Watch, Read & Listen

20+ Books to Read on the Beach (or Couch!) This Spring Break


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Graphics by: Anna Wissler
Graphics by: Anna Wissler

With spring break right around the corner, chances are you’ve found yourself in one of the following scenarios recently: panicking about passports, shopping every chance you get for family swimsuits, or wondering how in the world you’re going to entertain everyone during a week at home. Whether it will be a week of leisure or adventure, we have to make the most of it. I like to think of spring break as a time to take a deep breath and do something I enjoy that often gets put on the back burner during the craziness of life. One of my favorite things to do is pick up a book on my TBR list and finally get a mental escape. 

No matter what your spring break looks like this year—lounging on a beach towel, curled up with a cozy blanket, or something in between—don’t find yourself in the perfect position to be reading a book without having the perfect book in hand. We know ‘perfect’ is a relative term that looks different for everyone. That’s why you deserve options. Maybe a twisted thriller is just the kind of story you need to draw you in, or you want to live out your wildest dreams with an adventurous fantasy, or you’re in need of a spicy romance story. No matter what appeals to you, there’s a book for that. 

We’ve rounded up 20+ of the best books to read on spring break this year that are a perfect companion for whatever your plans entail. 

20+ Books to Read on Spring Break This Year

Stacy Willingham
Only If You’re Lucky

If you loved Stacy Willingham’s first two novels, A Flicker in the Dark and All the Dangerous Thingsget your hands on her latest book immediately.

Lucy and Margot couldn’t be more opposite. Lucy is larger than life, and Margot feels most comfortable in the shadows. Still, the two make great unlikely friends and become roommates their second year of college. Along with two other girls, they find themselves living in an off-campus house. Halfway through the school year things start to go very wrong—a boy from a nearby fraternity house is murdered and Lucy goes missing. Margot doesn’t know how, but she knows she must get her best friend back.

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Elissa Sussman
Funny You Should Ask

While everyone around Chani is advancing their careers in big ways, she’s stuck writing puff pieces. That is until she lands a job writing a profile on celebrity heartthrob Gabe Parker. What’s meant to be a quick interview turns into a 72-hour romance that Chani hasn’t been able to forget in the last 10 years. Now, she’s been asked to meet with him again for a second interview and she wonders if their whirlwind romance was as unforgettable to him as it was to her.

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Ava Wilder
How to Fake It in Hollywood

For Emily Henry fans, we’ve found a new hyper-fixation until her newest book comes out in April.

Grey Brooks is desperate to keep her acting career alive after her TV show ends. So desperate that she actually agrees to her publicist’s PR stunt: a fake relationship with one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs. Ethan Atkins is in need of the publicity as well, but for different reasons. What starts as an awkward publicity stunt quickly gets the duo questioning how much of what they’re feeling is fake.

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Kristin Hannah
The Women

The book that we can’t stop talking about is a must read this spring break.

From the celebrated author of The Nightingale comes a beautiful coming-of-age story. Growing up in a conservative household in the 1960s, Frankie McGrath wasn’t taught to dream big. But, when her brother ships out to Vietnam to serve the war efforts, she joins the Army Nurse Corps. As she learns to navigate the chaos of war, she can’t imagine what life as a veteran back home will be. This story that honors the experience and sacrifice of women veterans is a beautifully necessary read for all.

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Jodi Picoult
Wish You Were Here

Diane’s life is perfectly on track and she knows her boyfriend, a surgical resident, will be proposing on their upcoming trip to the Galapagos Islands. But, when an unknown virus arrives in New York City, he must stay behind at the hospital while she goes on the trip. When what seemed like an unfortunate occurrence that would quickly pass turns into a global pandemic, Diane finds herself in lockdown on the island until the borders reopen. With the help of a local family, Diane learns to navigate a truly unprecedented situation.

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Emma Lord
The Getaway List

Riley has spent all of her high school years trying to please her mom and losing herself along the way. The only solution she can think of to finding herself again is to visit her childhood best friend, Tom, in New York for the summer. A long time ago, the duo co-authored their very own “Getaway List”—a list of all the adventures they wanted to do together. After reuniting, the two set out to check off everything on their list. But Riley quickly realizes it’s not all fun and games when her heart gets involved.

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Maurice Carlos Ruffin
The American Daughters

For one of the most moving and inspiring tales of 2024, look no further.

Ady and her mother Sanite are the best of friends. Enslaved in the French Quarter of New Orleans by a businessman, the two have no one but each other. That is, until they’re separated and Ady is left to fend for herself. When she finds herself at the Mockingbird Inn, her life changes forever. A free Black woman named Lenore takes Ady under her wing and invites her to join a group of spies called the Daughters. With the help of her new group, Ady finds purpose, liberation, and more.

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Sophie Sullivan
Love, Naturally

Presley Ayers is a city girl through and through, but she wants to surprise her outdoorsy boyfriend with a vacation to a picturesque lodge in the forest. When he dumps her instead, she’s determined to go it alone. Handsome local Beckett Keller can tell right away that she’s a fish out of water, so to speak, and has no time for it. Still, the two complete opposites can’t deny the attraction they feel for one another.

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Ashley Poston
The Dead Romantics

Florence Day can’t catch a break. It’s her job to ghostwrite for a prolific romance novelist, but after a messy breakup, she no longer believes in love. Her new editor won’t give her an extension, and on top of it all, she has to return to her hometown because her father passed away. While at the funeral parlor, she sees the ghost of her handsome, “mountain of a man” editor who suddenly passed. Seeing him and learning of his unfinished business has her questioning everything she thought she knew about love stories.

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Freida McFadden
The Housemaid

In case you haven’t read The Housemaid yet, here’s your reminder that you should.

In book one of three, we’re introduced to the Winchester’s maid who lives in the attic of their beautiful home. Mostly satisfied with her life of cleaning and errand running, she finds herself jealous of the wife Nina’s perfect life. After Nina finds out the housemaid tried on one of her dresses, she finds herself locked in her attic room. Little does Nina know, though, there may be more to the housemaid than meets the eye.

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K. L. Walther
The Summer of Broken Rules

Meredith Fox hasn’t been herself since she lost her sister, but she’s determined to rejoin the world at her annual family gathering in Martha’s Vineyard this summer. While in town, her family will be attending a wedding and playing a traditional family game that her sister loved. Meredith is set on winning the game in honor of her sister, but when she gets paired with a handsome groomsman, she quickly becomes distracted and at risk of losing more than the game.

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Kate Kennedy
One in a Millennial

Millennial mamas need to get their hands on this book as soon as possible. Feel all the nostalgia with the hilarious exploration of everything it meant to come of age in the time of AOL, “going out tops,” the Spice Girls, and more.


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Donna Everhart
When the Jessamine Grows

If you’re looking for a book club pick, consider this masterpiece by Donna Everhart.

On the brink of the Civil War in North Carolina, Joetta is content with staying out of it and focusing on her family and their small farm. But when her confederate father-in-law starts filling her son’s head with the Southern cause, he sneaks away to join the war. After she sends her husband out to find him and bring him home, soon weeks go by without any word from either of them. Struggling to keep her homestead going practically on her own and the implications of the impending war, Joetta finds herself being tested in more ways than one.

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Charmaine Wilkerson
Black Cake

Now a series on Hulu, Black Cake tells the story of siblings Byron and Benny who are left a traditional Caribbean black cake and a voice recording as part of their inheritance after their mother dies. In the recording, Eleanor tells a story about a young woman under suspicion of murder and the tale challenges everything Byron and Benny know about their mom, their family history, and even themselves.

This read and TV series binge combo is made for spring break at home!

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Tara French
The Hunter

After retiring from the Chicago Police Department, Cal Hooper moves to western Ireland. Here, he begins building a home with a local woman named Lena and a troubled teenager named Trey. Their quiet life is threatened when Trey’s estranged father comes into town. While all Cal and Lena want to do is keep Trey safe, she has other plans: her eyes are set on revenge.

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Britney Spears
The Woman In Me

It may not seem like that long ago, but it was all the way back in 2021 that the world got to hear Britney Spears speak in court about her life under conservatorship. It felt like, for the first time, the world was finally listening to the pop star. Now she’s more candid than ever about her life, fame, and personal struggles in this memoir.

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Rebecca Serle
Expiration Dates

A new release from the celebrated author of In Five Years and One Italian Summer comes another heartwarming story you’ll want to read this year.

In Expiration Dates, we meet Daphne Bell. For over 20 years, Daphne has received a slip of paper each time she meets a new love interest that has their name and a number that explains the exact amount of time she’ll have with this man. She’s been waiting and waiting for a slip of paper with no number on it when she meets Jake. Is this fate telling her he’s the one? As their love story unfolds and things get more complicated than she could have ever imagined, she starts to wonder if maybe fate got it wrong this time.

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Lauren Graham
Have I Told You This Already

Many of us know her as the beloved Lorelai Gilmore, and, as it turns out, Lauren Graham has quite the sense of humor, too! In her book of essays, she shares her life stories that are filled with hilarious anecdotes and plenty of sage advice that we can all take with us throughout the rest of the year.

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Kate Robb
This Spells Love

After Gemma gets dumped by her boyfriend, she enlists the help of her sister, aunt, and best friend, Dax, to make her feel better. The drunk night leads to them performing a love-cleansing spell. When it inevitably goes awry, Gemma wakes up the next day to find her life completely unrecognizable—including Dax not knowing who she is. To reverse it, she needs to win back his friendship, but it’s not long before she realizes she may not want to go back to being just friends.

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Anna Quindlen
After Annie

The sudden death of Annie Brown alters the lives of those closest to her in unimaginable ways. Her husband, best friend, and kids each mourn their loved one while trying to find a way to live without her. What gets them through is Annie herself. Over the course of a year, this story follows each character and the ever present voice in their heads of their beloved Annie. Perfectly capturing what it’s like to lose a loved one, this book is perfect to turn to when you just need a good cry.

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Jamie Kern Lima
Worthy: How to Believe You Are Enough and Transform Your Life

Looking to spend your spring break making positive life changes? Start with this book all about self-worth. In it you’ll find ways to stop doubting yourself, embrace who you are, and chase after long forgotten dreams.

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Tamron Hall
Watch Where They Hide

The second book of the Jordan Manning series is sure to be just as page turning as the first, As the Wicked Watch.

This time, after Marla Hancock drops her child off at preschool, she goes missing. Marla had recently moved in with her sister Shelly after leaving an abusive ex, and Shelly knows Marla wouldn’t leave her children behind willingly. With little help in finding her sister, Shelly turns to TV journalist Jordan Manning. As Manning begins her investigation, she learns of more secrets and scandals than she bargained for—ones that may put her in personal danger.

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