This year's favorite take-'em-to-the-shore picks.

By Jennifer Brunnemer Slaton
June 20, 2012
Photo: Ted Tucker

Other Press, by Alix Kates Shulman
A real estate mogul and his wife take in an exiled writer who trades his foreign charm to take advantage of the wealthy couple, who are doing their best to take advantage of him in return. The triangle that ensues makes for a ménage that's deliciously funny—right up to its tit-for-tat conclusion.

Every Day, Every Hour
Viking, by Natasa Dragnic

In this debut novel, a childhood love in Croatia is split apart by a family move but rediscovered in Paris, when Dora and Luke run into each other, grown up as an actress and a painter. It's the perfect escape with a lyrical voice.

Long Time, No See
Viking, by Dermot Healy
From an author well-known and loved in Ireland, this story of misfits is narrated by Mister Psyche, who lives in a town by the sea in Northern Ireland with his aging uncle and his neighbor-ordinary people with amazingly rich lives.

Little, Brown, by Elin Hilderbrand
This Nantucket-based best-selling author paints the tragedy of four Nantucket high schoolers in a car crash—and the healing that happens halfway around the world.

Wife 22
Ballantine Books, by Melanie Gideon

Main character Alice is in her 40s, with kids, a San Francisco job, a husband—and an email relationship that started with an invitation to participate in a marriage survey. Already in development as a movie, it's pure fun on the sand.

Beach House Memories
Gallery Books, by Mary Alice Monroe
In this sequel to The New York Times best-selling novel The Beach House, a married woman looks for a live with meaning in Charleston in 1974. Spending the summer on a nearby barrier island, she tends to nesting sea turtles at risk from a new resort development and falls in love with a visiting, married biologist.

In One Person
Simon & Schuster, by John Irving
The master storyteller and author of The World According to Garp and The Cider House Rules returns with a page-turning tragi-comic tale of friends and lovers and the quest for identity.

The Age of Miracles
Random House, by Karen Thompson Walker
The rotation of the Earth has suddenly begun to slow, and gravity—and the world itself—changes. With movie rights already secured, this is an apocalyptic story told by a middle-school age girl—and it keeps you in suspense.

Lizz Free or Die
Riverhead, by Lizz Winstead
Get ready to laugh out loud (and cry a little, too) under your umbrella. The political satiriest, stand-up comedian, and former head writer and a co-creator of "The Daily Show" candidly covers the messy, transformative moments that helped her figure out what she wanted in life..