updated 05/23/2013 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/23/2013 AT 5:00 PM ET
What makes a great beach read? Romance, escape, and high odds for a happy ending – plus enough suspense to keep those pages breezily turning.
Share your thoughts on the novels we’ll be losing ourselves in this Memorial Day – and let us know what you’re reading.
Her Pick: Pastors’ Wives by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
I have two little kids so my reading list is usually in the Maisy and Pinkalicious vein. But this holiday weekend I’m digging into Pastors’ Wives, a lively, funny novel set at a Southern evangelical megachurch. Even for non-religious readers (like me) it’s a fun read. Cullen had me at “What’s it like when the guy you married decides to marry God?”
Laurie Coughlan, Digital PR Manager
Her Pick: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
This novel is imaginative, funny, and touching. I love the mystery and suspense around the disappearance of 15-year-old Bee s Mom, Bernadette, and the journey to find her. The story winds in surprising ways, but at its heart it’s about the characters. I’m finding myself laughing at really sad scenes–I love when a writer can do that to me!
Kate Coyne, Assistant Managing Editor
Her Pick: If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon
True confession: This is probably the fourth time I’m reading Sheldon’s classic about a woman wronged who becomes a grifter to exact her revenge. I’ve even forced my husband (who’s allergic to anything except thrillers) to read it, and he loved it, too.
I’m Sheldon’s biggest fan, a fact I was lucky enough to tell him in person years ago. Out of his 18 novels, this one – which combines sex, scheming, prison breaks, competitive chess (trust me, it makes sense) and did I mention sex? – stands above the rest.
Check back every Thursday for another round of staff picks, and see more book reviews each week in PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands now. Plus, check out last week’s books to read with our kidsand more great book finds here.