You’ve read every single wedding book, magazine and The Knot article out there in preparation for your day. Now’s the perfect chance to cleanse your literary palate as you set off on your honeymoon. Whether you’re craving mystery, romance or nonfiction, these 16 new books will make your vacation even more of an escape.
1. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
With your wedding freshly behind you, reliving the stress of meeting your partner’s family and planning the affair may be the last thing you want to do. But your drama wasn’t even close to the level Rachel Chu faces in the best seller Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. When Chu goes to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family, she has no idea she’s about to enter the inner circle of the country’s most eligible bachelor. We’re talking private planes, palaces and Singapore royalty. Chu fights the scrutiny to keep the relationship alive, and the result is a glittering, hilarious satire of when new money meets old. Read it before the highly anticipated movie comes out in August.
Crazy Rich Asians, $16, Amazon.com
2. All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
By weaving together three perspectives, a social media scandal and love, Emily Giffin spins another gripping novel with All We Ever Wanted. Nina Browning seems to have all she’s ever wanted since joining the Nashville elite. Tom Volpe’s single parent life finally seems to be on track—until his daughter posts a scandalous photo on social media. How will their three lives collide?
All We Ever Wanted, $28, Amazon.com
3. Tangerine by Christine Mangan
At first, Tangerine may seem just like your trip: a summer spent with your partner in some far-off destination. But soon enough, Christine Mangan’s narrative takes a dark turn when Alice’s old friend Lucy makes an unwelcome visit in their new Moroccan home. Alice and Lucy used to be inseparable in college, but an accident changed all that. Years later, Lucy brings Alice out of her shell in Morocco, but things change all over again when Alice’s husband goes missing. Told through both of the women’s perspectives, Tangerine will tantalize you with suspense and the heat of Tangier.
Tangerine, $27, Amazon.com
4. The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
After spending months planning a wedding to celebrate your romantic relationship, diving into this novel about a different kind of love—female friendship and mentorship—will be as refreshing as a dip in the ocean. College freshman Greer Kadetsky is smitten with her boyfriend—but her life is pulled in another direction when she has the chance to meet and collaborate on a project with her feminist icon, Faith Frank. The flame of love is transformed into the flame of ambition. Both humorous and wise, Meg Wolitzer couldn’t have written a more timely read.
The Female Persuasion, $30, Amazon.com
5. Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
If you can’t choose between mystery or romance, this novel is for you. Ghosted begins as a romance—seven perfect days between Sarah and Eddie—but quickly turns into a mystery when Eddie leaves for a vacation and never contacts Sarah again. Just as in real life, Ghosted is the twisted, drive-you-crazy result when there’s silence between two people instead of the truth.
Ghosted, $28, Amazon.com
6. When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
For all those Devil Wears Prada fans, rejoice! Lauren Weisberger has finally released a sequel (we know, it felt like she was moving at a “glacial pace”). This time, the focus is on Emily Charlton (played by Emily Blunt in the movie). After leaving Runway magazine, Charlton blazes on a glamorous PR career in Los Angeles. Yet the new generation of college grads are creeping for her job, so she has to take desperate measures. This brings her to her toughest case: orchestrating the comeback of a supermodel and moving to the Connecticut suburbs. While The Devil Wears Prada parodies New York City’s magazine world, this time Weisberger’s satire sinks its teeth into suburbia. Don’t worry though: Miranda Priestly still makes an appearance.
When Life Gives You Lululemons, $27, Amazon.com
7. All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
What do you get when you mix an unsolved disappearance with a sinister prep school hazing ritual? A spine-tingling thriller that’ll keep you up all night. When Charlie Fairchild starts playing “the Game”—a wicked scavenger hunt—in order to join her school’s elite secret society, she finds herself uncovering details of her mother’s disappearance 10 years ago. Does she actually want to know the terrible truth surrounding her family, school and life? There’s no going back now.
All These Beautiful Strangers, $27, Amazon.com
8. From the Corner of the Oval: A Memoir by Beck Dorey-Stein
Dubbed as The West Wing meets The Devil Wears Prada, this memoir by former White House stenographer reveals the messy relationships that can form when Obama and the Oval Office serve as the backdrop. Beck Dory-Stein lands a job at the White House on a whim and must learn the lingo and protocols on the job. She rubs shoulders with famous politicians and makes genuine friendships as she navigates her professional and personal life. Candid and clever, Dorey-Stein is a protagonist who stumbles and gets back up, and you can’t help but cheer her on along the way.
From the Corner of the Oval: A Memoir, $30, Amazon.com
9. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
If you binged Orange Is the New Black and are ready for something darker, pick up The Mars Room (but be warned, this isn’t your typical beach read). Romy Hall has battled poverty her entire life—and when she kills her stalker, she’s handed two consecutive life sentences. Having researched prison life firsthand, Rachel Kushner captures the hustle, violence and eccentricities of incarceration with some humor, but no sugar. The setting is bleak, but the diverse personalities are completely engrossing.
The Mars Room, $27, Amazon.com
10. Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
Sometimes you simply aren’t in the mood to commit to an entire novel. If bouncing around chapters and reading a section here and there is more your vibe, Zadie Smith has a collection of essays for you. Feel Free grapples with current political and cultural events through Smith’s genius insight and beautiful phrases. She ponders questions like what really is Facebook and why do we love libraries. Your honeymoon is a great time to reflect, not only on your personal life but also the world around you, so let Smith lead you through the process.
Feel Free: Essays, $30, Amazon.com
11. The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
So you already devoured The Girl on the Train and Big Little Lies—now you’re craving another chilling mystery. Well, Aimee Molloy’s debut novel satisfies that hunger. On a night like any other, a close group of young mothers go to the park to celebrate the Fourth of July. But when one of their babies is taken from his crib, all alliances start breaking down. At the core of this psychological thriller is the pressure of modern motherhood and how little we know about each other in this age of put-on perfection. Already slated to become a movie starring Kerry Washington, you know this one’s going to be big.
The Perfect Mother, $28, Amazon.com
12. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Let’s be real: The beach demands heat, and this novel brings it in the sweetest way. Stella Lane has Asperger’s and is a math genius whose logical brain has brought her a lucrative career. Dating, though, has been less fruitful. Her solution? Hire an experienced escort to teach her the ropes. Their “professional” relationship soon grows much deeper, and Lane learns the heart isn’t always logical. From steamy scenes to loveable characters, Helen Hoang’s novel will keep you hooked till the last page.
The Kiss Quotient, $15, Amazon.com
13. Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering
College freshman Lucy Albright is obsessed with her new boyfriend, even though she knows she shouldn’t be. He has a past to bury and a new goal to keep Albright quiet. The thing is, they both have secrets to hide, and the effect of their toxic relationship extends beyond their circle. As they ride the roller coaster through college and into professional life, you won’t want it to stop.
Tell Me Lies, $26, Amazon.com
14. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
If hibernation sounds like the best thing after your wedding, curl up with this book by rising author Ottessa Moshfegh. Sometimes you feel off even though everything is going “right.” The protagonist has a new Ivy League degree, a desirable job and a luxe apartment in Manhattan. Yet she decides to take a year off to sleep and take the advice of a crazy psychiatrist. What follows is a darkly humorous, touching tale of alienation. Everyone needs their “me” time (even newlyweds), and this read will make yours even more glorious.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation, $28, Amazon.com
15. Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala
Uzodinma Iweala packs a powerful punch in his second novel that tackles cultural, racial and gender tensions. High school senior Niru seems to have it all: attentive parents and a spot at Harvard. But below the surface, Niru hides his sexuality, afraid his conservative Nigerian parents won’t tolerate it. The only person he can turn to is Meredith, but she has her own troubles and struggles to offer emotional support after Niru comes out. Raw and relevant, Speak No Evil shows us how heartbreaking and wonderful finding home can be.
Speak No Evil, $27, Amazon.com
16. Circe by Madeline Miller
Do you love Greek mythology? Check out Madeline Miller’s new novel, Circe, in which one of the Odyssey’s most overlooked characters takes her narrative back in her own hands. That’s right, there’s so much more to Circe’s story than Odysseus’s stay on her island. Banished by Zeus to the deserted island of Aeaea as a child, the goddess Circe must tame wild beasts, hone her powers and stand up for mortals without a voice. Though it takes place centuries ago, Circe’s heroic journey is as relevant as it is riveting.
Circe, $27, Amazon.com