We've found your next beach read.

By Madeline Diamond
May 30, 2020
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Courtesy of Emily Liebert and Kyle Norton

There's nothing like a good beach read — we're talking juicy, captivating stories that will completely transport you, whether you're sunbathing on the sand or simply catching some rays in your own backyard. Here at Travel + Leisure, we often turn to the experts (our favorite authors) for the latest book recommendations. This time, we spoke with author Emily Liebert about how she's spending her quarantine, as well as her summer book recommendations.

Related: More must-read books

Liebert's latest book, "Perfectly Famous," a thriller about murder and a mother's love, comes out on June 2 and is available for preorder now. The author is now back at home in Connecticut, although she spent the early days of her quarantine aboard a yacht in the Bahamas, chartered from Performance Flight, a private jet and yacht charter company owned and operated by her husband. These days, she's balancing writing her next novel, overseeing her kids' distance learning, and preparing for her latest book launch.

And while quarantining on a luxury yacht offers an escape in a literal sense, Liebert assures us, through her book recommendations below, that reading can offer a similar departure from reality (although we wouldn't say no to a yacht, either).

"Big Summer" by Jessica Weiner

Courtesy of BookSparks

"Former best friends Daphne Berg, a plus-size Instagram influencer, and Drue Cavanaugh, a glamorous socialite, haven’t spoken in six years. So when Drue begs Daphne to be her maid of honor at her super-swanky society wedding, Daphne is shocked and reluctant. But, ultimately, the lure of a luxurious weekend at a waterfront Cape Cod mansion is too much for Daphne to resist. I loved escaping with these two powerhouse women and experiencing the highs and lows inherent in the convolutions of female friendships."

To pre-order: amazon.com, $17

"The Jetsetters" by Amanda Eyre Ward

Courtesy of BookSparks

"At the age of 70, Charlotte Perkins unexpectedly wins a 'Become a Jetsetter' contest and invites her estranged children to join her on an indulgent adventure from Athens to Rome to Barcelona on the extravagant cruise ship Splendido Marveloso. Their journey, which is equal parts physical and emotional, forces them to tackle the issues that divided them in the first place. The way the characters traverse the complexities of familial relationships, amidst such spectacular backdrops, kept me hooked from start to finish."

To buy: amazon.com, $20

"Hello, Summer" by Mary Kay Andrews

Courtesy of Macmillan

"Set in a little beach community in Florida, Conley Hawkins, an accomplished reporter for a major paper, is on the cusp of taking a coveted job in Washington, D.C. But when the new position falls through, Conley finds herself back home supervising the The Silver Bay Beacon gossip column, 'Hello, Summer,' and working for her sister. To complicate matters even further, she witnesses an accident that kills a local congressman and decides to investigate, all while managing an old flame and a new romantic interest. This book is brimming with small-town drama and big-time secrets, which keep the pages turning."

To buy: amazon.com, $19

"Side Trip" by Kerry Lonsdale

Courtesy of Amazon

"When California girl Joy Evers decides to follow her deceased sister’s bucket list and drive cross-country to reconnect with her fiancé, along the way, she meets Dylan Westfield, a singer-songwriter with a lust for travel and a broken-down car. Though their personalities are markedly different, Joy is certain that it’s love at first sight, and offers to give him a ride to New York. Exploring a series of what-if scenarios, readers will thoroughly enjoy this road trip along Route 66 with two curious strangers."

To preorder: amazon.com, $11

"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert

Courtesy of Amazon

"An absolute iconic 'escape' memoir, 'Eat, Pray, Love' has inspired and enabled millions of people to find themselves through soul-searching around the globe. Imagine having what appears to be the perfect life, but still being unhappy. That was Elizabeth Gilbert’s reality when she abandoned everything she knew to experience pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and the balance between enjoyment and divine transcendence in Bali. You will laugh. You will cry. You will think about buying an airline ticket."

To buy: amazon.com, $13

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