Trips 10 Beach Reads That Are Perfect For A Sunny Day Out

10 Beach Reads That Are Perfect For A Sunny Day Out

From meet-cute romance novellas to nail-biting thrillers and sparkling celebrity memoirs — here's our list of books to read at the beach.


By Yashita Vashishth Published on Sep 26, 2023, 08:00 AM

10 Beach Reads That Are Perfect For A Sunny Day Out
Image credits: Craig Cameron/Unsplash

When the body demands a leisurely break, all roads lead to the sun, sand, and sea. Miles away from the cacophony of city traffic, lapping waves and coastal breeze await — ready to unbridle our happy hormones. And while mimosas and beachcombing are a must on every tropical getaway, knowing what books to read at the beach can elevate the fun severalfold.

From meet-cute romance novellas to nail-biting thrillers and sparkling celebrity memoirs — our list of beach reads has something for everyone. All you need to do is pick your favourites, add them to the beach bag, put on your sunnies, and head to the beach! After all, the only thing better than vegging out by the sea is kicking back on a sun lounger with a beach book in your hands. Fellow bookworms will agree — endless hours of wave-watching, sun-soaking, and sinking into books has a charm that is unparalleled. And the books on our list are just as enjoyable with a hot cuppa, in pyjamas on your couch. Regardless of where you read it, a beach book offers the perfect escape from reality, treating you to a little dose of wonder, thrill, and inspiration.

Best books to read at the beach

We round up the best books to take along to the sandy shores. From trending author Taylor Jenkin Reid’s remarkable new novel to a delicious read by everyone’s favourite Reese Witherspoon, read on to discover it all.

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Chemist Elizabeth Zott learned early on that equality isn’t served, it’s fought for. It’s the 60s and she works with an all-male team at Hastings Research Institute. Unfortunately, they have a very unscientific view of women having bold opinions outside of their homes. Except for the Nobel Prize-nominated scientist Calvin Evans, who falls in love with her wit. A few years hence, life takes a 360-degree turn and renders Elizabeth a single mother and a reluctant cooking show host. The only catch? Elizabeth is teaching women more than just recipes, she’s telling them how to change the status quo. This slice-of-life book deserves to be on every bookworm’s shelf: it’s got laughter, inspiration, romance, and a furry friend that’s bound to win hearts.

Image credits: Amazon India

Maddie Skyes is an aspiring seamstress who’s just arrived in Bright Leaf, North Carolina — the tobacco capital of the South. In a city glazed with glamour, she is enamoured by the slick factory workers, opulent homes, and her aunt’s high-end clientele: the wives of the tobacco executives. As she assists her aunt in sewing outfits for the biggest gala of the season, she unravels the town’s settlement with misery. From unwarranted misfortunes to substantial health concerns, she comes face to face with Bright Leaf’s agonising reality. But baring the truth means jeopardising the flamboyant lives of the women who’ve become her confidants in this new city.

Image credits: Amazon India

Who said beach vacation books are all sunshine and no suspense? Based on the true story of the American ship SS Morro Castle, this book rustles up a lavish murder mystery, morally grey characters, hidden identities, and forbidden romance. As New York heiress Catherine Dohan casts off on Morro Castle, her seemingly perfect life is threatened as the past slaps with vengeance. Enter Elena Palacio — after a devastating betrayal left her penniless and on the run, the voyage on SS Morro Castle is her only hope. As Catherine’s and Elena’s fates intertwine, they unite to ensure justice is served.

Image credits: Amazon India

Tossed into the deep sea, floating amidst the frothy waves, the glass bottle could’ve ended up anywhere. But just 3 weeks later, Theresa Osborne, a single mother and columnist picks the bottle off the shore and pulls out the most emotional letter she’s read. “My Dearest Catherine, I miss you my darling, as I always do, but today is particularly hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together…” Theresa is moved by the letter, penned by the author to express his love for a woman he’s lost forever. As someone who was betrayed in her marriage, she is overcome by emotions and curiosity. Who’s the writer? Who’s Catherine? No points for guessing, she sets course to find him, unaware that destiny has a saccharine surprise for her.

Image credits: Amazon India

Author Jamie Day makes us privy to a catastrophic murder at the annual Memorial Day block party on Alton Lane. Boy, are we glad we weren’t invited! Narrated by Alex and her daughter, the plot is laced with dark revelations, conflicting truths, and an eerie narrative. If you’re keen on picking up a book from the neighbourhood noir genre, look no further. Lots of drama, but never too much; and lots of suspects that keep you guessing till the very end. The Block Party has all it takes to fit the good thriller mould.

Image credits: Flipkart India

Taylor Jenkins Reid sweeps us into the life of Cuban-American star Evelyn Hugo. At 79, she has outlived all of her 7 infamous marriages and is now ready to reveal the dark and promiscuous secrets of her life. But why she summons amateur journalist Monique Grant to write her biography and all the unsparing details she showers during their encounters is bound to take you by surprise. Childhood trauma, patriarchy, LGBTQ+ rights, and coping with loss — all of this set amidst old-world Hollywood glam make this book a deliriously addictive read!

Image credits: Amazon India

Hot chocolate with marshmallows on a rainy day — that’s what this novel feels like! Lillie Silva’s son is leaving the country for college, and although morose, she’s ready for the next chapter with her husband. Let’s call it the “Empty Nesters”. But wait, did we speak too soon? Her husband has other plans which, well, don’t include her. Absolutely alone for the first time ever, Lillie finds herself more furious than heartbroken. Kristan Higgins hits it out of the park with this story about self-discovery, sisterhood, and silver linings. This book has to tag along on your beach vacation!

Image credits: Amazon India

Let’s shift the gear to serious themes. If you fancy an earnest, literary account of urban adolescence in India, this book is for you. Set in the Bombay of 1980s, the introspective narrative will teleport you to the old-world charm of the Maximum City and introduce you to Yuri. With poems and prose, the reader learns about Yuri’s journey from adolescence to adulthood, the dichotomy and debate in his head, his relationships, and existentialism, among other themes.

Image credits: Amazon India

Academy Award-winning actor, producer, and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon needs no introduction. Her debut in the writing world, “Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits” is a slice-of-life novel that deserves to be in every home! Her heritage inspires who she is largely. Organising big parties, bringing her grandma’s recipes to the stove ever so often, backyard bridal showers, and cosy Christmas mornings — this book will give you a peek into how Reese leads her life the Southern way. And before you ask, yes, the book carries some recipes that you can try in your lovely kitchen.

Image credits: Amazon India

Yes, there’s a book by American actress and comedian Amy Poehler out there and it’s just as funny as you think! The best part? It offers an honest peek into her life with a narrative that ensures you’re constantly smiling, if not giggling. Childhood, motherhood, improv beginnings, sex, and womanhood, the book tackles a multitude of themes without sounding preachy. We recommend this book for some crisp and fun reading after a long day at the beach.

Image credits: Amazon India


Hero and Feature Image Credits: Craig Cameron/Unsplash

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– What are some good books to read at the beach?
We recommend Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins, The Block Party by Jamie Day, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers, and Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon, among others.

– Should I go for a light and easy read or something more substantial for beach reading?
That depends on the kinds of genres you enjoy. While some fancy a feel-good romantic novel on the beach, others devour thrillers on the sandy shores.

– Should I choose a book that matches the beach setting or opt for something different to escape into another world?
Choose a book and genre that you enjoy reading the most. The purpose of a beach vacation is to alleviate your stress and calm your senses. In that sense of the matter, if you enjoy fast-paced crime thrillers, pick that over a beach-themed book.

– Are there any books with beach or ocean themes that are particularly enjoyable for coastal vacations?
Some beach-themed books that you may consider are Beach Lovers by Emily Henry, Endless Summer by Elin Hilderbrand, The Summer Skies by Jenny Colgan, and Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, among others.

– Should I be concerned about the sand and water damaging my books while at the beach?
When at the beach, make sure to read on a comfortable mat or on the sun lounger — this will save your books from sand and water. Additionally, always carry a beach tote to keep your books safe.

– Can you recommend some non-fiction books that are suitable for beach reading?
Some non-fiction books that you may consider are Mozart in Italy by Jane Glover, Party Lines by Ed Gillett, Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon, and Yes Please by Amy Poehler, among others.



Written By

Yashita Vashishth

Yashita Vashishth

Writer by day, reader by night, Yashita has a flair for all things travel, wellness and food. She has previously worked at Condé Nast India and Times Internet. When not working, you can catch her binge-reading the latest thriller on the block, re-watching Friends, trying a new recipe or hosting her friends.

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