This is the best list of beach reads for busy moms this summer. Read them on your own or pick one and be the hit of your next book club party.
One of my favorite things about the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers is that our members are always sharing new titles they've loved with the group. My to-read list just keeps growing!
I asked the ladies what kind of books they enjoy reading during the summer or what they considered a "beach book." Their answers made me smile, they are so my kind of people.
According to our book club members, a good beach read meets the following criteria: :
- light and breezy plotline
- doesn't make you think too hard
- holds your attention and is a bit of a page-turner
Skip the term "beach books," that describes exactly the kind of book we love to read all year long!
Want to join us? Head over to our official Facebook group here.
I rounded up some of our book club members' favorite recommendations and added a few of my own. I hope you find your next perfect beach read here! Did I miss your favorite? Leave me a note in the comments!
P.S. Check out our full 2021 book club picks list here.
The best beach reads to pack in your bag this summer:
Are you looking for something FUN to read in the coming months? These women's fiction titles are fun, breezy books that will have you dreaming of romance and beachy destinations.
They are chick lit in all its amazing glory--a term I have never minded, and one I hope doesn't offend you either.
In fact, one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Weiner, recently wrote an incredible piece over on GoodReads you have to check out.
Jennifer Weiner on Why Beach Reads Matter Now More than Ever:
"Pleasure is something. Pleasure matters. Pleasure is more than enough. And the idea that a book is just entertaining, that it’s merely escapism, that it’s easy reading or a page-turner or a romp, the idea that any of that is pejorative, at this moment in time seems crazy. If ever there was a time for the unapologetic embrace of books that “just” bring us pleasure, that time, she is now." -- Jennifer Weiner, author of Good in Bed
Big Summer: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner
NEW for 2020!
"Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.
Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song."
Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews
NEW for 2020!
"It’s a new season...
Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.
For small town scandals...
When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat―and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”
And big-time secrets.
Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman―a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer."
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
4.5 stars || 2,225+ reviews
"Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude."
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
4.5 stars || 1,700+ ratings
"Nantucket is only eleven miles away from Martha's Vineyard. But they may as well be worlds apart for estranged twin sisters Harper and Tabitha Frost.
After not speaking for more than a decade, Harper and Tabitha switch islands-and lives-to save what's left of their splintered family. But the twins quickly discover that the secrets, lies, and gossip they thought they'd outrun can travel between islands just as easily as they can. Will Harper and Tabitha be able to bury the hatchet and end their sibling rivalry once and for all?"
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
4 stars || 1,095+ reviews
"In the summer of 1977, Victoria Leonard’s world changes forever when Caitlin Somers chooses her as a friend. Dazzling, reckless Caitlin welcomes Vix into the heart of her sprawling, eccentric family, opening doors to a world of unimaginable privilege, sweeping her away to vacations on Martha’s Vineyard, an enchanting place where the two friends become “summer sisters.”
Now, years later, Vix is working in New York City. Caitlin is getting married on the Vineyard. And the early magic of their long, complicated friendship has faded. But Caitlin begs Vix to come to her wedding, to be her maid of honor. And Vix knows that she will go—because she wants to understand what happened during that last shattering summer. And, after all these years, she needs to know why her best friend—her summer sister—still has the power to break her heart."
The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe
4.5 stars || 3,162 reviews
"Caretta Rutledge thought she'd left her Southern roots and troubled family far behind. But an unusual request from her mother—coming just as her own life is spinning out of control—has Cara heading back to the scenic Lowcountry of her childhood summers. Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart in wonderful ways as she repairs the family beach house, becomes a bona fide "turtle lady" and renews old acquaintances long thought lost. But it is in reconnecting with her mother that she will learn life's most precious lessons—true love involves sacrifice, family is forever and the mistakes of the past can be forgiven."
Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
4 stars | 152 reviews
"Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light. Sunshine is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor. Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until she gets hacked.
When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses her husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life."
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
4.5 stars || 168 reviews
"Nestled on the shore of Lake Sackett, Georgia is the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. Margot Cary has spent her life immersed in everything Lake Sackett is not. As an elite event planner, Margot’s rubbed elbows with the cream of Chicago society, and made elegance and glamour her business. She’s riding high until one event goes tragically, spectacularly wrong. Now she’s blackballed by the gala set and in dire need of a fresh start—and apparently the McCreadys are in need of an event planner with a tarnished reputation.
As Margot finds her footing in a town where everybody knows not only your name, but what you had for dinner last Saturday night and what you’ll wear to church on Sunday morning, she grudgingly has to admit that there are some things Lake Sackett does better than Chicago—including the dating prospects. Elementary school principal Kyle Archer is a fellow fish-out-of-water who volunteers to show Margot the picture-postcard side of Southern living. The two of them hit it off, but not everybody is happy to see an outsider snapping up one of the town's most eligible gentleman. Will Margot reel in her handsome fish, or will she have to release her latest catch?"
Looking for even more fantastic beach reads?
These picks will keep you flipping those pages happily all summer long!