Soak Up The Sunshine With These 10 Poolside Reads

What could be better than sitting by the pool with a good book? If you’re looking for your next poolside read, here are 10 recommendations.

Adult Fiction Fiction Recommendations Young Adult

Summertime is almost upon us, folks. The warm air, the cool nights, the sunshine…I love it all. And what’s a better way to take it all in than sitting by the pool and reading a good book? Choosing a perfect book for your summertime tan session could be a difficult feat. There’s just so much to choose from! So, while everyone’s taste is a little different, here are 10 books I think would make a great poolside companion.

1. The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward

Cover of "The Jetsetters" a novel by Amanda Eyre Ward, author of "The Same Sky"

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Seventy-year-old Charlotte Perkins just won the ‘Become A Jetsetter’ Contest, the prize being a European cruise vacation. Europe sounds amazing, but Charlotte has other plans. She wishes to use the vacation as an opportunity to reunite her estranged children. As Charlotte and her 3 grown-up kids board the ship, secrets are revealed, love blossoms, and the past is confronted. Can the family find peace in the middle of the ocean?

Reasons to Read: Who doesn’t love some forced proximity family drama in the summer heat with themes of self-discovery and navigating adulthood?

2. My Summer Darlings by May Cobb

Cover of "My Summer Darlings" a novel by May Cobb, author of "The Hunting Wives"

Cover Blurb: "One of the most original crime novelists at work today. -A. J. Finn"

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Jen, Kittie and Cynthia are approaching forty, but they’re still friends, there is just a lot more wine and gossiping now. When Will Harding, a mysterious stranger moves into the neighborhood the women become fascinated. The summer quickly becomes full of intrigue, obsession, manipulation, and maybe even murder. 

Reasons to Read: This book is a refreshing, shocking, and steamy thriller that will keep you turning the pages.

3. Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron 

Cover of "Accidentally Engaged" by Farah Heron. 

Cover Comment: "Is this fake engagement foolproof... or half-baked?"

Cover Blurb: "Sure to leave readers smiling. -Publishers Weekly"

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Reena Manji does not enjoy her family constantly presenting her with eligible bachelors for her to marry– even Nadim, her father’s attractive new employee. When Reena’s baking career is in trouble, she enlists Nadim to be her fake fiance so she can enter the baking contest of her dreams. As Nadim and Reena begin to get closer, a not-so-simple relationship forms. Will secrets, gossiping families, and self-doubt get in the way?

Reasons to Read: Reading a ‘fake dating trope’ book is never a bad way to spend your pool day; with a diverse cast of characters and a comedic tone, this book is sure to entertain.

4. One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Cover of New York Times bestseller "One Italian Summer" a novel by Rebecca Serle, New York Times bestselling author of "In Five Years"

Cover Blurb: "Rebecca Serle is a maestro of love in all its forms -Gabrielle Zevin"

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Katy’s mother and best friend Carol has recently passed away, leaving Katy distraught. They had pre-planned a trip to visit the Italian town where Carol spent an incredible summer years ago and now Katy must go alone. As she feels the heat on her skin, Katy begins to cope with Carol’s death. But then, Carol appears, not just alive but thirty years old and healthy. Katy and Carol reconnect over the strange and magical summer and Katy must reconcile with the fact that her mother did not always know all of the answers. 

Reasons to Read: This book will be hard to set down as you read this heartwarming story about love, loss, and grief set in an idyllic vacation spot.

5. People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

Cover of #1 New York Times bestseller "People We Meet On Vacation" a novel by Emily Henry, author of "Beach Read"

Cover Blurb: "The perfect getaway. -Jodi Picoult"

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Poppy and Alex are friends that met in college. Every summer they go on a vacation together…or at least they used to. Two years ago, they ruined everything and have not spoken since. But when Poppy reaches out to Alex for one last vacation, and he agrees, she has one week to make everything right again. 

Reasons to read: Vacation vibes are the perfect poolside escapism; the friends to lovers trope is a sweet, summertime must-have.

6. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Cover of "Juliet Takes A Breath" a Gabby Rivera novel

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Juliet is a young, queer, Puerto Rican woman living in the Bronx. She just came out to her family and it did not go very well. Thankfully, she has an internship lined up with her favorite feminist author that will get her mind off of her family. Will a summer in Portland, Oregon help Juliet figure out her life, or will she leave the summer with more questions than answers? 

Reasons to Read: This book is a beautiful debut novel about identity, finding your voice, and discovering how much one summer can change a person’s life and view of the world. 

7. The Lido by Libby Page

Cover of The Sunday Times bestseller, "The Lido" by Libby Page

Cover Comment: "Sometimes, the only way to change your lie is to swim outside the lanes..."

Cover Blurb: "Joyous and uplifiting -Sarah Winman"

cr. Orion Books

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Kate is a twenty-six-year-old reporter that has been tasked to write a small human interest story about the closing of a local lido (a pool and recreation center) in London. While doing research, she meets Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow and devoted patron of the lido. As she learns more about the history of the lido, and Rosemary, Kate begins to feel a connection to this local spot. Through this seemingly boring work project, Kate learns more about herself, friendship, and life than she ever thought possible.

Reasons to Read: If you don’t want to be in the pool, why not read about a pool? This novel is heart-warming and discusses the importance of community, companionship, and passion.

8. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Cover of "Malibu Rising" a novel by the New York Times bestselling author of "Daisy Jones & The Six" Taylor Jenkins Reid

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The famous Riva siblings throw a huge party every summer. However, this year, their party will end in flames. Nina Riva is not particularly excited about the event, but it seems everyone else is. As the party goes on, secrets are revealed, love is explored, and intriguing decisions are made. 

Reasons to Read: A drama-filled end-of-summer party mixed with celebrity culture and a fast pace? Sign me up. 

9. The Rehearsals by Annette Christie

Cover of "The Rehearsals" by Annette Christie. 

Cover Comment: "If they want to get forever... they'll have to make it to tomorrow first."

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Megan Givens and Tom Prescott are a happy couple… until their wedding weekend that is. After a horrible rehearsal dinner, they call off the wedding and it seems all is lost. But when they wake up the next morning they find themselves stuck in a time loop, forced to relive this horrible day. Will the couple be able to patch things up before their actual wedding day arrives…if their wedding day arrives?

Reasons to Read: A classic time loop trope novel with a romantic twist makes for a page-turning read that is perfect for relaxing day in a lounge chair.

10. Float Plan by Trish Doller

Cover of "Float Plan" by Trish Doller.

Cover Comment: "Sometimes you have to lose your way to find what you're looking for."

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Anna has been engulfed in grief since the loss of her fiance. When she is reminded of the sailing trip they had planned, she decides to set sail alone. But after a rough night at sea, she hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. As romance begins to blossom, they learn that second chances might be possible, even in the middle of the ocean. 

Reasons to Read: This novel is a charming and hopeful story with sharp dialogue and nautical vibes.

Whether it’s vacation, romance, or relaxation that you long for this summer, these books are sure to do the trick. Don’t forget your sunscreen, unless you like book-shaped tan lines, of course.

More of a beach person? For six beach read recommendations, click here!

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