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When the holidays hit, you want to reach for something that will take you far away from your working life’s spreadsheets, traffic and Zoom calls. As the best holiday reads can help you escape the stresses and messes of the year, we've put together eight of our favourites to pack next to the sunscreen as a gift to you. So, spread out the towel, unfurl that umbrella and get ready to pop open one of these great beach reads while enjoying the soundtrack of the crashing waves.

(And pssst… your secret's safe with us if you want to skip the sand and surf. We won't tell anybody if you curl up with these on the couch or tear through them on the way to visit the in-laws.)

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Here's your ticket to the party of the year. This delicious novel spills the secrets, lies and hot gossip of the star-studded Rivas family's annual goodbye to summer. Come for the glitz and glamour, stay for the salacious story of a family that starts feeling the heat a bit too much.

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

This undeniably fun read ticks all the beachy boxes. You've got Piper, a fish-out-of-water LA socialite banished to a small Washington town, and hunky Brendan, a bearded local who catches her eye. These two opposites dance a cute ‘will they/won't they’ tango as the bright lights of Cali pull Piper back to where she thinks she belongs. But is Washington where her heart truly lies?

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Trust us when we say this beauty of a beach read is more than its apt title! We might as well have added titles like Fun, Lighthearted Romp and Rom-Com in the Sand to this list! All jokes aside, this book belongs in any beach reader's pile. Authors January and Augustus both need to pen bestsellers before the sun sets in summer. But, like a weird partner swap for writers, the two switch genres in a bet to see whose book gets published first. Will these two opposites who've given up on love find out that happy endings do actually exist?

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

If it's good enough for Elle Woods, then it's good enough for us! A Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, The Paper Palace follows the twisting tale of another Elle — Elle Bishop — as she works through the fallout of a passionate affair that took place just steps away from a family dinner party. With idyllic Cape Cod as the backdrop, Elle reckons with past tragedy while trying to choose between loving husband Peter and the what-ifs of a life with childhood sweetheart Jonas.

Happy Hour by Marlowe Granados

Happy Hour by Marlowe Granados

Who doesn't like happy hour, especially on holidays? Take a trip to the Big Apple — and back to your early 20s – and relive your glory years through the eyes of Isa Epley and Gala Novak. Scraping together rent money and having a good time by whatever means necessary, these two offer a glimpse into an unforgettable New York summer that's equal parts glamorous, charming and warm. Cheers to that!

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

If you positively live for the drama, this breezy piece of crime fiction will be right up your beach reads alley. Sisters Tully and Rachel must deal with their father's new, much younger girlfriend Heather. Her age, and the fact their father is still married to their mother, who has Alzheimer's Disease, are just the start of the problems. Juicy secrets and a bloody past make for a suspenseful powder keg of a novel that'll keep you turning the pages long past sundown.

Destination Simple by Brooke McAlary

Destination Simple by Brooke McAlary

How's the serenity? If you ask author Brooke McAlary, it's great. This exploration of the power of mindfulness shows the impact living more intentionally can have on your everyday outlook and attitude. Learn how slowing down can lower your stress, help you sleep better and make you more thankful.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

What's a summer reading guide without a bit of good, old-fashioned murder? Four retirement village residents meet up weekly to dig into unsolved murders. When the killing hits a bit too close to home, the four senior citizen sleuths take it upon themselves to find who did the deed. But their snooping could have them checking out of the village permanently.


Already crossed those off your to-be-read list? There's plenty of other excellent fiction options that can take you away, including gripping crime novels and lovely romance reads, and get your holiday started right. Check them out today!

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