8 Summer Reads That You Need To Take To The Beach

Summer is the season of simple pleasures; toes in the sand, sun on your back and, most of all, escaping into an alternate universe while sunning yourself on one of New Zealand’s famous beaches. If this is your summer plan, you are going to need a good book, or two. Here is a list of our favourite Summer reads.

For the romantic
Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries
Helen Fielding

Bridget is like an old friend, someone you miss catching up with then cry with laughter when you finally see her and catch up on her adventures. Bridget is still bumbling along in a very Bridget way, but this time there is something a little different – she has a bun in the oven and is trying to answer a question bigger than how to lose weight and quit smoking. She is asking who the father is. It is a pregnancy plagued with cheesy potatoes, outlandish advice from drunken singletons and smug mothers and a chaos of childbirth classes. It appears that this book is set before Fielding’s third installment Mad About A Boy, which came out in 2013. Like any catch up with Bridget, this book will leave you with sore abs from laughing and the desire to belt out All By Myself. Pretty much the epitome of a summer reads.


For the bookworm
Swing Time
Zadie Smith

In this story, two brown girls dream of becoming dancers, but only one has talent, the other has ideas about rhythm, time, black bodies and black music. When the multi-award-winning author shared bits of this then-unpublished novel with fans, anticipation hit a new high; many of them counting down the days until its release. The energetic, deeply human and ambitious new novel is a tale about friendship, music and true identity and how we can survive them.

I’m more than halfway done with Swing Time and I have to say that this novel is proving to be a very entertaining and thought-provoking read. I can’t help but wonder what her other books are like. I’ve heard from a few people that they prefer her previous books. I mean… how does it get better than this?! Well, I can’t wait to find out. I might even dedicate this whole month to solely Zadie Smith! Now moving on: I absolutely love how Zadie cautiously yet boldly portrays the harsh realities of racism and economic class throughout the novel. Obviously, these are two issues that are still very relevant today. But aside from those vital topics that Zadie Smith bravely touches upon, this novel led me to wonder about all the people that have come and gone in my life over the years. All the friends that I’ve lost contact with, naturally distanced from, and unfortunately, ended in bad terms. Friendship is a very peculiar thing, isn’t it? Some friends that I thought would be in my life forever, that I was so sure that we would never part ways, are not in my life anymore. Some friends that I thought wouldn’t impact my life in any way have drastically affected the way I view the world. Oh, Zadie Smith. You’re making me reflect on so many issues this week. Okay, I’m falling in love with Zadie. I get why so many people are in love with her. Count me in, too.

A photo posted by H. Kim (@herpickings) on


For the historical romance lover
The Chocolate Tin
Fiona McIntosh

History, love and chocolate – what more could you want? It was the end of the war when an English officer was leading a clearing party through Northern France and discovered a dead soldier in a trench. The man had a secret love note tucked inside a tin of chocolate that he had been sent as a gift. Harry travels in pursuit of the author of this message and ends up at Rowntree’s chocolate factory in England’s north. Here his life becomes bound with another couple and together they unlock secrets of the past and offer each other the greatest gift for the future.


For the fashionista 
Inside Vogue
Alexandra Shulman

The fashion bible, Vogue, is celebrating its 100th anniversary and Inside Vogue gives admirers of the magazine the opportunity to get a real glimpse into the realities of the day-to-day life of the longest-serving editor-in-chief. From the highs, lows and fashion shows to the relationships Shulman has with famous personalities and creative talents, this is a book that is perfect for the coffee table and it will change how you see the fashion mag. It is a must-read for fashion fans.

For the fan of psychological thriller
The Wonder
Emma Donoghue

The author of the best-selling novel, Room, is back with another psychological thriller to keep you teetering on the edge. An 11-year-old girl has stopped eating but she remains miraculously alive and well. When a nurse is sent to investigate whether this is true or too good to be true, she comes across a journalist who is hungry for a story. This book is inspired by numerous European and North American cases of ‘fasting girls’ between the 16th and 20th centuries. It is a book that mixes your emotions, playing on what nourishes our body and soul.


For the funny girl
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
Amy Schumer

Within the first three pages, you will be laughing out loud, a feat many comedians try and fail at, but something Amy Schumer has nailed. The comedienne and actress is all about being honest and sharing her triumphs and failures with the audience in this series of essays. Ever wondered what it was like to fly on a private jet? Schumer tells you. Ever wondered what it is like to wake up and have money? Schumer tells you. The book is all about the hustle and the prerogative for ladies to have a little fun and make mistakes. Perfect for the beach, just be prepared to LOL.


For the busy women
Paris For One & Other Stories
Jojo Moyes

In her first collection of short stories, Jojo Moyes explores real life with heart and humour in a way that only Moyes can. Liv, a spontaneous 23-year-old graduate, and Sophie, a provincial shop girl, both find themselves in Paris and in love. Miranda finds a mobile phone and begins texting a stranger pretending to be someone else. Exciting? Yes. Moral? Possibly not. These novellas are irresistibly romantic, which is exactly what we expect from The New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You. Grab a cup of tea, or a glass of wine, and sit down at every chance you get to devour a story, or two.

A weekend like this calls for some Jojo, wouldn’t you say? ? ?

A photo posted by Penguin Books NZ (@penguinbooksnz) on


For the devoted fan
Small Great Things
Jodi Picoult

Not one to shy away from the serious issues facing our society, this time Jodi Picoult is tackling a profoundly challenging topic – prejudice, race and justice. A baby goes into cardiac arrest and despite being told that no nurse can touch the child, 20-something-year-old Ruth assists. When the baby dies Ruth is charged with negligent homicide and her world falls apart around her. Help comes in the form of a white middle-class lawyer, Kennedy McQuarrie. The two begin to understand each other’s lives and begin to doubt some of the beliefs they each hold dear. Racism is approached in a way like never before in this book and Picoult says she was pushed furthest into “confronting her own unseen prejudices” when writing it.