2014 Summer Reading List: 8 Books for Your Beach Bag

With summer breezes come seemingly more opportunities to turn a few pages—including those in a favorite summer read.


Whether it’s the beach or the backyard, here are several great selections that’ll pair nicely with a tall lemonade.


books-beach-bag-reads-The-Tao-of-MarthaThe Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I’m Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog
Jen Lancaster

Let’s give it up for a local author! Lancaster’s memoirs, including the bestselling “Bitter is the New Black,” are so good because she is so accessible. Real. We’ve all been there. This summer, give her go-round at self-skewering the Martha lifestyle a try.



books-beach-bag-reads-Little-MerciesLittle Mercies
Heather Gudenkauf

Gudenkauf’s latest centers on two lives unknowingly intertwined—that of social worker Ellen Moore and 10-year-old Jenny Briard. While one tragic mistake has Ellen fighting to keep her family together, Jenny’s past has her searching for a family she deserves and has never known.



books-beach-bag-reads-The-SilkwormThe Silkworm
Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

If you’re still despondent over the demise of the Harry Pottter series, it’s time to move on—Rowling’s work under her male pseudonym is compelling, suspense-filled crime writing. This marks her second foray into the world of the crime-solving curmudgeon Cormoran Strike.



books-beach-bag-reads-All-Fall-DownAll Fall Down
Jennifer Weiner

Weiner’s work is perfect summer fare, but be warned, this novel comes with a heavier message than others: women and prescription drug abuse. Can her central character—Allison, a mom with a seemingly perfect marriage, family and life—bounce back when her dependency on prescription meds becomes too much to handle?



The Arsonist
Sue Miller

Y’all remember the “it” book of 2009, “The Senator’s Wife”? Sue Miller is back this summer with another story of familial strife set in New England. Families. Fires. An arsonist on the loose. Slather on the sunscreen, because you’ll get lost in this book.



books-beach-bag-reads-Big-Little-LiesBig Little Lies
Liane Moriarty

Moriarty’s latest follows on the heels of “The Husband’s Secret,” a kickass tale of what happens when you try to bury the past and your wife finds out. This time out, it’s Madeline, Celeste and Jane—three women sorting our life crises of their own (you know, divorce, second wives, perfect lives) as each of their paths cross.



books-beach-bag-reads-The-ActressThe Actress
Amy Sohn

Amy Sohn’s crazy characters in “Motherland” had me so entranced that I am blocking off a weekend’s worth of “me” time to read her latest novel. Actress Maddy Freed may just be taking on the role of a lifetime when she marries leading man Steven Weller. The teaser description had me at “red carpets and ruthless ambition.”



books-beach-bag-reads-Close-Your-Eyes-Hold-HandsClose Your Eyes, Hold Hands
Chris Bohjalian

Instantly engaging, so have the pizza delivery guy on speed dial for the kiddos—you’ll be too busy reading to make dinner. This tale centers on a homeless, orphaned teen whose father may have been responsible for a nuclear-plant meltdown. Emily is trying desperately to escape her identity, but can she?