Recall that last week of school before summer vacation? It was glorious. Everyone was cheerful and relieved since the finals had concluded; no more instructors, textbooks, or disapproving glances for a good two to three weeks which felt as if you were liberated from all obligations! Ugh, summertime was ruined when a bulky envelope arrived in the mail (I’m sure these days you get them by computer or podcast). Inside was an extensive list of required books to read. In hindsight, you realize that these books were the timeless classics that guided and entertained you. Not only did they keep you company during moments of loneliness, but also brought joy to your days spent at the beach – after all, building sandcastles can grow tedious quite quickly!

As adults, finding the time to read can be difficult. If I’m lucky, I’ll have twenty minutes on my commute and another hour before bed – but that usually only results in me nodding off with a tablet still in hand! However, we should all aim for some downtime this summer; if you’re heading to the beach then make sure your bag is packed with books from our list of recommended reads so you won’t feel embarrassed when someone strolls past. Last year was dominated by Fifty Shades of Grey – let’s expand our reading horizons and discover something new!

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

Plot: Get ready, it’s the return of everyone’s favorite book and movie about a boss from hell! In this sequel, Andrea and her ex-rival have decided to join forces by running The Plunge—a luxurious bridal magazine. Despite having found her dream partner, Andrea is soon faced with a nightmare of an obstacle – Miranda Priestly. The very woman who wore the title Devil in Prada appears to be interested in acquiring the magazine she works for, posing a serious threat to Andrea’s newfound bliss. Trouble could be lurking around any corner.

2) The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer

Plot: If you’re searching for the perfect summer read, look no further! This book follows a group of friends who meet at a sleepaway camp and shows their lives unfold over four decades. It is sure to captivate your attention and keep you turning pages all season long.

3) Iris Has Free Time, Iris Smyles

Plot: If the cover of this book rings a bell, it’s because there are some parallels to that well-known TV show about single ladies living in the city. Despite similar vibes, Iris is the person who discovers herself when she switches jobs more often than not – making for an entertaining and relatable read!

4) Someday, Someday Maybe, Lauren Graham 

Plot: Exciting news! Our beloved Gilmore Girl has released her book, which is based on her experience as a struggling actress. In this novel, readers get to meet Franny Banks, an aspiring New Yorker in the early ’90s – and follow her inspiring journey full of adventures. Franny, the aspiring actress, gave herself six months to achieve success before resigning to move back home and marry her college sweetheart. But as she nears the deadline for that goal, several obstacles arise her way. The Barnard grad wanted this novel to explore “the emotional challenge faced by young women in their twenties.” Through Franny’s story, readers can experience how perseverance and determination can bring one out of any difficult situation one may find themselves facing.

5) Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld

Plot: If you, like me, adored Sittenfeld’s debut novel Prep, then their second captivating work will certainly pique your interest. In this one she delves into the thought-provoking concept of psychic twin sisters; Kate suppresses her natural “senses” while Vi makes an unconventional living as a medium. When Vi appears on broadcast news predicting that an earthquake is soon to hit St. Louis, both of their lives become drastically altered forever. As She stated in USA Today: “Sisters can be such a compelling topic for fiction and when I combined it with psychics abilities and earthquakes – how could I not write about it?”

6) The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarty

Plot: Everything commences with a letter from a blissful marriage, which leads to the intersection of three lives connected to a Catholic elementary school in Sidney.

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

Plot: Our beloved social media guru has written a book that chronicles her life journey, from growing up in Canada to raising children and taking them on adventures at the iconic Disneyland. It is filled with countless laughs and will have you entertained for hours! In an interview with Forbes, she said, “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 enchanting story of a 1930s engagement ring, that binds together five couples in unexpected ways – has captivated the hearts of many. Even renowned actress Reese Witherspoon made it her mission to secure screen rights for this romantic tale!

9) The Silver Star, Jeannette Walls

If you were captivated by Gone Girl, then this book should be your next read. As one comprehensive review has revealed, “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.” Discover why this is among our curated list of best summer reads for your beachside enjoyment.

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

Plot: We can all relate to this! Nugent’s popular Tumblr is brought alive in her book, chronicling the difficulties of navigating through your twenties. According to Kirkus Reviews, Nugent’s voice is an honest one that cuts through– combining loyalty and strength with authentic humor that will resonate deeply with readers who are themselves going through a post-college life transition.

Dive into this title and explore why it’s part of our carefully curated list of good summer reads for your beachside escape.

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