With summer comes the beach and with the beach comes sand and sun and well, lots of seaside fun. But while the beach can offer swimming and playing and snoozing for some, to me, it’s the best place ever to catch up on reading—with the sound of crashing waves as your soundtrack and the sun tanning your legs all the while.
We’ve rounded up 12 of our favorites to tackle over the next few months, from a London-based whodunit to a fictional family in Singapore fighting over a huge inheritance. Some of it is dishy, some is serious, some will draw tears and all of them will keep you thoroughly engrossed as you laze the days away this summer.
AUTHOR: Jill Eisenstadt
WHY WE LIKE IT: Anyone who’s ever been part of a tight-knit gaggle of girls in high school will get all the feels when reading this novel, which follows a group of friends…you guessed it, from Rockaway! Lead character Alex has escaped “Rotaway” via a college scholarship while her gang is back home working and boozing the days away. Yes, we’ve all been there!
Truly Madly Guilty
AUTHOR: Liane Moriarty
WHY WE LIKE IT: We like a book that reminds us how important it is appreciate every last thing—and this one does that it in spades. Picture-perfect couple Sam and Clementine accept an invitation to a barbecue that months later has them asking, “What if we hadn’t gone?” You’ll be wondering the same long after you finish the last page.
All the Lives I Want
AUTHOR: Alana Massey
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re a celebrity hound, you’ll appreciate Massey’s compilation of essays, which focus on everyone from Anna Nicole Smith and Lil’ Kim to Britney Spears and Scarlett Johansson. Tackling issues like mental illness, the sex industry and unhealthy body image, she writes in a clever manner that is more romp than serious read.
A House for Happy Mothers
AUTHOR: Amulya Malladi
WHY WE LIKE IT: You won’t be able to put down this story of two Indian women—the wealthy Priya who has everything she needs (but a baby) in Silicon Valley and the destitute Asha, who adores her two children but can’t provide for them in her tiny Southern Indian village. The women meet at A House for Happy Mother’s in India, where Asha sells her womb to wealthy childless couples. Their relationship is the heart of the this story and will be the reason you can’t put this page turner down.
How to Fall in Love With Anyone
AUTHOR: Mandy Len Catron
WHY WE LIKE IT: Based upon an essay Catron penned for The New York Times that went viral immediately (you know the one, entitled "To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This"), this book delves deeper into the topic via essays that ask what it means to love and be loved. Catron stumbled on the topic herself following her parents surprising divorce and the end of her own 10 year relationship. Anyone assessing their love lives this summer will surely want to take a peek.
AUTHOR: Anna Pitoniak
WHY WE LIKE IT: Whether you’re married to a finance guy or spend your days trading CDOs, if you’re at all involved in finance you’ll enjoy this look at the 2008 crash. Told through the story of a couple being torn apart by the soaring wealth of a finance job and the doldrums of non-profit work, Evan and Julia have to deal with the ever-growing chasm in their relationship when the financial crisis hits.
AUTHOR: Anna Quindlen
WHY WE LIKE IT: We over here at Most Wanted HQ consume and adore pretty much anything Quindlen pens and her latest tome is no different. Based on the idea that the place where you grew up lives with you forever and ever—yeah, we realize that a bit more everyday in our own lives—this book beautifully weaves together the story of a family (and its secrets) through several generations.
Rich People Problems
AUTHOR: Kevin Kwan
WHY WE LIKE IT: Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall of the uber-rich? Well thanks to Kwan, now you can. His latest tome dishes on the drama of a family that is fighting over its matriarch’s massive estate—which includes 64 acres in the heart of Singapore. You won’t be able to put this down, and if you haven’t read Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians yet, pick that up, too.
Made to Love
AUTHOR: Alissa Nutting
WHY WE LIKE IT: Here’s the premise: Hazel moves into a senior citizen with her father and his sex doll (you read that right) because she’s fleeing her controlling husband, who happens to be the founder and CEO of Gogol, a humongous high-tech company in Silicon Valley. Intrigued? Buy the book, you won’t be disappointed.
AUTHOR: Jenny Zhang
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re a Lena Dunham fan, this book needs to be on your radar, as it’s the first to be released by Lenny, Dunham’s imprint with Random House. Comprised of seven stories told my Chinese immigrant daughters in New York City, Zhang’s poetic voice is both hilarious and reflective at once.
Girls in the Garden
AUTHOR: Lisa Jewell
WHY WE LIKE IT: We all love a whodunit and this one delivers. In a picturesque London neighborhood that shares a communal garden a young girl discovers her teenage sister bloody and unconscious in the garden. Friendly neighbors suddenly become suspicious foes in this gripping suspense.
What We Lose
AUTHOR: Zinzi Clemmons
WHY WE LIKE IT: For anyone who’s lost a parent, Thandi’s story of watching her mother battle cancer will ring true. Losing the person who shaped her entire existence drives her to learn more about her mother’s Johannesburg roots as she navigates her new life alone and rudderless…that is, until she becomes a mother herself. Poetic and touching, Clemmons’ debut novel is a beautiful tribute to mothers and daughters and lives well-lived.
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