Summer's Best Beach Reads

Our seven hot picks-and kid choices too. 

1 of 10

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain


Set in 1920s Kenya, this fictionalized history of the beautiful, high-flying aviator Beryl Markham is as luminous as its headstrong heroine. An exhilarating ride. (Ballantine Books)

2 of 10

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee


The most anticipated book of the summer, the year and—for some—the century. Both the predecessor and the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, Watchman was written first, yet takes place about 20 years later. (Harper)

3 of 10

Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot


For all you princesses-in- waiting, the saga of Mia and Michael finally comes to its long-awaited fairy-tale ending. (Or perhaps it’s a new beginning.) Mia is all grown up in this adult sequel to the beloved Princess Diaries series. Fun and frothy! (William Morrow)

4 of 10

Housebreaking by Dan Pope


Desire, discontentment and unrealized dreams propel the likable lost souls in this empathetic cut-to-the-bone look at multigenerational suburban malaise. (Simon & Schuster)


5 of 10

The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander


A love story in reverse. Alexander’s outpouring of grief and loss transforms into a heart-stirring requiem for her recently departed young husband and their relationship. A powerfully poetic testament to living on through those we loved. (Grand Central Publishing)

6 of 10

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh


Her stirring and socially conscious novel The Language of Flowers catapulted Diffenbaugh to the best-seller list. Now she returns with another gripping, heartfelt exploration of a mother’s love, resilience and redemption. (Ballantine Books)

7 of 10

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight


What starts out as a mystery unfolds into a probing investigation of obsession and desire. McCreight again deftly captures the shadowy world of teens—and adults. (Harper)

8 of 10

Kids' Corner: The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry


Based on the humorist’s experience chaperoning his daughter’s school trip. No need to go on a journey—bond with your kid by reading together. AGES 9–12 

9 of 10

Kids' Corner: Lair Of Dreams by Libba Bray


The continuation to the darkly dreamy The Diviners is no lightweight—it’s 600-plus pages and destined to be the next YA crossover. AGE 15+


10 of 10

Kids' Corner: Paper Towns by John Green


The author of The Fault in Our Stars is ready to dominate the best-seller list (again) and the box office (the movie is out this summer) with a reissue of this earlier work about the mystery of young love. AGE 14+