Ultimate List of Best Beach Reads 2024: Must-Read Books for Summer

Ultimate Beach Reads 2024: Must Read Books for Summer

The Ultimate Beach Reads 2024 book list features all the books Jackie and I have read since fall that we think are perfect for the beach or pool. You’ll find familiar favorites and new authors too!

Each of these summer reads features a quick review so you can pick your favorites. There are so many genres on this list, but they all have one thing in common: these are the best summer reads of 2024!

So no matter what genre you love to read, you can navigate Ultimate Beach Reads 2024 by using the links below. With so many amazing books on this list, you might just need a bigger beach bag.

And don’t worry. This post has so many books that this year, it will be done in two parts. Make sure you check back in a few weeks for part two!

*Summer Reads 2024 post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are my own.

Table of Contents

Beach Reads 2024

Do you participate in Summer Reading Bingo? Then you’ll want to peruse carefully to find your books for the prompt. Don’t forget you can also look at the Beach Read Hub for all things related to summer reading.

Best Beach Reads / Fiction / Historical Fiction / Summer Fiction / Romance / Thrillers / Mysteries / Fantasy / Non-Fiction / Young Adult Fiction

Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

Best Beach Reads 2024

Best Beach Reads 2024

sylvias second act

Sylvia’s Second Act by Hillary Yablon

If you are looking for an absolutely hysterical novel, this is for you! After walking into the Florida retirement home she hates and seeing her husband in a compromising position with their neighbor, Sylvia decides it’s time to start her life over in New York City.

Armed only with the money she has from pawning her watch, she gets herself a geriatric roommate and relaunches her career as a wedding planner. The scenarios she gets herself into are filled with heart, humor, and wisdom to create a novel unlike any other.

Why I Loved it: I’ve never met a character quite like Sylvia. She’s vivacious and fun in a way that most 66-year-olds are not depicted in literature. I was rooting for her success during the entire book. I’m hoping that scene in the epilogue means a sequel is in the works.

Find this book in Best Fiction Books of 2024 / Books like A Man Called Ove

The Goddess of Warsaw

The Goddess of Warsaw by Lisa Barr

The story opens in 2005 with legendary actress Lena Browning, telling her dark, daring past to an actress who wants to star in and direct a biopic about Lena. It then flashes forward to Lena’s time in the Warsaw Ghetto.

There, Bina Blonski as she was known at the time, narrates a story of persistence and sacrifice within the Ghetto walls. Torn between two brothers and with an instinct for survival, Bina uses her Arayan looks and skills as an actress to work for the resistance.

Eventually, the story returns to 2005 and post-war Hollywood where we learn how Bina became Lena and how Lena has always continued the fight against those who seek her annihilation.

Why I Love It: This is the best story I’ve ever read about the Holocaust because it depicts Jewish people, particularly women, as fierce fighters determined to prove their right to exist. I was inspired and awed by both the writing and the characters.

I laughed, cried, screamed in frustration, and was on the edge of my seat throughout. The tension was so high at times I found myself fidgeting, walking around, and wringing my hands. I’ll be recommending this book for years to come. It’s an absolute must-read. #Gifted

Find this book in Books about the Holocaust / World War II Books / Best Historical Fiction Books of 2024 /Ultimate List of Best Historical Fiction Books

The Lost Story

The Lost Story by Meg Shaffer

Fifteen years ago, Jeremy and Raffe went missing from a West Virginia state forest only to return six months later without explaining where they went. Now, Rafe is an artist who has no memories of what happened in those 6 months and is haunted by his unknown past. Jeremy is the only one who knows the truth about their disappearance and works as a private investigator who specializes in finding missing girls and women.

Emilie hires Jeremy to find her sister who went missing from the same forest as the lost boys, years before they went missing. Jermey and Rafe have not spoken in 15 years, but they can only save Emilie’s sister by working together. The three must head to the magical realm where they spent those 6 months to find everything they lost.

Why I Love This Book: The narrator breaks the third wall while explaining parts of the story throughout. It reads like a fairy tale for adults and I loved every minute. I could not put this book, inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia, down.

Just for the Summer

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

April 2024 GMA Book Club Pick

The premise of this story is rather straightforward and sweet – Justin and Emma discover they both have a “curse” where people immediately find their soul mate AFTER dating them. To find their own happily ever afters, they decide to date each other and then break up.

Sounds fun and light, right? But it’s so much more! Each of them is going through some very serious family drama which adds intimacy and drama immediately to their relationship. Their relationships with the secondary characters also made my heart soar. The representations of friendship, family bonds, and found family really tugged at my heart.

Why I Loved it: The romance!! Omg the butterflies this story gave me. Justin and Emma’s relationship may be my favorite romance ever. The way they supported each other, cared for one another, and loved each other was perfection.

Find this book in Beach Reads 2024 / Lake Books / New Romance Books 2024

The Sicilian Inheritance

The Sicilian Inheritance by Jo Piazza

Jo Piazza has written the PERFECT summer novel, striking a delicious balance between being relaxing enough to enjoy on the beach but thought-provoking enough to discuss with your book club.

I was swept into the story of Sara and her quest to learn about her unexpected inheritance and the possible murder of her great-grandmother, Serafina. To solve the mystery and claim her inheritance, she must travel to the Italian countryside – giving her a break from her recently closed restaurant and her failed marriage.

The dual-timeline narrative focuses on Sara’s quest and Serafina’s life as a woman coming into her own in the 1900s. The stakes are high for both women as they balance staying true to their dreams in the face of society’s oppression of women, especially when it turns dangerous.

Why I Loved It: I could go on and on about this one. The vivid imagery that Jo paints with her writing had me picturing the town, tasting the food, and smelling the Sicilian soil. I SWEAR, at one point I touched my chin to see if the oil from the meal she was writing about was dripping down my face.

It’s a multi-genre, multigenerational masterpiece of a beach read. #gifted by Dutton Books

Find this book in Beach Read 2024 / Books Set in Italy / Family Drama / Best Historical Fiction of 2024 / Best Mystery Books 2024

The Husbands

The Husbands by Holly Gramazio

April 2024 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Think of this book as Sci-Fi lite. It calls upon sci-fi-based principles – mainly multiverses – but it doesn’t dwell on the scientific for even a moment.

The premise is simple. Lauren, a single woman, comes home one night to a husband she didn’t know she had. Her phone, friends, and photos in her apartment reflect this new life but she can’t remember it. And then something crazy happens.

He goes up to the attic to change a lightbulb and a new husband descends from the attic. Whenever a new husband emerges, the life around her shifts again. So with an endless supply of husbands, she finds herself torn between knowing when to send them back and when to keep one and start living.

Why I Loved It: Easily one of the most unique plots I’ve ever read. Even as a confirmed disliker of Sci-Fi books, I found this story compulsively readable. I had a blast watching Lauren try to figure out her life and the revolving door of husbands had me giggling at times. #gifted by PRH Audio

Find this book in Best Sci-Fi Books / Summer Reads 2024 / 2024 Fiction Favorites

Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

Fiction Beach Reads 2024

Fiction Beach Reads 2024

The Guncle Abroad

The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley

GUP and the kids are back! Patrick, Maisie, and Grant are five years older and facing a new challenge – the kid’s dad is getting ready to remarry.

The children are not thrilled, so Patrick decides to wisk them on a European adventure to teach them the Languages of Love, Guncle Style.

As they parade around Europe and end up at the destination wedding site of Lake Como, we are treated to hysterical scenarios and GUP witticisms. Add in a rivalry between GUP and the soon-to-be Launt (Lesbian Aunt) and you have a story that will have you flying through the pages.

Why I Loved It: I adored the first Guncle book, so I was a tad nervous to read a sequel. Would it spoil the characters I love so much? Not. At. All.

If anything, I learned to appreciate Patrick, Grant, and Maisie even more on the revisit. The way that Rowley writes about living with grief as an adult and a child is touchingly hopeful. I laughed and cried in equal measure reading this story. Dare I say it might be better than the first?

Find this book in Best Fiction of 2024 / Lake Books

Wedding in Lake Como

A Wedding in Lake Como by Jennifer Probst

Ava, Madison, and Chelsea were inseparable in college but a mistake caused a rift that never fully healed. Ava is getting married in Lake Como and she hopes the pact they made to be there for each other’s weddings will still hold.

Ava was always rich, beautiful, and the center of attention. Chelsea was always practical, but despite having the family she always wanted, her professional life has been put on hold. Maddison has become the fashion influencer she always wanted to be but knows there is something missing.

This wedding may be their last chance to heal old wounds. Will they be able to keep their friendship and move forward? #gifted

Why I Like This Book: I love the relationships and friendships in this book. There are highs and lows that made me laugh and cry with the characters. The growth over the years as well as the descriptions of fashion throughout were wonderful.

Find This Book in Books About Friendship / Books Set in Italy /Novels About Fashion

wedding issues

Wedding Issues by Elle Evans

All Liv wants is to help her best friend, Leighton, land the coveted cover of Southern Charm‘s bridal issue. But when her conniving Aunt manipulates Liv into also being the bridesmaid for her cousin, Kali, things get crazy because she’s competing for the cover too.

As the competition heats up between the brides, and Liv tries to orchestrate the perfect outcome for everyone, she realizes she might be in over her head. Add in a taboo romance and you’ve got the makings of a fun fictional tale.

Why I Love it: Looking for a romp of a beach read? You’ve come to the right place! This story is pure functional fun! I had such a great time watching Liv create and get out of insane scenarios. It was over the top in exactly the way I want my beach reads to be.

Find this book in Wedding Novels / Beach Reads 2024

How to Age Disgracefully

How to Age Disgracefully by Clare Pooley

Like Clare Pooley’s previous books, this one has a multi-generational cast of characters that make it utterly delightful and laugh-out-loud funny.

Lydia has a new job running the Senior Citizen’s Social Club and the members are unlike anything she expected. Art is an out-of-work actor, William is a former paparazzi, and Daphne is a 70-year-old who lives alone and talks to her plants. And that is only half of the lively crew. When the City council tries to sell the community center building, the Social Club members enlist the help of the daycare, a teenager, and a dog to save the building.

Why I Love It I read this book in a day. I laughed, I cried, and I applauded. This book made me feel so good. The multi-generational cast of characters makes this book appealing to anyone who loves a great second-chance fiction book. It is about finding yourself and your inner strength (with a side of revenge). And one of our favorite characters from a previous book makes a brief appearance!
Find this Book in Feel Good Books / Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

the heirloom

The Heirloom by Jessie Rosen

When Shea’s boyfriend proposes, she goes against her beloved Nonna’s rule to never accept a marriage proposal with an heirloom ring. She loves her fiance, John, but can’t shake her Nonna’s worries about heirlooms carrying the energy of their former owners.

Now, with the help of her big sister and a journalist, she will travel to New York, Italy, Portugal, and Boston to meet the previous owners and make sure the ring has forever marriage energy.

Why I Loved It: Between the gorgeous settings and the hunt for the ring’s origin, this story was easy to fly through while remaining utterly enchanting. I might not agree with all of Shea’s decisions but the journey to happily ever after was so enjoyable!

Find this book in Summer Reads 2024 / Books set in Italy / Jewelry Novels / Best Fiction of 2024


Very Bad Company by Emma Rosenblum

Aurora, a startup on the brink of sale, is hosting it’s annual executive retreat – a glorified party dressed up as work. From clubbing to paragliding, yachting to inappropriate relationships, it’s a wonder these execs had a chance to sign the merger papers.

And in the middle of it all, one of the top executives winds up dead – possibly murdered – and they all need to keep it hush hush for the sale to go through. Narrated from the employees’ perspectives, it was a riot to figure out motives and gain access to each one’s innermost thoughts.

Why I Loved It: The crazy cast of characters and their INSANE antics might be too much for some readers, but I loved to hate each and every one of them. The over-the-top work retreat, toxic culture, and every-man-for-himself attitudes had me gobbling this snarky, comedic thriller up like chocolate.

Find this book in Beach Reads 2024 / Best New Thrillers 2024

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Ultimate List of Contemporary Fiction

Love Contemporary Fiction? I do too! The Ultimate List of Contemporary Fiction is carefully divided by genre.

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Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

Historical Fiction Beach Reads 2024

2024 Historical Fiction Beach Reads

The Stranger I Wed

The Stranger I Wed by Harper St. George

To gain access to her dowry and escape the New York gossip about her legitimacy, Cora Dove decides to head to England in search of a husband. There she collides – literally – with the Earl of Devonworth and the two strike up a bargain.

Marriage for a few years will help Cora secure her dowry and launch her sisters into society, for Leo, it means acquiring the desperately needed funds to help his political causes. But their attraction means this platonic marriage could be doomed from the start.

Why I Loved it: Leo and Cora positively sizzled in this book, the first in a new Gilded Age series from Harper St. George. Their STEAMY romance was rooted first in friendship, which I always enjoy in a romance novel. It was also fun to see some of my favorite characters return from St. George’s previous novels.

Find this book in Gilded Age Books / Best Historical Fiction of 2024

all we were promised

All We Were Promised by Ashton Lattimore

I had been putting off reading this story about 3 black women in Philadelphia in 1827 because I feared it would be too heavy, but I’m upset I didn’t pick it up sooner.

Set against the backdrop of the powderkeg that was Philadelphia at the time, the story features three young black women who are directly or indirectly affected by the practice of slavery. While enslavement wasn’t permitted in the city, those visiting from the South could bring their enslaved people up for short periods.

Charlotte is a runaway slave hiding in the home of her new passing father. She has met Nell, a wealthy young woman from a prominent black family, at a local abolitionist meeting. Together, they work to save Evie, another enslaved girl from Charlotte’s past.

There is family drama and a love story woven throughout which gives levity to the story. The story behind Pennsylvania Hall and its purpose are also explored within.

Why I like it: Despite being a lifelong Philadelphia resident, I had little knowledge of the city’s complicated past with slavery and the abolition movement. I enjoyed being educated with a story that had some lighter elements in it as well. Lattimore struck the perfect balance between informational and entertaining.

Find this book in Best Historical Fiction of 2024

The Berlin Letters

The Berlin Letters by Katherine Reay

Luisa Voekler is in the CIA and while her colleagues are working on Cold War assignments, she is stuck decoding messages from World War II.

Harris Voekler is a journalist who was separated from his daughter after the Berlin Wall went up. When Luisa discovers letters written to her by the father she thought was dead, she begins to learn the truth about her family and risks everything to rescue her father.

Why I Love This Book: I have not read many historical fiction books about Germany between 1961 and 1990. I found this book fascinating. The book starts as a dual timeline narrative until the stories come together. The codebreaking, the politics, the secrets, and the lies made for a fast-paced read that I absolutely loved.

Find This Book In Books About Female Spies / Best Books About Puzzles / Ultimate List of Best Historical Fiction Books / Best Beach Reads 2024 / Best Historical Fiction on 2024

Table for Two

Table for Two by Amor Towles

With Table for Two, famed author Amor Towles re-released his novella, Eve in Hollywood, along with brand new collection of short stories set in New York City.

Each story is an ode to a different part of life in New York, telling the stories of a Russian immigrant, a rare bookseller, an opera bootlegger, and a stranded traveler, among others.

And for Rules of Civility fans, Eve is a character from that novel who was last seen boarding a train to Hollywood. Her adventures out west were an absolute delight!

Why I Loved it: Though I am not typically into short stories, Amor Towles is a favorite of mine so I had to read this collection. Each short story could have been a novel of it’s own, but the novella about Eve was the shining star for me.

Find this book in Old Hollywood Novels / Summer Read 2024 / Books Set in NYC / New Historical Fiction Books

Miss Morgans Book Brigade

Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade by Janet Skeslien Charles

Here’s an unlikely beach read recommendation – a story that takes place during the Great War. We don’t normally recommend historical fiction set during a war for the beach, but Charles crafted a story that was as hopeful as it was interesting. It touched on the darkness while highlighting the helpers of one of the darkest periods of world history.

Unlike The Women (which we do NOT recommend for a summer beach read) this story never got so bogged down in wartime sadness. Instead, we are treated to a front-row seat of the grit and determination of the women working near the front lines of France to bring normalcy and hope to innocent civilians.

Specifically in the form of books – children’s books.

Based on the true story of pioneering children’s librarian, Jessie Carson, it’s a testament to women being innovators and hope-makers. Jessie works tirelessly to train the first French female librarians, turns ambulances into bookmobiles, and uses all the resources she can muster to bring joy to the victims of war.

It’s a dual timeline narrative that also focuses on Wendy, a librarian in 1980’s New York working for the same library where Jessie got her start. She uses her research on Jessie and the American Committee for Devasted France as inspiration in her writing class, and is surprised at how similar she is to her muse.

Why I Loved It: While there were sad moments within the story, this book ultimately left me with warmth in my heart. The narrators do an excellent job bringing this story to life. #Gifted by Simon & Schuster Books

Find this book in WWI Novels / Librarian Books / Beach Reads 2024 / Best Historical Fiction 2024

The House on Biscayne Bay

The House on Biscayne Bay by Chanel Cleeton

Chanel Cleeton has written a gothic historical fiction and i am here for it! After focusing on the Perez family for several years, Cleeton has finally written another stand-alone novel.

In the era after The Great War, Robert Barnes and his wife Anna built a beautiful estate called Marbisa in Biscayne Bay, Florida. Decades later, Carmen Acosta visits the estate, now owned by her estranged sister and her husband, which looks like a paradise on the outside but is much more.

Told in a dual-timeline narrative, Carmen is out to determine if the murder of her sister is connected to the murders at Marbisa in the 1920s.

Why We Liked it: Marbisa came to life in both narratives – becoming a character in its own right. I loved reading Cleeton’s foray into the mystery/thriller genre, especially because I didn’t see the ending coming! #gifted by Berkley

Find this book in Jazz Age Novels / Spring 2024 New Releases / Beach Reads 2024 / Best Historical Fiction 2024 / New Thriller Books 2024

Historical Fiction

Ultimate List of Historical Fiction

Love Historical Fiction? The Ultimate List of Historical Fiction is the perfect list for you. It is carefully divided by time.

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Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

Summer Fiction 2024

Summer Fiction 2024

Jackpot Summer

Jackpot Summer by Elyssa Friedland

The four Jacobson children reunite for a weekend to clean out and sell the Jersey Shore home they’ve loved since they were children. They are preparing to say goodbye to the home, reminisce about their recently deceased mother, and help their father with his move to a Florida retirement village.

They did not expect to win the lottery that same weekend when three of the four siblings entered a Powerball drawing. But win they do, and when money becomes the focus, the family starts to fall apart.

Why I Liked It: As one of 4 siblings, I particularly loved the dynamics in this story. Anyone from a big family knows the constant texting, side arguments, and inside jokes are very real. I like that their love for each other trumped all in the end.

Find this book in Best Beach Reads 2024 / Books Set at the Beach

A Novel Summer

A Novel Summer by Jamie Brenner

Shelby Archer is an author who wrote her first book about her summers in Provincetown, Rhode Island. But when her friends felt like the story was too close to home, it left a few of them feeling exposed and betrayed.

Desperate to make things right and looking for inspiration for her sophomore novel, she returns to Provincetown to help local bookseller, Colleen, who is now on bedrest. Now Shelby can heal her friendships and have a wonderful summer – if she can avoid her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend, who happens to be opening a competing bookstore.

Why I Liked It: Fans of nostalgic Jamie Brenner rejoice! She’s back to her beach reads roots with this return to Provincetown and some of our favorite characters make it into the story! It was fun to reconnect with the locale and its inhabitants.

Find this book in Beach Reads 2024

Until Next Summer by Ali Brady

until next summer

Jessie and Hillary were best friends for years at camp and were supposed to return to become counselors together. Jessie is shocked when Hilary does not return with almost no explanation. Now, years later, Jessie is still working at camp as the director when the owners’ children decide to sell the camp.

Jessie decides to have one last amazing summer at the camp with all the former campers invited back for a reunion. Hilary knows that this is her last chance to have the summer she always wanted and rekindle her friendship with Jessie. But just like kids have camp drama and relationships, the adults are no better!

Why I Love It: This book about summer camp reminds me so much of my childhood at camp. I was laughing so hard while reading this book, I had tears streaming down my face. This is a perfect summer read for anyone who went to camp.

Find This Book in Amazing Books About Camp / Best Beach Reads

Summers at the Saint

Summers at the Saint by Mary Kay Andrews

Widowed Traci Eddings is the proprietress of The Saint an exclusive resort owned by her deceased husband’s family. As she struggles to keep his beloved hotel afloat, she deals with her conniving brother-in-law, disgruntled staff, and a series of mysteries that lead to the death of someone she loves.

The story is also narrated by various staffers who live in the on-site staff dormitory and a man in town to solve a crime from the past. There are lots of subplots, including a romance and 2 murder mysteries, but the heart of this novel is about Traci reclaiming her life and her hotel.

Why I Liked it: I’m a sucker for a resort setting, and since I read this one on my recent spring break, the vibes were vibing. While the large cast of characters was a struggle at first, I quickly got them straight and found value in each of their perspectives.

Find this book in Hotel Novels / Summer Reads of 2024 / Books Set at the Beach

Seven Summer Weekends

Seven Summer Weekends by Jane L Rosen

We are back on Fire Island with this book from the spring 2024 book releases. Addison Irwin had a Zoom disaster and lost her job (hint: do not make fun of your boss in a group chat). When she inherits a property on Fire Island from her aunt, she is surprised because she never had a relationship with her.

She must decide what to do with the house and what to do with her life moving forward. To help her make her decision, her aunt arranged for guests to stay at the house’s guest cottage during the summer weekends. They each teach her a little more about herself and about the aunt she barely knew. She also begins to get to know her moody neighbor with a sweet dog.

Why I Love This: I am so excited to be back on Fire Island with this new romance. Not only is the story great, but I got to see some of my favorite characters from the last book. And no, you do not need to read Fire Island to love this book!

Find This Book In: Best Beach Reads 2024 / New Romance Books / Grumpy Sunshine Romance Books

Summer Romance

Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan

Ali is a newly single mom and a professional organizer whose life could not be messier. When her mom died, she couldn’t get over it and her already failing marriage could not recover. Now her soon-to-be ex-husband comes and goes as he pleases and Ali is having a hard time picking up the pieces of her life.

When she meets Ethan, she decides that a summer romance would be the perfect thing for her to start the next chapter in her life. She does not realize that Ethan might turn into so much more. She also does not realize that Ethan is her best friend’s brother whom everyone calls Scooter. She has not seen him in years.

Why I Love This Book: Same Time Next Summer and Nora Goes Off Script were both books I loved, so I could not wait to read this book. It’s a slow-burn romance that deals with the loss of a parent, the loss of self, and how to move forward one step at a time. Throughout the book, Ali moves through the stages of grief, mourning the loss of her mother. It was poignant and moving with the HEA you expect. #gifted

Find this book in Best Beach Reads 2024 / Best New Romance Books / Best Books About Motherhood

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Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

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Sweet Romance Beach Reads 2024

the rule book

The Rule Book by Sarah Adams

Derek is a hotshot football star coming back from an intense injury. He needs a new agent to launch his comeback and Nora’s firm assigns her to the taste without knowing their history.

They used to be college sweethearts until Nora dumped Derek seemingly out of the blue. Now Derek is determined to get her to quit while Nora is fighting for her chance to prove herself in the male-dominated field of sports agents.

Why I Liked It: The chemistry between Nora and Derek was delicious, as was how they supported one another. I’m a sucker for a second-chance romance, so I knew up front I would adore this one. There is a steamy scene in this book but the author tells you when it will be so you can skip it!

Find this book in Sports Romances / Beach Reads 2024

The Rom Commers

The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

Emma Wheeler finally has a chance at the career as a screenwriter she has always dreamed of. She has a chance to re-write a script for Chalie Yeates, the famous screenwriter that is is mildly obsessed with, and with a push from her ajent/ best friend, she decides to give it a go. She is reluctant because her dad requires full-time care, but her younger sister agrees to help take care of their dad while she is gone.

When she arrives in LA, she quickly discovers that Charlie does not want any help writing his script and has no intentions of making the script good. In fact, he did not even know that she was coming to help. As Charlie reluctantly agrees to let Emma, he realizes there is more to life than just sci-fi /cowboy / hero movies and there may be room for love.

Why I Love It: This romance about writers immediately caught my attention, but the characters’ flaws, as well as character development, made me love them both.

Find This Book In: Best Rom-Com Romances / Grumpy Sunshine Books / Best New Romance Books

A Novel Love Story

A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston

Eileen Merriweather loves a great HEA storyline and her life can use some romances with a guaranteed Happily Ever After. Her fiance broke up with her a week before the wedding and left her to pick up all the pieces. She still has not recovered completely. To make matters worse, all her friends from her romance book club cannot make it to their annual retreat this year.

Eileen decides to go on her own, but her car breaks down and she finds herself inside her favorite fictional town of Eloraton. She has no idea how it happened, but she is inside a fictional town that is in limbo. They are stuck between the author’s previous book and the unfinished last story. When she meets the grumpy bookstore owner, she thinks that he must be part of the last story and she unknowingly starts changing things in the town.

Why We Love This Book: Ashely Poston’s books are so original and this one was no exception. I love the idea of a romance story within a story. The book is magical without seeming impossible. It was delightful and difficult to put down #gifted

Find This Book In: Grumpy Sunshine Romance / Best Beach Reads / Best Romance Books of 2024

A Happier Life

A Happier Life by Kristy Woodson Harvey

In the present day, Keaton has lost her job, her boyfriend, and her house on one very bad day. She returns home reluctantly and is shocked when her mother tells her someone needs to put her childhood home on the market in North Carolina. Keaton did not know the house was still in the family.

When Keaton arrives at the house, it is a time capsule from the day her grandparents died in a car accident. With so many questions about why her mother and uncle never went back to the house, Keaton finds herself as she starts to find answers as well.

The cast of characters in this book are amazing. From the absolutely fantastic old bitties who lovingly interfere every chance they get to the adorable ten-year-old boy next door, I felt like I knew everyone in the town.

Why I love it: This is a story that is told in a dual timeline in both the present and from Becks’s point of view. Harvey weaves a wonderful story of life, love, and family in this book. I could not put it down. #gifted

Find this book in Best Fiction of 2024 / Best Beach Reads 2024

This summer will be different

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

I love Carley Fortune’s wonderful style of writing and her perfect love stories and this book from the new release books may be my favorite book yet.

Lucy heads to Prince Edward Island to stay with her best friend for a week. When her friend’s flight is delayed, Lucy is left as a tourist and feels an immediate connection with the local who shows her around. Only after their amazing night together does she realize he is also her best friend Bridget’s little brother, Felix.

Felix and Lucy agree that this can never happen again because this was her best friend’s first rule: “Do not fall in love with my brother”. When Bridget disappears one week before her wedding, Lucy follows her back to PEI to try and help her friend and determine what made her flee from a man she loves. She might just have to deal with her won feelings as well.

Why I Love This Book: Not only is this a wonderful romance novel, but the setting of Prince Edward Island has so many nods to Anne of Green Gables that my heart did a little song throughout the book. All the stars to this gem. #gifted

Find This Book In: Best New Romance Books of 2024 / Best Beach Reads 2024 / Carley Fortune Books

Funny Story

Funny Story by Emily Henry

Daphne loved to tell the story of her meet-cute with her fiance, Peter, until he broke up with her to be with his childhood best friend, Petra. She had moved to his hometown, into a house he bought, and she is stranded with nothing but a job as a children’s librarian- a job that she absolutely loves.

With no other options, Daphne moves in with miles, Desperate, she moves in with Miles, Petra’s ex-fiance until she can find a new place to live- preferably in a new city.

As the two spend more time together and begin to heal their hearts, they realize that this can be the start of a new chapter.

Why I Love This: Emily Henry always has unique romances that hit just the right spot. You will fall in love with Daphne and Miles, flaws and all!
Find this book in Emily Henry Books / Books About Librarians / Beach Reads 2024/ New Romance Books 2024

Steamy Romance Beach Reads 2024

my royal showmance

My Royal Showmance by Lexi Blake

Anika is doing her boss a solid by going undercover as a PA on a reality dating show to investigate rumors of onset misconduct. She did not expect to be slotted in as one of the contestants! And she certainly didn’t expect the hot man from the bar the night before to be the bachelor she’s competing for!

Luca is the King of a small country that needs an infusion of tourism cash. He’s determined to highlight his home and bring international interest even if it means taking part in this silly show.

Why I Loved It: You know I’m a sucker for anything royal, but throw in a reality tv show and I’m in romance heaven. This one was a steamy delight.


Fangirl Down by Tessa Bailey

Wells Whitaker was supposed to be the next big thing in golf but his career has spiraled. Josephine Doyle is his biggest fan who is always there to cheer him on no matter what until the days he quits.

Now he knows he has made a huge mistake. He goes to find Josephine and begs her to be his caddy which she agrees to because she needs the money to rebuild her family’s pro shop after a storm.

Why I Loved It: I’d never read a golf romance before but was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it! As in every Tessa Bailey book, Josephine and Wells had chemistry in spades and the sexy scenes were HOT!

Find this book in Best Romance Books of 2024 / Sports Romances

how to end a love story

How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang

May 2024 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Helen Zhang hasn’t seen Grant Shepard once in the thirteen years since the tragic accident that bound their lives together forever.

Now a bestselling author, Helen pours everything into her career. She’s even scored a coveted spot in the writers’ room of the TV adaptation of her popular young adult novels, and if she can hide her imposter syndrome and overcome her writer’s block, surely the rest of her life will fall into place too. LA is the fresh start she needs. After all, no one knows her there. Except…

Grant has done everything in his power to move on from the past, including building a life across the country. And while the panic attacks have never quite gone away, he’s well liked around town as a screenwriter. He knows he shouldn’t have taken the job on Helen’s show, but it will open doors to developing his own projects that he just can’t pass up.

Grant’s exactly as Helen remembers him–charming, funny, popular, and lovable in ways that she’s never been. And Helen’s exactly as Grant remembers too–brilliant, beautiful, closed off. But working together is messy, and electrifying, and Helen’s parents, who have never forgiven Grant, have no idea he’s in the picture at all.

The Paradise Problem

The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren

It’s a fake dating romance from the queens of romance themselves, Christina Lauren! Anna thought that she had divorced West after they graduated from UCLA. Now, three years later, West needs to contact his not-so-ex-wife and convince her to pretend they are still happily married. Why? To receive a huge inheritance of course!

Anna, desperate for the money to pay for her dad’s medical bills, agrees to jet off to a tropical paradise to spend a week with West’s toxic family at his sister’s week-long wedding celebration. The over-the-top shenanigans reminded me of Crazy Rich Asians in the best way!

Why I Loved it: I was cheering Anna on as she took on West’s snooty family with her pink hair and bohemian spirit. The chemistry between them was crackling, but it was how they looked after each other that made my heart swoon.

Find this book in Fake Dating Books / Wedding Novels / Beach Reads 2024 / Romance Seaside Books / New Romance Books 2024

Not in Love

Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood

Rue Siebert is a biotech engineer at Kline, a start-up business where she works with her best friends, Trish and Florence. Rue has had a difficult childhood and has difficulty letting people in. She prefers one-night stands with no strings attached.

When Rue’s almost hook-up with Eli Kilgore is interrupted by her brother, she is relieved – especially when she finds out that Eli and his partners have started a hostile takeover of Kline.

But even though Rue never has a second date, she makes an exception for Eli, if only to get him out of her system. Soon they are both torn between their attraction to each other and their loyalty to their respective companies.

Why We Love This Book: If you love Ali Hazelwood Books, this pick from the spring 2024 book releases will not disappoint you. It is a very steamy pick, even when compared to Hazelwood’s other romances. Her books always depict women in STEM and we love a strong female protagonist.

Trigger Warnings: This book talks about food insecurity and its lasting effects
Find This Book in Ali Hazelwood Books / Summer Reads of 2024 / New Romance Books 2024


Wildfire by Hannah Grace

The second book in BookTok sensation, Hannah Grace’s Maple Hills series is a summer camp book! After a one-night stand before summer break, Aurora wasn’t planning to see Russ again. But then, she reports to work at her beloved overnight camp and sees that he’s a fellow counselor.

This steamy romance is not nearly as dirty as the first book of the series, but there is still PLENTY of heat. Do not let the cartoon cover fool you. This one is for the over-18 crowd.

Why I like it: This romance took me right back to the year I was a summer camp counselor, when I met my now husband. While my camp romance wasn’t quite this steamy, I still remember those summer love butterflies.

Find this book in Summer Reads 2024 / Camp Books

ultimate list of romance

Ultimate List of Romances

If you love all things romance, then this is the list for you! This is carefully divided by sub-genres like second-chance romance books, romcoms, and more.

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Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

Thriller Beach Reads

Thriller Beach Reads 2024

One of Our Kind

One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon

This is the first adult novel by Nicola Yoon and it did not disappoint. Jasmyn and King Williams move to the Black Utopia of Liberty community, hoping to find a safe place for their family. Jasmine is a public defender who knows too well what can happen to Black boys who encounter the police and King will always feel the loss of his brother who was killed by the police.

King settles in right away but Jasmyn has trouble connecting with the women in the community who seem more concerned with booking treatments at the Wellness Center than the world’s troubles. Jasmyn cannot find anyone to join a community chapter of Black Lives Matter. When Jasmyn discovers the truth about the community, she wonders if it will destroy her.

Why I Like This Book: This book is a commentary about the world that we live in and the dichotomy between those who care about social issues and those who prefer to believe things are not happening. This is a thought-provoking book that will leave you with questions at the end.

Find This Book In: Ultimate List of Best Beach Reads 2024 / Best New Thrillers / Best Thought-Provoking Books

the resort

The Resort by Sara Ochs

Set on a secluded resort island in Thailand, the story is told by Cass, an ex-pat who is outrunning her former life, and Brooke, a travel influencer who isn’t quite what she seems.

When Cass discovers the body of a murdered resort guest while teaching her scuba diving class, their sleepy resort is thrown into chaos. Cass and her fellow ex-pats, known as The Permanents, will do anything to avoid media exposure, but as bodies pile up, Cass and Brooke begin to explore what dark secrets lie at the heart of the island.

Why I Loved It: This novel was a thrill ride from the opening murder scene. I was left completely unprepared for the conclusion and the final chapter had me gasping out loud! I can’t imagine a more fun tropical thriller.

Find this book in Hotel Novels / Full Cast Audiobooks / Best Beach Reads / Best New Thriller Books

one Perfect Couple

One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware

This is an isolation thriller from one of the best there is. Five couples participating in a game shoe are trapped together on an island when a storm comes in. They are cut off from everyone without phones but that is the least of their worries.

Without power, their food and water supply dwindles quickly, the radio has a very limited battery supply, people are sick and injured, and one of them may be a murderer/ serial killer

Why I Love This Book: This is a page-turning thriller with unexpected twists and turns I did not see coming. This is a perfect beach read- it will keep you on your toes.

Find This Book In: Fictional Books About Serial Killers / Best Beach Reads of 2024 / Books Set at a Hotel / Isolation Books / Best Thrillers 2024

first lie wins

First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston

January 2024 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Evie Porter knows the rules for survival: the first lie wins. Her mysterious boss, Mr. Smith, will first send her a name and then a location. She gets one piece of information at a time and is never sure what the end game is. She knows that she owes Mr. Smithe everything.

This time, her mark is Ryan Summer. But she is starting to feel like there might be something real with him. But, she cannot make any more mistakes. She is already on thin ice because of how she screwed up her last job. Soon, she is following twisted pathway and is not sure who to trust. Can she even trust herself?

Why I Love It: This is unlike any thriller I have read. It is not a murder mystery thriller, but rather a fast-paced, secret-identity thriller where you will feel like you are one step behind the entire book. I listened to this on a road trip with my husband he loved it as much as I did. #gifted

Find This Book in: Ultimate List of Beach Reads 2024 / Best New Thriller Books / Reese Witherspoon Book Club

kill for me kill for you

Kill for Me, Kill for You by Steve

This is such a great thriller that will keep you on your toes. Amanda and Wendy meet for drinks after attending a support group for grieving parents. They devise the perfect plan to get revenge on the men who ruined their lives. They will each kill the person the other wants dead.

Meanwhile, Ruth has suffered a trauma of her own and is trying, unsuccessfully to get her life together. What starts off as a slower-paced story, sets the stage for a fast-paced, unexpected thriller.

Why I loved It: As the stories of the women come together, the brilliant plot development becomes evident and I could not put it down. I listened to this one on a road trip and it made the time fly by #gifted

Find this book in Beach Reads 2024 / Best New Thrillers 2024 / Serial Killer Thriller Books

IMG 9924

Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera

March 2024 Good Morning America Book Club Pick

2024 is the year of the thriller and this one doesn’t disappoint! Lucy is returning to her hometown for the first time since she was accused, but never charged, with murdering her best friend Savvy 5 years ago.

She has no memories of the night Savvy died, but she needs answers for herself. So she decides to team up with true crime podcaster, Ben Owens, to discover the truth – even if she’s implicated in the process.

Ben is real-time podcasting the whole investigation and his interviews are interspersed between chapters, revealing new insights each time.

Why I Love It: This is one mystery/thriller that is even better in audiobook format! The background noises and interviews bring the podcast to life. #gifted by Macmillan Audio

Find this book in Best Audiobooks / Best Beach Reads 2024 / New Mystery Books of 2024


Ultimate List of Thrillers

Love Thrillers? This list is curated and carefully divided by sub-genre. These will definitely keep you on your toes.

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Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

Mystery Beach Reads

Mystery Beach Reads 2024

the main character

The Main Character by Jaclyn Goldis

This book had me at Orient Express. Within it, Rory has been sent on a lavish trip to the Italian riviera aboard the newly remodeled famous train. It’s her reward for being celebrated writer Ginevra Ex’s newest main character – the real-life person who inspires each of Ex’s novels.

But Rory is shocked to see her brother, her best friend, and her ex-fiance aboard as well – all at Ginevra’s expense. The story opens with one of them being murdered but who and by whom remains to be seen.

As the foursome read Ginevra’s new manuscript secrets unravel, but behind the scenes, Ginevra’s own past is catching up to her and just why she was drawn to Rory in the first place remained unanswered.

Why I Love It: While the who-dun-it mystery within Ginevra’s novel was so well executed and the suspense of who was killed kept me turning the pages, it was Ginevra’s storyline that intrigued me most.

I was enthralled by Russia’s history with the Jewish people, having been mostly unaware of the animosity there before this book, and was shocked to learn that element came from Goldis’s own family history!

Find this book in Best Mystery Books of 2024 / Best Jewish Writers

Such a Bad Influence

Such a Bad Influence by Olivia Muenster

Evie Davis has been a lifestyle influencer since the age of 5 when a video of her and her dad dancing went viral. Her mom was the OG momager. Now, Evie is 18 and a multimillionaire with a YouTuber boyfriend and influencer Frenemies.

Her older sister Hazel seems to be the only one who cares about her well-being, even if they have not spoken in a month. When Evie disappears in the middle of a livestream, Hazel is horrified. Now, she has to work with her mom and the police to find out what happened to her sister.

Why We Love It: The format of the book is so unique, I had a hard time putting it down. I often forgot that Evie and Hazel are not real people.

Find This Book In Faux Celebrity Book / Beach Reads 2024

how to solve your own murder

How to Solve Your Own Murder by Kristen Perrin

Annabelle’s Great Aunt Frances has believed she would be murdered since a fortune teller told her that at a young age. And now she has been!

The kicker? She’s collected files on everyone she knows and thinks the killer is hidden within those pages. For that reason, she has decided to leave her estate and vast fortune to whoever can solve the crime. Pitting Annabelle against other members of her ruthless family, she has one week to solve the murder without putting herself in danger.

The clues go back to Frances’s youth with diary entries interspersed throughout to create a dual-timeline narrative that is so incredibly clever and unique. It’s inferred that Frances’s files will be used again in the future.

Why I Loved it: The first story in this new series didn’t disappoint. It’s a delightful cozy mystery unlike any I’ve read before! I can’t wait to explore Castle Knoll and Aunt Frances’s files more in future books.
Find This Book In New Mystery Books 2024

Everytime I go on vacation someone dies

Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies by Catherine Mack

What a fun new mystery series! When a group of authors accompanies mystery writer, Eleanor Dash, on her book tour in Italy, people keep turning up dead around them. While she is trying to figure out a way to kill off her main character, Connor, and end her long-running series, someone is trying to kill the real-life Connor on the tour!

Now Eleanor and her writer frenemies must put their differences aside to try to solve the murders and stay alive. The hysterical scenarios they find themselves in keep the vacation murder plot delightfully lighthearted. Add in the descriptions of Italian food, gorgeous sites, and wild personal hijinks and you’ve got a lovely summer read.

Why I Liked it: It’s not often a mystery series that is both mysterious and fun, but this one delivers! It’s exactly the kind of mystery book I gravitate towards in the middle of summer. I can’t wait to see this series continue! #gifted by Macmillan Audio

Find this book Italy Novels / Best Beach Reads

The Fellowship of Puzzle Makers

The Fellowship of Puzzle Makers by Samuel Burr

Clayton Stumper was raised by a group of puzzle makers in the commune where he was left as a baby. When the woman who raised him dies, she leaves him with one more puzzle to solve.

The solution will give him answers about his past and the secrets of his birth as well as point give him directions for his future.

Why I Like It: I read this book in a day and found it even more delightful than the description. It was a medium-paced book, however, the puzzles within are engaging and the dual-timeline story made it unputdownable. I loved this 5-star read. #gifted

Find this book in Best Puzzle Books for Adults / Best New Mystery Books of 2024 / Best Fiction Books of 2024

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

True crime author Amanda Bailey is looking to revive her career. She decides to write a book about The Alperton Angels, a cult that almost convinced a teenage girl that her baby was The Anti-Christ and needed to be killed. But after she calls the police and is dropped off at the hospital, she disappears and so does the baby.

Now Amanda is trying to find the perfect angle for this book when she discovers that Oliver, another author, is also on the case. When they decide to collaborate, they discover that the story goes deeper than they could have imagined.

Why I Liked It: I started reading this book but switched to the full-cast audio version and could not stop listening. The book is written as WhatsApp messages, emails, and transcripts. I loved this five-star read and highly recommend the audio version for a deeper reading experience. #gifted

Find this book in Cult Books / Full Cast Audiobooks / Ultimate List of Mystery Books / Summer Reads of 2024 / Best New Mystery Books 2024

Novel Ideas 68

The Ultimate List of Mystery Books

Love Mysteries? This is a list of the best mystery books carefully divided by sub-genre for anyone who lives a good mystery as much as I do.

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Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Beach Reads

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Beach Reads 2024

Love of my afterlife

The Love of My Afterlife by Kirsty Greenwood

Delphie has just died and is in her pj’s in the afterlife when she meets the man of her dreams. Her hilarious afterlife therapist, Merit, is obsessed with all things romance so she gives her the chance to return to her life with the caveat that she has ten days to find this mysterious man and get him to kiss her.

That would be easy except for the fact that she does not know his last name and cannot seem to find him anywhere. Even worse, her therapist seems to be hindering her progress rather than helping. Delphie reluctantly asks her grumpy downstairs neighbor to help her. Soon, Delphie is making friends, loving life, and regretting shutting everyone out her whole life.

Why I Love It: Delphie reminds me of a more loveable Eleanor Oliphant. Thanks to the love-obsessed afterlife therapist, this book is a little bit love triangle, a little bit of forced proximity, and a whole lot of laugh-out-loud rom-com!

Find This Book In: Books Like Eleanor Oliphant / Best Romantic Comedy Books / Best Romance Books 2024

heartless hunter

Heartless Hunter by Kristen Ciccarelli

This new fantasy book is the first in a series and I am already dying to read the next one.

Witches were once the queens and rulers until the night of the revolution. Now, witches are hunted down and Rune must hide her true identity. During the day, Rune acts like a socialite with nothing on her mind other than parties and gossip. By night, she is the Crimson Moth, a rebel who rescues witches before they can be murdered.

After a rescue went very wrong, she needs info she can only get from Gideon, a witch hunter. The book becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse when Gideon and Rune start to fall for each other.

Why I Love It: This fantasy romance kept me on my toes throughout. Gideon and Rune are the epitome of enemies to lovers with a side of fake-dating. The tension between these two is palpable and the story is page-turning

Find This Book In: New Fantasy Books 2024 / Best Enemies-to-Lovers Books

All This and More

All This and More by Peng Shepherd

I loved The Cartographers so I could not wait to read this book. Marsh is unhappy with her family life, work life, and love life. When she is chosen to be the star of a TV show called “All This and More” she jumps at the chance. The show uses brand-new quantum technology to allow Marsh to change the mistakes of her past. She can choose until she has her perfect life.

The catch? The reader gets to decide what she does next. What seems like a really cool game show is actually a lot more. When weird glitches start appearing, Marsh is not sure if she is imagining them or if there is something wrong.

Why I Love This Book: This is a choose-your-own-adventure for adults and it is amazing! Don’t worry, you will not have to start again repeatedly. There are strategic spots where you will choose. I think this book is absolutely brilliantly executed. The story is non-stop and the ending is perfect.

Annie Bot

Annie Bot by Sierra Greer

Doug designed Annie Bot to his exact specifications. Her height, hair color, skin color, and bust size have all been made specifically for him. Annie’s job is to tend to Doug’s every need- he can even adjust her libido to suit his moods.

He has recently allowed Annie to be able to learn and grow so that she can be like a real, human woman. But as Annie learns, she begins to feel some cognitive dissonance. She is programmed to make Doug happy but what happens if her wants are not the same as his wants?

Why I Love This Book: I was not sure how I would feel about this book but it had me hooked from the first page. It had me questioning our use of AI and at what point Annie becomes more than just a robot. There is so much depth to this book. I loved it. #gifted

Find this Book in Best Sci-Fi / Thought-Provoking Books / Best Books for Book Clubs / New Sci-fi books

the book of doors

The Book of Doors: A Novel by Gareth Brown

Cassie works in a bookstore in NYC. When one of her favorite customers dies, she finds the book he was reading with an inscription leaving it to her. It’s the Book of Doors which allows Cassie to open any door and go anywhere she wants to – London, Paris, or any door she can picture in her head.

Soon, she is approached by a stranger named Drummond Fox, a librarian for a collection of books just like Cassie’s telling her she’s in danger. People have searched for The Book of Doors for years and will do anything to get their hands on it.

Now, Cassie finds herself entwined in a dangerous game of cat and mouse as she tries to stay alive and keep the Book of Doors away from those who want it for nefarious purposes. #gifted

Why I Loved it: OMG. I did not know what to expect when I picked up this book. It is unlike anything I had ever read and I loved every minute of the story! I loved I had to think about how the doors would work and how the story comes together in the end.

Find this book in Books About Books / Magical Realism Books to Read Now / Books about Bookstores / Summer Reads 2024 / Best New Fantasy Books

Old Flames and New Fortunes

Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle

Romina Tempest uses the language of flowers to manifest love for buyers of her flora fortunes. To save her family business she needs an investor to expand the shop. Her friend and business partner, Trevor, convinces her that a fake dating scheme will get his father to invest.

But things get complicated when Trevor’s dad announces his engagement to the mother of her high school sweetheart, Alex. Should she keep up the ruse with Trevor OR give Alex a second chance?

Why I Loved it: Alex and Romina had such great chemistry and Trevor’s antics had me laughing out loud on numerous occasions. The magical element is light enough that even non-fantasy readers will enjoy this one. #Gifted by Berkley

Find This Book In: Books for Summer / Second Chance Romance / New Romance Books of 2024

Adult Fantasy Novels

Ultimate List of Best Adult Fantasy Novels to Read

If fantasy books are your favorite books, then these are the perfect book lists for you. This list if carefully curated and divided into sub-genres.

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Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

Non-Fiction Beach Reads

Non-Fiction Summer Reads 2024

the new tourist

The New Tourist by Paige McClanahan

Paige’s look at modern travel had me compulsively flipping the pages. I was fascinated by the look at the travel industry and its impact on world culture since the 1970s.

She used concrete examples in Hawaii, Iceland, Liverpool, Barcelona, and more to show the benefits and pitfalls of tourism on the environment, country finances, and local cultures.

Why I Love It: I read this captivating look at the travel industry while I was traveling. I was able to see the good and bad parts of travel in my destination (Cambridge, MD) which has recently been revitalized but still shows the aging and hardship of its pre-tourist days.

forever barbie

Forever Barbie by M. G. Lord

What a fascinating take on the history of the Barbie doll. Exploring how it came to be, the changes to the doll over the years, and its impact on culture, this book is the most definitive biography of Barbie I’ve ever read (and yes, I’ve read more than one.)

Update for the post-Barbie Movie era, there really is no better biographer for the famed doll herself than Lord. I was particularly interested in the role Ruth Handler played in the creation and growth of Barbie’s popularity.

Why I Like it: I first read this biography in middle school and didn’t realize it was the same book until after the new forward. I loved it then for it’s deep unflinching look at the pros and cons of the Barbie Doll. I love it now for incorporating how the doll has changed in recent years.

Find this book in Feel Good Nonfiction / Best Beach Reads 2024

When Women Ran Fifth Avenue

When Women Ran Fifth Avenue: Glamour and Power at the Dawn of American Fashion by Julie Satow

This nonfiction book tells the story of Hortense Odlum, Geraldine Stutz, and Dorothy Shaver, three revolutionary women in the world of New York City department stores. These women, who helmed Bonwit Teller, Henri Bendel, and Lord & Taylor, helped to revitalize a dying industry by meeting the needs of their ideal customers – women like them.

While each department store was known for something different, their success was all based on the women in charge and their unique business savvy.

Why I Like It: I had fun getting a peek behind the curtain of some of the most well-known department stores in the world. While none of these stores have survived to the present day, it was still nice to learn about their storied history.

Find this book in Books About Fashion

dolls of our lives

Dolls of Our Lives by Mary Mahoney and Allison Horrocks

If you are a fan of American Girl Dolls, or you were as a child, you MUST read this book. It’s feel-good nonfiction at its finest with these two writers giving us the background on the beloved Pleasant Company dolls.

I love that the writers read this audiobook. It felt like listening to a conversation with friends. It focuses on the 6 original American Girl dolls and their origin stories. It also explains how the authors met and created their podcast.

Why I Loved It: I found myself wrapped up in fond memories of my own childhood. This read will bring back all the nostalgia for your own dolls! #gifted

Find this book in Feel Good Nonfiction / Summer Reads of 2024

the making of a king

The Making of a King by Robert Hardman

There has been LOTS of drama in the royal family so far this year, so it seems like the perfect time to dive into a royal read

My latest favorite is by Royal correspondent, Robert Hardman. It focuses on the transition from QEII’s rule to King Charles III ascension to the throne.

It covers the illness of the Queen, the day she passed, her funeral, the King’s ascension, and the time between her passing and his coronation. There are lots of details about the very brief period – but this royal family book also paints a picture of the King’s ideals and values.

Why I Loved it: It rebuttals quite a few of the claims made by Prince Harry in Spare – making it a must-read in the world of modern monarchy nonfiction. #gifted by Dreamscape Media

Find this book In: Books about the Royal Family / Royal Reads / Beach Reads 2024

the woman in me

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears

Like every Millenial, I rushed to read Britney’s memoir when it came out. Oh boy was it a doozy! It’s filled with explosive information about her life as the princess of pop.

And we finally get to hear about what happened with her and Justin, the conservatorship, the shaved head umbrella incident, and more of her life.

Why I Liked It: Britney boldly reclaims her narrative even if the writing on this one leaves something to be desired. It was almost juvenile in its simplicity but still gossip-filled and bingeable.

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Ultimate Beach Reads 2024

YA Beach Reads

Young Adult Beach Reads 2024

Heiress Takes All

Heiress Takes All by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Olivia Owen is not happy that her dad is getting remarried- especially since he has already cut her off from her inheritance. He has millions while she lives with her mom in a small apartment where they struggle to pay medical bills.

She creates a plan to redistribute all his money during the wedding if only her ex-boyfriend, European cousins, and a vengeful second wife do not interfere with the heist.

Why I Like It: I could not wait to read this book that was billed as a cross between Inheritance Games and Ocean’s 11 and it did not disappoint. It was such a fun read with so many moving parts, its a perfect read for the beach.

Find This Book in Books about Con Artists and Thieves / Ultimate List of Best Beach Reads 2024

Dangerous Ones

The Dangerous Ones by Lauren Blackwood

Jerusalem is a Saint, a human with superhuman strength and reflexes designed to kill vampires. There is one vampire in particular she needs to kill to avenge the death of her family.

Jerusalem has been fighting against the Confederate army since she escaped slavery with her one goal in mind but she knows that she will need, Alexi to accomplish that goal. He is an ancient vampire who fights with the Union. Everything in her being says that he cannot be the man for her because he is not only a vampire, but a white one as well.

Why I Like It: This historical fantasy novel wonders what the Civil War would be like if vampires fought. The love/hate relationship between Alexi and Jerusalem has some humor in what would otherwise be very tense with the racial and special divide. #gifted

Find This Book In Best New Fantasy Books 2024 / Vampire Books / Historical Fantasy Books

Reappearance of Rachel Price

The Reappearance of Rachel Prince by Holly Jackson

Rachel Price disappeared 16 years ago without a trace. Bel, two years old at the time, was found in the abandoned car safe and warm with the engine still running. Now, Rachel and her dad, as well as the rest of the Price family, are doing a documentary about Rachel’s disappearance. Life has never been normal and some still believe Bel’s dad had something to do with Rachel’s disappearance.

Now, in the middle of filming, Rachel comes home. Bel does not believe Rachel’s story about where she has been for the last 16 years.

Why I Love It: The character-building and suspense of this book are fantastic. I love that even though it is written for YA, an adult or even middle grade can read this book and love it. There are twists and turns that feel like natural story development rather than contrived.

Find this book in: Best New Mystery Books of 2024


Check and Mate by Ali Hazelwood

Chess destroyed Mallory’s family four years ago which led to her quitting the sport. Now, she supports her family with a dead-end job. When she plays one last chess game in a tournament and beats the current world champion, Nolan Sawyer, nobody is more shocked than he is.

The cash from the win encourages Mallory to keep playing as a paid fellowship but soon things become even more complicated than the game when she starts to love chess and have feelings for Nolan.

Why I Love it: I am so honored that I was able to read a copy of this debut YA novel from the master romance writer behind the New York Times Bestseller The Love Hypothesis. It has everything I expected from a Hazelwood novel made appropriate for teens.

Find this book in YA Romances / Best Summer Reads 2024

always choosing you

Always Choosing You by K. Sinko

While this is technically the second book in a series, it can easily be read as a standalone. Rory is trying to figure out who she is now that soccer season is over, college is looming, and her relationship with her best friend is on the rocks after he confessed his feelings for her and she shut him down.

Now, Tyler has become the star of the football team and the homecoming king. His newfound popularity has left him little time to see Rory. As she tries to fill the hole left by her friend, she grapples with jealousy after seeing him with his new girlfriend, head cheerleader Zoe.

Why I Loved it: The best part about Sinko’s writing is her ability to accurately capture the many layers of young adulthood. With most YA stories, I roll my eyes at the scenarios and the teens’ reactions – chalking my lack of empathy up to my middle age. 

But with her novels, I’m transported back to the messy, emotional, frustrating, and fun moments of being a teenager reckoning with pending adulthood. I recognize the universal moments of finding out your parents aren’t perfect, the whirlwind that is teen romances – love triangles and all, and the missteps we all take in navigating our shift from child to adult. 

prom babies

Prom Babies by Kekla Magoon

Prom Babies tries – and ultimately succeeds – in tackling the many sides of teen sex and pregnancy. Set 18 years apart, it follows 6 teens in total. 3 teens from 2005 who wind up pregnant following prom and their 3 children preparing for their own prom in 2024.

The story tackles many facets around sexuality and teen sex including abortion, teen pregnancy, gender norms, “no means no,” raising a child when you are a child, and sadly, rape. It’s a lot for one book to cover, but because of the diversity of characters, it accomplishes its goal of giving a full picture of teen sex in a modern, thoughtful world.

Why I Love it: Embedded in the fun prom of it all, are real lessons and thought-provoking scenarios for teens considering having sex themselves. I would 100% recommend this book as an opening for parents and older teens to discuss these matters if they haven’t already.

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Our Beach Favorites

What are some good summer reads for 2024?

This year our top three picks (so far) are:
1. Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez
2. The Sicilian Inheritance by Jo Piazza
3. The Husbands by Holly Gramazio

Depending on which genre you like, This is part one of a list of dozens of the best summer reads for 2024. So whether you like fiction, fantasy, women’s fiction, or non-fiction, this list will have a book you love.

Did you find some beach reads for the summer 2024 season?

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