Beach reads are often considered light, quick reads. In fact, sometimes they’re considered so “light” as to be devoid of any serious content whatsoever. This is, of course, ridiculous. But the fact remains that beach reads have a reputation for easy consumability and definitively un-serious content.
For a deeper dive into how beach reads got this reputation and some of their most common characteristics, take a peek at this essay on what makes a book a beach read. Generally speaking, beach reads are books that are considered good, fast fodder for that summer trip to the shore. Compelling? Sure. Unputdownable? Absolutely! But cerebral? Serious? Thought-provoking? Usually not.
Happily, that doesn’t have to be the case. There are so many incredible new releases that you might take with you to the beach (or wherever you find yourself when you’re looking for your next book to devour) that have some serious ideas at their core.
This quiz is designed to gauge your bookish appetite in this moment. Are you feeling peckish for a bit of romance? Hankering for a little magic? Craving a murder or two? Whatever your literary mood happens to be, take this quiz and you’ll get a recommendation for a beach read with some substance.
In case you’d like to read ’em all, here’s a list of each of the books featured in the quiz:
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo
This Way Out by Tufayel Ahmed
Yerba Buena by Nina Lacour
Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
If you’re looking for some conventionally light summer reads, check out this list of “feel-good” books. Conversely, if you want a dense, lengthy tome to dedicate some serious time to, check out this post on anti-beach reads. And just in case you happened upon this page because you were hoping for some books that actually feature beaches in them, take a look at this list of books that will transport you to the beach.