11 Best Beach Reads for Summer 2023

Here are two summer beach reads 2023 that help you celebrate summer and water. And when you are through, check out the added nine summers past beach reads that we are sure you will enjoy!

I would argue now more than ever, we need summer beach reads – and some water to read by.  

To me, beach reads are something you read while sitting on a beach – obviously. And the idea of a “beach read” feels slightly different in the summer of 2023. A book needs to hold your attention, but also allow you to put it down when the sounds of water and laughter – or simply the heat – can’t keep you back any longer.

Beach reads are easy reads that make you embrace these long, hot and hazy days of summer because you know – no matter how long you have been away from school – that come Labour Day, summer 2023 is unofficially over.

the perfect beach read 2020!

Laugh out-loud moments in this slice-of-life book, a perfect beach read!

Confessions of a forty-something f##k up

The newest release by Alexandra Potter is a perfect beach read – great characters, a great setting (basically London, England) and a story I can completely relate to. On top of that, it’s fantastically funny. I laughed out loud in many parts. People will likely stare less when you are laughing hysterically to yourself on the beach – they are too busy beaching.

After her business and relationship fail in sunny California, Nell Steven returns home to London, England. Unfortunately for Nell, her lifelong friends have moved on with their lives – they are all happily married with children, while Nell finds herself forced to rent a room with a stranger because of sky-high rent.

“…In a world of perfect Instagram lives, she feels like a f*ck up. Even worse, a 40something f*ck-up. But when she lands a job writing obituaries, Nell meets the fabulous Cricket, an 80something widow with challenges of her own, and they strike up an unlikely friendship. Together they begin to help each other heal their aching hearts, cope with the loss of the lives they had planned, and push each other into new adventures and unexpected joys.”

Confessions of a forty-something f##k up is an exciting slice of life, with realistic characters who have all our typical flaws, insecurities and worries about whether we are doing enough.

Lay down your blanket, bring a picnic basket of snacks and spend the day reading this new release by PGC Books, one of the most delightful escapist books summer 2023 has to offer!

The Light Over London

A great summer beach read 2020
Head to the beach – or the pool – and read this book set between the past and present. A perfect beach read for 2022!

You wouldn’t think a book set partially during the Second World War would be a good beach read, but Julia Kelly‘s writing is just that.

The book bounces between the present and features the story of Cara Hargraves, who buries the past by busying herself in her work with a gruff antique dealer. One day, while clearing out an estate house, she comes across a diary and a picture written by a young woman during the Second World War. Cara starts researching who the diary belongs to reunite the journal with the woman or her family.

In 1941, Louise Keene was 19 years old and felt trapped in her small Cornish village, waiting for a wealthy boy her mother had chosen for her to return from the war to get married. She meets RAF Flight Lieutenant Paul Bolton at a local base and her life changes.

“Desperate for a larger life, Louise joins the women’s auxiliary branch of the British Army in the anti-aircraft gun unit as a gunner girl,” helping keep London safe during the air raids.

Then one day, her letters to Bolton are returned, and she “learns that wartime romance can have a much darker side.”

The Light Over London is another perfect beach read. The characters – the ones in the past and present – are lovely; you cheer both Cara and Louise, wishing them both love and happiness. Their stories are also impressive: Cara as she searches for Louise and Louise as she is living her life.

It was also interesting to learn about the Gunner Girls, which I didn’t know about, and how life must have been like for them.

Other recommended summer beach reads:

  • Books by Karen Swan
  • Books by Lucy Diamond
  • Harry Potter – all of them, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

And check out these past summer beach reads for more ideas:
More summer beach reads from followsummers past!
Perfect beach reads from summers past

Water and summer beach reads go hand-in-hand, so you can take these reads to the poolside, by a river or a bucket in the backyard.

A copy of Confessions of a forty-something f##k up was provided
by PGC Books for an honest review. The opinion is my own.

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