The 14 Best Poolside Reads for Summer 2024

Best Poolside Reads for Summer
The 14 Best Poolside Reads for Summer 2024 20

While there are few things more fun than sitting poolside with a great book, I decided to take a different spin on these poolside reads! Every one of these books has a pool on the cover!

The irony of reading a book with a pool on the cover while sitting at a pool is amazing!!! So no matter what you are in the mood to read, these poolside reads have a little bit of something fun for everyone.

These poolside books not only have a great cover, but they also have juicy stories inside that will keep you turning the pages. So whether you are looking for funny, heartwarming, or thrilling books, there is something for you to love on this list.

*This poolside reads post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.

The Best Poolside Reads

House on Fripp

The Best Fiction Poolside Reads

the guncle

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Steven Rowley is a writer who has mastered the art of storytelling. With his signature wit and humor, this book tackles love, loss, and growth.

When Patrick’s sister-in-law dies and Patrick’s brother needs to go to rehab, Patrick takes custody of his niece and nephew for 90 days. Patrick is basically David from Schitt’s Creek with snark and sass. He treats the kids like mini-adults in the most delightful way.

Why I Love It: I am such a fan of Steven Rowley and each book provides depth and insight into people at their best and worst. While this is a book about grief, you will find yourself laughing out loud multiple times throughout. It’s a poignant reminder of the importance of family.

Find This Book In: Books About Grief / Best Beach Reads of All Time / Poolside Novels / Popular LGBTQ Novels

the lido

The Lido / Mornings With Rosemary by Libby Paige 

This intergenerational story of friendship, love, and overcoming personal obstacles, touched my heart. Kate is a reporter whose dreams of becoming a star reporter have dissolved into writing fluff pieces for a small, local newspaper.

She is almost paralyzed by her own fears and loneliness. When she is assigned to write a piece about a local lido closing, she meets Rosemary Peterson. Rosemary is 86 years old and has been swimming at the lido her entire life. The unlikely friendship between these two women is heartwarming and you won’t want to put it down.

Why I Love It: When I picked up this contemporary fiction book, it immediately reminded me of A Man Called Ove. The relationship between Kate and Rosemary is wonderful and the book will leave you feeling light-hearted

Find This Book In: Books Like A Man Called Ove / Contemporary Fiction Books / Poolside Books

That Summer Place

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

What can I say about this book other than the fact that it is non-stop fun? It is a book equivalent of a soap opera. Every character has secrets that will be exposed.

When Ruby decides that she is going to marry her boyfriend Gabe after living together in her parent’s house throughout the pandemic, secrets from the past will emerge and every single relationship is threatened. This book is perfect for the beach and is the perfect summer read.

been there married that

Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie Grazer

I started the book at the beginning of the pandemic and was not in the headspace to read anything.  I am glad that I was able to finish the book.  It is fun, light, and filled with ridiculous antics.

This book is hilarious in a War of the Roses meets Real Housewives kind of way. This is one of the poolside reads that will have you laughing out loud. It is silly and predictable, but fun nonetheless.

movie star by lizzie pepper by hilary liftin

Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper by Hilary Liftin

A fictionalized account of the TomKat relationship that was the talk of the town for quite a few years. 

Told from the perspective of the wife, Lizzie Pepper, we get a faux look at the world of Scientology and Hollywood. It’s over the top in the best way possible. I adore this celebrity fiction book.

stay up with Hugo Best

Stay up with Hugo Best by Erin Somers

The book takes place over the Memorial Day weekend after famed comedian, Hugo Best, retires from his late-night comedy show. June, a former writer’s assistant on the show (and a stranger) is invited by Hugo to stay with him for the weekend.

The book is told entirely from June’s perspective as she spends the weekend with the man she’s idolized since childhood. Despite the 30 year age difference, June is prepared to spend the weekend enjoying Hugo’s splendid mansion as well as his bed. But all doesn’t go to plan.

What could have been simply a fluff read, turned into a commentary on what the pursuit of fame does to a person, his family, and his values. Instead of a riotously fun weekend, June is at the epicenter of Hugo’s downfall.

This celebrity fiction book is fun but complicated, the characters are richly drawn, and the writing kept me flipping the pages and laughing out loud numerous times.

The Vacationers

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

This book starts off with a family headed on a vacation to the Balearic Island of Mallorca. All seems well as Franny and Jim are celebrating their 35th anniversary and their daughter is headed to Brown University in the fall. But, not all is what it appears, and the secrets everyone is keeping come pouring out over the course of the two-week vacation.

Extended family and friends are all gathered in the house where rivalries are rekindled and old wounds are opened. This is one pick from the list of books like people we meet on vacation that is perfect for anyone looking for some serious family drama.

contemporary fiction header

Ultimate List of Contemporary Fiction Novels to Love in 2024

For more contemporary fiction books like these, check out our ultimate list for dozens of recommendations.

The Best Thrilling Poolside Reads

The fall guy

The Fall Guy by James Lasdun

The story starts off slowly describing the characters, their history with each other, and life in the Hamptons. Throughout the novel it is evident that Matthew, who is staying with his cousin Charlie, has a thing for Charlie’s wife.

But Matthew suspects Charlie’s wife is having an affair with someone else. As he begins to follow her and figure out what is going on, he talks on a stalker quality that kept me turning the pages.

The house on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman

Well, that wasn’t what I was expecting.⁣ I thought I was going into a family drama like The Vacationers by Emma Straub, but it opened with a murder.⁣ I literally sat up at that point and thought “well, well, what have we here?”⁣

It was a dynamic family drama with secrets, lies, and tension…and the whole time I was trying to figure out who had committed the murder and why. ⁣I loved it! Truly a perfect summer read and a perfect pick for poolside reads or for anyone who lives Emily Henry books.

the mother in law

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

I was expecting a true thriller with this story, but it was more of a mystery. Diana is an aloof, strict parent and mother-in-law, but no one expected her to be murdered. Lucy, her daughter-in-law, struggles to understand why Diana acts the way she does, but the readers get a chance to see into Diana’s thoughts and we realize that her intentions aren’t quite what they seem on the outside. I fell in love with the story of Diana and Lucy’s relationship. The mystery of who killed Diana and why was the cherry on top of this delightful story.

Summertime Guests and other books for April 2021 Novel Ideas

Summertime Guests by Wendy Francis

Well, this book was such a treat! It takes place at a seaside resort over one fateful weekend. We get a glimpse into the lives of the various guests and what brought them to the resort.

Oh and did I mention it opens with a woman falling to her death by the resort pool? Was it a murder? Was it a suicide? Was it an accident? And which of the guests is the victim?

It’s a light read perfect for the beach. Check out more beach reads at our beach read hub!

the favorite daughter

The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda

I was a HUGE fan of Rouda’s debut novel, The Best Day Ever, so I eagerly dove into this novel. Jane was a total sociopath. I found this book to be more predictable than the last story, but I enjoyed it anyway.

Minor spoiler… but had the murderer of Jane’s daughter actually gotten away with it, I think it would have been a better book. This is one of the poolside reads that is on the creepier side.


Ultimate List of Thrillers

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

Poolside Reads: Romances

The Roughest Draft

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegmind Broka

This is an adorable romance about writers. What could be better for a book lover? Katrina and Nathan are cowriting literary darlings that have not spoken since the release of their last book, three years ago. It also happens to be their greatest success.

Now, they have one more book in their contract and they are forced to come together and write it. Stuck together in a small house and writing a romance with someone you never wanted to see again…that can be stressful enough without feelings getting involved.

Find this book in Celebrity Romance / Forced Proximity Trope / Poolside Reads

Sex and Vanity and More Good Morning America Book Club Picks

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

July 2020 GMA Book Club Pick

Kevin Kwan is such a fun writer.  I loved Crazy Rich Asians and this book is just as witty.  However, this book deals with some more serious topics as Lucie Churchill find herself torn between the world of her father’s family and their WASP ways and her American-born Chinese mother. 

Lucie finds herself undeniably drawn to George Zao.  When she meets him again 5 years later while with her fiance, things become more complicated.  I love the way Kwan deals with the complex emotions in a story that is funny and completely engaging.

What poolside reads are you adding to your to-read list this summer?

Beach Read Hub and Summer Reading Bings

Beach Read Hub

Get ready for your next vacation or moment relaxing in the sun with one of the books we recommend on our beach read hub! Your one-stop shop where summer and reading meet for relaxing fun.

Summer Reading Challenges, the yearly Ultimate Beach Reads list, poolside reads, and more book lists all in one place.

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