As summer unfolds along the shores of Long Island, there’s no better beach-buddy than a captivating book that takes place right where you are! Whether you’re relaxing on the north shore,  south shore, north fork, or south fork, this collection of Long Island themed novels promises to pull you into the compelling stories and unforgettable characters. Dive into one of our recommendations and discover your perfect beach read for this season!

 

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This timeless classic captures the essence of Long Island’s vibrant summer culture of the 1920s. Set against the backdrop of luxurious mansions and extravagant parties inspired by Long island’s Gold Coast, Fitzgerald explores themes of wealth, love, and the American Dream, making it a quintessential read for anyone looking for an easy summer read.

Insider’s note: 2025 marks the 100th anniversary of this iconic novel! Be sure to visit the Gold Coast mansions while you read to immerse yourself in the Gatsby Era!

 

Elizabeth of East Hampton

Elizabeth of East Hampton  by Audrey Bellezza

This fresh and whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice transports you to summer in the Hamptons, where classes clash, rumors run wild, and love has a frustrating habit of popping up where you least expect it.

Insider’s note: This book is brand new and was just published this summer!

 

Beach Road

Beach Road by James Patterson

In his bestselling novel set in East Hampton, James Patterson weaves a gripping tale where dark mysteries converge. A struggling lawyer battles against the odds to exonerate his friend from false accusations in a triple murder case that unravels dark mysteries. 

Insider’s note: Known for his twisted tales, Patterson does not stray in this story!

 

Long Island book

Long Island by Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín wrote “Brooklyn,” telling the story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant navigating life in 1950s Brooklyn. It was adapted into a successful film in 2015 starring Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen. “Long Island” is the sequel, and continues Eilis Lacey's journey in her new life on Long Island after leaving Brooklyn behind. Set against the backdrop of 1950s suburbia, Tóibín explores Eilis's struggles and triumphs as she grapples with love, identity, and the complexities of forging a future in a new land. The novel delves into the cultural contrasts between Ireland and America, offering a poignant exploration of the immigrant experience and the pursuit of happiness in a changing world.

Insider’s note: Oprah Winfrey personally selected this novel in May 2024 as her latest book club pick!

 

Sag Harbor book

Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead

This one takes place in the 1980s, and offers a unique perspective of Benji Cooper, a teenage African American boy spending his summers in the predominantly white neighborhood of Sag Harbor. Whitehead's poignant narrative beautifully captures the complexities of adolescence, racial identity, and belonging against the backdrop of beachside escapades and coming-of-age experiences, making it a compelling summer read that resonates with both nostalgia and introspection.

 

Montauk

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

Nicola Harrison transports readers to the exclusive world of 1930s Montauk, where high society retreats to the East End of Long Island for leisure and the rest of the country is still recovering from the Great Depression. Through the eyes of Beatrice Bordeaux, the novel explores the juxtaposition of opulence and hardship during the Great Depression against the glittering facade of Long Island’s historical summer luxury, and what it was like to be a wife at the time of rigid gender roles in marriage.

 

Cold Spring Harbor

Cold Spring Harbor by Richard Yates

This author, known for the acclaimed novel "Revolutionary Road," which was later adapted into a successful film featuring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, did not achieve a bestseller status during his lifetime. However, among his esteemed works, "Cold Spring Harbor," set on Long Island, stands out as one of his most highly regarded and also the last published before his death. The publisher describes the read as a “masterful, unflinching tale of two families brought together by chance, desperation, and desire.”

Insider’s note: This novel takes place before and during WWII, so if you like a story set back in the past, this one is for you.

 

  Washington's spy ring

Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose

A New York Times Bestseller, the book tells the story of the Long Island spy ring that helped win the Revolutionary War. In 1778, General George Washington needed to know where the British would strike next, so he gathered up an unlikely group of spies. The book was the basis for the AMC miniseries, Turn: Washington’s Spies.

Insider’s note: Dive right into the history as you read by visiting these spy trails in person, right on Long Island!

 

Local Girls

Local Girls by Alice Hoffman

This author’s other book, “Practical magic,” was made into a movie starring Sandra Bullock, Stockard Channing, and Nicole Kidman. In “Local Girls,” Hoffman weaves a captivating tale set in a Long Island community, and delves into the lives of the Samuelson family, whose bonds of devotion endure despite the trials of tragedy that threatens to tear them apart. 

 

The Gold Coast book

The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille

This 1990 release debuted on The New York Times Best Sellers list. DeMille paints a vivid portrait of Long Island’s North Shore, where affluent families reside in their mansions overlooking the Long Island Sound. A wealthy Wall Street lawyer, John Sutter, becomes entangled with the Stanhope family, particularly with their captivating daughter Susan. This gripping tale explores themes of wealth, power, privilege, and the complexities of relationships in one of Long Island’s most prestigious communities. 

 

All The Summers In Between

All the Summers In Between by Brooke Lea Foster

Set during Long Island’s iconic summers along the water in the Hamptons in the 60s and 70s, Foster’s novel captures the essence of Long Island's seasonal rhythms that shape families over generations. The book peers into the intertwining lives of characters navigating love, loss, and personal growth while exploring the coming-of-age experiences of two young women. 

 

On Gin Lane

On Gin Lane by Brooke Lea Foster

By the same author, “On Gin Lane” also takes place on Long Island’s East End. One young socialite begins to realize that her glamorous summer of 1950s the Hamptons isn’t everything she dreamed it would be. 

Insider’s note: If you really like historical fiction, reading about the Hamptons, novels set in the 50s, and an air of mystery, this book is for you!