Best Beach Reads: Enjoy Your Summer With These Top Picks on a phone surrounded by sand, shells, and an orange cocktail

With warm weather, ocean waves, and golden sand, there’s nothing quite like diving into a beach read. Whether you’re lounging at home or by the shore, a gripping audiobook can provide the perfect summer escape. 

While many love to dive into romance, rom-coms, or thrillers in the summertime, the best beach reads can be page-turners in any genre, as long as you get lost in it! And audiobooks make for the perfect beach companion: they’re lightweight for any travel, don’t run the risk of getting their pages wet, and allow you to close your eyes and relax all the more. 

Read on for some crowd favorites and stories that might be new to you, perfect for every beach bag!

Romance audiobooks:

Funny Story

By Emily Henry, narrated by Julia Whelan

After Daphne’s fiancé leaves her for his childhood friend, Petra, Daphne becomes roommates with Petra’s ex, Miles. Bonding over heartbreak and a fake dating plan, what happens when Daphne unexpectedly falls in love with her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex?

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Want more from Emily Henry? Check out Beach Read, Happy Place, and Book Lovers

Just for the Summer

By Abby Jimenez, narrated by Christine Lakin, Zachary Webber & Abby Jimenez

Justin and Emma hatch a plan to break their dating curse: date, break up, and find true love. Sparks fly as they rent a cottage together on Lake Minnetonka, but what if this time, fate has truly united an ideal match?

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Other crowd favorites of Jimenez’s include Part of Your World and Yours Truly.

How to End a Love Story

By Yulin Kuang, narrated by Katharine Chin & Andrew Eiden

When Helen Zhang, a successful author, lands a spot in the writers’ room of her YA novels’ TV adaptation, she’s less than thrilled to realize Grant Shepard will be there too. Part of her tragic past, working with Grant brings back Helen’s old feelings and new challenges, forcing them to confront their history and reconsider their futures.

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This Summer Will Be Different

By Carley Fortune, narrated by AJ Bridel & Carley Fortune

This audiobook offers an escape to Prince Edward Island with Lucy, where she meets with Felix, her best friend’s younger brother. Their chemistry is undeniable, and despite their vows, staying apart is easier said than done.

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Make sure to also check out Meet Me at the Lake and Every Summer After.

Second Night Stand

By Karelia Stetz-Waters & Fay Stetz-Waters, narrated by Wesleigh Siobhan

Ballet dancer Lillian and burlesque performer Izzy are competing for a million-dollar prize in a high-stakes reality show. Their one-night hook-up turns into a complicated, hilarious situationship.

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Thrillers and mysteries:

Missing White Woman

By Kellye Garrett, narrated by Ariel Blake

Breanna wakes to a supposed romantic getaway turned nightmare: a body in their rental home and her boyfriend Ty missing. As chaos ensues over the dead woman’s identity, Bree, alone in a new city, must unravel the mystery to save herself and Ty.

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Explore more mysteries by Kellye Garett, including Like a Sister and Hollywood Homicide.

All the Sinners Bleed

By S.A. Cosby, narrated by Adam Lazarre-White

Titus Crown, the first Black sheriff in Charon County, Virginia and a former FBI agent, faces a harrowing investigation when a school shooting reveals a serial killer’s terrible long-hidden crimes. Amidst the turmoil, Titus grapples with his own painful past and a far-right group celebrating Confederate history, challenging his dedication to protecting his community.

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Craving for more from S.A. Cosby? Check out Razorblade Tears.

Swan Song

By Elin Hilderbrand, narrated by Erin Bennett & Elin Hilderbrand

In the grand finale of the Nantucket series, Chief Ed Kapenash’s retirement plans are interrupted following a mysterious fire at a new couple’s lavish summer home ​​and the disappearance of their assistant.

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Don’t forget to check out the other audiobooks from the Nantucket series, including The Hotel Nantucket, 28 Summers, and The Perfect Couple.


New Nigeria County

By Clare Brown, narrated by Clare Brown, Ayanna Dookie, Korey Jackson, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Brittany Pressley, Emana Rachelle, Malika Samuel, Heather Alicia Simms, Diana Bustelo, Tyla Collier, Alejandra Reynoso, David Sadzin, André Santana & Shaun Taylor-Corbett

New Nigeria County is a whip-smart, full-cast satire on race, gender, and nationalism. When a white family moves into an affluent Black community, a “misunderstanding” escalates, sweeping the town into drama. With a talented cast of voice actors and sound effects, this audiobook will have you hooked from the first chapter.

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Good Material

By Dolly Alderton, narrated by Arthur Darvill & Vanessa Kirby

Andy, a struggling comedian, struggles to process heartbreak, career setbacks, and strained friendships post-breakup. This poignant audiobook explores the complexities of relationships, adulthood, and the narratives we construct about our lives.

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Also check out Everything I Know About Love and Ghosts if you enjoy Dolly Alderton’s storytelling!

Lies and Weddings

By Kevin Kwan, narrated by Jing Lusi

Rufus Leung Gresham faces family debt at his sister’s opulent wedding, torn between marrying for wealth or love amid scandal and unexpected chaos. What follows is a juicy, hilarious, sophisticated, and thrillingly plotted story of love, money, murder, sex, and the lies we tell about them all.

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Explore other bestselling audiobooks by Kevin Kwan, including the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. team favorites:

The Art Thief

By Michael Finkel, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini & Michael Finkel

One of the most remarkable true-crime narratives of the twenty-first century, The Art Thief is the story of the world’s most prolific art thief, Stéphane Breitwieser. Stéphane stole over 300 objects across Europe, driven not by money but an obsession with beauty.

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By Daniel Hornsby, narrated by Graham Halstead

The black-sheep son of an industrial tycoon, Chuck, starts working for a tech pioneer who’s running a biomedical startup selling nothing less than immortality, only to uncover the horrifying truth at the heart of her sublime promises.

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Greta & Valdin

By Rebecca K Reilly, narrated by Natalie Beran, Jackson Bliss, Eilidh Beaton, Nico Evers-Swindell & Gary Furlong

Greta & Valdin explores the lives of siblings Greta and Valdin, brimming with love, humor, queerness, multi-cultural identity, and family turmoil. Valdin confronts past feelings when work sends him to Buenos Aires, where his ex-boyfriend now lives. Meanwhile, Greta contends with an unrequited crush, family secrets, and academic challenges.

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By Percival Everett, narrated by Dominic Hoffman

Percival Everett reimagines Mark Twain’s classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, focusing on Jim’s agency and humanity as he and Huck start a journey down the Mississippi River.

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More audiobooks by Percival Everett: Erasure, The Trees, and I Am Not Sidney Poitier.

Tell us what audiobooks are on your summer reading list in the comments!

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