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10 Books for the Beach That Won’t Embarrass You

Lifestyle |

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.

 

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.

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17 Comments

Always looking for great new reads. Already had some of these on my list, but there are some here that I haven't heard of before. Will definitely be looking into getting "Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse" and "Someday, Someday Maybe."

2y
Elana Gross

Fantastic list! I'd also recommend Rules of Civility, The Smart One, Girls in White Dresses, The Chaperone, and Gone Girl!

3y

Thank you, I loved the tips. I'm a complete bookworm. I've finished Inferno from Dan Brown, also great entertainment and makes you longing to get back to Florence like crazy...and I'm currently in the middle of NOSS4A2, a creepy novel from Joe Hill.

3y

Half of these are already on my bookworm wishlist, and I was surprised to read about Lauren Graham's book! Yay!

Finding the time to read them all is still going to be a problem. There aren't enough Sundays to finish them all!

3y

The Devil Wears Prada sequel?! *runs to Barnes and Noble*

3y

I wanted to read that book by Kelly Oxford. Maybe now I should really pick it up.

3y

These books sound interesting! Will definitely check some of them out(have an internal book list I plan to go trough as well! :) Another fun book worth reading:

Lazy Ways to Make a Living by Abigail Bosanko

Lexicographer, chess master and hedonist, Rose is down on her luck when she meets Jamie, a guy she beat at chess twelve years previously who has never recovered from losing the game or forgotten the sight of Rose's perfectly manicured nails poised to strike over the chess board. She's destitute, he's loaded and terrified of losing her again. They strike a bargain: in return for chess he will keep her. What is it like being a kept woman in the 21st century? Rose is about to find out. She's also about to learn that disguising your moves in chess can lead to victory, but doing the same thing in love leads to disaster.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1253587.Lazy_Ways_to_Make_a_Living

3y

I am currently reading Lauren Weisberger's Revenge Wears Prada - it is such a fun, light read - I definitely recommend it

3y

I'm always looking for new books to read. This is such a fun list!

3y

This is the first list of books I've seen in a long time where I actually want to read them all. Thanks for putting this together!

3y

I'm in the middle of reading Someday, Someday Maybe and it's so good! Such a great beach read. Also, I can't wait to check out Revenge Wears Prada and The Engagements. This is such a great list!

3y

There is something so great about reading in the summer--I am always looking for new suggestions. I will definitely check these out!

3y

I read Dan Brown's new book, Inferno, last week while lounging by the pool. I love a good suspense book that temporarily takes over my life!

3y

I love this list, and the mention that it's great to find books that you don't mind reading in public, but that might also be lighter and easier to pick up and put down when you have a busy summer. It's also great to ask co-workers for suggestions!

3y

It's so hard to find time to read, and when you do, it's even more difficult to find a good book. These are great suggestions. I didn't even know that there was a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada!

3y

Love these ideas! I will have to go check them out next time I go to the bookstore. I'm currently reading A Million Little Pieces. It's a sad story, but has helped me put my life in perspective! I highly recommend it if you aren't looking for a super light read.

3y

This sounds like a great list! Nothing is worse than being embarrassed while reading a book in public. These beach reads sound exciting and entertaining.

3y
Meredith Lepore

Meredith is the Editor at Large for Levo League. Before that she was the Editor in Chief of The Grindstone and was on staff at Business Insider. She has written for magazines including Marie Claire, SELF, Women's Health and Cosmopolitan. She earned her Masters in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time and enjoys SoulCycle, jogging and playing with her Yorkshire Terrier Otis, who also loves SoulCycle.