The Most Popular Beach Reads for Summer 2023


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Whether you’re spending your next Saturday lounging on your patio or hopping on a plane to spend a week on a white-sand beach in Anguilla, warm weather and sunny summer days call for an arsenal of beach reads.

There’s nothing as relaxing as sitting outside, breathing in the fresh air, and cracking open a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Whenever we finish a book we love, we turn to Goodreads to help us find our next page-turner—they can help you find your next favorite book based on past ones you’ve loved.

We’re all about having a stack of books ready to read in the summer months. The list below includes an assortment of highly rated beach reads from Goodreads that span every genre you could think of, so you know you’ll find the perfect read for your next beach day here.


Emily Henry
Happy Place

Harriet and Wyn were the ultimate couple and had been inseparable since college. They were like two peas in a pod, a match made in heaven, a duo like no other. But something changed, and they just won't talk about it. They broke up half a year ago, yet their closest friends remain oblivious to the split. Now, fate lands them sharing the same bedroom on vacation, where they have to put on a flawless act that convinces their friends that they’re still a happy couple in their happy place. After years of love, pretending for a single week among their closest confidants should be a piece of cake, right? Well, maybe not.

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Stacy Willingham
All The Dangerous Things

Isabelle Drake's life turned upside down when her son, Mason, vanished from his crib a year ago. With few leads and a cold case, Isabelle is completely consumed by the search for her son, sacrificing everything in her relentless pursuit, including sleep. In a desperate attempt to uncover new clues, she agrees to an interview with a true-crime podcaster. However, his probing questions and Isabelle's chronic insomnia dredge up unsettling memories from her own past, casting doubt on her recollection of that night Mason went missing. Determined to uncover the truth, Isabelle embarks on a journey that will challenge everything she knows—and everyone she trusts.

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Curtis Sittenfeld
Romantic Comedy

Sally Milz, a sketch writer for "The Night Owls" comedy show, has given up on love after a few tough heartbreaks, and she's happy with occasional flings, career success, and a close bond with her stepfather. However, when Sally's colleague, Danny, starts dating the glamorous actor Annabel, it highlights a trend where average-looking men end up with stunning women, and this frustrates Sally beyond belief. Then enters Noah Brewster, a famous pop star known for dating models, who appears as a host and musical guest on the show. As he and Sally start to form a connection, Sally wonders if there could be something more. But this isn't a romantic comedy; it's real life. In reality, someone like Noah would never date someone like her. Or, would he?

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Jesse Q. Sutanto
Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Meet Vera Wong, a spunky sixty-year-old who prides herself on her tea expertise and internet sleuthing skills (mostly to check on her son's love life). However, her peaceful routine takes a wild turn when she discovers a dead body in her tea shop one morning. With her keen senses and pure determination, Vera takes it upon herself to crack the case, knowing she can beat the police to the truth. While trying to sniff out the murderer amongst her customers, she ends up finding some unexpected friendships along the way.

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Mikki Brammer
The Collected Regrets of Clover

Ever since witnessing her kindergarten teacher's dramatic death while reading Peter Rabbit, Clover Brooks has felt a unique bond with dying. After her beloved grandfather passes away, Clover becomes a death expert in bustling New York City, devoting herself to guiding individuals through the ends of their lives. But while immersed in the world of death, Clover realizes she has neglected her own life. And when a spirited elderly woman's final wishes send Clover on a cross-country adventure to uncover a forgotten love story, she embarks on a quest that may finally lead her to her own happy ending.

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R.F. Kuang

June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be literary stars, but while Athena shines, June's book flops. However, when Athena passes, June seizes the chance and steals Athena's novel about Chinese laborers in World War I. She submits it as her own, becoming a bestselling author named Juniper Song. But, her success is threatened by mounting evidence that shows the work isn’t truly hers. As she fights to protect her secret, she is forced to confront her own ambition.

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Emilia Hart

In 2019, Kate escapes her abusive partner and finds refuge in Weyward Cottage, inherited from her estranged great aunt. Suspecting a hidden secret, she uncovers a connection to the witch-hunts of the 17th century. In 1619, Altha faces trial for a farmer's murder, relying on her natural magic to get her through as she fights for her freedom. During World War II in 1942, Violet, confined by society, yearns for an education like her brother’s, and clues of her mother's mysterious past lead her on a journey of self-discovery. This captivating novel intertwines the stories of these three extraordinary women across centuries, celebrating their resilience and the transformative power of nature.

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Kate Morton

In Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959, a shocking and mysterious murder case rocked the town of Tambilla. Now sixty years later, a journalist named Jess is looking for a breakthrough story after losing her job, and she stumbles upon a true crime book uncovering a long-buried tragedy—the Turner Family Tragedy of 1959. Intrigued by the possible connection to her own family, Jess dives into the cold case, finding a captivating distraction from her own struggles and getting her the big story she’s been hoping for.

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Rachel Beanland
The House Is on Fire

In 1811 Richmond, Virginia, the winter social season is in full swing. The theater is bustling with holiday revelers seeking entertainment, and among them are newly widowed Sally, troubled Cecily, ambitious Jack, and big-dreamer Gilbert. When the theater tragically goes up in flames one evening, their split-second choices shape their destinies and intertwine their lives. As the news spreads, their stories reverberate across the nation, and start to tell a captivating tale of love, courage, and fate in the aftermath of a fiery disaster.

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Crystal Smith Paul
Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?

When Hollywood icon Kitty Karr Tate leaves her estate to the St. John sisters after she passes, a couple of questions start to stir. Elise St. John, who’s dealing with personal scandals of her own, uncovers shocking secrets in Kitty's journal regarding the truth of Kitty's rise to fame, her debts, and questionable past decisions. As Elise delves deeper into Kitty's past, it forces her to confront her own choices and the massive power of secrets. Honing in on the toxic Hollywood lifestyle and the inheritances of family, race, and gender, we see a story of women who are doing their best to break free of it all.

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Victor LaValle
Lone Women

In 1915, Adelaide Henry carries a mysterious locked steamer trunk with her, which unleashes a sinister power whenever it’s opened, and she brings it with her as she flees from her tragic past to Montana as a homesteader. As one of the only “lone women" settling the land, Adelaide's mysterious trunk becomes her only hope of survival in the unforgiving territory. Telling a story of female redemption in the harsh climate of early 20th-century America, we follow a mesmerizing journey into the depths of a woman's past and her fight for a new future.

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Ling Ling Huang
Natural Beauty

When an unfortunate accident leaves her parents debilitated and in need of her help, Anna abandons her future as a world-class pianist for a job at a high-end beauty and wellness store in New York City. While there, she befriends the store owner’s niece, Helen, and Anna is quickly thrown into a world of privilege and given a sense of belonging that she’s never experienced before. However, Anna may not be quite as kind and innocent as she seems as we follow a story of the faults of consumerism, self-worth, and identity.

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Grady Hendrix
How to Sell a Haunted House

When Louise finds out her parents have passed away, she absolutely dreads going home to deal with the aftermath. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex, deal with her family home that’s stuffed to the rafters with her parents belongings, or learn how to live without the two people who knew her best and loved her the most. But above all else, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown and is not the easiest person to deal with. But, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale, and it turns out that the house may have something coming for both of them…

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Parini Shroff
The Bandit Queens

Geeta's awful husband disappeared five years ago, and everyone is convinced that she killed him. Well, she didn’t—but no one will believe otherwise no matter how much she protests. But, she starts to discover that being known as a "self-made" widow actually has some perks: no one bothers her, threatens her, or tries to control her. It's even been good for her small business, as no one wants to risk getting on her bad side by not buying her jewelry. Other women start to see this wonderful life that Geeta’s living and ask for her help getting rid of their own no-good husbands, and she fears that her reputation is starting to become a double-edged sword that could go awry at any second.

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Sadeqa Johnson
The House of Eve

In 1950s Philadelphia, 15-year-old Ruby Pearsall is on track to become the first in her family to attend college, despite the fact that her mother is more interested in keeping a man than raising a daughter. But, a taboo love affair threatens to pull her back down into the poverty-stricken life she was born into. Eleanor Quarles arrives in Washington, DC, to attend Howard University, where she meets the handsome William Pride. They fall madly in love, but William hails from one of DC’s wealthiest Black families, and his par­ents don’t let just anyone into their lives. So, Eleanor hopes that a baby will act as her ticket into the life with William she’s been searching for. But having a baby—and fitting in—is easier said than done. When Ruby and Eleanor’s stories collide in the most unexpected way, they will be forced to make decisions that reshape the trajectory of their lives.

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Shelby Van Pelt
Remarkably Bright Creatures

After Tova Sullivan's husband passed away, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium as a custodian. Keeping busy helps her cope, which she's been doing since her 18-year-old son, Erik, vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago. At the aquarium, Tova becomes acquainted with Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus who knows more than anyone can imagine, but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors—that is, until he forms a friendship with Tova. Marcellus deduces what happened the night her son disappeared, and now must use every trick his aging body can muster to unearth the truth for Tova before it's too late.

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Danya Kukafka
Notes on an Execution

Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in just 12 hours. He knows what he’s done and now awaits execution, but Ansel doesn’t want to die—he just wants to be celebrated and understood. Now, through the lens of three women—a mother, a sister, and a homicide detective—we learn the story of Ansel’s life. We meet his mother, Lavender, a 17-year-old girl pushed to desperation; Hazel, the twin sister of Ansel’s wife, forced to watch helplessly as her sister’s relationship threatens to devour them all; and Saffy, the homicide detective hot on his trail, who has devoted herself to bringing bad men to justice. As the clock ticks down, these women sift through the choices that culminate in this tragedy, exploring the eternal consequences that such destruction leaves behind.

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Justin Cronin
The Ferryman

In the secluded archipelago of Prospera, citizens enjoy a calm yet euphoric life until their implanted monitors signal a decline below 10%, which signals for them to retire to the Nursery in which their bodies are rejuvenated and memories erased. Proctor Bennett, a ferryman from the Department of Social Contracts, guides people through this retirement, but his own life takes a troubling turn when he starts experiencing dreams, which is forbidden in Prospera, and his monitor percentage drops rapidly. Unrest amongst all of the Prospera workers starts to brew, and rumors of a revolution start to fly rampant which throws Proctor into an awakening in which he discovers a larger truth to uncover the real secrets of the land.

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Ashley Herring Blake
Delilah Green Doesn't Care

Delilah Green, adamant about never returning to Bright Falls due to painful memories, thrives in her photography career and casual relationships while living in NYC. However, when pressured by her estranged stepsister Astrid, Delilah reluctantly agrees to photograph Astrid's wedding. When she’s back in the town she once despised, Delilah encounters Claire Sutherland, a single mother running a bookstore, seeking some stability in her life. Delilah manages to break down Claire's walls and sparks an unexpected connection. As they navigate wedding preparations and a plan to save Astrid from her horrible fiancé, Claire finds it increasingly difficult to resist Delilah, and starts to question if she even wants to resist at all.

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Carley Fortune
Every Summer After

Persephone Fraser, haunted by a decade-old mistake, avoids her hometown and guards her heart far away in the city. But a sudden call draws her back to Barry's Bay and reunites her with Sam Florek—the man she thought she'd lost forever. Over the course of six summers, Percy and Sam shared a deep bond, with their friendship blossoming into something more before a dramatic falling out. When attending Sam's mother's funeral, Percy and Sam's undeniable connection resurfaces, but Percy must confront her past decisions and years of self-punishment before they can explore whether their love can overcome their past mistakes.

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Ashley Poston
The Dead Romantics

Florence Day, a ghostwriter for a successful romance author, has lost faith in love following a painful breakup. Facing a book deadline and a very pushy editor, her career is teetering on the edge. Then, a phone call she never wanted changes everything, leading her to return home after ten years to bury her father at their quirky family funeral parlor. While Florence longs for the familiar Southern nights, she still can't bring herself to stay, as the town feels stagnant and refuses to evolve. Her resentment grows until she encounters a perplexing yet very handsome ghost at the parlor's entrance, which completely flips her life upside down.

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Sangu Mandanna
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

Mika Moon, one of Britain's few living witches, lives a hidden life to avoid drawing attention to herself and mingling. Unexpectedly, she one day receives a message urging her to teach three young witches at Nowhere House, defying all the rules she’s set in place for herself. Intrigued by the opportunity, Mika accepts the invitation and becomes entangled in the lives of these aspiring witches and their caretakers, an archaeologist and a very protective librarian, and many others who make up the strange community of Nowhere House. As Mika finds her place among them, the concept of belonging becomes tangible for the first time in her life. But, dangers lurk beyond magic's reach, and when a threat emerges, Mika must choose whether to risk everything for the found family she didn't realize she needed.

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Elin Hilderbrand
The Hotel Nantucket

Hotel Nantucket, once a grand establishment until a tragic fire in 1922, needs some serious revamping. So, London-based billionaire Xavier Darling buys and renovates it with the help of Nantucket local Lizbet Keaton, and together they assemble a passionate and yet slightly inexperienced staff to revive the hotel's reputation. However, they face challenges in dealing with one another on a daily basis, improving the hotel's image, and appeasing the ghost of Grace Hadley, the murdered chambermaid haunting the premises.

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Jennifer Hillier
Things We Do in the Dark

Paris Peralta finds herself in a dire situation when she’s arrested, covered in blood, and is holding a straight razor beside her deceased celebrity husband in the bathtub. While murder charges loom, her main concern is the unwanted media attention that could expose her hidden past and destroy the life she has painstakingly built. Meanwhile, 25 years earlier, Ruby Reyes, nicknamed the Ice Queen, was convicted of a similar murder that captivated Canada in the 1990s. Ruby recognizes Paris's true identity and, upon her unexpected release from prison, threatens to reveal all of Paris's secrets. Forced to confront her dark past, Paris has no choice but to face it once and for all.

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Bolu Babalola
Honey & Spice

Sharp-tongued Kiki Banjo, host of the popular radio show "Brown Sugar", is an expert in avoiding messy relationships. However, after publicly denouncing Malakai Korede as “The Wastemen of Whitewell”, she mistakenly kisses him in front of their entire university. With her show in jeopardy, they concoct a fake relationship to salvage their reputations and futures, and Kiki, who has never let her guard down, refuses to let charming Malakai change that. Yet, as they share study sessions and intimate late-night conversations, Kiki starts questioning her assumptions, but will she really be willing to embrace a deeper connection?

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