The 7 Best Beach Reads of Summer 2019
Whether it’s a page-turner that you finally have the luxury of losing yourself in on vacation, or a lighthearted novel that’s easy to open and close between naps under the sun and dips in the ocean, no beach day is complete without the company of an indulgent book.
In 2019, there’s no shortage of new summer reading materials spanning various genres to toss in your beach bag. Here are seven of the year’s buzziest beach reads to escape with on the sands of Carbon Beach at Malibu Beach Inn.
Daisy Jones & The Six
Taylor Jenkins Reid
This wildly fun novel offers a glamorous backstage look at a fictional rock group with characters and plotlines so well-developed, you’d think they were real. Transporting readers back to the golden era of rock and roll, Daisy Jones is a beautiful, enigmatic lead singer who joins forces with the band The Six to form one of the biggest musical sensations of the ’70s. And, as the many non-fictional bands that have come before (and after) can attest to, tension and drama ensue.
City of Girls
Penned by Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, this novel strikes a different tone than her soul-searching debut memoir, though it already appears to be just as popular. Set in 1940, City of Girls tells the story of Vivian Morris, a young woman who joins her aunt in New York City as she runs a slightly downtrodden theatre filled with a vibrant cast of characters. Brimming with lighthearted debauchery and a touch of scandal, NPR calls City of Girls “a breezy, entertaining read — and really, something better: a lively, effervescent… portrait of a woman living in a golden time.”
Young love takes center stage in a decidedly un-cliché way in this novel set in Ireland. Witty, modern, and honest, Sally Rooney’s novel centers around popular, sporty Connell and shy, upper-class Marianne, and how their roles in each other’s lives begin to change (and even reverse) from their time in high school to their years at Trinity College in Dublin. Says Esquire, Normal People is “beautifully observed… [it] crackles with vivid insight into what it means to be young and in love today.”
The Silent Patient
For fans of juicy thrillers filled with twists and turns (à la Gone Girl), this gripping work by first-time novelist Alex Michaelides centers around an unexpected murder, a perpetrator who refuses to speak, and a psychotherapist determined to get to the bottom of the case. While it isn’t exactly lighthearted, readers and reviewers alike agree that the biggest challenge of the book is putting it down, thanks to its captivating surprises. (Brad Pitt evidently agreed — his production company has landed the film rights.)
By the best-selling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, Mrs. Everything is “a topical novel about sisterhood, heartache, hope, and womanhood that takes readers through the ‘herstory’ of the second half of the 20th century,” reads a review by Bustle. Spanning from 1951 to the present day, it follows Jo and Bethie Kaufman, sisters with opposing personalities who find themselves living their lives in different directions through changes in both personal circumstances as well as the world at large.
This debut piece of historical fiction by Isabella Hammad offers readers a look at Palestinian history through the lens of Midhat Kamal, a young man who journeys to France for medical school, falls in love, and returns to Palestine amid the height of its political change in the early 1900s. But don’t let the phrase “historical fiction” throw you off — it’s being praised for transcending the stereotypes of the genre with intriguing storytelling and its lush, scene-setting imagery.
The Friend Zone
With nearly a perfect five-star rating on Amazon, reviewers assure that this is a romantic comedy novel for even those who don’t normally enjoy the genre. While planning her best friend’s wedding, lead character Kristen Peterson forms a bond with the best man—but she’s determined to keep him at a distance, knowing that he wants a big family and she’s about to undergo a medical procedure that will leave her unable to have children. It’s been lauded as the perfect summer book, with Booklist saying, “Jimenez’s dazzling debut is a brilliantly written romantic comedy that seamlessly toggles back and forth between scenes of laugh-out-loud, snarky wit and serious emotional issues without missing a beat, all the while delivering maximum reading satisfaction.”
Images courtesy of publishers