What makes a good beach read? Here at Bookish, we think that the possibilities are endless. There’s no single genre that’s best for a day of sun and sand—we could never, ever choose just one. That’s why our beachy fiction preview contains such a wide range of fiction: You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll make sure no one is following you with an ax. Slather on a little SPF, and get situated on your towel: You’re in for an incredible summer of reading.
‘Til death do us part
Eloise is getting married, and her family is mostly excited about it. Except that they’re sort of not. Like any family, Eloise’s has its problems, and many of those problems come to a head when the whole group gathers in the same location. Eloise’s wedding is going to be super-fancy, held in London, and probably a perfect storm of family tensions. Her half-brother Paul is just plain grumpy. Her half-sister Alice takes more Klonopin than she should, and is dating a married man. Eloise’s mother is plotting her run-in with her ex-husband, Eloise’s father. You don’t have to check your mail for Eloise’s outrageously expensive invitation—we’ve already saved you a seat.
On shelves: June 6
Ready for takeoff
Readers, meet Suzy Whitman. She’s just graduated from college, and wants an adventure, so she follows in her sister’s footsteps and takes a job as a flight attendant. She settles into her new job and her home in Sela del Mar, California (conveniently located near LAX), and starts to make friends. Some of her friends are flight attendants, but some of them have other jobs—like Billy Zar. Billy works as a drug runner, and before long, Suzy is doing the same. The money is good, but Suzy is putting everything on the line. For readers fascinated by the airline industry of the 1970s, this is a perfect novel to pick up.
On shelves: June 6
Why pick one story when you can have 11? That’s what we think, too. In this new collection edited by Lee Child, 11 male authors and 11 female authors are each paired off into co-ed teams. Each team then writes a short story, including characters from each author’s oeuvre. The writers are some of the most famous in the mystery and thriller genre, and readers are sure to recognize some big names in this anthology, including Karin Slaughter and John Sandford. Each pair delivers a short story, and each tale is accompanied by notes from Child about how the team worked together. This fun, unique collection is the ideal beach read.
On shelves: June 13
You already know Jill Shalvis, and in Lost and Found Sisters, she’s serving up the first in a new series set in a small California town called Wildstone. To everyone else, it looks like Quinn has everything all figured out. She’s in love, she has a great job… but something isn’t right, and Quinn knows it. Quinn lost her sister in a car accident two years earlier, and the pain still haunts her every day. When a lawyer approaches her with some unexpected news, Quinn makes the decision to leave her whole life behind and move to Wildstone. Readers will be utterly charmed by Shalvis’ latest, and will be eager to visit Wildstone again.
On shelves: June 20
If you aren’t actually traveling to Florida this summer, picking up Beatriz Williams’ latest just might be the next best thing. Readers will meeting Virginia Fitzwilliam, who is recently widowed and has just arrived in Cocoa Beach to get her husband’s affairs in order. Virginia has a lot of questions about how her husband died, and she is hell-bent on finding out what really happened to him. She settles in with his siblings, and begins to dig into the facts. But Virginia uncovers more than she bargained for, and may be in danger herself. If you’re hankering for a Prohibition-era romp through Florida with a healthy dose of intrigue, look no further.
On shelves: June 27
We are family
Leia Birch Briggs is pregnant. It wasn’t necessarily part of the plan, but now that she knows she is having a son, she’s excited about it. Amidst all of this joy, however, Leia’s family is having other problems. Her grandmother, Birchie, has grown ill—more ill than Leia knew. And Leia’s step-sister, Rachel, is having problems in her marriage and she isn’t sure how or if they can be resolved. Leia goes home to Alabama to be with her grandmother, and makes a discovery in her attic that will turn her world upside down. This is an enjoyable novel with a ton of heart, and we’re confident you’ll agree.
On shelves: July 11
And then there were three
Quincy, Lisa, and Sam all have something dark in common. Each of the three women is a “final girl”—they are all the lone survivors of mass murders. Quincy’s life has stabilized despite the horror she endured at the hands of the man she’ll only call “Him,” and now she is a relatively happy young woman. She doesn’t ever think about Him, or what happened. She can’t. But then, Lisa is found dead in her own home, and Sam comes looking for Quincy. Are the two remaining final girls in danger? Sam and Quincy aren’t sure, but the particulars of Lisa’s death seem somewhat suspicious. Readers: We bet you won’t be able to put this one down.
On shelves: July 11
The end is near
In David Williams’ debut novel, it looks as though the world is ending. There has been a deadly solar storm, and the Amish are better-positioned than anyone else to survive the aftermath. They have food, and they don’t need electricity. They are set. The English (the Amish term for people who are not Amish), however, are completely screwed. When the English begin attacking the Amish to steal supplies, all hell breaks loose. In a starred review, Kirkus raved that When the English Fall is: “A standout among post-apocalyptic novels, as simply and perfectly crafted as an Amish quilt.”
On shelves: July 11
Lizzie Borden took an ax
We all know the rhyme: “Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.” Sarah Schmidt’s new novel, See What I Have Done, reimagines the famous murder. Andrew and Abby Borden were found murdered in their house in August of 1892. But what happened in their home leading up to the murder has been the subject of almost endless speculation. Told in alternating perspectives, this unsettling book is full of complicated family dynamics and will ensure that no reader will ever hear the rhyme quite the same way ever again.
On shelves: August 1
Dr. Abby Winter, who is a forensic psychiatrist with the FBI, is dealing with a strange case. Two sisters went missing years ago: Cass and Emma Tanner, who were 15 and 17 at the time. Three years after the initial disappearance, Cass came back. Emma, however, did not. Dr. Winter questions Cass extensively about what happened during her kidnapping, but her answers just don’t make sense. Cass is holding something back, and Dr. Winter will stop at nothing to find out what it is. Family bonds loom large in this novel, and readers will be drawn into the complicated world of Cass and Emma’s home life.
On shelves: August 8