You may or may not believe it, but the summer is well and truly here! The British weather is unpredictable, and COVID-19 along with a UK recession may have shelved previous holiday plans. But you still deserve space to relax this summer.
A good book can be the best antidote to our stressful lives. Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to have a beach close to hand, a trip overseas on the horizon or you’re simply taking time off at home. We all need a bit of escapism after all. Perhaps now more than ever.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered seven of our favourite, and most addictive, summer reads perfect for the beach and at home. Read on to feel inspired.
What Should I Read on The Beach This Summer?
In a rather ritualistic way, I always get a beach reading list together before each summer. And despite everything, this year is no different. I’m still hoping to spend a few sunny hours beachside one way or another.
There’s something soul soothing about reading an absorbing book to the soft lull of waves and the rustle of the wind. A good book is all you need to do these relaxing moments justice. And here are some of the best to get you started on your summer reading list:
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg
If the words “modern classic” get you excited, then look no further than Gift from the Sea. Published in 1991, this romantic read is spellbinding and painfully honest. Based on Lindberg’s deeply personal reflections, she originally wrote it in essay form in the 1950s. As relevant now as ever, it’s a window for your self-exploration with its meditative pace and deeply moving insights.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Published in 2013, lovers of gothic fiction will be instantly won over by this mesmerising story of a flawed family. Expertly using the old literary devices of suspense and intrigue, the story centres around a famously private novelist as she recounts her true childhood experiences to an amateur biographer. Expect twists and turns aplenty with a gothic atmosphere turned up to the max.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
Sometimes we need a lighter read for beachy days, and the on-the-nose titled Beach Read by Emily Henry delivers in spades. No pun intended. In it, romance novelist meets literary writer. Both are suffering from writer’s block, and both are cynical about love. Aside from that, they are as different as two people can be. Yet their world’s collide when they spend a summer in neighbouring beach houses. But will true love find a way?
What Are Some Good Summer Reads?
There’s a difference between spending a lazy afternoon on the beach and finding some space around your at-home routine to read. Even if you are staying put this summer, you can still benefit from a good book or two.
Often, it’s a case of finding a spare half hour here or an hour there. That means something easy to pick up, and easy to put down are the order of the day. And here are four brilliant books that tick every box.
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner
Thrilling and voyeuristic, this is one book that bottles the essence of stately beach residences and the people within them. Perfect if you’re stuck at home, within its pages you’ll be transported to a world where female friendships are complicated, romance is ever in the air, a scandal is afoot, and the houses are to die for.
The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward
If being transported to another place sounds like the tonic you need, The Jetsetters is another novel that brings exotic, sunny destinations to life. Juxtaposed with these tranquil settings, we take a figurative journey through the complicated structure of family relationships. As the winner of a competition, 70-year-old Charlotte embarks on a free cruise around the Mediterranean with her two grown-up children. But far from being blissful, secrets are unearthed, and true selves are revealed.
We’ve all been guilty of ignoring our parent’s past lives. To us, they are simply mum or dad. But everyone has a history, and everyone makes sacrifices when they become a parent. In this novel, we explore Laura’s relationship with her teenage daughter. A baby born out of a short-lived love affair and a story set to a dazzling New York backdrop, this book has the power to draw laughter and tears. And of course, plenty of nods of recognition from parents everywhere at the complicated relationships we have with our children.
The Girls by Emma Cline
Speaking of glitzy settings, nothing feels more intriguing and star-studded than 1960’s California. The Girls captivates and thrills in equal measure. We follow the story of Evie, a teenage outcast, as she is drawn into the world of a cult set in the sprawling California hills. Loosely based on the Manson Family, this captivating read throws in tension, mystery, and teenage angst. We also come face to face with a certain charismatic cult leader.
Making the Most Of Your Summer
It’s safe to say that this summer may feel like a huge departure from the norm. You may have had to postpone or cancel holiday plans due to changing finances or things outside your control. However, you should still grab the opportunity to take some time for yourself.
Sometimes it’s just a case of finding a few minutes to yourself to reset and come back to your day renewed. And if you’re ever wondering just how, when and what on earth you can do to find that space, remember, a good book can be your best friend. New worlds are waiting to be discovered. No travel required.