There is something about the summertime that makes us want to dive into a good book. Whether it’s the heat that makes us feel a little lazy, the longer days, or fond memories of vacations past, there’s something about good-for-the-mind-and-soul summer reading that justmakes us feel good. Magazines just don’t cut it -- we want a juicy read that makes us beg for more, all while digging our toes into the sand or sipping on a colorful umbrella drink. To quench your thirst we’re sharing our top 10 summer must-reads that will inspire, thrill and transport you into another realm. Not surprisingly all 10 books are female authored. Enjoy!
Top Summer Beach Reads
1. The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir by Ariel Levy
In 2012 The New Yorker Writer Ariel Levy lost it all. In this memoir, Levy retraces her story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart in a blink of an eye. The New York Times calls it “deeply human and deeply moving”. This is the story of how resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed—and of what is eternal.
2. Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body by Kate Hudson
Share this book with your daughter, mom, sister, and best friend. In Pretty Happy, Kate Hudson shares how she honors her relationship with herself through exercise, making the right choices about what she eats, and constantly going back to the drawing board and starting fresh, instead of holding herself to unrealistic standards of perfection and giving up when she falls short. Discover the Four Pillars of Health she uses to enhance her wellbeing and create lasting happiness.
3. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Grab this book if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut. From Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert comes a book that inspires and empowers the reader into thought and action. Throughout the chapters Gilbert invites us into her own generative process, and shares her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. Whether you are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to enjoy your work, or live each day more passionately, Big Magic is the book for you!
4. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Consider this a raw and little bit naughty version of Dear Abby. Tiny Beautiful Things is a compilation of letters written to and answered by Sugar in the online publication The Rumpus. Sugar has since been revealed as beloved author Cheryl Strayed (bestselling memoir Wild). Sugar gives it to you straight and will have you crying in one moment, laughing in another, and jaw on the floor the very next. This is a great book if you don’t have hours to spare during the day – read a letter and it’s answer, then bookmark it. You will be coming back for more.
5. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
A true beach novel filled with friendship, love and loss. Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author, tells the tale of two young girls, as different as can be, who discover inseparable friendship. Doomed to be forever uncool, Kate’s loving family mortifies her at every turn. In contrast Tully, a glamorous and alluring muse, harbors a secret that is slowly destroying her. The book spans over three decades and takes pace in the Pacific Northwest. Firefly Lane is a story you'll never forget, and one you'll want to pass on to your best friend.
6. The Letter by Kathryn Hughes
Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband. She works tirelessly to save up enough money to leave him, and volunteers in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home. While going through the pockets of a second-hand suit she comes across a sealed envelop with a letter inside. She opens the letter and reads it - a decision that will alter the course of her life for ever...
Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but hopes he can put things right. On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future. It does - in more ways than he can ever imagine...
The Letter tells the story of two women born decades apart, whose paths are destined to cross, and how one woman's devastation leads to the other's salvation.
7. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Before you binge watch the series on Hulu, pick up The Handmaid's Tale and let your imagination go free as you dive into the near future. The Handmaid’s Tale takes place in the Republic of Gilead – formerly the United States and current monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population. The book is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing.
8. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
This book is so good HBO created a mini-series from it with big name actresses playing the roles of three women, each at a crossroads.
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. Her ex-husband and his new yogi wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. With her twin boys starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all. Trust us -- read it first, then watch it.
9. Everything I Never Told You by Celest Ng
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in a small-town in Ohio in the 1970’s. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; her parents are determined she will fulfill dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
10. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This bestselling novel—a love story of race and identity—is by the award-winning author of We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele.
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria – reigniting their passion for each other and for their homeland.