The question of what books to take to the beach every summer is one that stumps those of us with even the longest to-be-read lists. What, really, makes a book a “beach read”? Does it need to be set at the beach? Have a beach on the cover? Have the word “beach” in the title?
We don’t have the answer, (though it’s likely “no” across the board), and instead, we’ve made up our own definition. For us, the perfect beach read is that book you’ve been meaning to read all year, but just haven’t gotten around to. You know the one: It’s the book everyone’s been talking about; the one Reese picked up for her book club; the one that’s hitting theaters later this summer (we’re looking at you, Crazy Rich Asians); the one that’s been lying on your bedside table, just begging to be cracked open, constantly pushed to the bottom of the pile. We’ve taken the liberty of rounding up eleven of those very books (many of which came out in the past year) for you, to make your “beach read” hunt a bit easier. Happy beaching.
It would seem impossible, but Celeste Ng may have outdone herself with her second novel, Little Fires Everywhere — Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington have already picked it up for adaptation. The novel is set in Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland that plays by the rules to the letter. When Mia Warren arrives in town, her out-of-the-box views and tendency to ignore the rules can’t help but shake things up. Elena Richardson, longtime Shaker Heights resident and rule follower, will let her obsession with Mia and her past get the better of her
If you missed John Green’s much-anticipated follow-up to The Fault in Our Stars (five-plus years in the making), this past October, now’s the time to read it. Green once again takes on the narrative voice of a teen girl, this time sixteen-year-old Aza, who suffers from OCD and is prone to thought spirals. When billionaire Russell Pickett goes missing, she decides to join her best friend in tracking him down (the reward is $100,000) despite the never-ending spiral of her thoughts getting in the way.