Pack one (or a few) of these page-turners with you on your next beach vacation.
The perfect beach read needs to strike a delicate balance—engaging enough to keep you alert while you lounge by the water (don’t forget the SPF!), but not so intense or long that it becomes stressful. If you're heading on a beach vacation this summer, pack one of these Health editor-recommended reads in your suitcase for your much-needed days of R&R. There's something for everyone on this list. Whether you’re in the mood for a juicy story about a dramatic friendship, a fast-paced thriller, or a modern take on Greek mythology, we've got you (hard)covered.
'Call Me By Your Name' by André Aciman
"This is the perfect sexy beach read. It reads like poetry, and the way the author describes the setting in Northern Italy will make you want to book a flight immediately. I read it in the winter before the movie came out, and I can't wait to read it a second time on my summer vacation."
—Rachel Crocetti, Associate SEO Manager
'I Really Didn't Think This Through: Tales from My So-Called Adult Life' by Beth Evans
"I love following artist Beth Evans on Instagram (@bethdrawsthings) for her so-relatable depictions of anxiety, depression, and being a so-called adult. I pre-ordered her book the minute I heard of it and devoured it almost as quickly. It's full of her imaginative illustrations of course, but also deeply personal details about her own mental health struggles."
—Sarah Klein, Senior Digital Editor
'The Woman in the Window' by A.J. Finn
"If you still haven’t had your fill of Gone Girl-esque thrillers, this book is for you. Expect the novel—which reads fast and much like a movie—to have you audibly gasping on your chaise lounge."
—Anthea Levi, Contributing Writer
'Circe' by Madeleine Miller
"If, like me, you're fascinated by Greek mythology, you should add this one to your cart. Miller brings Circe—the magical nymph Odysseus encounters during his long journey in Homer's The Odyssey—as well as other gods and goddesses like Hermes, Athena, and Helios to life in this addicting read."
—Kathleen Felton, Senior Digital Editor
'Little Fires Everywhere' by Celeste Ng
"The story, an enjoyable read, is set in the late 90s, and I enjoyed strolling down memory lane as Ng included fun tidbits (like how everyone in high school doused themselves in Calvin Klein CK One perfume at the time)."
—Janet Lawrence, Senior Video Manager
'Summer Sisters' by Judy Blume
"Here's an oldie but goodie I'm always recommending to friends. The beachy setting and complicated, dramatic relationships make this a perfect book for summer that you won't want to put down."
'The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying' by Nina Riggs
"This is one of those books that leaves you a little different than you were before. Poet Nina Riggs was 37 when she was diagnosed with 'one small spot' of breast cancer. Within a year, the mom of two young boys learned her disease was terminal. Poignant, vivid, and often funny, her stunning memoir about her last two years will help you relish the beauty in everyday life."
—Catherine DiBenedetto, Features Director
'The Outsider' by Stephen King
"Stephen King’s latest novel doesn’t exactly deal in light subject matter. It opens with the arrest of a Little League coach and local hero for the very grisly murder of a child. In spite of a mountain of evidence against him, he maintains his innocence. To say the least, the case gets... complicated. Knowing nothing about the book before I read it, I didn’t know whether to expect a straight-up police procedural or something weirder (I had my fingers crossed for weirdness). With some legitimately chilling scenes and a ton of tension, it didn’t disappoint."
—Robert Tutton, Editorial Producer