I’ve secured an incredible mix of books to enjoy on the shore. This list has something for everyone, from heart-pounding thrillers to mind-bending sci-fi, intriguing non-fiction, and thought-provoking contemporary fiction.
Now, it’s time to grab a book and hit the sand!
Thrillers and Mysteries
1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
336 pages, Hardcover
First published February 5, 2019
“The Silent Patient” is a gripping psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The story revolves around Alicia Berenson, a talented painter who seemingly had the perfect life with her fashion photographer husband, Gabriel. However, one evening, Alicia is found standing over Gabriel’s lifeless body, having shot him multiple times. After the shocking event, Alicia becomes entirely mute and is placed in a secure psychiatric facility.
Enter Theo Faber, a dedicated psychotherapist determined to uncover the truth behind Alicia’s silence. As he delves deeper into her past, he unravels a web of secrets, lies, and hidden motives. Theo becomes increasingly obsessed with Alicia’s case, and as he uncovers more, he’s forced to confront his own dark past.
The book masterfully blends suspense and intrigue, keeping readers guessing until the very end. With its compelling characters and unexpected twists, this book is a must-read for anyone seeking a thrilling beach read.
“The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides has received numerous accolades and awards since its publication, including:
Goodreads Choice Awards 2019 – Winner for Best Mystery & Thriller
The British Book Awards 2020 – New Writer of the Year (shortlisted)
The Glass Bell Award 2019 – Longlisted
The Specsavers National Book Awards 2019 – Crime & Thriller Book of the Year (shortlisted)
The Dead Good Reader Awards 2019 – Winner of The Cat and Mouse Award for Most Elusive Villain
2. The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
344 pages, Hardcover
First published August 4, 2020
An intense, suspenseful novel that hooks readers from the start. The story follows Rachel Krall, a true-crime podcaster embroiled in a small town’s dark secrets while covering a high-profile rape trial. As Rachel navigates the tense atmosphere, she receives mysterious letters from someone claiming to be the sister of a young woman, Jenny Stills, who drowned in the same town 25 years ago. Jenny’s death was deemed accidental, but the letter writer insists it was murder.
As Rachel investigates both cases, she discovers unsettling connections between the town’s residents and uncovers a web of lies and hidden truths. Her pursuit of justice puts her own safety at risk as she faces resistance from people who would rather keep the past buried.
I would say this book offers a really engaging narrative about the power of the media, sexual harassment, and the lengths people will go to protect their reputations. If you enjoy some complex characters and suspense, this is one of the best beach reads to try.
3. The Push by Ashley Audrain
307 pages, Hardcover
First published January 5, 2021
“The Push” by Ashley Audrain tells the absorbing story of Blythe Connor, a woman navigating the challenges of motherhood.
Struggling with her connection to her firstborn, Violet, Blythe wonders if her maternal instincts have failed her or if something darker lies beneath the surface. When her second child is born, Blythe experiences the love she anticipated with motherhood. Still, Violet’s behavior only grows more unsettling.
A tense, spellbinding exploration of the depths of familial bonds, “The Push” will definitely have you questioning the blurry line between instinct and suspicion.
In “Project Hail Mary,” penned by Andy Weir, you’ll embark on a thrilling odyssey with protagonist Ryland Grace, who awakens alone on a distant spaceship devoid of memory.
With Earth’s fate hanging precariously in the balance, Ryland must piece together his past to unveil the purpose of his mission. As he grapples with the enormity of his task and forms a very unlikely alliance (ha-ha), he uncovers groundbreaking discoveries that alter the course of his journey.
The narrative masterfully interweaves science, suspense, and profound human connections, delivering an exhilarating ride that defies expectations.
I literally swallowed this book in 3 days and then ordered one for my father. He also rushed through the narrative and said: “This is the best Science Fiction book I have ever gotten.”
Even though this looks like a long journey, narrated by one man who barely gathers his memories and rediscovers his identity (so ironic, right, a world’s future depends on a man who tries to redefine who he’s and how he finds his real mission to exist), this book is truly a precious, addictive gem! It is smart, complex, entertaining but in the meantime thrilling, claustrophobic: the dark parts equally balanced the witty, enjoyable parts.
This book is an enthralling finale of the Poppy War trilogy, whisking you into the intense conflict between Rin and the formidable forces of the Dragon Republic. As Rin’s powers escalate and her alliances crumble, she grapples with the weight of her decisions and the consequences they bring.
This epic narrative deftly weaves history, politics, and magic elements, offering a satisfying culmination to a tale of ambition, vengeance, and redemption.
Brimming with emotion and richly-detailed world-building, “The Burning God” will leave a lasting impact on you.
6. The Last Emperox by John Scalzi
320 pages, Hardcover
First published April 14, 2020
This book is a thrilling conclusion to the Interdependency series, and it really shines in a captivating audio format. The story follows Emperox Grayland II as she grapples with political intrigue, treacherous adversaries, and an impending collapse of the interstellar pathway that sustains the human civilization.
This engaging narrative stands out for its unique blend of humor, fast-paced dialogue, and complex plotlines.
The audiobook format further elevates the experience, immersing you in the action and emotions of the characters as they confront the challenges of an uncertain future. A deftly woven tale, “The Last Emperox” is a real delight to listen (or read if you prefer kindle/paper format).
7. Edge of Darkness by Kyla Stone
358 pages, Kindle Edition
First published April 7, 2020
“Edge of Darkness,” authored by Kyla Stone, entwines readers in a spellbinding narrative of grit, fortitude, and human connection amid a world ravaged by the apocalypse.
The story follows an eclectic ensemble of survivors as they traverse the dangerous wastelands, battling external threats and their own inner disruption.
Encounters with adversity spark unforeseen friendships and wrenching decisions as they wrestle with the new reality.
Overall, this book is a masterful fusion of suspense, raw emotion, and shared humanity, luring you into a vivid literary tapestry.
This is a wonderful EMP apocalypse story. There are exciting action parts and also tragedy parts. When it is all put together it is really really good. I had to read it in one sitting. The story has the roaming gangs who attack and kill wantonly and a small town that has to protect itself. The characters are great and the ending is too. The twist in the plot will take you all the way to the end.
Micaiah Johnson’s “The Space Between Worlds” delves into a realm where traversing parallel universes becomes a reality, and protagonist Cara grapples with her existence amid multitudes of alternate selves.
As an adept traveler, her rarity lies in her vulnerability, with many counterparts already extinguished, opening doors to explore other worlds. However, the illusion of her own insignificance soon shatters as she uncovers unsettling truths and a web of deceit.
This book is clearly a mesmerizing fusion of identity, love, and the dizzying dance of fate, taking you to a vividly crafted story.
This book surprised me in a multitude of ways. I initially heard about this book through randomly browsing on Goodreads and it immediately made its way onto my radar. Being one of my most anticipated sci-fi reads of the year, I went in with slightly high expectations of this novel and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
“Greenlights,” a memoir by Matthew McConaughey, invites you on an enthralling expedition through the actor’s kaleidoscopic life journey. A treasure trove of wisdom, wit, and vulnerability, McConaughey weaves stories of his personal and professional adventures with great honesty.
Unearthing “greenlights” amid the twists and turns of his life, he shares valuable insights that resonate beyond the glitz of Hollywood.
“Greenlights” fascinates with its distinctive blend of storytelling, man philosophy, and unbridled enthusiasm for life’s unpredictable ride.
I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.
10. Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within by David Goggins
312 pages, Kindle Edition
First published December 6, 2022
“Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within” by David Goggins is a raw, revealing, and inspirational follow-up to his bestselling memoir, “Can’t Hurt Me.” In this work, Goggins delves deeper into the philosophy, psychology, and strategies that have fueled his journey of self-discovery and resilience.
The book offers readers a blueprint for climbing from adversity to new heights of personal growth, sharing invaluable insights and lessons from Goggins’ own experiences.
Rooted in truth and devoid of pretense, “Never Finished” stands apart from typical self-help books by drawing on the author’s real-life experiences and embodying the very principles he preaches. With engaging storytelling and brutally honest advice, this book has the potential to uplift, motivate, and even save lives.
As a bonus, the Audible version of the book includes podcast-style conversations at the end of each chapter, which is a good thing.
Overall, “Never Finished” is a must-read if you seek the inspiration to break through your limits and step on a path to achieve greatness.
11. Atomic Habits by James Clear
319 pages, Hardcover Edition
First published October 18, 2018
“Atomic Habits” by James Clear is a groundbreaking self-help book that suggests a proven framework for personal improvement.
Drawing on insights from biology, psychology, and neuroscience, Clear instructs how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master small behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
The book is a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Nonfiction. It emphasizes the importance of having the right system for change, as bad habits persist not due to a lack of desire to change but because of flawed systems. Featuring inspiring true stories from various fields, Atomic Habits provides practical tips and easy-to-understand guidance on how to make good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible.
Readers have praised the book for its life-changing impact, practical advice, and engaging writing style. By following the advice in Atomic Habits, you can work towards a more fulfilling future and help others, too!
12. Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World by Malcolm Harris
720 pages, Hardcover
First published February 14, 2023
“Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World” by Malcolm Harris is a comprehensive, global history of Silicon Valley, exploring how Northern California evolved into the influential powerhouse it is today.
The book delves into 150 years of Anglo-settler colonialism, tracing ideologies, technologies, and policies that have shaped the region, from IQ tests and racial genetics to the Internet and computers.
Harris’s work reveals how a small American suburb became a key driver of economic growth and war, leading the world into the 21st century. The author examines how capitalist modes of production have shaped Silicon Valley, offering a critical perspective on the region’s development.
Combining a glib and chatty style with a solid foundation in Marx and Ocalan’s theories, Harris presents an engaging and informative history.
The book is really insightful, delivering the keys to understanding the Silicon Valley phenomena.
13. Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty
328 pages, Hardcover
First published September 8, 2020
“Think Like a Monk” by Jay Shetty is an inspiring and empowering book that shares the timeless wisdom Shetty learned as a monk, distilled into practical steps for everyday life. The author shares his insights on how to overcome negativity, stop overthinking, find your purpose, and embrace kindness for a less anxious, more meaningful existence.
Drawing on his own experiences in the ashram, Shetty provides practical advice and exercises to help readers clear roadblocks to their potential and power, reduce stress, and improve relationships. From understanding values and aligning them with actions, to navigating forgiveness, the book offers valuable insights for those new to self-development or those continuing their journey.
“Think Like a Monk” is an essential read if you’re looking to cultivate a peaceful mindset and live a happier, more purposeful life.
14. The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku
208 pages, Hardcover
First published July 28, 2020
“We Should Not Be Friends: The Story of a Friendship” by Will Schwalbe is a warm, insightful, and captivating memoir exploring the extraordinary forty-year friendship between the introverted author and extroverted Chris Maxey.
The book follows their journey from college through their careers, marriages, and personal challenges, as they overcome preconceptions and judgments, revealing the power of human connection.
As another great beach book for men, this book offers a unique perspective on the importance of stepping outside one’s comfort zone, embracing the differences in others, and the beauty of unlikely friendships.
Beach Reads for Guys: Final Thoughts
In this blog, I’ve shared my list of captivating beach books for men to dive into while enjoying the beach in 2023.
So, pack your beach bag (or kindle/tablet/whatever) with one or more of these fantastic books and make the most of your time by the shore. Happy reading!
I write tech-related articles on different software & hardware topics as well as travel related stuff.
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