Is there anything more relaxing than spending a day on the beach finally digging into one of the books that’s been hanging out on your “to read” list on Goodreads for months? We think not. If they’re not already on your list, here are a few novels that will keep you page-turning until one of Santa Monica’s glorious beach sunsets steals your attention.
Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
At its core, Celeste Ng’s second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, is about three families brought together and torn apart by their children. It’s a powerful exploration of maternal love, family secrets, art and belonging. Look for it on Hulu in the future–it’s set to be adapted into a miniseries produced by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.
The Comedown – Rebekah Frumkin
This dark comedy by Rebekah Frumkin follows two men—Reggie Marshall and Leland Bloom-Mitwoch—as they deal with the fallout of a drug deal gone horribly wrong. We love it for its dry sense of humor, its raw look at family relationships, and its complex characters.
Two Girls Down – Louisa Luna
Full of suspense and gripping twists and turns, Two Girls Down centers around the disappearance of two young sisters from a strip mall in small-town Pennsylvania. Enigmatic bounty hunter Alice Vega, and former cop Max Caplan are on the case, bent on finding the sisters before it’s too late.
Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
This first novel by 26-year-old Ghanaian-American novelist Yaa Gyasi has been out for a couple of years, but it’s so good we have to make sure it’s still on your radar. Receiving numerous awards and nominations, including the John Leonard Prize in 2016, it’s a stirring account of the effects of slavery and segregation on one family, across time.
The Radius of Us – Marie Marquardt
This novel follows 17-year-old Gretchen Asher as she attempts to recover from a violent mugging. As she struggles to function in school and in her relationships, a chance encounter with a young El Salvadorean immigrant yields lessons in overcoming cultural biases, mental health, and radical empathy. This is an expedient, must-read in an age of immigration policy uncertainty.
Planning a beach trip to Santa Monica? Learn more about our hotel here, so that you can experience Santa Monica for yourself!