on the beach reading books summer garance dore photos

8 years ago by

Summer is a great time for reading. There’s no intellectual pressure to read something literary like there is in the fall. In summer, the only goal is to relax and immerse yourself in another world. Today, we wanted to share a few of our favorite summer reads with you…


This summer, I’m reading… I just read The Luckiest Girl Alive, I just finished it, I found it really well written, pretty sharp and made me think about the ideals of American girls. As it gets darker it kind of loses its bite, but it’s definitely a good summer page turner.

But my all-time favorite summer read is… A long, never ending book that I can carry with me everywhere and that will remind me of that particular summer each time I look at it. I have the most vivid memories of diving into The Mists Of Avalon from Marion Zimmer bradley when I was 15 and it’s unforgettable, the tale of the quest for the Graal told through the point of view of the women. Same with 100 years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, you can never forget how this book makes you feel. Trying to think of more like this, I know there has been… Summer is great for erotic reading too, have you ever read Venus Erotica from Anais Nin? Last but not least, I always re read some Françoise Sagan. She’s wonderful.

When I don’t feel like taking a book to the beach, I… Play !!! I actually don’t read a lot at the beach, when I am at the beach I transform into a Labrador, as crazy and noisy and I just want to play with who ever’s ready. I also splash and will put sand on your sandwich, but it’s just because I’m so excited !


This summer, I’m reading… Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami. Last summer I read Dance Dance Dance and fell in love with Murakami’s writing!

But my all-time favorite summer read is… So cliché but anything by Joan Didion. I fly through her books, especially in the summer. I think I’ve read almost everything she’s written by this point… Two of my favorites are A Year of Magical Thinking and Democracy.

When I don’t feel like taking a book to the beach, I… Listen to podcasts! I’m waiting for the second season of serial but, while I’m waiting for that, I’ve been listening to This American Life, Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin and Radio Cherry Bombe!


This summer, I’m reading… Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen, which is the biggest trip and a great comment on where the digital age is talking us, and Open, the Andre Agassi autobiography — it’s an easy breezy read that’s got my inspired.

But my all-time favorite summer read is… a tough choice between Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion and Bryce Courtenay’s Jessica. No, wait — it has to be 100 Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez!!

When I don’t feel like taking a book to the beach, I… am probably zoning out to music — right now it’s Real Estate or Tallest Man On Earth on repeat. Or I’m making a long-distance call back home to a friend in Australia.


This summer, I’m reading… About to start The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan. Emily passed it on to me and it sounds fantastic.

But my all-time favorite summer read is… Tender Is the Night — anything by Fitzgerald, actually!

When I don’t feel like taking a book to the beach, I… Plug into my phone and listen to summer R&B tunes.


This summer, I’m reading… Submergence by JM Ledgard (Coffee House Press)

But my all-time favorite summer read is… The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

When I don’t feel like taking a book to the beach, I… Take a a good mixtape, play MASH, or listen to Old Time Radio Mystery Theatre podcast.


This summer, I’m reading… My Instagram comments.

But my all-time favorite summer reads are… Jane Eyre and Matilda.

When I don’t feel like taking a book to the beach, I… Take a copy of Travel + Leisure or Condé Nast Traveler


This summer, I’m reading… Always Pack a Party Dress by Amanda Brooks and How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Caroline de Maigret et al. Depending on my mood, I switch between the two. Normally in the morning I read Anne Berest’s book for a little style and attitude inspiration and Amanda Brooks’ book while laying in the park or escaping the heat at a bar in the East Village.

But my all-time favorite summer read is… The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

When I don’t feel like taking a book to the beach, I… Turn on Reggae music on my boyfriend’s portable speaker, build drip sand castles or dig around for sand crabs. (Total kid at heart!)

What’s on your summer reading list?


Add yours
  • Alicejustine July, 24 2015, 9:25 / Reply

    I’m reading Julip by Jim Harrison. He’s a great summer author! Great writing, great stories, and always makes you smile. Also love his book Dalva… for a man he creates amazing female characters.

    But I love love love The Mists of Avalon!

  • Great suggestions! I just started “The Battle Of Versailles” by Robin Givhans. It’s a wonderful exploration of the relationship between American and French fashion and what finally put American designers on the map.

  • Thanks for the suggestions! Luckiest Girl Alive is on my summer reading list. Right now, I’m re-reading The French Suite by Irène Némirovsky. The new film about the novel with Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas seems pretty amazing!

  • Elle, you hit it exactly right- I read Tender is the Night almost every summer!
    And my favorite is The Calligrapher by Edward Docx.

  • Mariateresa July, 24 2015, 10:01 / Reply

    je lis I Buddenbrooke, quel romance! I giorni dell’eternità di Ken Follet, Il ritorno del Condor, Un uomo (rilettura) di Oriana Fallaci, e beaucoups de journals!!!!Bisou!

  • Camille July, 24 2015, 10:09 / Reply

    En lecture, “Demande à la poussière” de John Fante et “Un thé bien fort et trois tasses” de Lygia Farundes Telles. En musique, Radio Elvis (ce groupe français sort enfin de l’ombre il est géniaaaal), Klô Pelgag, Elysian Fields, Marika Hackman…

  • Moi sur ma liste de lecture il y a Bonjour tristesse, à force de voir ce livre cité dans vos différents articles il a fini par attiser ma curiosité ;)
    Sinon j’adore me replonger dans Bel Ami de Maupassant !

    Voila !
    Bonne lecture,

  • Camille July, 24 2015, 10:27 / Reply

    Des polars of course ! Le dernier Vargas ou encore “l’Aliéniste” de Caleb Carr ! Un été j’ai dévoré “La vérité du l’affaire Harry Québert”, véritable page turner qui m’a captivé (comme la moitié des gens présent sur la place cet été là) ! En ce moment je lis “L’île du point Némo” de Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès … un drôle de livre avec un style très particulier mais terriblement captivant ! Ah, j’oubliais ! Une de ma dernière découverte, absolument incroyable : “Passagère du silence” Fabienne Verdier, quelle dame !

  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami!

  • I’m real Erik’ !!!! Mags mags and mags indigestion at the beach. Team Erik yeaaah !!!!

  • YEAAAHH! :)

  • My favorite book ever is “The Informationalist” by Taylor Stevens. Right now I am reading her newest just published in the series “The Mask” which might be even better than “The Informationalist.”

  • Lisa Walker July, 24 2015, 11:22 / Reply

    Just finished the Colorless Tsukuro Tazaki (lying on beautiful beaches in Kona)… insightful and magnificent! And finally reading Kraukauer’s Into Thin Air–riveting. Next– Brain On Fire, and Never Let Me Go. But I strongly suggest The Secrete Race (on the heels of the Tour de France) it will blow yer mind…

    And who doesn’t love 100 Years XO

  • Chantal July, 24 2015, 12:00 / Reply

    Merci pour toutes ces idées de lecture, je manque souvent d’inspiration et de bons conseils alors cet article était pour moi ! Les bouquins qui m’accompagnent pour mes vacances cet été au Portugal : “Adultère” de Paulo Coelho, “Snow Queen” de Michael Cunningham et un bon vieux classique mais efficace “Weep no more, my Lady” de Mary Higgins Clark. Bel été à tous!

  • I guess you girls all have no kids. Because it is almost impossible to read a book during vacations when you have kids (especially young ones). So enjoy while you can!

  • Gaëlle July, 24 2015, 4:31

    I have three young kids.

    Love reading articles about what I dream to do: reading a great summer book all by myself sipping a cup of excellent tea. And having a smoke.

    Rendez- boys dans 10 ans! ????

  • Hilarious! Me too on the 3 kids and a temporary hiatus on reading at the beach… Oh for the days of a pile of novels and a frosty pink drink by the sea. Though the sweet chaos is fun!

  • Œuvres – Truman Capot

  • Belinda July, 24 2015, 12:42 / Reply

    What a wonderful selection of books!! Most of the above I’ve read or are on my to-read list. I’ll read anything by Murakami. But this year I’m determined to read all of In Search of Lost Time (or at least finish Swan’s Way). If I can just read ten pages a day I should be able to finish it by the end of the year.

  • I am reading In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower right now and have read the first book earlier this year. I have the same feeling about Proust as Garance about 100 Year of Solitude. Reading Proust compares to leasurely drinking a glass of wine at the evening while admiring the beauty of nature and the world in general.

  • Je lis en ce moment «La part de l’autre» d’ Eric Emmanuel Schmitt, qui serait suivit de «1984». Normalement, je ne lisais pas mais je me suis mise à la lecture. J’aime beaucoup. J’apprends de nouveaux mots et en plus cela calme mon esprit et je m’imagine l’histoire dans ma tête.

  • MELISSA July, 24 2015, 12:50 / Reply

    “THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN,” by Paula Hawkins. Its structural shifts, and system of unreliable narration lift
    the story from possible dreariness that topics such as betrayal, infidelity and addiction can sometimes become mired in.
    I was engrossed right away, and found the variety of character points of view challenging but interesting to follow. The ending contains a surprise relationship flip, making this novel a well-polished gem with intricate formal twists and original narrative poetics.

  • I love summer reads — gonna have to check some of these out! I really enjoyed reading “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me” by Mindy Kaling


  • Cet été j’ai enfin fini “Dorian Gray” ! J’ai déjà une liste de classiques anglais à lire pour ma rentrée à la fac, et ce sont des livres qui me plaisent bien :) Côté mode j’ai une tonne de livres que j’ai beaucoup regardés mais jamais lus en détail (pas trop le temps …) comme Chloé, Antidote … y’a du rattrapage à faire !


  • Anything by Jo Nesbo. His newest book The Son was my beach read in Bali and I could not PUT IT DOWN.

  • Just picked up the David Bowie biography by Angela Bowie at Powell’s Bookstore. So anxious to start it. Gotta finish up Vampire Hunter D though. Japanese vampire books are where it’s at.

  • I’m reading the most predictable book ever right now (Go Set a Watchman). But I also loved Anne Enright’s The Green Road and Miriam Toew’s A Complicated Kindness this summer. I was so excited that 100 Years of Solitude and Fitzgerald were on your lists, the best summer reading.

  • Des belles lectures qui sont ” Cent ans de solitude”, “Tendre est la nuit”… et la “palme d’or” de vos listes est à “Le Maitre et Marguerite” – bravo, un chef d-œuvre et l’un de mes livres préférés de tous les temps.
    Et ma lecture de ce mois-ci est “Le Chocolat” de Joanne Harris – délicieux conte avec un univers lumineux d’une femme -sorcière-chocolatière et sa petite fille, où l’amour pour les belles choses de la vie, comme le chocolat, transforme la vie des gens.

  • I’m with Melissa! Just finished “Girl On The Train” and loved it! What a page turner. Next up is “Devil in the White City” which I’ve been wanting to read for ages.

    Now, as for the bracelet on our beach-reader wrist, who is that by?

  • You’ll love “Devil in the White City.” Really, really creepy! The World’s Fair must have been spectacular back then. Maybe meant more to me since I was born and raised in Chi-Town?

  • What a coincidence! I just started “Year of Magical Thinking” by J.Didion.

    What do you think of “My Paris Dream” by Kate Betts?


  • Sometimes those ‘literary’ books are just as relaxing as the typical beach reads, though.

    I just finished Armadale by Wilkie Collins, for example. It’s a 700-page-plus Victorian classic, but it really is a lot of fun to read. The suspense, the cliff-hangers and all that Gothic melodrama make it a real page-turner. And it’s beautiful, effortless writing too.

  • Je n’ai pas de livres “saisonniers”. Je viens de terminer “When Paris went dark” de Ronald Rosbottom et je lis en ce moment “In the shadow of the Banyan” de Vaddey Ratner.
    J’aime beaucoup Caleb Carr (the alienist), David Liss (the conspiracy of paper), Carlos Ruiz Zafon (the shadow of the wind). Entre beaucoup d’autres !

  • Read the new Vendela Vida book (love her writing) and am itching to start the surfing memoir, Barbarian Days. I didn’t love Murakami’s Colorless…; I’m beginning to think he’s just retelling the same story.

  • There was the time when i could read a book on the beach (one book per stay ) but now since i’ve had my son i only have time for a quick glimpse of some random magazine pages. .. i spend time playing and i love it, but also wait for the time when i will read books on the beach again when he grows up :))))


  • Thanks for another year of ‘Beach Reads’ Garance. I always get tons of books to read from your blog. Will be at Pawleys Island, SC for a week and have already downloaded a few for the beach (although I don’t sit and read on the beach anymore preferring a rocker or the Pawleys Island hammock on the porch).

  • “In the Gloaming”, Alice Elliott Dark is a good go-to, as is any of Lydia Davis’ work. I like stories at the beach, with wit and short chapters.

    Most of all I like to walk the shore and listen to the waves.

  • My Summer reading list is never ending: “The Quick” by Lauren Owen, “My Paris Dream” by Kate Betts, “The Italian Girl” Iris Murdoch, “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend” by Katarina Bivald, and really excited by “Villa Americana” by Liza Klaussmann. Oh, I wish there was enough time to read…

  • dottoressa July, 26 2015, 1:27 / Reply

    Oh,so many good suggestions! Great!
    I just finished Grace from G. Coddington and now am reading Goldfinch from Donna Tart and Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet from Jamie Ford
    There are so many great books I love,can’t decide and choose just one
    Garance was in Croatia? Dod she like it?
    Have a nice summer ,all of you!

  • Viva1721 July, 26 2015, 4:21 / Reply

    The English Spy by Daniel Silva. The new chapter of the art restorer and israeli spy Gabriel Allon. A powerful mix of suspence, actual politic, travelling and culture.

  • DOMINIQUE July, 26 2015, 4:34 / Reply

    Garance, si tu ne l’as pas déjà lu, tu devrais essayer, dans le genre “livres longs qui restent”, “gone with the wind” de Margaret Mitchell. Cela semble un peu cliché de dire cela, mais le livre est encore plus beau que le film.

  • Curently reading The death of bunny munro by Nick Cave,fav summer reads:Mouvable feast and Breath

  • Everything by Elena Ferrante

  • Funny but I looked at The Luckiest Girl Alive in a bookstore over on Prince Street and picked it up and considered it but ended up buying The Gold Finch as I have wanted to read this forever and it was sale. But this is next on my list for sure.

    Allie of ALLIE NYC

  • Je dévore….
    Depuis une semaine : le dernier Umberto Ecco ” numero zéro” ensuite Douglas Kennedy ” the Heat of betrayed ” ai fini hier “le dictionnaire du diable” de Ambrose Bierce et je suis maintenant dans le Terry Hayes “´I’ m pilgrim ”
    Ensuite ce sera “le chardonneret ” de Donna Tartt.

  • tropéolacée July, 29 2015, 3:53 / Reply

    I’m reading “LIFE” by Keith Richards…And it’s absolutely amazing!!

  • ainhoa July, 30 2015, 7:24 / Reply

    Je lis actuellement en poche ‘Merci pour ce moment’ de Valérie Trierweiler, pour l’instant je le trouve très intéressant. Après celui-ci je l’intention de lire un livre de Wendy Guerra. Vous me donnez envie de lire ‘Cien años de soledad’ :)
    PS: j’ai pris goût à la lecture vers la trentaine …

  • You look so gorgeous and stylish! Very nice pictures!

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