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Best Books For The Summer To Take To The Beach

Updated on August 30, 2017

Great Summer Beach Reads

Summer is almost here and going to the beach usually implies having some of the best books for the summer ready to go. If not the actual books, at least a good sized wishlist that includes some cozy, light and fun new reads by popular authors and new releases that are worth checking out.

No matter how many books you've read so far, there is always something new to enrich your reading experience with. Cozy mysteries, romantic suspense, contemporary romances and even paranormal romances, these are all great candidates for offering something new for each of us. New books by our popular authors are published every day, so there is no shortage of what to read next on the beach.

Here is my personal list of summer beach reads for 2014. In my opinion they're all great beach reads and I hope you find something you enjoy, something that you haven't read yet.

Image credits: Creative Commons

Seduction by M.J. Rose
Seduction by M.J. Rose

Seduction by M.J. Rose

The Reincarnationist Series #5

I've read all the previously 4 books in the Reincarnationist series by M.R. Rose. I've started searching for these types of books ever since I became interested in reincarnation and finding out more about our own past lives. Of course these books are fiction and they have dearly little to do with actual spiritual reincarnation, so if you haven't read any in the series yet, don't be shy to pick them up. They're awesome and make for a great beach read!

Seduction looks to be a great historical fiction involving Victor Hugo, that really grabs you in. However it is also a rather fast read, if I gauge it by the previous books. I can't wait for it to be published so I can get it shipped to my address. It should be out in May.

Note: I am breaking here one of my own rules about how light the book should be by linking to a hardcover edition. Currently this is the only edition available on pre-order, I will replace the link as soon as a paperback edition is available.

What Makes A Good Beach Read?

reading on the beach
reading on the beach

Image credits: Creative Commons

When it comes to going to the beach, just what types of books make excellent beach reads and what is best left behind, at home on the shelves? There are currently millions of books published, with many more getting there every single year, on hundreds of different subjects, and taking the right beach read with you can make the difference between a great day at the beach or a rather lousy one.

Don't get me wrong, there are many things you can do at the beach, from swimming, playing ball games, chatting with friends and watching your kids play, but there are those of us who simply enjoy reading a good book while being lazy on the beach chair or towel, feeling the breeze on our face and hearing from far away the weaves of the sea while getting engrossed in our book.

Having spend numerous days at the beach (I am living in Cyprus, a beautiful Mediterranean island where summer takes the most months in the year), I made some mistakes and learned from them. And this is what I found...

  1. I know it is popular to take the Kindle with you to the beach, but with the current high prices of eReaders, I still prefer my $5-$6 book. A bit of sand or water in it won't hurt it, but it WILL hurt my Kindle or Nook.
  2. It should be a light book - literally. I mean you're sitting on the beach and craving a frappe latte or an ice cream. You do want to hold the book in one hand and enjoy your delicious treat with the other. A heavy book needs to be hold with both hands, so definitely avoid hardcover books. A lightweight paperback is best.
  3. Speaking of light books - the one you take to the beach should be light reading. What I mean by this is that you do want to have an uplifting book (not a depressing, dark and sad book, and by no means a horror novel!). You are at the beach, you want to be cheerful and in a fun, light mood. And especially if you have your kids with you, you don't want to be so engrossed in your reading that you forget about them. You should at all times hear the weaves of the sea knocking each other, head the people chatting around you and hear your kids playing with their sand castle.

The Glass Wives
The Glass Wives

The Glass Wives by Amy Sue Nathan

I got this book as an ARC (advanced reading copy) from a friend who got it from the author, and I found it really engrossing. Usually not my style of reading (I prefer thrillers and suspense novels), but I think this makes for a wonderful beach read. Not only that, but it's a new author (The Glass Wives is her first debut novel) that is worth checking out. I think you'll not be disappointed.

The book premise is quite interesting. A man dies in a car accident and leaves not only his wife and kids alone, but also his ex-wife and their kids. The drama unfolds as the two families are trying to get together, surprising everyone when the two women actually move in together, trying to end their differences and raise their kids together while sharing all expenses.

This is a very rich book about two women who are trying to come to terms with their loss and find affection and friendship where before there was none. A great view of our contemporary society and the women within.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Now this book has an interesting premise - albeit one that some people will cringe at initially. Imagine being born and dying - and being born again and dying again - over and over again, until you get it right. The story is about Ursula, a girl who as she grows older starts to remember fragments of her life and her death, occurring several times before.

Now the premise, like I mentioned above, might turn some people off, but bear with it, because it's a great book with a wonderful story, one that I think pretty much everyone has dreamed of experiencing - at least once in their life - that of a second chance to right wrongs and live just a bit longer to do one or the other thing that is still on the 'to do things before I die' list.

And imagine knowing that you get to live over and over again, so you can right wrongs from the past and maybe - just maybe save the world.

And this is what makes the book so enchanting. Once you start reading, you can't put it down, you want to see what happens next, there's no two ways about it. Absolutely a worthwhile read.

Image credits: Creative Commons

Are you a bookworm on the beach or you prefer instead to do other things when you're out there? If yes, which is your favorite genre that you enjoy taking with you the most?

The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison
The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison

The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison

A delightful read, perfect for the beach. It touches on relatively serious topics, however it's not a heavy read at all. The premise of the story is the following. Neil Kazenzakis has a disabled wife so he has to deal with lots of things, including raising his son, being a teach and overall cope with life. And by side he has a girlfriend as well.

A video sent to Youtube about him threatens to totally dismantle his carefully built life, and especially his relationship (which is already on shaky grounds) with his son. Not only he has now to prove to the world the actual truth, but has to repair his damaged son-father relationship and keep things from totally falling apart.

The book is emotional, intriguing, with a great character and relationship development that grabs you from the beginning. Some people found the first few pages a bit slow going, but if you do stick with it, you'll be glad you did.

More Popular Great Books For The Summer Published Since 2013

If you're looking for some more great beach reads, here are some that fully qualify. They are also new so you most probably haven't had a chance to read them yet.

The Wednesday Daughters
The Wednesday Daughters

This is a very heartwarming book about the relationship of a mother and daughter and about relationships in our modern world overall. A very contemporary fiction novel, one that reads like a real life story - it's as if you actually know the characters from your life, they feel very real indeed.

Game On (An Out of Bounds Novel)
Game On (An Out of Bounds Novel)

If you like hot, steamy romances, this book will fit the bill to perfection. It is as hot as it gets, and the perfect summer beach read.

Hour of the Rat (An Ellie McEnroe Novel)
Hour of the Rat (An Ellie McEnroe Novel)

Part of the Rock, Paper, Tiger series, Hour of the Rat by Lisa Brackmann is a great mystery set in China. If you do like travel books, this is also a great travel narrative with exotic settings and wonderful places to visit virtually.

Note: it is recommended that you do read the first book in the series, Rock, Paper, Tiger to get the most of this book.

The Next Time You See Me
The Next Time You See Me

Great mystery that can be read equally by adults and by 'young adults' as well.

The disappearance of a woman causes strong ripples through a small town, who's residents are connected with each other in a way. It is a mystery novel, but so much more than that. Worth checking it out.

Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans
Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans

Another perfect book for the beach, Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans is about friendships and how such a bond makes us stronger.

Maris Carrington is a successful Denim designer, who has her life turned literally upside down when she decides to go back home to settle the estate of her father. While at home, she watches some old films that make rethink her entire view to life, and bring her to some life changing decisions.


Are These Books Only For The Beach?

What about books for summer in general?

These books are all great to read on the beach, at home in your bed or your couch with a cup of coffee, on the plane, or in case you want to simply go on an island alone, just you and your book, and leave the hectic world behind :)

Additional Great Books For The Summer To Check Out

Great Beach Reads That You Might Have Missed Reading

These are not books published in 2013, but they are great summer reads that simply stand the test of time and if you haven't read them, they're well worth the price of a book (most of them have steep discounts at Amazon, especially since they're not newly published).

Bared to You
Bared to You

This is the first in the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day, and if you haven't checked it out yet, it's worth giving it a shot - especially if you like erotic romances that are hot, hot, hot.

To Live and Love In L.A.
To Live and Love In L.A.

This boo is all about love. It's the perfect summer read. I've never heard the term 'lovaholic' before, but I've heard it here and now I even know what it means!

Btw, this book is the follow-up to To Live And Drink In LA, so while you're at it, you might want to pick up the first one as well, so you have two great beach reads right away (they're quite funny books).

Garden Spells: A Novel (Waverly Family)
Garden Spells: A Novel (Waverly Family)

An adorable little book for the beach, or a rainy day in summer to curl up with it and finish it before you know it. It's lovely and while it's part of a series, you can read it on its own as well and then decide if you want to get the rest of the series.

Forgive Me, Alex: A Gripping Psychological Thriller (Tony Hooper Book 1)
Forgive Me, Alex: A Gripping Psychological Thriller (Tony Hooper Book 1)

Here is one for the mystery lovers, a great beach read about the mind workings of a killer and the man who is sworn to bring him down. The book is in fact a psychological mystery (one of my favorites) and I find it makes the perfect summer read.

Mid Ocean
Mid Ocean

Here is another one for the mystery lovers among us. Set in South Florida, it's the perfect book to read on the beach. If you enjoyed the series Miami Vice, you'll be drawn to this novel as well.


Image credits: Creative Commons

If you like to read books in summer and especially to take with you to the beach, which genre do you like to choose your books from the most? I do like a good mix, but especially chick-list and mysteries, but maybe you have other beach tastes?

Feel free to comment even if you are not a member of Squidoo.

Which Genre Is Best For Reading On The Beach?

See results

Do you have one or more beach read favorites that you can recommend us?

What Other Favorites You Consider Best Books For The Summer?

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    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Gee 

      5 years ago

      "Life after Life" sounds a lot like a book I read 10 years ago called "Replay". I have see Atkinson's book on Amazon and have been very tempted to read it.

      I also want to read "Next Time You See Me" because the reviews have been so good.

      Thanks for all the suggestions.

    • cargoliftken profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't usually read books on the beach but you have a great selection. :) I'd like to try it one time. Thanks for this great lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Good choices. I'll have to try some of these!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I whould like to read life after life.good collection.

    • suepogson profile image


      6 years ago

      If I do read on the beach it will be something escapist - Harry Potter? or environmental - Douglas Adams' 'Last Chance to See' comes to mind. Or a comedy. Or light romance ...or ... okay - I give up ... I guess it depends on the day, the weather, the mood .... Great leans and book suggestions

    • lewisgirl profile image


      6 years ago

      Great list.I can't wait to read some of your suggestions.

    • GypsyOwl2 profile image


      6 years ago

      I hope everyone will read The Time Between. one of those books I wish I could buy for all of my friends - a must read. drama, mystery, beach romance, and a connection to World War II.

    • Constantimo profile image


      6 years ago

      I love A. J Temples' 'Sally' Series of Romance / Drama books following the lives of a young couple as they settle in the highlands of Scotland. For digital download only at the moment though - you can see the first book here..Sally's Destiny

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These books are excellent reads for the summer! Great list to sit on the beach and read a good book. Also, check out this Facebook page: How I Exiled My Inner Bitch. The book is written by Miv Evans and will be released in the Summer. Like the page and see weekly updates on the book!

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      Thank you for your excellent summer reading suggestions. As a "I can't book the book down" sort of person, I would be reluctant to take any to the beach in fear of frying like a crisp! I do look forward to reading this list elsewhere during summer though!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Congrats on lens of the day. I prefer short stories due to time limits. Also a fan of quote books.

    • BestWeddings profile image


      6 years ago

      Relaxing and reading at the beach... what more could you ask. Congratulations on lens of the day.

    • BestofHalloween profile image


      6 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD! Love reading at the beach when I'm not too hot and cooling off in the ocean waves.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day! I read a lot of pdfs on my kindle... but there is nothing quite holding a real book in your hands. Better option for taking to the beach too!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like books that help me find ideas.

      Congratulations on receiving the LOTD.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow. Great Summer reading list.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens :) I recently reading The Very Thought of You.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 

      6 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Great recommendations here! I've vowed to read at least 1 - 2 books a month this year...and from different genres...not just my usual got to mysteries. So far on track with 10 read. Wonderful lens for book lovers!

    • Gardenerman profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for a great list of book. I'm currently running through the Alex Delaware Series By Jonathan Kellerman. I started at the beginning so once I'm done I'm going to check out some of your suggestions. I've bookmarked the lens so I can come back to it later.

    • mrdata profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for your valuable selections and great lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Congrats on your LOTD! Also fun books to read for summer travel.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Was just looking for beach reads today. Thanks for the recommendations.

    • LabKittyDesign profile image


      6 years ago

      Just popping by to say: support your local/used bookseller! Browlf!

    • geosum profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm into sci-fi. Used to do paperbacks but now mostly use the Kindle app on my iPhone. There are always free books available for the Kindle. Love to see Amazon send them to my iPhone at a cost of $0.00. I have a fun picture of 6 of us at the beach - all reading books.

    • eilval profile image


      6 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Just read Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales . Fabulous short stories in original format suitable for both adults and children .

    • anka05 profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting books idea for this summer. Congrats for making the LOTD!

    • francescajohnston profile image


      6 years ago

      Great Lens and book choices! I will definitely read some of these! Grats on Lens of the Day!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Oops meant to say congratulations on your LOTD! Way to go.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Any book by Nora Roberts

    • Risa28 profile image


      6 years ago

      I love to read on the beach . . . . or anywhere. Thank you for the M.J. Rose recommendation- I plan on checking thesse books out because they sound very interesting. Congrats on a very cool lens!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Great lens and great suggestions for those wonderful sunny, days at the beach.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      6 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Summer veggie cookbooks!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Congratulation on LOTD. Great lens with a great suggestion of books.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you for these summer reading suggestions. Congrats on LOTD

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've just finished "American pie" by Michael Lee West. Great story, fabulous characters and many chapters about the cuisine of the American South. Will check your list though Marcia, it's great :)

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      6 years ago from Keller, Texas

      The new Mary Higgins Clark book - Daddy Gone a Hunting. Especially if it's just a weekend trip to the beach because they are quick, easy reads but very entertaining.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @CaztyBon: I also read it and it is very interesting for recreation by reading books

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      6 years ago from Concord VA

      Thanks for these great book ideas. Congratulations on LotD! :)

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      You've introduced me to some new books...thanks for the reviews. I'm looking forward to trying out a couple of your recommendations.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I prefer reading materials more about health and relaxation.

    • writerkath profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Marcia! Congratulations on this great LOTD! I don't know what it is about reading on the beach, but you're right... nothing quite like it! Interestingly enough, even though I haven't hung out on the beach much lately (I walk it, more times than not), I still remember specific books I have read while lounging under the umbrella...

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Thanks for the recommended reads - and congratulations on your Lens of the Day!

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 

      6 years ago from Mondovi, WI

      Nice variety. I found one that looks interesting to try. Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 

      6 years ago from Somewhere in England

      I don't think there's any genre best suited to the beach. I read Angela's Ashes on a beach in Greece. What a contrast? Paperbacks are usually better than hard covers. That's about all I can say.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a nice selection of books to look through...thanks for putting it together and for the LOTD!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @Lensmaster...You've moved this Lens to the top with an LotD award, as well! Congratulations! Nice selections for Summer Reading!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I might just read that Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. Looks like a good one for the beach.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nora Roberts

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 

      6 years ago from Diamondhead

      I do all my catch -up reading in the summer, so I don't have any books in mind right now.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My favorites would be based on the categories like adventure, fantasy with a touch of sci-fi - Yet to read the books like Lorian Legacies series. Since you are interested in Reincarnationist - i would suggest you to go for Incarnation of Immortal series which is also under my Want to Read list.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I just finished Jodi Picoult's latest The Storyteller. Definitely not a light read but fabulous nonetheless. I love Kate Atkinson. Will have to check out Life After Life.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like the Harlen Cobsn books.

    • CaztyBon profile image


      6 years ago

      I also like Sci-Fi, romance, classics and just about anything else I can get my hands on.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @Lensmaster...Congrats on the water-worthy Purple Star awarded this Lens!

    • Camden1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Unfortunately, no beach is in store for me this summer - but I definitely want to read some of these books. The Glass Wives and Life After Life sound particularly interesting!

    • DentalTalk profile image


      6 years ago

      The beach season is almost here in Vancouver! Interesting picks, some of the mystery ones look great.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I wish I lived near the beach so I could say that I do read there. I am interested in several of the books for summer that you have here. I guess I better get started if I want to finish by fall. Great list! Thanks

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 

      6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I usually only go at the beach with kids to hunt treasures, but I'd settled for a good thriller book if I could. The Reincarnationist series by M.J. Rose sounds intriguing enough


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