Summer Reads for the Beach + Beyond

Summer reads are just different. No work-related non-fiction or self-help titles. No deep thinking or growth required. It’s just a self-indulgent, wrap-yourself-up-in-a-story type of reading.

If you’ve ever let the kids stay at the park for an extra 20 minutes or made scrambled eggs for dinner so you could finish a chapter, these summer reads are for you!

The *perfect* summer reads for the beach (and beyond!):

Beach Read by Emily Henry, Penguin Random House

Emily Henry pretty much owns the summer reading category. This book about a romance writer who has lost her faith in love and a literary genius who’s got writer’s block takes place in a lake house in Michigan. Believable characters and a few plot twists make this fun and engaging.

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, Penguin Random House

This is my favorite summer read. It was originally published in 1957 and is set in an idyllic small town in Illinois. It combines nostalgia, a little science fiction, and that wonderful feeling of being twelve years old and feeling alive for the first time. It’s been reprinted many times and I have read it about ten times, savoring each delicious word.

The Endless Beach by Jenny Coglan, Hachette UK

Strong and fun female characters. Drama, but not too much. Romance, but nothing bawdy. This title has all the makings of an easy summer read. Flora has returned to her family home in a small coastal Scotland town after working in London. She is struggling with the future of her romantic relationship with a former colleague while her close friend Lorna fights her feelings about a new resident, a refugee with two young sons. One of the great things about this title is that if you like it, there are many more titles by Jenny Coglan in a semi-related not-quite-series that you can jump in and out of.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, Macmillan Publishers

Part fantasy, part magic. Linus, who loves rules and bureaucracy, finds himself as the government observer at an orphanage for magical children and after a time, starts to see things in a different way, including how he sees himself.

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan, Penguin Random House

This selection has a little more brooding multi-generational drama, if you’re into that. Set in a family beach home in–you guessed it–Maine, several members of the Kelleher clan work through the emotional baggage accumulated through generations of alcoholism, love, and Irish Catholic guilt.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, Penguin Random House

A lighthearted summer romance read that’s perfect if you only have a few minutes of reading time before you are interrupted to put more sunblock on squirmy kids or hand out another round of beach snacks. Can a revived friendship really be true love? Read and find out!

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby VanPelt, HarperCollins

This title came highly recommended by some reading buddies and I just read it on my summer vacation and really enjoyed it. Tova takes a job as the night janitor at an aquarium and makes friends with an octopus. Together, octopus and janitor work to solve the mystery of Tova’s son’s disappearance at sea some 30 years prior.

Someone Else’s Shoes by Jo Jo Moyes, Pamela Dorman Books

Popular British romance writer Moyes has another winner with a Trading Places plot featuring two women from very different backgrounds. If female friendship, wondering about how the other half lives, and fancy shoes are your thing, you’ll like this one.

Another source for great reading recommendations is your local library. Librarians come alive when you ask for something new to read! Here are a couple great lists from librarians at the Canton Public Library. (Don’t forget to check out your local bookstore, too!)

Looking for more reading material? Check out Katie’s five must-read books for summer!


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