When the warm weather rolls around, I find myself craving light (ish) reads, particularly ones that take place in beachy locales like Nantucket or Cape Cod (don’t judge me). What I don’t crave is poor writing or fluffy, predictable plot lines. It can be hard to find books that strike a good balance, but below are a few options that, I think, have the right mix. These are all good books on their own, but I find that something about them just screams summer to me. None of them are your fluffy, typical beach read, but they’re books that I’ve read and loved, and which I think would make for excellent poolside reading.
The Vacationers: This was everyone’s summer read last year, and I really loved it! Perfect poolside pick as far as I’m concerned – a little family drama, an idyllic European island setting…so good.
The Double Bind: A great mystery that keeps you guessing. It deals in some heavy subject matter so it’s not your typical “beach read,” but still perfect summer reading in my opinion.
Seating Arrangements: I loved this book, which centers around a wedding on a Nantucket-esque New England island. Very well-written and engaging, plus some funny moments as well.
American Wife: Again, loved this book and just a good mix of great writing, great characters, and an interesting plot.
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.: Oh, this was good. So good! Very relatable to our time and generation.
Rebecca: I love this classic gothic novel and I think it’s a great summer read if you want something a little darker and a little mysterious.
This is Where I Leave You: Funny and light, but with the right amount of substance.
Little Children: Almost a satire of suburban life in a way, as all of Tom Perrotta’s books tend to be. This is a really, really good dark comedy and a perfect beach read with substance. Good movie too.
If you do want a more typical chick-lit type beach read, I can recommend Something Borrowed (I only read the first one) – a bit silly but very enjoyable, and my current read, The Knockoff. It’s definite chick-lit but I’m actually liking it quite a bit!
What are you looking forward to reading this summer?
I haven’t read any of these but I will definitely keep this post in mind for when I need new recs!
The Trendy Chick
Oh yay! I love this! I have only read one of these books, but have considered quite a few of the others, so I will put them on my “to read” list. As always, thanks for your book reviews.
Thanks for all these recommendations! I’m going to pick up a few. Also, I’m reading Bittersweet now too!
I love American Wife! Have you read her other books?
I read Prep (loved it), and her second book which I wasn’t too big a fan of. Have you read Sisterland? I have it but haven’t gotten to it yet.
Ah! I love Rebecca! I’ll also be posting my summer reading list tomorrow- but mine are all books I plan to read rather than recommendations. I love the idea of this list; I’ve never been one for fluffy reading 🙂
I have yet to read The Vacationers–making it a priority this summer! I’m currently reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern which has proven to be an interesting on thus far!
I always have a book that I’m reading but during the summer is when I end up going through 3-4 books a month. I’ve been meaning to read the Vacationers for sometime now.
Such a great list of books! Seating Arrangements is definitely on my list this summer to read 🙂