Summer is here, and that means you’re going to be spending these long, warm (read: deathly hot) days either by the beach in some exotic destination or indoors with your AC cooling you off. To keep you from being bored or letting the heat get to you, reading a book is always the best way to get lost into another world.
From contemporary romances to some self-help books, here are the best beach reads for the summer:
1. Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Marisol Ferrera, a freelance writer, has grown up hearing the tales of her family’s life in Cuba. She learns about how her grandmother, Elisa Perez – a beauty who was in the mix of Cuba’s high society, is forced to flee with her family during the revolution.
Elisa’s last wish was for her granddaughter to scatter her ashes, prompting Marisol to make a trip to Cuba where she is faced with the timeless beauty of the country and many family secrets.
2. When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
A sequel to her exciting novel Next Year in Havana, When We Left Cuba is even more exhilarating than the first part. The female protagonist in this, Beatriz, is forced to flee Cuba during the reign of Castro. She becomes involved in a plot to take back her country, and in doing so indulges in an extra-martial affair. With an easy-to-read candour and some glamour involved, this is an ideal beach read.
3. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
A math addict, Stella Lane thinks the universe is functional and united because of this numerical and logical subject. She also has Asperger’s which leads her to think of French kissing as a shark getting its teeth cleaned by a pilot fish. Stella works in the department of customer purchases, making more money than she knows what to do with. Her dating life, however, counts as broke. To counter her distaste of French kissing, she hires a dreamy male escort to help her break all her barriers, perhaps even the ones of her heart.
4. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Hoang’s sequel to The Kiss Quotient is about Khai who is a secondary character from her first book. Khai spends years believing he’s incapable of love – that is until he meets his match with Esme, a transplant from Vietnam. And funnily enough, she is also about finding true love. What follows is a feel good story of two people learning to come together.
5. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
Nina Hill is an only child, a book lover who works in a bookstore, and a self-proclaimed introvert. She plans her week out in advance and enjoys trivia. Her carefully planned world is turned upside-down when she finds out her father (who she never knew) passes away, leaving her to meet with a whole new set of family members. To further complicate matters, a boy named Tom begins to like her, but he isn’t all that well-read… much to her dismay.
6. Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen
Alice moves from Ohio to the Big Apple to pursue her dreams of becoming a photographer. One of her first assignments is to be a secretary for Helen Gurley Brown, a former editor-in-chief of the renowned magazine, Cosmopolitan. This is a tale for fashion lovers, set in the 1960’s.
7. The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley
Set on the Mayan Riviera is a tranquil and beautiful resort known as The Harmony Resort. It is a beautiful getaway for couples on the brink of a divorce, where celebrity therapists Dr. Miles and Dr. Grace Markell give guests advice on how to repair their relationships. A tropical storm soon hits the area, leaving all guests at the resort trapped. Secrets become exposed and even the therapist’s marriage comes to a test.
8. Circe by Madeline Miller
This is a perfect read for lovers of fantasy novels and Greek mythology. It revolves around the life of a female goddess named Circe, and how she wills herself to power with the force of dark magic and witchcraft. She is strong, yet flawed and therein we see her journey from crossing paths with Odysseus, the Minotaur and the wraths she faces wit those she crosses the wrong way!
9. Normal People by Sally Rooney
Normal People is set in Dublin, Ireland (also the home of the author) and follows the lives of Marianne and Connell. It delves into their relationship, which evolves through the various stages of life, depicting their emotional dependency on each other. From personality changes over the years, to first loves, to how far they are willing to go to save the other.
10. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
A self-help book for the girl who needs a no-nonsense guide to creating her goals, this book gives its readers a pep talk in every chapter. It is written with an encouraging and upbeat tone, and will help you to stop apologizing for who you are. Do self help books sound all the same to you? Sure – this one however, has a whole different outlook to it and leaves you calmer and actually realise that its okay to be who you are, how you are – with room for improvement!