Another beautiful summer is here in Monterey, which means a lot of us will be spending ample time out by the bay, sunbathing in suits and sunglasses, perusing those reads we meant to get to all year. A lot of great new books came out since last beach season—heartwarming, inspirational memoirs, imaginative new fantasy universes, extensions of decades-old classics, and much more. Excited to share our favorites, we put together our own list of essential beach reads for summer 2019.
Talk show hosts and book critics around the world have been raving about Michelle Obama’s memoir since it came out this past November. An intimate and personal look at the former First Lady’s upbringing and time in the White House, it won this year’s NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Biography or Autobiography, and comes highly recommended.
Black Leopard is a the first installment of a new fantasy trilogy from Marlon James—the award-winning scribe behind A Brief History of Seven Killings, and The Book of Night Women. Rife with action and African mythology, it’s a relevant and imaginative tale that will pair well with a sunny afternoon on the beach.
This book from the famous philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focuses in on how women’s empowerment is a key to changing the world. Speaking from her own unparalleled experience and wisdom, Gates has impressed many major figures like Warren Buffett and Barack Obama with this book.
Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale has long been a major influence, but it stepped back into the public eye with Hulu’s acclaimed television adaptation over the past few years. Now, Atwood has put out a sequel novel thirty four years later, giving fans a terrifying new beach read.
Angie Thomas has scored top reviews from major publications on her latest book, set in the same universe as her last it, The Hate U Give. The young adult novel follows a young rapper who goes viral, offering an intriguing option for families traveling with teens.
Jenkins Reid has demonstrated a strong sense of character in earlier works like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, as well as in this new well-reviewed work of fiction. The story is a coming of age tale about a party girl on the Sunset Strip in the 60s.
This work of historical fiction has has been earning rave reviews, and it will captivate beach readers who are into the genre. The story follows two boys sentenced to a reform school in Florida during the 1960s.
The host of The Daily Show has earned spots on the New York Times Bestseller List for this memoiristic work of nonfiction. The clever title refers to his birth to a biracial couple during South Africa’s apartheid era, which was a crime there at the time. Noah’s lauded combination of social intellect and humor make this one of the best beach reads of 2019.
Rough magic has earned praise from top publications like NPR and Oprah Magazine for this debut work. Described as a literary marvel, the fantastically written story is a memoir of a young woman who traveled to Mongolia to become the youngest and first female victor of the world’s longest horse race.
The last recommendation on our list of essential beach reads for summer 2019 comes from the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Moor’s Account Laila Lalami. The imaginative thriller explores the repercussions of an immigrant who is killed by a speeding car in California, culminating in a brilliant social commentary and ensemble tapestry of a story.
Planning a visit to the shores of Monterey Bay? Experience the region like a local, following our insider recommendations on the Sanctuary Beach Resort blog!