I love the term “beach read.” Nothing else captures the essence of a fun, juicy page-turner. So what’s the best beach read?
For more on the history of this phenomenon, check out this interesting article by Katy Waldman in The New Yorker on the invention of the beach read.
Here are some of my all-time favorites. I tend to like page turners with something extra:
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett
- Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
- Rock Paper Tiger by Lisa Brackmann (I may be biased because I pulled Lisa’s query letter out of the slush pile!)
- The Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
- The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
- December 6 by Martin Cruz Smith
I could go on forever and I’m confident there are dozens I’m forgetting.
What do you think are the best beach reads? Take to the comments!
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Art: The beach of Schieveninge by Frederik Hendrik Kaemmerer
Dana Rose Bailey says
Station Eleven is on my list.
I went to the beach last week and read Into Thin Air. It was weird reading about people freezing while sitting in my lounge chair by the pool.
I’m currently reading The Woman in Cabin 10.
Eleanor Olympiant is Doing Fine would be a good beach read.
Never Let Me Go. It’s definitely not fun. It’s so dark. But it’s a quick, engrossing-as-hell read. I’m not sure I’ve got it totally down, but I’m looking at your list and there’s some darker stuff on there. Heavy-ish, even.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
All Souls Trilogy By Deborah Harkness
JOHN T. SHEA says
Yet more for my towering bedside To-Be-Read pile, which will now probably topple over and crush me in the night!
I take it the ‘Something extra’ is sand between the pages?