asian things that I relate to. The author, Scaachi Koul, also writes for Buzzfeed, so she has this breezy, conversational voice that I particularly enjoy. The book is a collection of charming, funny, and touching essays - you could fly through it in a few hours.
Another selection of short stories - if you’re a fan of Curtis Sittenfeld, you will enjoy this book. The stories move quickly, some of them are funny, some of them are awkward, all of them are good.
I LOVED this book so much - such a sweet and charming story of friendship and finding one’s place in the world. At first the title character Eleanor seems extremely particular and unfriendly, but as you get further into the book and peel back the layers, you find there’s so much more to her than initially meets the eye. I found myself flying through this book, and although there are some sad bits, it has a happy ending.
Look, the Robert Langdon series of books have a formula, and if you’ve read Angels and Demons or The DaVinci code, then you know what that formula is. Origin doesn’t stray from that formula, but has the added allure of highly advanced AI. All the Dan Brown books feel like a race against the clock, and I read this one in a day.
Another romance, this one is a modern romance - sweet without being nauseating. Boy meets girl in college, they reunite later in life. There’s a conflict, and a satisfying resolution. Nothing fancy or particularly complicated, but enjoyable nonetheless.
What are some of your recommendations for beach reads? Leave them in the comments!
A shorter version of this post first appeared at Shibani’s blog, Bombay Taxi Boutique in June 2018.