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8 Summer Beach Reads to take you to your Happy Place

Well, we’ve made it! We are more than halfway through the year in a post-pandemic world and, with the recent occurrence of the summer solstice, we welcome the joyful season of summer. In case you didn’t know, summer is one of our favorite times of year and we’ve written a lot about it like here, here and more recently here. Another favorite of ours? Reading!  And, when you combine our favorite season and favorite activity (it’s reading, not eating, we swear!) then we’ve entered our happy zone!  

Want to join us on our fun, easy, breezy reading adventure this summer?  Then read on (pun intended!)…

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Imposter Syndrome, by Kathy Wang

American Russian recruit and COO Julia Lerner appears to be a successful woman in technology but is quietly funneling intelligence back to the motherland. Soon, this loose loophole in her company’s privacy settings is discovered by first-generation Chinese American Alice Lu creating a satirical, cat-and-mouse-chase that redefines the promise of the American Dream.

No Such Thing as An Easy Job, by Kikuko Tsumura

Burned out from a previous job and running out of money, a young woman enters an employment agency and requests a job that is close to home, requires no reading, no writing and very little thinking… something that she can put very little effort into. What transpires is a journey through five mundane and bizarre jobs that slowly change her lens of what is meaningful work.

Shallow Waters, by Anita Kopacz

Kopacz weaves a historical fantasy based on African myths and antebellum America which revolves around the heroine and Yoruba goddess Yemeaya. Yemeaya travels from Africa to the mid-1800’s America in search of a mysterious stranger, Obatala and along the way she meets historical figures, travels the Underground Railroad and crosses paths with icons on her own road to freedom.

The Other Black Girl, by Zakiya Dalila Harris

As the only Black employee at Wagner Books, twenty-six year old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is fed up with the isolation and microaggressions that hold her back. When Black and Harlem-born Hazel starts working in the cubicle next to her she is thrilled until a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to office darling and Nella is once again feeling left out. The Other Black Girl is a dynamic thriller perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened and overlooked in the workplace.  

The Guncle, by Steven Rowley

Finding himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian, GUP (Gay Uncle Patrick) quickly realizes that parenting issues aren’t solved with treats or jokes when the former sitcom star is forced to take in his niece and nephew after a family tragedy. Patrick’s eyes are opened to his new sense of responsibility and the realization that being larger than life means you are unfailingly human.  

The Soulmate Equation, by Christina Lauren

When single mom and statistician Jess is convinced to get back into the dating world by best friend Fizzy through a DNA matchmaking company GeneticAlly, her mind is blown when her test reveals a 98% match with another person: Dr. River Pena, the owner of GeneticAlly. Of course, they hate each other! What could go wrong… or right?

We Want What We Want, by Alix Ohlin

A surprising and darkly funny collection of short stories full of imperfect families burned potential, and inescapable old flames testing the boundaries of their lives.  

The Wolf and the Woodsman, by Ava Reid

The Wolf and the Woodsman is a fantasy novel inspired by Hungarian and Jewish mythology which follows the journey of Evike and gruff woodsman Gaspar on a spiritual quest. Themes of alienation, oppression, fierce politics, relationships, and romantic tension are woven throughout the novel taking the reader far away from their own reality.

We hope your summer is full of good books and tall, cool lemonades… see you in the next blog!

Deb Fries is a freelance designer and writer and worked at Julianna Rae in Graphics and Customer Service and now writes for the blog at