T he term "beach read" is misleading: You probably don't read the whole book at the beach. Whether it's the latest pulpy thriller, a gripping non-fiction yarn, or a juicy celebrity memoir, there's no reason to limit your reading time to the part of your day when you're baking in the sun. If a book is any good, you'll find yourself racing to finish it in the car, at the restaurant, or back at home when you're still finding sand in weird places. Good books devour your attention.
To help you discover those rare attention-eating titles for your summer reading list, we've gone ahead and picked 15 of the best recent books that will actually do more than weigh down your tote bag. They'll make you laugh out loud, gasp in terror, and think deep thoughts -- at least until you finally decide to go in the water. That is, if you can tear yourself away.