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Discover some great beach reads which are perfect to pack in your beach bag for a happy time at the beach house.
I have handpicked selection of the most enthralling beach reads of 2023. Whether you prefer light-hearted romances like Book Lovers that will have you grinning ear to ear, or gripping thrillers like Verity, that will keep you on the edge of your beach towel, you are going to love this list.
What are the top three beach books of 2023?
If you ask me, here are my top three most favorite beach reads that I can guarantee are great page-turners.
- Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
- Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
- The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Now, find the list of 29 best beach reads for 2023.
Icebreaker by Hannah Grace
- New York Times Bestseller
Looking for the best beach read that combines enemies-to-lovers romance with sports? Look no further than Icebreaker. This TikTok sensation of a sports romance will keep you hooked as it follows the journey of Anastasia Allen, a determined figure skater, and Nate Hawkins, the captain of the hockey team, as they are forced to share a rink.
Anastasia has worked really hard to earn a coveted spot on Team USA. Her dreams start to align when she receives a full scholarship to the University of California, Maple Hills, and secures a place on their competitive figure skating team. She firmly believes that nothing, not even Nate Hawkins, whom she can’t stand, will hinder her progress.
But when Anastasia’s skating partner’s future becomes uncertain, she may have to turn to Nate for a chance at success.
Icebreaker marks Hannah Grace’s debut novel and serves as the first installment in the Maple Hills series. Make sure to keep an eye out for the second book in the series, titled Wildfire set to be released in October 2023.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Fiction (2017)
- New York Times Bestseller
- A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
Gail Honeyman’s debut novel was one the best vacation books of all time for me.
31-year-old Eleanor Oliphant loves almost everything except talking to people. She has been working as an office manager for years and has spent every weekend treating herself with frozen pizza, vodka, and chatting with mom. But at times she finds herself lost and confused because she can’t get rid of her haunting past.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is an astounding novel with quirky and memorable characters that it would be a one of the gripping contemporary beach reads.
Lucky Girl by Irene MuchemiNdiritu
Lucky Girl is a powerful historical fiction novel about a young woman seeking independence in New York City. Struggling with the expectations of her mother, Soila embarks on a journey that challenges her beliefs about race, love, and family. Set in the 1990s, this historical fiction summer read explores themes of racism, privilege, and the complexities of coming-of-age and falling in love between two cultures. Through Soila’s experiences, the novel offers a fresh perspective on the immigrant experience and the quest for personal identity
November 9 by Colleen Hoover
November 9 tells the story of Fallon & Ben who follow a unique relationship. Fallon was a successful child actress until she got in a severe house fire. Ever since the fire incident, she is unable to pursue her acting career, feeling lost and scared. But when she meets the aspiring novelist Ben, they feel a mutual affection. Later, they decided to meet every year on the same day, November 9th. This is another addictive book like Verity by Colleen Hoover.
Meet Me At The Lake by Carley Fortune
- The Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller
- A Most Anticipated Book by Today, Oprah Daily, Katie Couric Media, BuzzFeed, SheReads, Zibby Mag, PopSugar, BookRiot, Culturess, Her Campus, The Everygirl
Next in the list is a fantastic beach read that will have you eagerly turning the page. Meet Me At The Lake is the second novel by beloved New York Times bestselling author Carley Fortune. Her debut novel Every Summer After, was praised by readers as the ultimate beach read of 2022. Her latest will take you into the captivating world of Fern Brookbanks and her unexpected journey at her mother’s lakeside resort.
Instead of pursuing her dream city life, Fern finds herself back home, reluctantly managing her mother’s resort in the picturesque Muskoka. It’s a role she vowed never to take on, with her mother’s absence and her ex-boyfriend serving as the resort manager. Overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin, Fern desperately needs a plan and a lifeline. And just when she least expects it, Will emerges—a mysterious artist with whom she shares an undeniable connection.
Will is the only person who truly comprehends Fern, but she’s hesitant to trust this changed version of him. “Meet Me At The Lake” offers an irresistible blend of mystery, romance, and self-discovery against the backdrop of a picturesque lakeside resort. Carley Fortune’s masterful storytelling will keep you engrossed as you delve into the complex dynamics between Fern and Will. It’s a perfect summer romance book read as you soak up the sun and enjoy the serenity of the beach.
Circe by Madeline Miller
- One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018
Madeline Miller’s Circe is a spellbinding fantasy fiction for the lovers of Greek mythology. Circe is the daughter of Helios. Although born to a divine family she lacks talents and power and is constantly being overlooked by others. When her family banishes her to a new world she finds her hidden abilities. ravel to the world of Greek heroes and gods in this hot summer.
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
Every Christina Lauren novel deserves to be in the list of great beach reads. The romance author duo are famous for writing best romantic comedy novels that offer perfect summer escape. I absolutely loved The Unhoneymooners, it was one of the best beach reads for me.
So for this list of perfect beach books, I have chosen Love and Other Words. This second chance love romance follows two childhood best friends who reconnect by chance. It’s a beautifully written story of friendship, first love, and loss. The narrative revolves around Macy Sorensen, who is a dedicated pediatrics resident, engaged to a financially stable man, but keeps her emotions tightly controlled.
However, when she unexpectedly crosses paths with Elliot Petropoulos—the person who was once her everything—the carefully built facade begins to crumble. Love and Other Words unravels their story through alternating timelines, weaving together the past and the present. I actually listened to the audio version of the book. And I must say the narrator Erin Mallon’s performance was absolutely incredible. It quickly became one of my favourite romance audiobooks.
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Belly loves summer and always looks forward to spending her summer vacation at Cousins Beach with her mom’s friend and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Although she always had a crush on Conrad, they always considered her to be a little sister. However, she hopes something different happens this time.
The Summer I Turned Pretty is light and fun YA summer romance to read at the beach
Tropical Kiss by Jan Coffey
Seventeen-year-old Morgan Callahan is traveling to Aruba to spend the summer with her dad as her mother goes on a honeymoon with her new husband. Morgan doesn’t like her “always busy father” so not at all looking forward to the trip. But when she meets Cy unexpectedly, her life is about to change. Tropical Kiss is a beautiful YA summer romance set on an idyllic tropical Island.
Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Fiction (2021)
- An Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller
New York Times bestselling author Nicola Yoon’s third novel follows eighteen-year-old, Evie. Ever since her parents are divorced she doesn’t believe in love. She feels that all great love stories have to end in broken hearts. When she meets X, her dance partner, she begins to ponder her opinion about “love”. Instructions for Dancing is an irresistible summer read that guarantees a perfect escape.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Fiction (2015)
- National Bestseller
- National Book Award Finalist
- Man Booker Prize Finalist
- Winner of the Kirkus Prize
A Little Life is a profoundly moving novel about impoverished four college friends who moved to New York City to fulfil their dreams. JB is quick-witted and full of life. Malcome is an aspiring Architect. Willem is a young actor and enigmatic Jude who has been a mystery for all three of them. An epic novel that explores the darker side of relationships.
This book is a great choice for those who look for immersive novels to read on the beach.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
- Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Romance (2022)
- Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Oprah Daily, Today, Parade, Marie Claire, Bustle, PopSugar, Katie Couric Media, Book Bub, SheReads, Medium, The Washington Post
Emily Henry is another popular romance author whose novels are instant beach reads. Whether it’s People We Meet on Vacation or Beach Read, readers can’t get enough of these books and love to have them in hand during their beach vacations. Her new book Happy Place is already getting rave reviews.
Her 2022 release Book Lovers is a delightful novel that follows the life of Nora Stephens, a woman whose world revolves around books, although she doesn’t see herself as the typical heroine. She’s not the plucky one, the laidback dream girl, or even the sweetheart. Instead, Nora is a heroine to her clients as a cutthroat literary agent and to her beloved little sister, Libby.
When Libby begs Nora to join her on a sisters’ trip to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, for the month of August, Nora reluctantly agrees. Libby envisions a small-town transformation for Nora, hoping she can become the heroine in her own story. However, instead of picturesque picnics in meadows or chance encounters with a charming country doctor or rugged bartender, Nora repeatedly crosses paths with Charlie Lastra, a brooding bookish editor from the city. It would be considered a meet-cute if it weren’t for the fact that they’ve met multiple times before, and it has never been cute.
As fate repeatedly throws them together in a series of seemingly improbable coincidences, they begin to uncover truths that could unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
“Book Lovers” is a modern rom-com with the perfect blend of steamy and sweet. With Emily Henry’s captivating storytelling and a cast of intriguing characters, this beach read will keep you entertained. Explore Emily Henry’s books In order.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Romance (2021)
- Instant New York Times Bestseller
- Instant Usa Today Bestseller
- Instant #1 Indie Bestseller
Looking for swoon-worthy YA beach read? Then get your hands on this time-travel romance, One Last Stop.
The New York Times bestselling author Casey McQuiston’s new novel is a refreshing read. This is the story of twenty-three-year-old August who is starting a new life in New York. When she meets gorgeous Jane on the subway she experiences something special.
With diverse characters and historical references, One Last Stop is a charming and sexy novel.
The Guncle by Steven Rowley
- Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor
- National Bestseller
- Wall Street Journal Bestseller
- USA Today Bestseller
- An NPR Book of the Year
- Finalist for the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards
Guncle is a hilarious tale of a retired sitcom star, Patrick. After losing the love of his love to a car accident, he leads an isolated life with occasional socializing. When he learns that his best friend and brother’s wife, Zara, passed away, he is forced to bring her two little kids to his house. After all how hard that can be to look after two kids!
A lighthearted novel perfect to add in the list of fun summer reads.
The Five-Star Weekend Elin Hilderbrand
Queen of beach reads Elin Hilderbrand is known for writing novels that are light, uplifting and filled with witty banter. Her latest The Five-Star Weekend explores friendship, love, and self-discovery in the picturesque setting of Nantucket. After tragedy strikes the food blogger Hollis Shaw who gathers a group of friends from different stages of her life for a memorable weekend on the island.
This enthralling and unexpected tale explores the complexities of friendship, love, and personal growth against the stunning backdrop of Nantucket. If you love reading novels that are set on islands, family gatherings, or friendly getaways, then this book is The Five-Star Weekend is an absolute must-read for you.
With Teeth by Kristen Arnett
- Named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, Vogue, and Marie Claire
The story follows the stay-at-home mom Sammie who is a wife of a successful businesswoman, Monika. However, Monika’s busy work life leaves Sammie in grief and anger. To top it all, their son is a handful, at times Samme is scared of him. With Teeth is a warm and witty epic page-turner about queer parenting that would be a gripping summer read for women.
Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
- New York Times Bestseller
- Reese’s Book Club Pick
Curtis Sittenfeld’s Romantic Comedy combines comedy, romance, and a touch of tenderness in a truly captivating way. The story follows Sally Milz, a comedy writer for a popular late-night show. After experiencing heartbreaks, she has given up on love and focuses on her career and her close relationship with her stepfather. However, when her friend Danny starts dating a glamorous actor, Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch called the “Danny Horst Rule” which highlights the imbalance between average-looking men and incredibly beautiful women in relationships.
Enter Noah Brewster, a charismatic pop star known for dating models. As Noah joins the show as a guest, Sally is drawn to his charm and begins to wonder if there could be a genuine connection between them. With her sharp wit and insightful writing, Sittenfeld explores the joys and anxieties of love while cleverly examining modern romance and gender dynamics. Romantic Comedy will make you laugh, swoon, and reflect on the intricacies of relationships in the modern age.
Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby
- New York Times Bestseller
Quietly Hostile is a hilarious essay collection by bestselling author Samantha Irby is the perfect beach read that will have you laughing out loud. With her unabashed and fan-favorite style, Irby invites readers to delve into the messy and unglamorous aspects of her real life.
Glamour describes Irby as one of our culture’s greatest humorists, and The New York Times praises her ability to write movingly about everyday topics like Trader Joe’s. In this collection, Irby takes us on a journey through the absurdities of her life, from dodging calls from Hollywood to navigating red carpet premieres. But behind the curated online persona lies a world filled with unexpected challenges, such as weird emails, anaphylactic shock, and being turned away from restaurants for inappropriate clothing.
Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So
- Instant New York Times Bestseller
- Winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize for Best First Book
- Winner of the Ferro-grumley Award for Lgbtq Fiction
- Named a Best Book of the Year by: New York Times, Npr Washington Post, La Times, Kirkus Reviews, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Harper’s Bazaar
Want to grab a quick & easy beach read? Then look no further than this short novel.
Afterparties is a short story collection to read while spending a few hours by the sea, reading. This story that portrays the lives of Cambodian-Americans in California. It discusses homosexuality, immigration, and the shocking consequences of intergenerational trauma. A heartfelt debut you will definitely enjoy.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Romance (2019)
- #1 New York Times Bestseller
- USA Today Bestseller
- Globe and Mail Bestseller
- Publishers Weekly Bestseller
In my opinion, best thriller beach reads should give readers goosebumps. And that’s why Colleen Hoover novel, Verity is a great book to read in this summer.
This riveting pshycological thriller follows the struggling writer Lowen Ashleigh. When she gets the job offer as a ghostwriter for the bestselling author Verity Crawford, who is unable to get back to writing. When she visits the house to refer to the note and other resources she finds a half-done autobiography of Verity which contains some dark secrets of the family. An awe-inspiring thriller to add to your summer reading list. If you have already it find more books similar to Verity.
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
- A 2022 Audie Award Finalist
- Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
If you are looking for a fast-paced, heart felt thriller to read on the beach, The Last Thing He Told Me is a great book.
With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery that explores the sacrifices we make for the people we love. When Owen Michaels disappears, he leaves a cryptic note instructing his wife, Hannah, to protect his daughter, Bailey, who wants nothing to do with Hannah. As Hannah unravels the truth behind Owen’s disappearance, she and Bailey embark on a journey that uncovers shocking secrets and leads them to a future they never anticipated. Read my full review of The Last Thing He Told Me.
Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price
- One of BuzzFeed’s best YA books of 2021
Pride and Premeditation is a clever and witty suspense murder mystery is the retelling of Jane Austen’s romantic novel Pride and Prejudice.
Seventeen-year-old Lizzie Bennet is an aspiring lawyer. She takes up a murder case to prove to her father that women are just as competent and qualified as men. However, Mr Darcy, the young solicitor, seems to be more than just a competition. An entertaining page-turner for the lovers of crime and mystery books. This fast-paced mystery is worthy reading on the beach this summer
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Historical Fiction (2022)
- Winner for Best Debut Novel (2022)
- New York Times Bestseller
Lessons in Chemistry is undeniably one of the best books I’ve read this year. It captured my heart, making me laugh out loud and shed tears of both joy and empathy. Bonnie Garmus quickly became one of my favroite authors.
From start to finish, I was utterly enthralled by the story, completely adoring every page. Elizabeth Zott, the fearless chemist, in the 1960s stole my heart with her strength and determination. And the darling Six- Thirty, the dog that accompanies her journey adds an extra layer of charm and delight. If you’re a fan of novels featuring strong women, witty humor, and heartwarming connections with animals, this book is an absolute must-read. Read my full review of Lessons in Chemistry. If your book club is reading the book, check Lessons in Chemistry Book Club Questions & Snack Ideas
The Killers of Flower moon by David Grann
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best History & Biography (2017)
- National Book Award Finalist
- Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture
Killers of the Flower Moon is an absolute masterpiece that delves deep into one of the most chilling and shocking crimes in American history. Author David Grann weaves a captivating narrative that takes us back to the 1920s, a time when unimaginable wealth flowed beneath the land of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. As the Osage prospered, their lives were marred by a series of mysterious and brutal murders.
What sets Killers of the Flower Moon apart is Grann’s meticulous research and his ability to unravel a web of deceit and corruption. The story is enriched by the presence of determined individuals like Tom White and the Native American agents who, against all odds, sought to uncover the truth.
Killers of the Flower Moon is not just a true-crime story it is a testament to the resilience and strength of the Osage people who fought against immense adversity. It sheds light on a dark chapter in American history that should never be forgotten. David Grann’s true crime book will leave you captivated, emotionally stirred, and forever changed.
Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan
- Named one of the Best Beach Reads of Summer 2022 by The Washington Post, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Southern Living, Country Living, Business Insider, Buzzfeed, Book Riot,The Augusta Chronicle
Next in the list is a feel good and uplifting tale about a single mother and talented screenwriter Nora Hamilton. When her husband leaves her and children, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. Shortly after her life intertwines with former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance.
Monaghan’s writing is infused with warmth, wit, and wisdom, making the characters come alive with every turn of the page. Nora is a relatable and strong-willed protagonist who navigates the complexities of love, work, and motherhood with grace and humor. Nora Goes Off Script is one of the fun and lighthearted novels that will make you laugh out loud at times, and at others, it will touch you with its heartfelt moments of emotional depth.
Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Romance (2022)
Things We Never Got Over is an irresistible beach book for you if you love romance novels set in a small town. Author Lucy Scoreweaves a love story that combines heartwarming moments, unexpected twists, and an excellent plot.
The story revolves around Knox, a bearded, bad-boy barber who prefers the solitude of his own company, except for his loyal companion, Waylon the basset hound. His uncomplicated life takes an interesting turn when he encounters Naomi, a runaway bride seeking refuge in the rough-and-tumble town of Knockemout, Virginia.
The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Historical Fiction (2017)
- New York Times Bestseller
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an extraordinary novel that left me utterly spellbound from start to finish. It’s my favorite beach novel from the list.
This gripping tale takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions, and makes you reflect on the complexities of love and fame. Evelyn Hugo, a captivating and enigmatic character, steals the show with her strength, resilience, and unapologetic determination. Her journey through the seven marriages unveils a web of secrets, scandals, and heartbreaking choices that kept me on the edge of my seat.
The author’s exquisite storytelling transports you to the glamorous world of Hollywood, while also exploring important themes such as identity, sexuality, and the price of success.
I must say that I absolutely love Taylor Jenkins Reid’s stories, so I have created a full list of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novels for you.
A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum
- The New York Times bestseller
- Read with Jenna TODAY SHOW Book Club pick
- A Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist for Best Fiction and Best Debut
- BookBrowse’s Best Book of the Year
- A Marie Claire Best Women’s Fiction of the Year
- A Real Simple Best Book of the Year
- A PopSugar Best Book of the Year All Written By Females
In this list of the best beach books, A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum is the most powerful novel. I remember feeling angry and frustrated while reading about the horrific life these characters had to live.
Rum weaves together the lives of three generations of Palestinian women. Through the eyes of the main character, Isra, and her daughter Deya, we witness the struggle for freedom and self-discovery amidst the weight of tradition and societal constraints. This powerful mutltigenerational drama not only sheds light on the universal themes of love, identity, and sacrifice but also brings to the forefront the untold stories of marginalised women.
I absolutely recommend including A Woman Is No Man in your summer reading list.
Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
- One of Suspense Magazine‘s “Best Thrillers of 2021”
- One of New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2021
- Nominated for the Left Coast Crime 2022 Lefty Award for the Best Humorous Mystery
Finlay Donovan is Killing It is a fast-paced novel brims with delicious wit and presents an authentic portrayal of the trials and triumphs of motherhood. It embraces the messy, hilarious, and real life moments that come with juggling parental responsibilities and a quest for personal fulfilment. With razor-sharp humor and an unapologetic portrayal of the messy realities of life, this book will have you hooked from the first page.
Time for your action.
What genre do you love to read at the beach? Let me know in the comments.
Always curious to hear from you,
More beach reads for your summer reading list