Submitted by swalzer on

Beach blanket, umbrella, towel, sun screen? Check. There’s one more thing you need to bring on your beach trip, and that’s a good book! Nothing beats relaxing by the beach (or pool) with a page-turner in hand.

Nantucket, Sea Breeze and Martha's Vineyard may sound like peaceful getaways, but does drama ever really cease, even in an idyllic setting? These stories aren’t conflict-free, but they might just leave you crying tears of joy and hugging your loved ones a bit tighter. These characters are trying to sort out their lives, and if they’re lucky, find love and happiness along the way. If that's the type of story you're craving the moment you settle into your beach chair, then check out these classic picks:

Rather read a summer romance? With the best intentions (but not always the best results), these characters are striving to find true love.

If these types of stories aren’t your cup of tea, then let’s change directions, shall we? Remember, a beach read can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you enjoy it!

If you're looking forward to a really compelling story that will draw you in and keep you riveted, blocking out the cries of seagulls and the crash of the surf, then you’re ready for a full-immersion reading experience. Try these suspenseful, mysterious tales:

Want a book that will transport you back in time? These historical novels will do the trick:

And then there are some books that fall somewhere in the category of general fiction - books that can best be described as “a really good story!”