Few things deliver themselves as irresistibly as books to be read on a hot beach. And this summer is proving all the more fruitful, given the two iterations that succeeded it. The trouble is, too often, lighter beach reads are often carved out unforgivingly––but are you really opting for Ulysses while waves lap at your feet? More power to you if so, but we'll find ourselves enwrapped in smart, engaging pieces this summer, saving Joycean works for the nightstand.

Here are ten of the recently-released (or soon to be released) titles that we’re most excited to crack open seaside.

Notes on Heartbreak by Annie Lord (Orion)

Vogue’s dating columnist and internet heartthrob has taken her dreamy turn-of-phrase to paperback, and it’s been dubbed the must-read of the summer. It is an unflinchingly honest reminder of the simultaneous joy and pain of being in love that will resonate with anyone that has ever nursed a broken heart.

You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi (Faber & Faber)

New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist and recent Dublin Literary Award shortlistee Akwaeke Emezi reimagines the love story in a riotous yet grief-stricken novel about a young widow who stumbles into new life and romance while grieving for her past love. It is also joyously, wonderfully queer, featuring a myriad of characters who themselves are LGBTQ+.

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The Poet by Louisa Reid (Penguin)

An intoxicating novel of love, unspoken rage and fighting back... Bright, promising Emma is entangled in a toxic romance with her old professor Tom, who is idolised by his students and peers. In their small Oxford home, he manipulates and undermines her every thought and action. Soon, he will push her to the limit and she must decide: to remain quiet and submit, or to take her revenge.

A Novel Obsession by Caitlin Barasch (Dutton)

An unsettlingly meta debut novel, A Novel Obsession is a chaotic exploration of the way art blurs the line between relationships. It follows 24-year-old New Yorker named Naomi who becomes obsessed with her boyfriend’s former girlfriend. If you’ve ever stalked your ex’s social media output, this one’s for you.

Trust by Hernan Diaz (Picador)

One of the most highly-anticipated books of the summer, Trust follows and re-follows a story in different forms in a novel that unpeels like an onion, flipping the story you first hear on its head. Pulitzer Prize-finalist Diaz explores wealth, power, the dynamics of American capitalism, and the nature of truth.

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The Return of Faraz Ali by Aamina Ahmad (Riverhead)

It’s 1968 and Pakistan is in the midst of political unrest when police officer Faraz Ali is sent back to his birthplace, the red-light district of Lahore, to investigate the death of a young girl. But soon, memories and discoveries about his childhood clash with his professional duty in this engaging debut that jumps back and forth in time and will leave readers excited for whatever Ahmad has planned next.

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Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah (Bloomsbury)

Nobel Prize-winner Gurnah is back with his compelling novel Afterlives, which focuses on those enduring German rule in East Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century. It’s gorgeous and heartbreaking in its multi-generational telling of the story of three young people in East Africa whose lives are upended and intertwined by the powerful forces around them. As a disparate group of individuals are caught up in the conflagration of the First World War, Afterlives probes both the personal and political cost of rebellion.

The Amusements by Aingeala Flannery (Penguin)

Set in Tramore, County Waterford, debut author Flannery’s The Amusements centres around two families and their neighbours over three decades, brilliantly observing the psyche of small-town community. It follows local teenager Helen Grant, whose dreams centre around escaping the mundane and fleeing to art college with glamorous classmate Stella Swaine. But leaving is easier said than done. An impossibly compelling read for anyone who has grown up in a small town.

Tell Me Everything by Erika Krouse (Flatiron)

Part memoir and part true crime tale, Tell Me Everything is the story of a landmark sexual assault investigation and the private investigator who helped crack it open. In 2002, Krouse accepted a new contract as a private investigator only to soon realise she has no idea what she’s doing. Then a lawyer assigns her to investigate a sexual assault on a college campus. Krouse knows she should turn the assignment down; her own history with sexual violence makes it all too personal. But she takes the job anyway, inspired by Grayson’s conviction that he could help change things forever – and maybe she could, too.

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Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola (Headline Publishing)

Sunday Times bestselling author Bolu Babalola’s second novel centres around main character Kiki Banjo – an expert in relationship evasion. She has made it her mission to protect the women of Whitewell University from the dangers of players and heartbreak, supplying advice on her student radio show, Brown Sugar. And then Kiki meets handsome newcomer Malakai Korede, who threatens to tear apart the community of women she's fought so hard to protect. Full of delicious tension and romantic intrigue, you won’t be able to put this one down.