9 June Beach Reads That Are Like Summer in a Book

9 June Beach Reads That Are Like Summer in a Book

A beach read can be a work of historical fiction about a 17th-century witch hunt. A beach read can be a guidebook for healing, written by a Black woman therapist. And a beach read can absolutely be a highly-addictive family drama set among the oyster bars and shimmering coves of Nantucket. 

This June brings new books that are sweeter than drinking a cocktail on the prow of a speedboat under a cloudless sky. These are the books we’ll tuck into our carry-on luggage and beach totes. They’re the ones we’ll splay on picnic blankets and read until the fireflies descend or prop against sangria bottles and debate with friends. They’re warm, and hopeful, and consciousness-expanding—all the things we love about the summer. 

As social distancing restrictions lift across the country, this summer is going to be a lot. A lot of joy, a lot of relief, a lot of hugs, and probably a lot of overwhelming feelings. There is no safer escape than into the pages of a good book. There are our favorite new books for June—happy summer, and happy reading. 

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  • Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

    Little, Brown and Company

    “Golden Girl” by Elin Hilderbrand (June 1)

    “The summer is a newborn; it’s still innocent, pristine, a blank page,” writes bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand in Golden Girl, her newest, shimmering novel, which feels as summery as cold lemonade and freshly applied sunscreen. Golden Girl follows a novelist who lives on Nantucket with her three children and writes juicy, addictive family dramas with a shot of romance. 

    All these things that are true of Hilderbrand herself. The difference is that this protagonist, Vivian Howe, is dead—killed in a hit and run, and sent to heaven (where apartments are designed by a choir of heavenly angels, based on your Instagram aesthetic). A divine emissary in Hermès—naturally—grants Vivian the summer to watch over her children, and occasionally “nudge” them in the right directions, through infertility struggles and infidelities, oysters and ice cream, postcard sunsets and broken hearts. There’s real sadness in Golden Girl, but there’s also big love, big laughs, and salacious twists. Best paired with tequila, or at least a sparkling water served by an attractive bartender. 

  • Flatiron Books 

    “Somebody’s Daughter” by Ashley C. Ford (June 1)

    Somebody’s Daughter is blurbed by Glennon Doyle and John Green, so you just know it’s going to be deeply moving and clever. Indeed—Ford’s memoir covers trauma of so many varieties, and she recounts it with clarity and brilliant language. Ford spent the greater part of her life waiting out her father’s prison sentence. Waiting for his return, she is raped by a partner, only later to learn that her father was imprisoned for rape. How is it possible to read a story like this and not despair? Because Ford’s writing is quick and careful and deep. She’s somebody we feel lucky to know. 

  • Simon & Schuster 

    “The Other Black Girl” by Zakiya Dalila Harris (June 1)

    The Other Black Girl is the book you’re going to see in bookstore displays for the rest of the summer, for a good reason—it’s been described as The Devil Wears Prada for the publishing industry, from the perspective of a young, Black woman employee. It blends humor, history, and the chilling, stomach-dropping twists of a thriller. As long corporate cultures treat Black employees as diversity tokens, how can a Black person be safe at work? Harris plays with that question with a cleverness that goes back and forth between terrifying and funny. 

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