If you like beachy reads, try one of these books...
All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue
Set among the sunsets and dunes, All the Summer Girls is the story of how three former best friends, their lives rapidly unraveling, are reunited at the beach town of their past—where the ambience of summer encourages them to explore new experiences they would never otherwise attempt.
The Beach House by Jane Green
Disregarding local gossip that pegs her as an eccentric, sixty-five-year-old Nantucket widow Nan skinny-dips in unattended pools and steals her neighbors' flowers before her dwindling funds force her to take in boarders, a change that brings an unexpected visitor.
Beach Season by Lisa Jackson
Golden sand, pounding surf, a sense of endless possibility--and four unforgettable stories of love, friendship, and second chances. . .
Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews
Given a last chance to salvage her career after being wrongly blamed for property damage, movie location scout Greer Hennessy confronts environmentally-minded mayor Eben Thinadeaux in a sleepy Florida Gulf Coast community.
The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank
The last original wife among her husband's group of cronies, Leslie Anne, after an accident, realizes her perfect life is a sham and embraces the healing powers of South Carolina's white beaches where she, with the help of the feisty and funny residents,reclaims the strong and sexy woman she was meant to be.
The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares
Sisters Alice and Riley reunite with their childhood friend, Paul, at the beach community where they spent summers growing up, but a blossoming romance between Alice and Paul, a serious illness, and a dark family secret force the trio to leave their innocence behind.
Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
Three generations of women converge on the family beach house in this wickedly funny, emotionally resonant story of love and dysfunction.
On the Rocks by Erin Duffy
After her fiancé publicly dumps her on Facebook, Abby and her best friend Grace escape to Newport for the summer where they enjoy the beach, cocktails and cute men, but discover that in this era of social media there is no real escape.
The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
Struggling with looming bills and writer's block while her best friend faces a life-changing decision, Nantucket author Madeline King tackles escalating rumors during a summer of explosive secrets.
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
Maggie Shipstead’s irresistible social satire, set on an exclusive New England island over a wedding weekend in June, provides a deliciously biting glimpse into the lives of the well-bred and ill-behaved.
Summer Reading by Hilma Wolitzer
The lives of three very different women--Lissy Snyder, an insecure newlywed and unwilling stepmother; her nosey housecleaner, Michelle; and Angela Graves, the head of a local book group--intersect over the course of a summer in the Hamptons.
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
In the summer of 1977, Victoria Leonard’s world changes forever when Caitlin Somers chooses her as a friend. Dazzling, reckless Caitlin welcomes Vix into the heart of her sprawling, eccentric family, opening doors to a world of unimaginable privilege, sweeping her away to vacations on Martha’s Vineyard, an enchanting place where the two friends become “summer sisters.”
Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky
Two childhood friends reunite at a summer retreat, each harboring a horrible secret that would test the bounds of their longtime relationship if revealed.
That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
The lives of Jack and Joy Griffin always seem to come back to Cape Cod, where they honeymooned, as they experience the ups and downs of life, including the deaths of Jack's parents, the marriage of their daughter, and Jack and Joy's divorce.
The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
A modern tale inspired by Sense and Sensibility finds financially strapped sisters Miranda and Annie moving in with divorcée Betty in a run-down Connecticut beach cottage, where they find love among the suburban aristocracy.
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.
updated June 2015
Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker
Arriving in a small nineteenth-century western town only to discover that its sheriff has been killed and its residents placed at the mercy of renegade rancher Randall Bregg, itinerant lawmen Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch find themselves facing an unusually challenging adversary who works by playing psychological games.
Deadwood by Pete Dexter
Legendary gunman Wild Bill Hickcock has come to the Black Hills town of Deadwood fresh from Cheyenne, fleeing an ungrateful populace. Aging and sick, Bill just wants to be left alone to drink and play cards. But in this town of played-out miners, bounty hunters, upstairs girls, Chinese immigrants, and miscreants, he finds himself pursued by a vicious sheriff and a besotted Calamity Jane.
The Good Old Boys by Elmer Kelton
Hewey Calloway has a problem. In his West Texas home of 1906, the land of the way of life that he loves are changing too quickly for his taste. As Hewey struggles against the relentless stream of "progress", he comes to realize that the simple life of his childhood is gone, that a man can't live a life whose time has passed, and that every choice he makes--even those that lead to happiness--requires a sacrifice.
Hard Country by Michael McGarrity
Struggling with the death of his wife in childbirth at the end of the 19th century, John Kerney gives up his Texas ranch to pursue the outlaws responsible for his brother's murder and participates in nearly half a century of turbulent history in New Mexico Territory.
The Hour of Lead by Bruce Holbert
Taking over his family ranch after losing his loved ones in a brutal 1920s Washington State snowstorm, Matt Lawson pursues a first love before embarking on a decades-long cross-country journey that impacts everyone he left behind.
Little Century by Anna Keesey
After she moves near the lawless frontier town of Century, Oregon, to become a homesteader, 18-year-old Esther Chambers finds herself in a full-out range war, and becomes conflicted when her love for Ben Cruff, sworn enemy of the cattlemen, tests her loyalty to her cousin, the rancher Ferris Pickett.
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Set in the late nineteenth century, Lonesome Dove is the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana - and much more. It is a drive that represents for everybody involved not only a daring, even a foolhardy, adventure but a part of the American Dream - the attempt to carve out of the last remaining wilderness a new life.
One Thousand White Women: the journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime.
So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger
In 1915 Minnesota, Monte Becket, a novelist who has lost his sense of purpose, joins Glendon Hale, an outlaw intent on reconciling with his family, which he had abandoned more than two decades earlier, on his journey to California, but he is forced to leave his own family and is pursued by Charles Siringo, a relentless former Pinkerton agent.
The Son by Philipp Meyer
Kidnapped by the Comanche after his mother and sister are murdered, thirteen-year-old Eli McCullough quickly adapts to Comanche life until the tribe is decimated by armed Americans, leaving Eli alone in a world where he is neither white nor Indian.
Sweet Thunder by Ivan Doig
After inheriting a fixer-upper, newlywed Morrie Morgan returns to 1920s Butte, Montana to fight a rival newspaper and help the miners working for the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in this latest Western from the author of The Whistling Season.
True Grit by Charles Portis
Pursuing a murderer who has escaped into Indian Territory, U.S. Marshal Rooster J. Cogburn teams up with a bounty-hunting Texas Ranger and Mattie Ross, a cantankerous young lady who is bent on revenge.
updated June 2015
If you like Emily Giffin, try one of these smart, funny chick-lit books...
Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich
Big Girl Panties is a rollicking and poignant romantic comedy about a young widow who decides to get in shape...and winds up getting her groove back—and a whole lot more!
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
After the worst day of her life, Emma Corrigan spills her darkest secrets to a stranger on an airplane, but when he re-emerges in her life, she will have to face the things she said to him, and her growing feelings for him.
Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick
Flight attendant Summer Benson moves to Black Dog Bay after breaking up with her boyfriend, and finds a home when she is welcomed by the locals, including the handsome mayor Dutch Jansen.
Dedication by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Thirteen years after the love of her life abruptly leaves town hours before the senior prom only to become the world's biggest recording star, twenty-nine-year-old Kate Hollis decides to resolve her lingering resentment by confronting him during a home visit.
Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster
Longing for the high-school days when she was popular and feared, thirty-seven-year-old Lissy Ryder moves back into her parents' home after being dumped by her husband, a situation that compels her to try to change the mean person she was as a teenager.
I Take You by Eliza Kennedy
Lily Wilder's fiancé Will is a brilliant, handsome archaeologist. Lily is sassy, impulsive, fond of a good drink (or five) and has no business getting married. Lily likes Will, but does she love him? Will loves Lily, but does he know her? As the wedding approaches, Lily’s nights—and mornings, and afternoons—of booze, laughter and questionable decisions become a growing reminder that the happiest day of her life might turn out to be her worst mistake yet.
The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase
Perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, this bright, funny debut from a fresh voice in fiction offers a delicious take on love, family, and what it means to build a home of one’s own.
Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews
A Savannah florist is about to score the wedding of a lifetime—one that will solidify her career as the go-to-girl for society nuptials. Ironically, Cara Kryzik doesn't believe in love, even though she creates beautiful flower arrangements to celebrate it. But when the bride goes missing and the wedding is in jeopardy, Cara must find the bride and figure out what she believes in. Maybe love really does exist outside of fairy tales after all.
Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty
Approaching their thirty-third birthdays, triplets Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle remember their tumultuous prior year, which has been marked by pregnancy, a devastating love affair, a mid-life crisis, and the possible reconciliation of their divorced parents.
With a Little Luck by Caprice Crane
LA radio DJ “Berry” Lambert doesn’t believe in luck—although she’s a bit superstitious. When it comes to love, she could use a little luck. Two bad relationships in a row can mean only one thing: A third Mr. Wrong is imminent. But fellow DJ Ryan Riley goes against the odds. Their on-air battle of the sexes is a hit for the station and sparks some serious heat after hours. Is their romance doomed by the numbers—or is a girl who leaves nothing to chance finally ready to gamble?
updated June 2015
If you liked Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, try one of these twisty thrillers...
Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse
When her husband disappears during a business trip to the U.S., Hannah, who believes she has married the perfect man, begins to have doubts when his coworkers tell a different story, prompting her to dig into his life, which unexpectedly leads her to a place of violence and fear.
The Breaker by Minette Walters
The investigation into the brutal rape and murder of a young woman yields many baffling puzzles--such as why the woman's little daughter, a witness to the crime, was allowed to survive--and suspects, including the victim's husband and a handsome young actor who lied about his relationship with her.
The Burning Air by Erin Kelly
The Burning Air is an atmospheric thriller about a charmed upper class family, their secrets, and the vengeful obsession of an enemy they don't even know they have.
He's Gone by Deb Caletti
When her husband disappears without a trace from their houseboat in Seattle, Dani, who won't rest until she finds him, is plunged into a dark world that forces her to confront unpleasant truths about her relationship with him.
Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross
Having obsessed about his beloved wife's possible death throughout the course of their relationship, video game designer David is charged with her eventual murder by three investigators who harbor their own experiences with marital problems and murder.
Never Coming Back by Hans Koppel
Mike Zetterberg lives with his wife Ylva and their daughter in a house just outside Helsingborg in Sweden. One evening, Ylva doesn't come home as expected. Mike passes it off as a drink with a work friend, but when she's still missing the next day, he starts to worry. As Mike battles suspicion from the police and his own despair, he is unaware that Ylva is still alive, just a stone's throw from his own home.
The Playdate by Louise Millar
Single mother Callie returns to work, asking her friend and neighbor to take care of her frail daughter Rae, which sets in motion a chain of events that reveals the isolation, turmoil, and dark secrets behind the doors of a seemingly peaceful neighborhood.
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept.
Watching You by Michael Robotham
After Marnie's husband goes missing, she enlists the help of a clinical psychologist, who makes a shocking discovery in a hand-made book intended as a birthday gift, in this new thriller from the author of Say You're Sorry.
You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz
A successful New York City oncologist with the perfect family she always wanted has her life turned upside down after her husband goes missing and a chain of horrible revelations send her reeling.
updated May 2015
If you liked A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, try one of these books...
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill—and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family.
The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker
In a world scarred by an apocalyptic past, four people are swept up in the launch of an imminent crusade, during which they are ensnared by mysterious traveler Anasûrimbor Kellhus, whose magical, philosophical, and military talents have origins in a distant time.
The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham
Marcus, Cithrin and Geder ponder their destinies as they are drawn into a war where dark forces are at work.
Dreamsongs, Vol. 1 by George R.R. Martin
Spanning the earlier years of the author's career, the first volume in a collection of short fiction includes stories, novellas, teleplays, commentary, and more, featuring such works as "The Ice Dragon," the Hugo- and Nebula-winning "A Song for Lya," and "The Pear-Shaped Man," winner of the Bram Stoker Award.
The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
A kingdom is in turmoil as the old King Roland dies and its worthy successor, Prince Peter must do battle to claim what is rightfully his. Plotting against him is the evil Flagg and his pawn, young Prince Thomas. Yet with every plan there are holes—like Thomas’s terrible secret. And the determined Prince Peter, who is planning a daring escape from his imprisonment…
The Falcon Throne by Karen Miller
A royal son, falsely believed to be dead, fights for his father's stolen throne against a bastard-born lord and a duke's widow.
In this graphic novel adaptation set one hundred years before the events in George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Hedge Knight chronicles a young squire as he travels the cruel and complex path to knighthood in the Seven Kingdoms.
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
A debut entry in a new trilogy
finds disabled heir to the throne Yarvi prompted by the murder of his father to embark on a kingdom-transforming journey.
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
I, Claudius is the riveting account of Ancient Rome in all of its madness and debauchery. Abhorred for his weakness and viewed by his family as little more than a stammering fool, the nobleman Claudius quietly survives the cruelties, bloody purges and intregues of the imperial Roman dynasties.
The Iron King by Maurice Druon
Philip the Fair rules his kingdom with an iron fist but cannot control his own family, while a sentence he hands down that Grand Master Jacques de Molay be burned at the stake draws upon him a curse that could destroy his dynasty.
The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
From bestselling author Bernard Cornwell comes a saga of blood, rage, fidelity, and betrayal that brings to center stage King Alfred the Great, one of the most crucial figures in English history. It is King Alfred and his heirs who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, fought to secure the survival of the last outpost of Anglo-Saxon culture by battling the ferocious Vikings, whose invading warriors had already captured and occupied three of England's four kingdoms.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
A hero named Kvothe, now living under an assumed name as the humble proprietor of an inn, recounts his transformation from a magically gifted young man into the most notorious wizard, musician, thief, and assassin in his world.
New Spring by Robert Jordan
In a prequel to the best-selling Wheel of Time series, war rages around the great city of Tar Valon as the prophesy of a child who will change the world sends Moiraine Damodred, a young Accepted soon to be raised to Aes Sedai, and Lan Mandragoran, the uncrowned king of a vanished nation, on a race against time to find the child before the forces of the Shadow can destroy him.
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
A new epic series by the best-selling writer of Robert Jordan's final Wheel of Time® novels introduces the world of Roshar through the experiences of a war-weary royal compelled by visions, a highborn youth condemned to military slavery and a woman who would save her impoverished house.
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
A tale inspired by the War of the Roses follows the conflict from the perspective of Elizabeth Woodville, who ascends to royalty and fights for the well-being of her family, including two sons whose imprisonment in the Tower of London precedes a devastating unsolved mystery.
The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister by George R.R. Martin
A treasury of pithy sayings from the "Game of Thrones" character features his witticisms on such topics as the power of words, the human condition, and the art of lying.
The World of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
A lavishly illustrated guide to the A Song of Ice and Fire universe traces the pre-historical period and the coming of the First Men through the reign of the Targaryen kings and Robert's Rebellion.
updated May 2015