When Oprah Magazine, Parade, and Good Housekeeping release their annual lists of summer beach reads, people instantly take notice. This year, all eyes are glued to 28 Summers, The Vanishing Half, and Friends and Strangers (among countless others). For most, a beach read should be formulaic, twisted, intelligible, and, of course, unpredictable. An idyllic location to finish a novel beside your partner is right here at Pocono Palace Resort’s exclusive Echo Lake, a sandy paradise with little-to-no foot traffic. So, throw a towel down on the sand, coat yourself in sunscreen, and strap in for an emotional thrill-ride because this summer reading challenge will be a memorable one.
A Fun Reading Challenge: 10 Gripping Beach Reads
This staff-curated summer reading challenge is sure to provide you and your loved one with enough twists and turns for the next decade. For those in need of a useful resource on potential reads, look no further than Goodread’s annual Choice Awards. A handful of award-winning novels that narrowly missed this summer reading challenge include The Woman in the Window, Never Let Me Go, The Silent Patient, and My Sister, the Serial Killer. In the end, these 10 books set a new bar for the mystery genre, thanks to the likes of Gillian Flynn, Blake Crouch, and up-and-comer Jane Harper.
1. Before the Fall, Noah Hawley
It’s easy to empathize with Scott Burroughs, Hawley’s lonely plane crash survivor. Very rarely does raw human emotion leap off the page quite like it does in Before the Fall.
2. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Flynn’s crowning achievement, Gone Girl, is a masterstroke built on layers of mischief. Amy Dunne remains one of the decades most beloved heroines.
3. Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
VanderMeer’s first glimpse into the fictional “Southern Reach” will stick with you long after the final line. Annihilation is equal parts science fiction, psychological thriller, and family drama—a true game-changer.
4. Pines, Blake Crouch
Pines, much like Annihilation, is the first book of a stirring trilogy. Crouch’s Abandon and Desert Places are undeniably enthralling, but the Wayward Pines trio ranks among the most mindblowing collective works to date.
5. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
In many ways, Flynn’s Gone Girl laid the groundwork for Hawkins’ Girl on the Train. This dreamy, hard-hitting novel doesn’t hold back. Rachel’s journey is bleak, poignant, and perplexing, to say the least.
6. The Dry, Jane Harper
Harper’s breathtaking debut is a vivid examination of a quiet (or so they thought) Australian farming community riddled with secrets.