Beach reading means different things to different readers. For one thing, no beach required! You can enjoy beach reads by the pool, in the park, in the backyard, or enjoying some air-conditioning at home. What beach reading means to most readers is simply easy, entertaining, enjoyable reading. Reading for fun. In my experience, there are lots of people who tend not to read much during the rest of the year, but once the warmer weather hits, they try to catch up on as much reading as they can before the weather turns cool. If you're looking for a place to get started with some recommendations on what to bring along with you this summer, let me help you out!
If you're looking for a "traditional" beach read (light, fluffy, easy to finish in a few days or so): try authors like Beth Harbison (When in Doubt, Add Butter is a personal favorite), Jen Lancaster (she writes both fiction and wise-cracking memoirs, like Bitter is the New Black), or Meg Cabot (who also writes young adult novels, but has two very popular adult series: Queen of Babble and the Heather Wells Mysteries).
If you're interested in something that's less light and fluffy but just as engaging: consider authors like Jane Green, Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Weiner, Kristin Hannah, or Adriana Trigiani (I'm a particular fan of Lucia, Lucia--delightful and easy to read in a weekend or less!).
If you want all things summer: Nancy Thayer, Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe are some of the top authors of summer.
If you'd like something that the family can read together (especially as an audiobook on a long car trip?): try the Harry Potter series (the narrator for the audiobooks, Jim Dale, won awards for his work on the series), A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (audiobooks narrated by the talented Tim Curry), or even an accessible classic like To Kill a Mockingbird.
Finally, if you're looking to catch up on some of the most popular books since last summer: if you're not intimidated by page-length (in which case, I like the cut of your jib), try The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Interested in something absorbing but a little off the beaten path? Try Andy Weir's The Martian or Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven. Missed out on everything your friends were reading? Consider The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (adored this one), or Paula Hawkins's Girl on the Train.
Prefer historical fiction, romance, thrillers or mysteries? Would you rather settle in with some non-fiction or a biography? Not to fear--I have beach reading suggestions for genre readers coming up over the next few weeks.