Remember the final week of school before summer break? It was just so amazing. Everyone was happy. Finals were over. No more teachers. No more books. No more dirty looks. And for about two or three weeks it actually felt like you were free. And then a big envelope came in the mail (this is probably dating me. I am sure now you get these on the computer or a podcast) and it was a really long list of books you were supposed to read. Ugh, ruined summer. Except now looking back you realized that these books were the classics that helped mold, transport, and entertain you. They kept you company while you were away from your friends and entertained you at the beach (one can only build sand castles for so long).

Now that we are grown up, we wish we had that kind of time to read. If I’m lucky I get 20 minutes on the subway. I attempt to do it before bed, but that usually results in me waking up with an iPad on my face. But hopefully all of us will get some down time this summer, specifically at the beach. Last summer was dominated by Fifty Shades of Grey, but we have come up with a list of beach reads that you won’t feel like you have to hide everytime someone walks over.

Books for the beach

1) Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns, Laura Weisberger

Plot: She’s baaaack. That’s right. Everyone’s favorite boss-from-hell book (and movie) has returned. In the sequel, Andrea and her former nemesis Emily are actually running a luxury bridal magazine together called The Plunge. Andrea is also getting married to what seems like the perfect man (except for his overbearing and snobby mother). But her happiness doesn’t last long as Miranda Priestly, the devil in Prada, is considering acquiring her magazine. Smells like trouble.

2) The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer

Plot: This book is perfect for summer because it is follows the lives of a group of friends, over four decades, that met at sleepaway camp.

3) Iris Has Free Time, Iris Smyles

Plot: The cover of this book will remind you a bit of a certain TV show about single ladies in the city. And there are definite parallels, but Iris is her own person. And everyone knows one of the easiest ways to find yourself is between jobs, which seems to happen to Iris a lot.

4) Someday, Someday Maybe, Lauren Graham 

Plot: Yep. Everyone’s favorite Gilmore Girl has written a book. Loosely based on her life as a struggling actress. The story follows Franny Banks, a New York transplant in the early ’90s. The aspiring actress gives herself a six-month deadline to succeed before packing up and moving back home to marry her college boyfriend and forget about acting. But when the deadline comes close, Franny finds a number of obstacles in her way. The Barnard grad wanted the novel to explore “the emotional journey, the kind of growth that happens to a young girl in her 20s.”

5) Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld

Plot: If you are anything like me then you loved Sittenfeld’s first book, Prep. In this one she focuses on an interesting topic: psychic twin sisters. Narrator Kate suppresses her “senses,” while Vi makes an offbeat living as a medium. When Vi goes on broadcast news predicting an earthquake will hit St. Louis, both of their lives will never be the same. She told USA Today, “Sisters can be a juicy topic for fiction. Psychics abilities can be a juicy topic for fiction. And then when you throw in earthquakes, I mean, how could I resist?”

6) The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarty

Plot: It follows the intertwining lives of three connected to a Catholic elementary school in Sidney. And it all starts with a letter from a husband in a seemingly perfect marriage.

7) Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar, Kelly Oxford

Plot: Everyone’s favorite social media queen has written a book about her life. It is really a series of hilarious memoirs from her childhood in Canada to raising children and taking them to Disneyland (the most magical/terrible place on earth) that will keep you laughing for hours. She said in an interview with Forbes, “I wanted to write a book that showed that you could follow your heart and mess up and it’s OK to be human and not be perfect, and it’s OK to take these stupid risks. I think it’s a cool thing for people to try and remember. I want people to be more relaxed and OK with who they are.”

 8) The Engagements, J. Courtney Sullivan

Plot: The novel follows an engagement ring from the 1930s to present day, which connects five separate couples in unexpected ways. Sounds so romantic right? Well clearly Reese Witherspoon thought so. She optioned the rights for the film. 

9) The Silver Star, Jeannette Walls

If you liked Gone Girl then this may be the follow up book for you. According to one review, “Jeannette Walls has written a heartbreaking and redemptive novel about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustice of the adult world — a triumph of imagination and storytelling.”

10) Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood, Alida Nugent

Plot: I think we all can relate to this! Based on the author’s popular Tumblr, Nugent goes into detail on not quite getting through her 20s in one piece. According to Kirkus Reviews, Nugent’s voice comes across as loyal and tough, and her sense of humor and authenticity will appeal to readers going through related chapters in their own post-college lives.