The 25 Best New Books to Put in Your Beach Bag This Summer
Brenda Janowitz is the POPSUGAR books correspondent. She is the author of five novels, including The Dinner Party.
We can feel it — the beach is calling us. Calling out to us, because after that long (so very long!) Winter, Summer is here to entice us with its sunny, lazy days. And what's the best part of summertime? That would be all of the amazing Summer books that you'll be bringing to the pool, the beach, or the park. So get out your sunglasses and set up a chair to sit on, because we've got the definitive list of what to read this Summer. Just make sure your beach bag is big enough for all these juicy new reads!
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger, Out June 5
How much did we love Emily from The Devil Wears Prada? Well, she's got her own standalone novel coming out this June, and she's now an image consultant who just landed the client of her dreams. Fast-paced, funny, and gossipy, When Life Gives You Lululemons is the must-have accessory for your beach bag.
The Lost Family by Jenna Blum, Out June 5
Fans of Those Who Save Us have been clamoring for a new Jenna Blum novel, and this Summer, she brings us The Lost Family. Beginning in 1965 Manhattan, we meet Peter Rashkin, the handsome and single owner and head chef of the popular restaurant Masha's. He is also a survivor of Auschwitz, where his wife and daughters died. When an up-and-coming model catches his eye, they begin a whirlwind romance. But that's just where the story begins. Spanning three decades, The Lost Family is a beautiful story about love, family, and the legacy of loss and how it defines us.
How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson, Out June 5
We couldn't help but fall in love with Kate Reddy when we met her in I Don't Know How She Does It. This Summer, she's back in How Hard Can It Be?, and she's facing the big 5-0, dealing with teenage children, and trying to reboot her career. Laugh-out-loud funny and entirely relatable — you'll fall in love with Kate all over again.
Florida by Lauren Groff, Out June 5
The New York Times-bestselling author of the megahit Fates and Furies is back with a short-story collection. Told in Lauren Groff's incredible style, Florida is inspired by the state itself, and each story is expertly crafted to reveal deep truths about our own lives. Florida is a treat to be savored.
Dreams of Falling by Karen White, Out June 5
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, Out June 5
Meet Stella Lane. She's a math whiz with Asperger's, and she's got the perfect algorithm for finding the man of her dreams. Only problem? She needs some practice in the dating department, so she hires Vietnamese-Swedish escort Michael Phan to help. But will her methodical approach to learning how to love account for real feelings and emotion? The Kiss Quotient is a quirky and charming romance that readers will gobble up.
The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand, Out June 19
It's not Summer without a new novel from Elin Hilderbrand. And the Queen of the Summer Novel gives us something new this year: a murder mystery! There are lots of weddings on Nantucket over the Summer, but the Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be the event of the season. That is, until the maid of honor is found dead the morning of the special day. Soon, everyone is a suspect, and they've all got something to hide. The Perfect Couple is the must read of the Summer — it's Elin Hilderbrand's best book yet.
Providence by Caroline Kepnes, Out June 19
Two friends are separated when one is kidnapped. Chloe moves on with her life in the wake of Jon's disappearance, but never forgets about her friend. Four years later, he reappears, but he is different. Chloe doesn't know or understand exactly how, and what's worse — Jon does not, either. He possesses strange new powers that he cannot explain . . . and they pose a threat to everyone around him, especially those he loves. Unique, dark, and mesmerizing, Providence by You author Caroline Kepnes is an addictive thriller that will keep you up all night.
When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri, Out June 19
Katie Daniels was not having a good day. Recently dumped by her fiancé, she finds herself across the conference room table from Cassidy Price, an infuriating woman in a power suit who takes charge of the meeting. But why can't Katie get this woman out of her mind? When Katie Met Cassidy is a smart, sexy read for your beach bag that will leave you looking at sex and love in a completely different way.
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin, Out June 26
Nina Browning has it all: the handsome husband, the Ivy-League-bound teenage son, and the big house in the Nashville suburbs. But with one unthinkable social media post from her beloved child, could it all fall apart? Dealing with issues of class, money, and race, All We Ever Wanted is the book everyone will be talking about this Summer.
Playing With Matches by Hannah Orenstein, Out June 26
As the newest matchmaker at New York City's most elite dating agency, Bliss, Sasha Goldberg will spend her days meeting with new clients, scrolling through dating apps for dates for her clients, and giving dating advice. After all, she's found her ideal match, so how hard can it be? (Answer: very hard.) Written by a real-life matchmaker, Playing With Matches is the perfect Summer read — smart, funny, escapist, and bursting with charm.
The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan, Out June 26
Two childhood friends — once inseparable, now estranged — meet 17 years later. Can an invitation to a grownup scavenger hunt, one of their favorite activities from childhood, bring them back to where they once were? The Summer List is a sparkling debut novel filled with nostalgia that will make you long for your childhood friends and carefree Summer days.
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott, Out July 17
No one writes about the complexities of female friendship the way Megan Abbott can. In Give Me Your Hand, she raises the stakes once again. Kit and Diane were unlikely friends back in high school chemistry class. But they haven't seen each other in years, and when Diane shows up at Kit's lab, vying for the job that Kit is dying for, her presence sets off a course of action neither one of them could have foreseen. Smart, twisty, penetrating — I literally could not put this book down.
The Intermission by Elyssa Friedland, Out July 3
What if you could take a break from your marriage? Just a temporary break, just six months. That's exactly what Cass Coyne suggests to her husband, Jonathan. After all, every good play needs a perfectly timed intermission, doesn't it? Or does it? The Intermission is a thoughtful look at the complexities of marriage, delivering deep truths about how we share a life with another person. It will have you wondering: how well do I really know my spouse?
The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger, Out July 3
A private plane heading to Geneva goes down during a storm, and the widow of one of its passengers wants answers. Was it an accident? What was her husband doing on a plane bound toward Geneva? Did she know her husband as well as she thought? Buckle up — The Banker's Wife is an international thriller that moves at a breakneck pace, keeping you on the edge of your seat.
The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams, Out July 10
Get swept away to the exclusive shores of Winthrop Island in Beatriz Williams's latest historical fiction novel. In 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives at the island, eager to meet the man her mother plans to marry. Her new step-sister, Isobel, schools her on the ways of the Summer families and the working-class Portuguese families who serve them. In 1969, she returns, but she is a different person entirely, and she is looking for justice. Exploring issues of money, class, and power, The Summer Wives is a compulsively readable story that will make you swear you can smell the salt air.
Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza, Out July 24
Charlotte Walsh likes to win. But a woman can't say that outright, or wear flats for that matter, if she wants to run for office. To the outsider, Charlotte has it all — the successful career, the loving husband, and the perfect family — but she wants more. She moves back to her Pennsylvania hometown to run for Senate, where she'll have to decide how far she's willing to go to win the prize. I absolutely fell in love with Charlotte, and you will, too. Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win is whip-smart, timely, and impossible to put down.
Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison, Out July 24
When Willa goes back to the beach house where her husband died three years earlier, there's a lot she does not expect. She has no idea that the house will be in such a state of disrepair. And even more surprising? She has no idea that she'll be visited by his ghost. Every Time You Go Away is a bittersweet, emotional story about how to let go and move forward.
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh, Out July 24
Ghosted . . . you know what it means. It's when someone you're dating falls off the radar completely. It's like your time together never actually happened. That's what happens to Sarah when Eddie leaves for a vacation and she never hears from him again. But she's sure that something else has happened. Was she ghosted? Or was it something else entirely?
Girls' Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, Out July 24
It was just a fun Girls' Night Out. Or was it? Three old friends reunite in Mexico for a restorative girls' trip, meant to heal past wounds, but are any of them being honest about the secrets they are hiding? When one friend disappears on a girls' night out, her two remaining friends are left to put the pieces together and figure out what happened.
Jell-O Girls by Allie Rowbottom, Out July 24
"We come from Jell-O. It is our birthright, bought by my mother's great-great-uncle by marriage for $450 in 1899 and sold 26 years later for $67 million." You would think that it is great luck to be a part of a family fortune like that, but in the memoir Jell-O Girls, Allie Rowbottom tells the story of the so-called "Jell-O curse" and the fate of her family since that deal. Jell-O Girls is a memoir that reads like fiction — it will completely fascinate you.
The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon, Out July 31
Phoebe and Will meet at college, and Will is instantly drawn to her. But Phoebe, still reeling from the death of her mother, is instead drawn to a religious group that is actually a dangerous extremist group with ties to North Korea. The Incendiaries is a beautifully written debut novel about love, loss, and faith.
Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose, Out Aug. 7
It's 1924, and Jenny Bell is one of the artists chosen to stay at Louis Comfort Tiffany's artists' colony at his extraordinary estate in Oyster Bay, NY. This is her chance, but will the ghosts of her past threaten her future? Tiffany Blues is a stunning look at the Jazz Age, told in M.J. Rose's inimitable style.
The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis, Out Aug. 7
Two women, two different time periods. One in 1924, and the other in 1974. One iconic spot — The Grand Central School of Art — and the piece of art that connects them. Fiona Davis has made a name for herself in writing about famous New York City locations, and in The Masterpiece, she delivers another un-put-down-able gem.
The Bucket List by Georgia Clark, Out Aug. 7
Bucket list: a list of things you want to do before you die. When 25-year-old Lacey Whitman finds out she has the "breast cancer" gene, she has some choices to make. She's so young, and there's still so much that she hasn't done. So, before a possible preventative surgery, she and her friends create a "boob bucket list" — a list of things to do with her boobs before saying goodbye to them. The Bucket List is a book about one woman's road to self-discovery (and, yes, her boobs).