6 Summer Beach Reads You Won’t Be Able to Put Down

Summer is always the season during which I get the most reading done. Whether I’m basking by the pool or laying on the beach, I always have a book within arms reach. My ideal summer read meets one major criteria: the story is so good that I shouldn’t want to put it down! Today I’m sharing 6 of my all time favorite beach reads for lazy summer days.

6 Summer Beach Reads You Won't Be Able to Put Down | www.emwritesblog.com

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller 

This book is so easy to read, not only because it’s short (192 pages!), but it tells a captivating love story. A handsome, wise photographer. A beautiful farmer’s wife. Their worlds collide in Madison County, Iowa where they rapidly fall in love. This doesn’t sound like a book I’d typically go for, but I’m so glad I did! The writing is phenomenal and full of profound ideas. You could easily read this story in one day. For more on this book, check out my review!

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

If you loved Me Before You, you’ll enjoy this novel, too! The story starts in occupied France circa World War I; a young woman falls in love with a charming artist, only to have him ripped away from her at the start of the war. She hangs one of his paintings, The Girl You Left Behind, in her home in remembrance. However,  the Germans soon occupies her home, and the Kommandant is dangerously attracted to this painting and the girl it portrays. A century later, a young widow now owns the painting, unaware of its history. Suddenly, she finds herself fighting in a legal battle over the true owners of this masterpiece: the family who lost everything in the war, or herself, who lost everything after the death of her husband. This book is an absolute page turner. If you’re a lover of historical fiction, you’ll love this book and how history is interwoven with the present.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

When I first read this book, I described it in one word: enchanting. The story is about Lily, a New York socialite who summers with her family on a beach in Rhode Island. The beach is her safe haven – that is, until her former best friend and ex-fiance (who are now married to each other) decide to vacation there, too. Along the seashore, Lily and her past love are drawn back together, and years of pent up emotion and secrets begin to unravel. This is one of those books that switches between time periods, revealing little secrets that lead up to the climax of the story, which makes it so intriguing!

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you’re a creative soul, this one is for you! Liz Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, writes about living a creative life, despite the fears that might be holding you back. Her book is full of inspirational messages and anecdotes. Her voice shines through on every page; it’s as if you’re reading a letter from a friend. So easy to read and incredibly inspiring! You’ll want to revitalize your own creative journey after the first page!

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

If you’re into darker stories, boy, do I have one for you. It follows the story of Libby, whose mother and sisters were murdered when she was seven years old. Her brother is behind bars, charged as the killer. Several years later, Libby is confronted with a group that hopes to prove her brother innocent, sending her on a dangerous hunt for the truth. This book was so twisted – unlike anything I’ve ever read before! If you enjoy murder mysteries, you won’t be able to put it down.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

I always love reading Nicholas Sparks novels at the beach! They’re cheerful and easy to cruise through on a sunny day. Plus, they’re almost always set along the coast of North Carolina – a perfect getaway for the imagination! Safe Haven just so happens to be my favorite Sparks novel. It’s about a girl named Katie, who needs a fresh start in life. So, she impulsively settles down in a tiny North Carolina coastal town. She soon falls for a local shop owner, a widower with two young children. Just as Katie begins to open up again, a figure from her dark past arrives in town, putting the life she has rebuilt on the line.


There you have it! I hope these suggestions inspire you to get out and read! They’re all great stories and guaranteed page-turners.

What’s your favorite beach read? What are you planning on reading this summer? 

  • I read safe haven and recently bought the girl you left behind. Great recommendations! I can’t wait to read all of the books on the list.

    • emwritesblog@gmail.com

      I’m glad you like them!

  • I love reading, so some of these books so amazing. I’m going to have to check some of them out for the next time that I’m at the beach!

    • emwritesblog@gmail.com

      I hope you enjoy!

  • Oh love this list! Just finished Dark Places and it was creepy but so good! Always looking for great new beach reads. Thanks for sharing this great list:)

    • emwritesblog@gmail.com

      Sometimes I wonder what goes on in the minds of crime novelists like Gillian Flynn. Such a twisted story…how did she come up with that?!

  • Love sparks 💕 Putting the rest on my list!

    • emwritesblog@gmail.com

      Yay! Enjoy 🙂 What’s your favorite Nicholas Sparks novel?

  • Haven’t read any of these! Adding all of them to my list! <3

    • emwritesblog@gmail.com

      I hope you find some you enjoy!

  • Such great picks!! Adding the fist three to me read list!

    Alix | http://www.apintsizedlife.com

    • emwritesblog@gmail.com

      Awesome! Let me know what you think of them!

  • I loved The Girl You Left Behind (although I didn’t like Me Before You) and A Hundred Summers! I haven’t read Safe Haven, but the Sparks books that I have read have all been good beach reads. 🙂

    • emwritesblog@gmail.com

      I love just about anything by Nicholas Sparks. Such easy stories to breeze through! Safe Haven is very good!

  • Safe Haven and Big Magic would be on my list. I love inspiring and romantic reads during the summer time. I like to save the scary read for fall and winter.

    • emwritesblog@gmail.com

      I agree!

  • I haven’t read any of these, but they sound good! I just finished The Language of Flowers and LOVED it.

    • emwritesblog@gmail.com

      I’ve never heard of that one! I’ll have to check it out.