Watch CBS News

Best summer beach reads for 2022

warodom changyencham/Getty Images

Looking for the perfect new book to take with you on summer vacation, or to take you away from it all when you're on a staycation? Culled from the ranks of Amazon's bestselling books, here's a list of recommended 2022 beach reads that'll have you turning pages in no time. We're talking everything from "Book Lovers," the latest novel from Emily Henry, to "The Office BFFs: Tales of 'The Office' from Two Best Friends Who Were There," a chatty, behind-the-scenes look at "The Office" by series stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, to the acclaimed Viola Davis memoir, "Finding Me."

Top products in this article: 

'The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There' (Kindle), $15

"Book Lovers" by Emily Henry (Kindle), $10

"Finding Me: A Memoir" by Viola Davis (Kindle), $15

All of the 2022 beach reads recommended below are available to buy now through Amazon. Save for one as-yet unpublished book from John Grisham, all are rated 4 stars ratings or higher by Amazon users. (The Grisham title, "Sparring Partners," doesn't yet have a posted rating.)  All of the books are available in either hardcover or paperback (and maybe both!), and for the Kindle e-reader. (To make your summer beach reads beach-safe, check out our Essentials guide to waterproof Kindle e-readers.) 

Read on to find out what to read in 2022! And be sure to go all the way to the end, where we'll share our past summer beach-read favorites with you.    

'The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There'

'The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There'
Dey Street Books via Amazon

If you love "The Office," Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey's podcast, "Office Ladies," or both, then you'll want to pack a copy of this book with your summer gear. Fischer and Kinsey's "The Office BFFs: Tales of 'The Office' from Two Best Friends Who Were There," published in May 2022, is their eyewitness, behind-the-scenes account of the making of the beloved U.S. version of "The Office." 

'The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There' (Kindle), $15

'The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There' (hardcover), $19

'Book Lovers'

'Book Lovers'
Berkley via Amazon

This 2022 novel is so perfect for a day at the beach it may as well be a basket lunch. For one thing, "Book Lovers" is by Emily Henry, the author who literally wrote a book called "Beach Read" (as well as "People We Meet on Vacation"). For another thing, it's got a cover blurb by another 21st century queen of the beach read, Taylor Jenkins Reid ("Daisy Jones & the Six," "Malibu Rising"). For a third thing, Amazon users rate it 4.6 out of 5 stars. 

Henry's "People We Meet on Vacation" was one of our previous beach-read favorites, so be sure to keep scrolling down to find out more about that one. And, rest assured, we are nowhere near done name-checking Taylor Jenkins Reid. 

"Book Lovers" (Kindle), $10

"Book Lovers" (paperback), $12

'Finding Me: A Memoir'

'Finding Me'
HarperOne via Amazon

Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis ("Fences") tells her story, as she writes, "from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond." Published in 2022, and an Oprah's Book Club selection, "Finding Me" boasts a 4.8-star rating on Amazon. 

"Finding Me: A Memoir" (Kindle), $15

"Finding Me: A Memoir" (hardcover), $19

'Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf's Most Colorful Superstar'

Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster via Amazon

Golf journalist Alan Shipnuck didn't just write a biography of Phil Mickelson, his release of Mickelson quotes about the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League upended the sport star's career. So, if you're curious about the three-time Masters champ known as Lefty, or if you want to indulge in "one outrageous story [after] another," as Golfweek put it, then you're going to want to stuff Shipnuck's "Phil" in your beach bag -- or, yes, golf bag. The book was published in 2022.  

"Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf's Most Colorful Superstar" (Kindle), $15

"Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf's Most Colorful Superstar" (hardcover), $19

'Sparring Partners'

"Sparring Partners"
Doubleday via Amazon

Yes, John Grisham fans are getting new John Grisham. "Sparring Partners," due to be published May 31, 2022, but on sale now, is billed as the first collection of novellas from the superstar writer of legal thrillers such as "The Firm" and "The Client." One of the book's three new tales, "Homecoming," features the popular Grisham character Jake Brigance, the hero of "A Time to Kill" and more.

"Sparring Partners" (Kindle), $15

"Sparring Partners" (hardcover), $19

'The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo'

'The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo'
Washington Square Press via Amazon

Well, we told you we'd return to the subject of Taylor Jenkins Reid, and here we are. While we could just as easily be writing here about the author's "Daisy Jones & the Six" (soon to be an Amazon Prime series) or "Malibu Rising" (featured below, and, oh, by the way, in development at Hulu), we're spotlighting the faux Hollywood tale "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" because, despite being published in 2017, the novel is having a moment in Amazon's bestselling rankings. And, oh, yes, it's being adapted by Netflix. So, basically, read some Reid this summer so you know what you're going to binge-watch maybe next summer.   

"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel" (Kindle), $15

"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel" (paperback), $9

'Where the Crawdads Sing' 

'Where the Crawdad Sings'
Penguin Publishing Group via Amazon

Originally published in 2018, Delia Owens' "Where the Crawdads Sing" is another title, like Taylor Jenkins Reid's "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo," that just keeps going and going in Amazon's bestseller rankings. A murder mystery set in North Carolina in 1969, "Where the Crawdads Sing" is rated 4.8 stars by Amazon users. Hollywood's a fan, too. A big-screen adaptation with Daisy Edgar-Jones ("Normal People') is due out in July 2022. 

"Where the Crawdads Sing" (Kindle), $13

"Where the Crawdads Sing" (paperback), $10

More great beach reads 

Here's a look at books we've previously highlighted as being perfect for reads for the summer season. They may not be brand new, but they're timeless -- and they're available to buy right now on Amazon. 

'The Guest List'   

The Guest List: A Novel

This Reese's Book Club pick, written by Lucy Foley, is a murder mystery set at a wedding on an island off the coast of Ireland. The book is filled with intrigue and revealed secrets. You'll meet the bride, the groom, the plus one, the best man, the wedding planner, the bridesmaid and more, but don't get too attached -- before you know it, one of them will turn up dead in "The Guest List."

"The Guest List" (Kindle), $12

"The Guest List" (hardcover), $13

'The Last Thing He Told Me'

The Last Thing He Told Me
Simon & Schuster via Amazon

Even before this tale from Laura Dave ("The Divorce Party") was published, Reese Witherspoon and her production company snapped up the rights. (Julia Roberts signed on to star in its series adaptation for Apple TV+. ) "The Last Thing He Told Me" is the story of a woman, her teen step-daughter -- and a husband who goes missing. Vogue called the novel "light and bright, despite its edgy plot."

"The Last Thing He Told Me" (Kindle), $14

"The Last Thing He Told Me" (hardcover), $14


untamed by glennon doyle
The Dial Press via Amazon

Glennon Doyle's "Untamed" was published in 2020. The New York Times-bestselling memoir has had celebrities from Reese Witherspoon to Oprah Winfrey raving about it. The emotional page-turner tells the empowering story of Doyle's self-discovery. Find out what happens when she leaves discontentment behind in favor of living her truth.

"Untamed" (Kindle), $14

"Untamed" (hardcover), $15

'Project Hail Mary'

Project Hail Mary
Ballantine Books via Amazon

Is there a genre that's more escapist than sci-fi? If you're looking for an out-of-this-world trip this summer, then "Project Hail Mary" may be your ticket. The novel by Andy Weir ("The Martian") is about a man who wakes up on a spaceship with no idea why he's there, or who he is. Like other books in this rundown, "Project Hail Mary" is bound for Hollywood: Ryan Gosling is set to star in the big-screen version.

"Project Hail Mary" (Kindle), $15

"Project Hail Mary" (hardcover), $17

'Seven Days in June'

"Seven Days in June"
Grand Central Publishing via Amazon

This novel by Tia Williams ("The Accidental Diva") seems custom-made for beach readers. Not only is "Seven Days in June" set in the summer, it's set in the world of books, too. The tale of two authors reconnecting after a long-ago, teenage fling was hailed as "[o]ne of the most anticipated romance novels of the summer" by Oprah Daily.

"Seven Days in June" (Kindle), $14

"Seven Days in June" (hardcover), $17

'Malibu Rising'

Malibu Rising
Random House via Amazon

In "Malibu Rising," Taylor Jenkins Reid spins a story that's set primarily in 1983, and concerns a Southern California family, a house party -- and a raging wildfire. Praised Publishers Weekly: "This page-turning indulgence hits the spot."

"Malibu Rising" (Kindle), $13

"Malibu Rising" (hardcover), $17

'The Guncle'

The Guncle
G.P. Putnam's Sons via Amazon

This novel by Steven Rowley ("Lily and the Octopus") was named one of the Washington Post's "[f]eel-good books to brighten your summer." In it, Patrick, known to his young niece and nephew as Gay Uncle Patrick, or GUP, unexpectedly becomes the caretaker to the two tykes. "Rowley's depth and humor will warm even the most jaded hearts," the Post judged in 2021.

"The Guncle" (Kindle), $12

"The Guncle" (hardcover), $17

'The Chosen and the Beautiful' 

Tordotcom via Amazon

In "one of 2021's must-read novels," per Bustle, author Nghi Vo ("The Empress of Salt and Fortune") reimagines "The Great Gatsby" from the perspective of Jordan Baker. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, Jordan is a white southerner who bewitches Nick Carroway. In "The Chosen and the Beautiful," she's a queer Vietnamese adoptee. "Did we mention the book also mixes in magical realism?" USA Today asked. (USA Today did -- and the book does.)

"The Chosen and the Beautiful" (Kindle), $12

"The Chosen and the Beautiful" (hardcover), $17

'The Other Black Girl'

The Other Black Girl
Atria Books via Amazon

This debut novel by Zakiya Dalila Harris generated tons of buzz upon its 2021 release. It draws from Harris' former workaday life at a top publishing house. Billed as a thriller, the novel tells the story of Nella, a 26-year-old editorial assistant at (wait for it) a top publishing house. Nella is the only Black staffer in the otherwise all-white team until Hazel comes on board -- and complications ensue. "Harris's writing propels you forward through the story," the New York Times said.

"The Other Black Girl" (Kindle), $13

"The Other Black Girl" (hardcover), $13

'The Ugly Cry: A Memoir'

The Ugly Cry
Viking via Amazon

"The Ugly Cry" is Danielle Henderson's story of growing up, as the book's publisher puts it, "Black, weird, and overwhelmingly uncool in a mostly white neighborhood in upstate New York." Henderson, who was raised by her grandmother, is a TV writer ("Maniac") and podcaster ("I Saw What You Did"). Her memoir is, the Associated Press declared, "powerful and energetic."

"The Ugly Cry" (Kindle), $12

"The Ugly Cry" (hardcover), $14

'People We Meet on Vacation'

People We Meet on Vacation
Berkley via Amazon

Another popular Emily Henry title, "People We Meet on Vacation" is about two longtime friends, Alex and Poppy, who resume their once-annual ritual of summering together. The Wall Street Journal called out Henry's "laugh-out-loud funny" dialogue. 

"People We Meet on Vacation" (Kindle), $10

"People We Meet on Vacation" (paperback), $10

'Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid: America's Original Gangster Couple'      

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Amazon

"Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid" is a tome by veteran author Glenn Stout about Jazz Age baddies Margaret and Richard Whittemore, aka the "original gangster couple" of the book's subtitle. "Stout has done more than simply chronicle the couple's crimes," Tina Jordan wrote of the book for the New York Times. "He has tried to understand what motivated the Whittemores."

"Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid" (Kindle), $15

"Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid" (hardcover), $15

'Crazy Rich Asians'

Crazy Rich Asians
Anchor via Amazon

A classic beach-reading experience demands a classic beach read -- or two. Whether you're re-reading Kevin Kwan's mammoth 2013 hit, "Crazy Rich Asians," for the 100th time, or reading it for the first time (after seeing the hit movie for the 100th time), you'll be swept into the craziness that is the romance of Rachel Chu and Nick Young.

"Crazy Rich Asians" (Kindle), $10

"Crazy Rich Asians" (paperback), $7

'Valley of the Dolls'

Valley of the Dolls
Grove Press via Amazon

Jacqueline Susann's passionate, and passionately written, "Valley of the Dolls" was first published in 1966. Set in the post-World War II New York City, it's a tale of three young women with big dreams, and occasionally big drug problems. Summed up Nancy Bachrach once for NPR, "'Valley of the Dolls' is a zipper-ripper that has been called trashy, tawdry, glitzy, lusty, sordid and seamy -- and that's just the beginning of its appeal." 

"Valley of the Dolls" (Kindle), $10

"Valley of the Dolls" (paperback), $14

Related content from Essentials: 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.