Five Jewish Beach Reads for Summer

May 20, 2024Alex Graaff

When it's the first sunny day of summer and you have nowhere to rush off to and nothing pressing on your to-do list, there's something special about sitting outside with a new book in one hand and a cold drink in the other. You're ready to dive into a funny or romantic read without a care in the world. Some (including myself) might even call it paradise.

Whether you need a new vacation read or something to relax into after a long day, I've compiled a list of five new-ish Jewish beach reads to take along with you!

"Last Summer at the Golden Hotel" by Elissa Friedland 

Published in 2021, "Last Summer at the Golden Hotel" captures that late summer feeling of watching fireflies light up as the day dips into dusk.

Two families - the Goldmans and the Weingolds - have long vacationed in the Catskills, specifically at the Golden Hotel, a former vacation hotspot. When the owners attempt to sell the hotel, these friends can't help but try to save the hotel.

This book winds its way through intergenerational family drama, the stress of saving the Golden Hotel, and a nostalgia-fueled summer while managing to get in a laugh here and there.

This book is perfect for fans of "Dirty Dancing," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," or "Schitt's Creek."

"Moms Who Read Romance Novels" by Jenifer Goldin

"Moms Who Read Romance Novels" successfully tackles the complexity of female friendships. Goldin's second novel centers around Jewish writer Ellory Brayson's career implosion, which leads her back to her small hometown to try writing her next novel.

While focusing on her next chapter, Brayson finds herself in a "romantic kerfuffle" when she meets Ben. The book has a good number of Yiddish references and makes a point to mention several Jewish authors.

This book is perfect for fans of Hallmark romance movies and Emily Henry novels.

"The Goldie Standard" by Simi Monheit

A play on the "Yenta" stereotype, "The Goldie Standard" is a hilarious, deep read about Goldie Mandell's quest to set up a match for her granddaughter, Maxie Jacobsen...who's a little busy working on her Ph.D. On its surface, the 2024 novel may seem light and fun, but the novel touches on important topics such as the Holocaust, family members who have passed away, and an honest look at different generations of Jewish women.

Goldie's voice shines with hints of Yiddish and Hebrew interspersed with her English. This book would be best for those who want to walk away from a book pondering complex characters.

This book is perfect for fans of "Grace and Frankie" and "The Jewish Matchmaker."

"Sadie on a Plate" by Amanda Elliot

Sadie has one goal: break into the Seattle restaurant scene with her unique take on traditional Jewish recipes. "Sadie on a Plate" follows famous Chef Sadie's ride through reality tv while navigating her budding romance with new acquaintance Luke - whose identity is a shocking plot twist!

If you're interested in reading your way through a forbidden romance and delicious recipes, "Sadie on a Plate" is a fun spin on the classic romantic comedy genre.

This book is perfect for fans of "Top Chef" and "the Great British Bakeoff."

"What You Do to Me" by Rochelle B. Weinstein

Told through the eyes of Rolling Stones' interviewer, Cecilia James, "What You Do to Me" is a story filled with Jewish representation and 90s nostalgia. James, a young Jewish woman, is tasked with writing an article about one of the greatest love stories of all time that, in turn, inspired some of the greatest love songs of all time. Following up with recluse rock star Eddie Vee and his muse Sara Friedman, James figures out what happened between Vee and Friedman and tries to piece together a happy ending.

This book is perfect for fans of "Daisy Jones & The Six."

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