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

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spring break books
Graphics by: Anna Wissler

Enjoying a beach read on vacation might seem like a scene from another lifetime ago, when you had endless hours to spend on a lounge chair, perhaps while sipping a cocktail, and taking the occasional dip to cool off. Depending on the age of your kids, you may not have a ton of time for leisure reading, but we still wanted to round up some favorite books to read this spring, whether you’re lounging on the beach or on the couch after the kids go to bed.

This list includes a mix of lighter, fun reads as well as thought-provoking plotlines and suspenseful page-turners. Editor favorites and books recently adapted to the small screen also make the list. Scroll down to shop our picks!

reminders of him
Colleen Hoover

Reminders of Him

From bestselling author Colleen Hoover—who also wrote Verity and It Ends With Us—this book tells the story of a young mother, Kenna, as she desperately tries to reunite with her 4-year-old daughter after serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake.

crying in h mart
Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

This memoir written by singer, songwriter, and musician Michelle Zauner—lead vocalist of indie rock band Japanese Breakfast—chronicles her experience growing up in a Korean household in Oregon and reconnecting with her Asian American roots after her mom is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

people we meet on vacation
Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation

A classic friends-to-lovers romance, this book follows college pals Alex and Poppy on ten summer trips, but everything changes during their vacation to Croatia and they stop talking for two years. Determined to become friends again, Poppy invites Alex on one last trip—will their friendship (or maybe more) be rekindled?

Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Taking us through old Hollywood, Evelyn Hugo tells her story to journalist Monique Grant who is hoping to use the interviews to jumpstart her career. But she soon finds her own story connected to Evelyn’s in surprising ways.

This book came out in 2018 but if you haven't read it yet, now's the time as Netflix just announced there’s a film version of the book in the works.

cultish
Amanda Montell

Cultish

In Culltish, author Amanda Montell uncovers what makes cults intriguing, frightening, and powerful through detailed research and captivating storytelling. If you're a fan of documentaries or true crime stories, this book is for you.

wahala
Nikki May

Wahala

Named one of the most-anticipated books of 2022, this novel follows three Anglo-Nigerian friends whose relationship begins to crack when a fourth woman named Isobel joins their group. According to the book's Amazon description, this story is a "sharp, modern take on friendship, ambition, culture, and betrayal." Consider us sold!

the christie affair
Nina de Gramont

The Christie Affair

The year is 1925 and Nan O’Dea has turned the Christie's lives upside down. Yes, as in famed murder mystery writer Agatha Christie and her husband, Archie. As Nan begins an affair with Archie, it's revealed that her plan to infiltrate the Christie's marriage actually started decades before and begs the question, how far will a woman go for love?

black cake
Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake

Already in development as a series on Hulu, siblings Byron and Benny 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.

the other black girl
Zakiya Dalila Harris

The Other Black Girl

As the only Black women working at Wagner Books, Nella and Hazel become fast friends. But when Nella receives a mysterious note on her desk that says "LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.," she suspects it might be from Hazel—but why? As Nella's thoughts begins to spiral, she soon realizes more than just her career might be at stake.

greenwich park
Katherine Faulkner

Greenwich Park

Helen seemingly lives a perfect life. And when she meets Rachel at a prenatal class, she gets a new best friend. But when Rachel's erratic behavior starts to worry Helen, this story turns into a twisty and fast-paced thriller.

one italian summer
Rebecca Serle

One Italian Summer

Author Rebecca Serle's latest novel follows a young woman named Katy as she goes on a summer trip to Positano after losing her beloved mother. Then on the trip, Katy's mom, Carol, appears—but she's 30 years old and perfectly healthy. Katy has no idea what's happening, but embraces the opportunity to spend a summer in Italy with her mom and learns that the people we love never truly leave us.

the invisible life of addie larue
V. E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

In 1714 France, young woman Addie LaRue makes a desperate bargain to live forever—but is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Fast forward 300 years and Addie meets a man in a hidden bookstore who remembers her after she steals a book from his shop. Next, the two embark on a journey together that will keep readers captivated.

malibu rising
Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising

It's the summer of 1983 and the famous Riva siblings are getting ready to host their annual star-studded house party. Taking place over the span of 24 hours with flashback chapters interspersed throughout, you'll fall in love with Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit as their past and present family drama is unveiled.

This article was originally published in February 2020. It has been updated for timeliness. 

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