If you’re searching for something to pass the time during the long summer afternoons, grab a towel and umbrella and hit the sand with these great beach reads.

“Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Forced to choose between marriage and the U.S. deportation of her Brazilian boyfriend, Elizabeth Gilbert explores the institution of marriage through the lens of a skeptic as she comes to terms with lifelong commitment. (Penguin Group, $26.95)

“The Carrie Diaries” by Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell takes readers back in time to the days before Carrie Bradshaw became the ultimate New York City icon. Set in the suburbs of Connecticut, this book explores the character’s high school years and her evolvement into womanhood. (HarperCollins Publishers, $18.99)

“Getting the Pretty Back: Friendships, Family and Finding the Perfect Lipstick” by Molly Ringwald

As the beloved “brat pack” actress Molly Ringwald embarks on her forties as a wife, mother and best friend, she reflects on her personal experiences of life, love and relationships post high school. (HarperCollins Publishers, $18.99)

“The Shadow of Your Smile” by Mary Higgins Clark

In this fictional novel, best-selling mystery author Mary Higgins Clark unveils a long-withstanding family secret that threatens to end the life of an unknowing heiress, and destroy the legacy of a highly honored Catholic nun. (Simon & Schuster, $25.99)

“Every Dog Has a Gift: True Stories of Dogs Who Bring Hope and Healing into Our Lives” by Rachel McPherson

Rachel McPherson, the founder and executive director of The Good Dog Foundation, explores the healing power of man’s best friend, as well as offers advice on different ways to interact with these animals on a daily basis. (Penguin Group, $23.95)

“Heart of the Matter” by Emily Giffin

The lives of two suburban women are brought together following a child’s tragic accident. Varying viewpoints on issues such as trust and infidelity are harmonized throughout this book as the narration ping-pongs between the two main characters. (St. Martin’s Press, $26.99)

“The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee” by Sarah Silverman

Not for the easily offended, this memoir is everything you’d expect from the politically incorrect comedienne as she recounts her struggles with hairy arms and bedwetting, as well as deeper issues, such as the death of her infant brother. (HarperCollins Publishers, $25.99)