I’m headed to the beach today for a long weekend and have very carefully chosen Mary Kay Andrews’ The Newcomer, John Grisham’s The Reckoning, and Katy Birchall’s The Secret Bridesmaid as my check-out-of-real-life- while-I-lounge-on-a-hammock beach reads for the weekend. I didn’t want anything that made my brain work even a little.
If you’re also on the hunt for some hammock—or beach, or pool, or just lazy summer afternoon on the couch—reads, I’ve put a few of my recent favorites below.
For juicy, gossipy fun… Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty
Remember how reading The Devil Wears Prada made you feel like you should wear stilettos, be a size 2, and work for Vogue? This is that exact same concept except now the author (and the rest of us) has aged 15 years. So, this is set in wealthy suburbs and involves a lot of Botox. This is the kind of book that pairs perfectly with a pool and a cocktail.
For a little suspense… The Last Thing He Told Me
This reads like a mix of chick lit and mystery, which may be my favorite genre for a beach read. It’s hard not to reveal spoilers in this one, but the premise is basically that a woman’s husband disappears, leaving her with a cryptic note and a lot of questions. It’s fast-moving and fun, and feels a little like something you’d watch on Lifetime.
For a lot of suspense… Win
I really like Harlan Coben books in general (and if you’ve never watched his Netflix miniseries, it’s time to break out the popcorn now), but this may be my favorite one of his characters yet—which is good news because apparently this is the first in a series. This story is full of plot twists around a murder in a penthouse, the kidnapping of a wealthy heiress, and a domestic terrorism case. Which is all very fun. But the most fun is Win himself who is both brilliant and very likely a sociopath.
For memoir (and Dazed and Confused) fans… Green Lights
I love memoirs, but I wouldn’t recommend most of them for beach reading. But this is Matthew McConaughey. His stories are mostly light-hearted and fun. I listened to this book on Audible and highly recommend that version because it’s read by McConaughey himself. Not only are you listening to his famous Texas drawl the entire time, but in true actor fashion he adds a lot of emotion to the text—including even the occasional laugh.
For seaside self-improvement… Think Again
I’ll really read anything from Adam Grant. If you want a quick taste of his writing, I loved this recent NYT column on Languishing. This book was about the idea that the most successful people have the ability to unlearn and rethink. As a person who is quick to draw conclusions and slow to change my mind, this was a bit uncomfortable to read. But I think that was the point.