Books To Pack In Your Beach Bag This Summer: 2017 Edition

Beach Read Guide For 2017

Ah summer reading. Glorious, glorious summer reading. I love, love, love reading outside in the summer — beach, pool, big ol’ hammock at my mother-in-law’s, on a blanket in the park, a chair on my small back patio. If it’s nice out…I’m reading outside.

Honestly I’ll read just about anything on the beach or poolside. Hand me a book, I’ll read it. BUT I do tend to gravitate towards particular types of reads when I’m picking out a book to read lazily in the summer — hopefully on the beach or poolside.

Beach reads really are so subjective but my “beach read” taste tends to be a lighter (not always super light though) contemporary or historical read, page-turning dystopian/fantasy YA type reads, mysteries and thrillers, fun memoirs and romance-y type books so you’ll see a lot of that reflected in my list. I tend to have a hard time getting into anything TOO literary or fantasy that is too dense because I people watch and get distracted. And even though I am the queen of loving sad and gut-wrenching novels I tend to save those ones for when I’m NOT in public. I mean, at least when I DO read them poolside I can just dunk my face in the water and nobody knows I’m crying.

ANYWAYS…hope this list helps you this summer if you are looking for a good beach read! Since I’m due mid-July I’m not sure how much beach/pool reading I’m going to be getting in but these are the picks I’m drawing from/books I’ve already read and think make excellent beach/pool companions.

And if you are in need of MORE beach reads (ones that aren’t mostly 2017 releases like this list) then I have these: 17 Summer Must Reads, YA Beach Reads If You Aren’t Into Contemporary YA, this beach read list, this one, also this one and omg I’ve written a lot of beach read/summer reading lists over the past 7 years.

Ultimate Beach Read Guide For 2017


So check out my picks and save it throughout the summer for when you need a good book to read:

beach reads 2017

Books That Are Already Out:


My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella: A totally LOL-inducing story about a woman, her dream job, how it all falls apart….all with a good dose of romance, friendship & family and commentary about social media and keepin’ up with the Joneses.

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda: Leah, a journalist, reconnects with an old friend and they move to a rural town for a fresh start — only for, in the aftermath of a mysterious assault, the friend to disappear and for Leah, in trying to track her down, realizes the girl she knew might not have really existed at all.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: It’s always a good thing when you end a book with an audible happy sigh. A most darling romance and a memorable cast of friends and family who will just win you over so quickly!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne: What’s better than a funny and sexy hate-to-love workplace romance to read on the beach? Bring a fan…you’ll need it!

Close Enough To Touch by Colleen Oakley: Weaves together the story of a woman who is allergic to humans and has lived as a recluse for many years and a man whose life has gone so off course and is struggling to be who he wants to be.

Miss You by Kate Eberlen: Tess and Gus cross paths for the first time when they are in college and then have crossed paths & had missed encounters for the next 16 years until they finally do connect.

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett: A modern teenage spin on You’ve Got Mail!

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: Make room in your beach bag for the quirky heroine of this novel and her sweet friendships forged after living a life as a bit of a recluse. 

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen K. Kiernan: Love stories about ordinary people who fight against an enemy in discrete ways? This historical novel, set on the Normandy coast during WWII, features a woman who helps feed her village by stretching the rations she’s supposed to be baking for the German troops.

The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve:  A historical fiction inspired by a real fire that devastated part of the Maine coast in the 1940’s.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel: If page-turning family dramas are your thing, check this one out. A bit darker than usual beach read fare but very compelling!

All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg:  A family drama spanning three generations that is a story about mothers & daughters and mental illness.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan: A man, after losing a keepsake belonging to his fiance who tragically dies the same day, dedicates his life to rescuing lost objects and writing stories about them. Nearing the end of his life, he ends up leaving his house and its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, a woman recovering from a bad divorce, and she sets off to fulfill his wish of reuniting these lost treasures to their owners.

must read books summer 2017

Out in June:

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen: Sarah Dessen is a beach bag staple as far as I’m concerned and her latest lives up to that! Cute romance, fun romp through wedding season as the main character works for her mom’s wedding planning business.
The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I love TJR books so much though her last one made me sob! An unknown reporter, Monique, gets contacted for the job of a lifetime — an Old Hollywood legend wants her to write her biography and share all the secrets and scandals of her life as she made her way up the ranks in Hollywood.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: If you are looking for a funny and light-hearted historical fiction read, pack this one in your beach bag! Adventures and hijinx galore set in 18th century Europe!

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn: A World War I female spy ring? YES…in the beach bag you go! Plus even more compelling….it’s based on a true story!

Roar by Cora Cormack: If your preferred beach read includes a fantasy world (one controlled by magical storms and the power of the people who can control the storms)  with a romance, check this one out!

Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley: This is a most anticipated book for me as I love Cath Crowley! A love story that blossoms in a bookstore and through letters left in the pages of books? SWOON.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate:  It’s based on a real life scandal in which the director of an adoption center kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country and unfolds in an alternating past/present narrative.

The Good Widow by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke: I have always relied on these two for solid beach material (contemporary fiction) and I’m soooo intrigued that their latest release is a suspense thriller! Especially with this premise? A woman thinks her husband is on a business trip but she gets word he passed away in an accident in Hawaii with another woman and THEN SHE GOES TO FIND ANSWERS WITH THE OTHER WOMAN’S FIANCE and finds out lots of secrets and twisty things. Sign me up!

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau: A fast paced YA fantasy to sink your teeth into featuring a series of tests and trials for twins, who became next in the line of succession after assassins took out their king and crown prince, to compete in to determine who will be the next monarch!

Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams: If you aren’t on the beach or poolside while reading this summer, this book will transport you to Cocoa Beach, Florida circa Prohibition era!
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand: If you ever look around the beach you will probably see plenty of Elin Hilderbrand novels being read! Twins sisters with decades of sibling rivalry under their belt and who haven’t seen each other in a decade decide to switch lives to fix them….all with beautiful Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard settings.
The Unlikelies by Katherine Firestone: If this cover doesn’t scream ~summer~ I don’t know what else would! The main character becomes Internet-famous after she performs a good deed and then becomes friends with 4 other teens who are also hometown heroes. They spend the summer trying to perform anonymous good deeds until one deed makes them think their might be something to the adage “no good deed goes unpunished.”
The Windfall by Diksha Basu: Armchair travel to India in this comedic novel about a family’s move from middle class to upper class in modern day India.

Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis: Jill Shalvis knows how to write a romance and I’m excited for a new series from her that is part women’s fiction, part romance. Looks like THE perfect beach read — California town, mysterious inheritances, sisters and, of course, a romance.


Out in July:

Who’s That Girl by Blair Thornburgh: This one caught my eye when it was comped to Audrey, Wait which is a YA book that is so funny and that I love. You can expect a delightful mix of music, friendship and romance in this book about a girl whose summer crush turned famous musician may or may not have written a song about her!

Final Girls by Riley Sager: Three girls, who have never met, are bonded together by being what the press refers to as the  “Final Girls” as they are all the only survivors of brutal massacres and attacks. Ten years later, one of them is found dead and the other shows up on Quincy’s, the last Final Girl, doorstep making her relive the past that she’s put behind her and question why Sam has come to find her.

What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum: I loved Julie Buxbaum’s most recent novel so I’m definitely looking forward to this book about Kit and David, two teenagers on opposite ends of the social spectrum at school, who make a connection when they most need it and embark on a mission to find out the hows and whys of a tragic car accident that killed Kit’s dad. I love a good unlikely friendship!

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson: Joshilyn Jackson’s Southern set novels are always great beach reads! This looks like another great family drama — an unplanned pregnancy from a one night stand, imploding marriages, family secrets!

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody: If a dark fantasy is your idea of a great beach read, this book about a traveling carnival of debauchery and a murderer on the loose might just be up your alley.

The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz: Mercedes is an artist but lately she’s been pretty distracted to produce anything worthwhile. Between her sick abuela and being in love with her best friend, inspiration is scarce — until a piano shows up on her lawn and a new neighbor invites her to paint with her at an Estate that provides her with creative fuel and solace.

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy: Get lost in the mysterious town of Sterling where everyday things and experiences can just disappear every seven years and nobody knows why these Disappearances happen. Don’t get TOO lost and forget to reapply sunscreen.

The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham: An unlikely friendship between two pregnant women who live very different lives but who are both keeping huge secrets. OH and a kidnapping! I have a feeling this psychological thriller is the one you’ll see everyone reading at the beach!

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave: When a culinary star who has it all gets hacked and all her secrets are revealed she must try to rebuild her life after losing it all — her husband, her show, her fans — and move back to her childhood home and face her estranged sister.

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas: Being the new girl isn’t always easy but Kacey immediately finds a group of girls who bring her into the group and invite her to everything…until the start acting distant and stop inviting her places, like the biggest party of the year, but she won’t be able to confront them about why because one of the girls doesn’t make it home from the party and suddenly Kacey seems to be at the center of the investigation.


Must Read Books Of Summer 2017


Out in August:

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker: If you like your thrillers with an unreliable narrator, pack this one in your beach bag! Two sisters go missing, one returns and tells their story of what happened….but a forensic psychiatrist thinks something doesn’t add up.

A Map For Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor: Two sisters, who have always been close, and a troubled boy wash up to shore stranded. They find themselves being pulled apart during their time stranded but in order to survive and get home they need to find their way back to each other.

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter: Two violent and tragic crimes happen almost 30 years apart in the small town of Pikeville and bring the main character Charlie, who has tried to forget what happened, back to the first crime that wrecked her family and the secrets about that first case threaten to spill forward.

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin: A scandalous affair between an intern and a congressman sends a woman, whose life is ruined, off to a remote town in Maine with a new name. Years later, wanting to run for office herself, the scandal of her past is unearthed for all — including her young daughter — to see.

Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino: This contemporary romance sounds like the kind of book I’d devour in one sitting on the beach: a twenty-something who can’t find her way, a one-night stand that feels like “the one who got away”and a life-changing journey.

If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss: A historical novel set in the 70’s in a small Appalachian town which tells not only the story of a young girl who married a deadbeat guy and now wants a ticket out of there (which could happen when a stranger arrives into town) but also the stories of some of the people who reside in this town that struggles with its own demons.

How To Change A Life by Stacey Ballis: I love bucket list type books and this book about a group of high school friends about to turn 40 and the lists they make for themselves to accomplish before the big 4-0 sound like a perfect beach read!

Woman Enters Left by Jessica Brockmole: A dash of Old Hollywood & a mother and daughter taking the same road trip 30 years apart! Road trip plots make perfect beach reading!


Whew, that’s it! Happy happy summer reading! Hope you find some great reads in my summer reading list picks!


I’m curious, do you gravitate to a certain type of “beach read” or will you read whatever? Also, share some of your favorite beach reads in the comments or let me know at 2017 must-read book that I may have missed! 


[This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale that helps go towards maintenance of this site and giveaways and the like — no extra cost to you! I always so appreciate when you shop through these links! ]

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I have such mixed feelings about Roanoke girls. The writing is beautiful and compelling and in that way, it pulls you in but man, it’s haunting.

    • It seems to be a very polarizing book as far was opinions go! I know a lot of people who felt the same way as you with the mixed feelings.

  2. This is a great list! And I haven’t read any of them yet.

  3. I am not a beach person or a pool person, but I do associate summer with being more fancy free. Therefore, when I think summer read, I think of light and fluffy type stories.
    Sam @ WLABB

    • YES! I really do tend to gravitate to all the fluffy and light contemporaries when it is summer time. It just seems like my brain prefers it. Also I think I am out and about a lot more in the summer so I might not have as much extended reading time so I think I like lighter stories that I can pop in and out of.

  4. I totally read classic beach reads, like YA Contemporary or more specifically beachy/islandy books! I love reading books set during the summertime and in beach towns whenever I can over the summer.

    • YES I think automatically if I see a book set during the summertime or like at a beach/lake or is remotely travel-y it’s an instant add to my summer reading list/beach read list!

  5. Shannon says:

    Great list!! I probably lean towards contemporary or light fantasy, I love a road trip plot, adventure through Europe, or when the book takes place somewhere tropical or in the summer! lots of options now, thanks!!

  6. I’m not a fan of the beach but summer should be about relaxing and having fun. I read a great ‘beach read’ book, just recently called ‘When It’s Real’ by Erin Watt. It’s an older teen/YA novel and is just a whole lot of fun. ‘My Not-So Perfect Life’ is on my TBR-list. The Keeper of Lost Things sounds beautiful. I’m going to add it, as well as The Lost and Found Sisters, The Almost Sisters, Hello Sunshine and How To Change A Life to my TBR list.

  7. So many amazing books! I love this list so much, and I’m especially excited for Little Monsters and A Map For Wrecked Girls 🙂
    Megan @

  8. Ooh, these look amazing! I hadn’t heard of any of these books before, but I added so many to my ‘To Be Read’ list on Goodreads. I’m especially drawn to ‘The Baker’s Secret’ and ‘The Alice Network’. Both of them sound so intriguing! Thanks for taking the time to share these!

    • YAY I’m so glad you found so books to add to the TBR! You are very welcome! Thanks for letting me know you found it helpful <3 I love making these lists, because I end up making them for friends and family on a smaller scale, but I never know if people find them helpful or have heard of everything on them haha

  9. The Hating Game is sooooooo good! I read it in one sitting and then the next day I read it again because I wanted to be back with the characters again. Highly recommend!!!

    • SO GOOOOOD. I was really bummed that I had to take it back to the library because I so wanted to reread it! I put it on my list of “books to buy eventually” bc I could see myself grabbing it a lot throughout the years!

  10. I love all the summery covers! 🍹
    I have not read anything of these so my TBR list just got a whole lot bigger!

    • Aren’t they all great?? I feel like I am always drawn to any covers that have summery vibes!
      Sorry not sorry about your TBR 😛

  11. I read the thriller/horror type books in the Summer months. I find that the bonfires and camping in the woods makes the books more thrilling to read. The added atmosphere just makes the book that much more enjoyable and more memorable. Like spooky campfire stories. I think you have quite a few great picks listed here!

  12. Ah man, the Roanoke Girls. I saw that online elsewhere and I *almost* bought it but decided on something else that seemed even darker called Long Black Veil. Usually dark fiction isn’t my thing but that one seemed incredible. I’ll have to give Roanoke Girls a read as soon as I’m done with Long Black Veil! (as well as every other book on this list because Alyssa needs some new books)

  13. Well, my TBR just grew that little bit larger! I’ve got a review copy of Final Girls and am super excited to get stuck into it; I’ve heard so many good things. Thanks for sharing all of these titles, and compiling such a list!

  14. Wow, what a list! Awesome. Most of these are already on my miles-long TBR list, but I found some great-looking new titles as well. IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE sounds especially good. Thanks for this incredible list. I love it!


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