Spring break is here, and, let's face it, we could all use some sun. While we're soaking up the rays, those of us bookworms here at InStyle plan on cracking open some enticing beach reads, too. If you need a last-minute recommendation, you're in luck: We solicited our editors for their choice picks. From Elizabeth Strout's latest novel to Paul Kalanithi's heartbreaking memoir, here are the titles we can't wait to dig into.
1. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
"I just started My Name Is Lucy Barton and can barely put it down. It's so beautifully written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge). It centers around a woman named Lucy, who is a writer, mother, wife, and daughter. An extended hospital stay has her thoughtfully examining many significant relationships in her life, but most importantly, taking a closer look at her estranged mom who turns up for a visit. Are our childhood memories truthful? This book is about memories and love. It sounds sappy, but I promise it's not!"
—Angela Matusik, InStyle.com executive editor
Available at Amazon | $26 (on sale for $16)
2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
"I'll be finishing up Paul Kalanithi's memoir, When Breath Becomes Air. It's not a light read, but his account of his neurosurgery training leading up to his own diagnosis with terminal lung cancer is intense, moving, and inspiring. I cheated and read the epilogue, written by his wife, first—I was immediately hooked by how she spoke about their relationship, his illness, and how hard he worked to complete the manuscript before his death."
—Christina Shanahan, senior editor
Available at Amazon | $25 (on sale for $15)
3. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
"Forget the Wizarding World: Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) has me hooked with her contemporary mystery series. After hearing all of the praise for the novels, I idly picked up the first installment, The Cuckoo's Calling, at the airport recently, and I was not disappointed. Her descriptive storytelling and 3-D characters are as alive as ever in modern-day London, and I can't wait to dive into the second book in the series, The Silkworm. Riding high after the success of their first case together, detective Cormoran Strike and his trusty secretary, Robin, are hired to solve a missing persons case that is more than meets the eye. If it's anything like the first one, I'll be done in a flash and ready to begin the latest installment in the series, Career of Evil."
—Jennifer Davis, InStyle.com associate editor, audience engagement
Available at Amazon | $28 (on sale for $17)
4. The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
"I have Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's debut, The Nest, on my desk and plan to have it skip the line on my nightstand to 'on deck.' I read this great Vulture piece about the author and then got into the office and realized—nice!—I already had a copy waiting for me. I'm drawn to quirky-dysfunctional family fiction and this is exactly that: the story of four adult siblings reuniting to squabble over the family's joint trust fund."
—Leigh Belz Ray, features and news director
"As an angsty teen, I was fixated with Salinger's Glass family, and the Plumbs seem to be the next generation of privileged, eccentric, and profoundly troubled Manhattanites. (The eldest brother, fresh out of rehab after getting in a drunk driving accident, has definite Buddy vibes.) Plus, it has Amy Poehler's stamp of approval, which is reason enough for me."
—Claire Stern, associate editor
Available at Amazon | $27 (on sale for $16)
5. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
"The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin. It's about a single mom who's forced to grapple with deeply existential questions when her precocious 4-year-old son claims that he's lived another life. One of my well-read friends told me it's a total page-turner, and so far it has lived up to the hype."
—Amy Synnott, executive editor
Available at Amazon | $26 (on sale for $16)
6. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
"I am currently reading Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, which was a Valentine's gift from one of my best friends. It's a collection of letters sent to Strayed when she was once an anonymous advice columnist. Each response is so touching and well written, I don't want it to end."
—Priya Rao, senior fashion writer
Available at Amazon | $16 (on sale for $7)