New Beach Reads for Your Book Club

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack.

Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

It’s mid-May, which means we’re due to start getting our summer reading in order. I’m a seasonal mood reader and often tailor my reading to fit my mood, which is usually in step with the season. My winter reading is warming, my spring reading hopeful, my fall reading tastefully dark, and my summer reading tends towards the bright and energetic. I also think I still have it in my mind that I’ll be able to spend the better part of some days reading, like I did during the summer breaks of my childhood, even though those dies are long gone *cries in adulthood*.

The beach read is an interesting thing, which you can read more on here. For the sake of this list, I’ve adhered to the article’s standards of beach reads having carefree joy, being compulsively readable, having low stakes, and belonging to the romance genre.

Nibbles and Sips: Tres Leches Cake

tres leches cake

I have obviously been in a cake mood these past couple weeks, and I feel like you can never go wrong with a classic tres leches cake recipe. If you’ve never made it before, you’ll need cakey things, like flour, baking flour, butter, etc., as well as milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk.

Check out jose.elcook’s TikTok for more.

cover of Funny Story by Emily Henry

Funny Story by Emily Henry

In this opposites-attract, fake-dating story, we get a side of mess with our romance, which is perfect fodder for a beach read. Daphne’s fiancé Peter leaves her for Petra, and Petra leaves her fiancé Miles for Peter. Then, these two Messy Marys invite both their exes to their wedding. So, naturally, Daphne and Miles decide to fake date and attend the wedding. But, practical children’s librarian Daphne may find more than she bargained for in the chaotic Miles.

cover image Missing White Woman

Missing White Woman by Kellye Garrett

Garrett’s Hollywood Homicide was so much fun, and Missing White Woman sounds like it will be just as compulsively readable. What starts off as a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, Ty, turns into a nightmare for Breanna. When she comes down the stairs of the luxury Jersey City rowhouse they rented on the last day of their vacation, Bree finds a woman dead in the foyer and Ty missing. To make things worse, the dead person is Janelle Beckett, a missing woman the internet has designated as its latest obsession. With the heat of the police and social media closing in on her, Bree will have to figure out what happened to Janelle herself if she’s to know peace again.

cover of Ocean's Godori by Elaine U. Cho

Ocean’s Godori by Elaine U. Cho

This debut is part action-packed mystery, part romantic space opera, and sounds like a swashbuckling good time. Ocean Yoon is a descendant of a long line of highly revered female divers in a futuristic and united Korea. Despite this, she’s currently on the Alliance’s trash list since her flub on a mission gained her a bad reputation. When her wealthy bestie Teo is accused of murdering his family, she and each member of her motley crew of shipmates will have to decide on which side of politics they lie. I’ve seen this book and its adventure, slow-burn romance, and political intrigue likened to Firefly and Bladerunner, which are the highest compliments in my book.

cover of You Should Be So Lucky by Cat Sebastian

You Should Be So Lucky by Cat Sebastian

Okay, here’s something I don’t see often: a queer, mid-century romance that’s also got slow burn and grumpy/sunshine elements. It takes place in the 1960 baseball season when Eddie O’Leary is in a bit of a slump. He can’t seem to make the bat and ball connect, his new teammates are super shady, and he’s living out of his suitcase. On top of all that, he has to do interviews with this uppity reporter, Mark Bailey. Now, Mark is also having A Time. First of all, he’s an arts writer, not a sports writer, but even his art writing hasn’t been going too well as of late. He’s also mourning a partner he’d had to be secret about. And now he has to spend a whole season with a baseball team’s new obnoxious member. But then, Mark’s and Eddie’s isolation and simultaneous doldrums create the perfect storm, and soon, they’ll have to make some serious decisions surrounding their being together.

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