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Great Books for the Beach or the Bed

Beach weather isn’t quite here yet for most of the country, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on some beach reads.

Beach weather isn’t quite here yet for most of the country, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on some beach reads. So if you have a vacation coming up or need some good suggestions to curl up at home for the weekend, here are suggestions for books in three of the most popular genres: mystery-thrillers, contemporary romance, and science fiction.


A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

Chloe Davis never really got over the terror that gripped her Louisiana town when she was twelve years old when sixteen girls went missing. The fact that her father confessed to the murders and has been in prison ever since has made it even more impossible to move on. But two decades later, she’s engaged and building her psychology practice in Baton Rouge when a teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and the similarities to her past are too much to ignore. 

Find Me by Alafair Burke

Despite promises from doctors that she would eventually remember who she was, Hope Miller never recovered from the amnesia she had 15 years ago when lawyer Lindsay Kelly pulled her from an overturned vehicle. Hope’s best friend, Lindsay, worries about her friend as she moves to a new city seeking a new life. Then Hope disappears, and Lindsay begins to worry, especially when the only evidence in the place Hope was last seen is a drop of blood matching an infamous Kansas killer.

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

Against all odds, the career of classical violinist Ray McMillian is taking off after his humble beginnings as a poor Black kid growing up in rural North Carolina. He’s all set to compete in a prestigious music competition when his violin, a family heirloom, is stolen. But as he tracks down the instrument, questions arise about who owns it: Ray’s family or the family that once owned Ray’s great-great-grandfather. 

Contemporary Romance

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

Single mom Jess Davis is a freelance statistician who didn’t have it in her to deal with dating until she heard about a new dating service that makes matches based on DNA. But when she finds she has a 98% compatibility match with the company's founder, she doubts she has anything in common with the snobby, stubborn guy who’s supposedly her soul mate.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Poppy is a spunky, chatty, spontaneous free spirit. Her best friend Alex is a straight-laced introvert who makes accountants sound exciting. Yet ever since they took a college road trip a decade ago, they’ve met up for an annual vacation every year until things got weird. So now they’re meeting up again at a wedding, and they have one chance to see if things can go back to normal or on to something more. 

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

When Eva, a single mom and best-selling writer of erotica, met Shane, a quiet and mysterious literary novelist, they spent a wild week in love that inspired their writing for years to come. But when they meet again at a literary event in New York 15 years later, neither is prepared for the conversations and unanswered questions they’ll need to face.

Science Fiction 

Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

We’re classifying this as science fiction because it has aliens, but it’s also a little fantasy because there’s a demon, too; the famed violin instructor Shizuka Satomi made a deal with to deliver six souls or else end up in hell herself. But when Shizuka takes on her sixth student, a young transgender runaway named Katrina Nguyen, her life takes a turn in ways she could never have anticipated, including meeting the charismatic owner of a local donut shop who happens to have escaped an intergalactic war that she warns is coming to Earth to, eventually.

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

Jamie Gray can only escape unemployment as a food delivery app driver while the Covid-19 pandemic rages around him. But when he delivers food to Tom, a past acquaintance, he’s offered another job for a last-minute animal rights organization field visit. Except the visit is in another dimension, and the animals aren’t like anything Jamie has ever seen. 

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

When Fatima comes into contact with an alien artifact, she’s transformed into the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death, now known as Sankofa. Now she wanders with a fox companion, with the ability to fell an entire town with her touch, seeking the object that gave her her powers and what higher purpose she can use them for.

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