You can't go wrong with a compelling story that's light, fun, and fast (but still plenty smart)—especially if you're beach-bound. These easy-reading novels are the perfect antidote if your reading has been heavy lately.
Can you fall in love with someone just by reading their email? For Lincoln O’Neill, the answer is YES. When he takes a new job as an “internet security officer” he doesn’t realize that means he’ll be reading people’s emails. But it’s the company's policy, and besides, all the employees know their emails are being monitored—at least in theory. Before long Lincoln has pored over countless personal emails between Jennifer and Beth, and he's sure of two things: he's in too deep, and it's too late to confess. It’s not as good as Eleanor & Park, but you couldn’t ask for a better beach read. More info →
Gilmore Girls fans, listen up. Lorelai's voice comes through loud and clear in Graham's debut novel about a comedy actress struggling to make it in 1990s NYC. Franny Banks is nearing the end of her self-imposed three-year deadline to make it or get out of town, but the only calls she's getting are for peanut butter commercials and dish soap (unless you count that cute boy in her acting class). Of course, hilarity ensues—and part of the fun is wondering how much of the story is autobiographical. More info →
Semple cut her teeth writing for Mad About You and Arrested Development, and that snarky tone is all over this screwball satire. Bernadette Fox was once a cutting edge architect whose work earned her a MacArthur genius grant, but after her daughter is born, she quits, and moves to Seattle with her Microsoft rock star husband, slowing sinking into a town—and a life—she loathes. The format is (appropriately) a little wacky: Bernadette tells her side of the story, sure, but emails, school documents, police reports, and even an emergency room bill clue us in to what's happening. Eventually we figure out where Bernadette escaped to—and why. This feels similar to Gone Girl, but this easy read is lighter, fresher, and a lot more fun. More info →
Don Tillman can count his friends on one hand, has never been on a second date, and is clearly (to the reader, at least) on the autism spectrum. When a colleague surprises him by remarking he would make a wonderful husband, Don creates "the Wife Project," and embarks on a search to find his perfect partner. (To Don, that means creating the perfect questionnaire.) But when he meets a woman that's all wrong for him—at least on paper—he's forced to reconsider what he really wants, and what love really looks like (all while his scientific, orderly approach to life is getting wrecked). Fast, fun, and smart. Heads up for a few f-bombs and racy scenes. More info →