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The Best Beach Reads of 2022

Grab one of these unputdownable books for your next trip to the beach.

Summer is just around the corner, book lovers — and that means sunshine, soothing waves, and idyllic afternoons at the beach with an unputdownable read! Not sure which new narrative belongs in your beach bag? We put together a list of the best beach reads of 2022, from mysteries and thrillers to literary fiction and true crime, for your perfect beach day.

Kaitlyn Johnston

The Maidens

By Alex Michaelides

Internationally bestselling author Alex Michaelides took the world by storm in 2019 with his blockbuster psychological thriller, The Silent Patient (another killer beach read). Michaelides’ newest dark academia thriller, The Maidens, comes out in paperback May 24, and it delivers plenty of thrills. Edward Fosca is a well-respected Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University. He’s adored throughout the institution, and in particular, by a secret society of female students known as “The Maidens” who follow the professor and his teachings. But group therapist and Cambridge alumna Mariana Andros isn’t so keen on the charismatic professor. When one of The Maidens turns up dead, Mariana is convinced that Fosca’s to blame. Soon, a second body turns up, and Mariana’s conviction spirals into obsession as she races to prove Fosca’s guilt and stop this killer from striking again.

The Kingdoms of Savannah

By George Dawes Green

George Dawes Green is the founder of the beloved storytelling organization The Moth. He’s also an Edgar Award–winning author, and in his new novel, set to hit shelves July 19, he delivers a propulsive tale of literary suspense that offers the perfect beach read escape. The Kingdoms of Savannah beckons you to the fabled streets of Savannah, Georgia, where a man has just been murdered and his companion is now missing. Morgana Musgrove is tasked with unraveling the mystery, though she makes for an unlikely investigator: The high-society doyenne inspires both respect and disdain for her uncompromising ways. Morgana’s four adult children are tired of their mother’s scheming nature, and yet, one by one, Morgana enlists them in aiding her in her investigation, adding a delicious layer of family drama to the mix. Together the family pries into the dark heart of Savannah, from its exclusive enclaves to the homeless encampments on the outskirts of town, where they uncover shocking truths about the city that will rattle its power structure to the core.

Cover of.Korelitz's book The Plot, which features a blue background with a white book and text THE PLOT superimposed onto the image

The Plot

By Jean Hanff Korelitz

In the mood for a psychological thriller with a literary twist this summer? Jean Hanff Korelitz’s New York Times bestseller The Plot, which is out now in paperback, is the book you won’t be able to put down. The narrative follows Jacob Finch Bonner, a once-promising novelist now struggling to put pen to page. Jake hasn’t published anything decent in years and spends his days teaching at a subpar writing program. Among his students is Evan Parker, an arrogant pupil convinced that his novel-in-progress is destined for the bestseller list. Jake’s exasperation turns to envy when he hears Evan’s pitch; it’s a sure thing, and Evan is bound for literary glory. Years later, Jake learns that Evan has passed away without publishing his book, so he cribs the premise for himself – to much success. Things are finally going well for Jake, until his newfound fame is interrupted by an ominous message: You are a thief. Now, as Jake struggles to escape his anonymous tormentor while keeping the origins of his book under wraps, he unearths more than he ever expected about Evan Parker and the true origins of his plot.

Image for Alexis Schaitkin's book Elsewhere, featuring a fire in the foreground rising up to the Elsewhere text


By Alexis Schaitkin

Saint X author Alexis Schaitkin’s compelling new novel, Elsewhere (June 28) whisks readers away to a mysterious mountain village in the clouds where women become mothers and some mothers simply vanish into thin air. These vanishings are both tragic and beautiful; residents of the isolated community marvel at the baffling disappearances, while new mothers speculate over who among them will be the next to go. Young Vera is all too familiar with the singular affliction that plagues her village; when she was just a girl, her own mother disappeared. Now on the verge of becoming a mother herself, Vera wonders whether she’ll be around to raise her child or if she too will vanish into the swirling mist. A spellbinding tale of motherhood, Elsewhere is “elaborately imagined [and] ethereally detailed” (Kirkus) and will keep you enthralled.

The Latecomer

By Jean Hanff Korelitz

This literary family saga from Jean Hanff Korelitz, author of The Plot, is perfect for a full weekend of immersive reading. The Latecomer follows the Oppenheimers, a wealthy New York family, as they grow together and apart across the years. After meeting under tragic circumstances, Salo and Johanna decide to start a family, conceiving during the early days of IVF. Soon Johanna gives birth to triplets: Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally. Though born under remarkable circumstances, the siblings feel little connection to one another and are more than ready to go their separate ways when they come of age. Not long after they leave the nest, however, Johanna decides to have a fourth baby — a latecomer. How will this surprise addition affect the fractured family? Rich with Korelitz’s gifts for character and narrative, The Latecomer is a “work of literary excellence from [a] master of the written word” (Good Morning America).

We Are the Brennans

By Tracey Lange

Tracey Lange’s acclaimed Irish family drama comes out in paperback on June 14, making it the perfect book to pack in your suitcase or beach bag. Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital from a drunk-driving accident that she caused. She knows she needs to change her life. So… she swallows her pride and heads back to New York, to the family and friends she left behind five years ago. Sunday’s determined to begin again and mend her relationships with her loved ones. But just as she’s making progress, a man from her past shows up, aiming to ruin the Brennan family business. Now Sunday and her entire family must reckon with long-buried secrets if they hope to find a way through together.


By Paul Holes

Over the course of his decades-long career in law enforcement, detective Paul Holes has helped solve some of America’s most notorious cold cases, from the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard to the 20-year manhunt for Joseph DeAngelo, aka the Golden State Killer. Holes is proud of his career, proud of the criminals he’s put away and the closure he’s provided for families — but it all came at a cost. In his newly released true crime memoir, Holes opens up about the cases he’s investigated and the sacrifices he’s made in the service of his career. Throughout, he grapples with the question that’s haunted him for years: Was he right to forgo a life of joy in the pursuit of apprehending evil? Compelling and candid, Unmasked is a “painfully honest read that will appeal to anyone curious about the lives of those who pursue justice for voiceless victims” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Last Call

By Elon Green

Critics raved about Elon Green’s searing true crime book when it hit shelves in 2021 — and come June 7, the Edgar Award–winning narrative will be available in paperback. If you’ve yet to read Last Call, now’s the perfect time to add it to your summer TBR list. Green’s work examines the crimes of the Last Call Killer, a lesser-known serial murderer who terrorized New York City’s queer community in the ’80s and ’90s. The Last Call Killer claimed multiple lives, and yet his crimes flew under the radar. Even today, few know about the case. Green discusses how the sexuality of the killer’s victims, combined with New York’s sky-high murder rates and the growing AIDS epidemic, resulted in this case being nearly lost to time. With insight and compassion, the author traces the decades-long search for the killer while prioritizing the lives of the victims, displaying their humanity and resilience.

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These thrilling authors will have you on the edge of your seat.
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