Is there any better feeling than when you get lost in a book for hours on end by the pool? One of the best parts about summer is the collective understanding that this isn’t the time to dive into that heady biography you’ve been meaning to get through; summer is all about the juicy, guilty pleasure books that are worth carrying around in your tote bag. For those about to head off on vacation or getting ready for a weekend by the sea, below we recommend seven beach reads, all centered around a wedding and the chaos surrounding them, that you should definitely consider packing in your suitcase.
If you have a Pinterest board full of diamond rings . . .
The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
The stories of an older couple facing a rift in their decades long marriage, a pair of almost strangers who tied the knot after an impulsive proposal, and a loving yet unwed couple who never want to walk down the aisle, are all intertwined in J. Courtney Sullivan’s novel, The Engagements, which also explores the life of Frances Gerety, the real-life ad woman who came up with the timeless marketing phrase: “A diamond is forever.”
If you like Waspy family dysfunction . . .
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
Every summer, Winn Van Meter and his family head off to their beach house in the Waspy island of Waskeke to play golf, drink wine, and eat lobster. This year, they’re celebrating the wedding of their daughter Daphne, but of course, nothing goes as planned, due to old brewing tensions with a rival family on the island, and the fact that one of Daphne’s bridesmaids can’t stop coming on to the father of the bride.
If you loved the movie Serendipity . . .
Beginner’s Greek by James Collins
Guy meets girl on a plane from New York to L.A. Guy falls in love with girl. Girl gives guy her number. Guy loses piece of paper with said number. That’s the beginning of this hilarious book by James Collins about love, missed opportunities, and whether there’s such a thing as fate.
If you’re obsessed with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous . . .
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Rachel Chu, a young economics professor at NYU, falls for Nicholas Young, a sweet NYU professor, who’s originally from Singapore. When Nick’s best friend, Colin Khoo, gets engaged, Nick invites his girlfriend to spend the summer with him in Singapore and finally meet his family. Once they arrive, Rachel is shocked to learn Nick comes from one of the wealthiest families in the country and is one of its most eligible bachelors. Read the novel before the movie version comes out in August.
If you’re a Jane Austen fan . . .
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
In this contemporary reimagining of the Austen classic Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet goes by Liz and is a magazine writer in her thirties, her older sister Jane is a yoga teacher, and Chip Bingley is a handsome doctor that recently competed in a Bachelor-like reality TV dating show called Eligible, while his best. Friend, Mr. Darcy is a neurosurgeon. Count us in.
If you’re always the bridesmaid, never the bride . . .
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
Friends Isabella, Mary, and Lauren are growing tired of attending a seemingly endless string of bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and weddings, especially since their lives seem nowhere near that kind of commitment. Isabella has reached a career dead-end, Mary isn’t exactly getting along with her boyfriend’s mother, and Lauren still finds herself attracted to obviously toxic men. This is the book for anyone who has ever felt like they’ve been failing at adulthood.
If you’ve ever been in a long distance relationship . . .
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Drew Nichols doesn’t have a date for his ex girlfriend’s wedding, that is until he gets stuck in an elevator with Alexa Monroe and asks her to join him as his fake girlfriend. Of course, the two hit it off at said wedding, but there’s just one problem: Drew lives in Los Angeles, while Alexa is in Berkeley. Will their chemistry be able to survive a long distance romance? Only time will tell.