Since I don't go to the beach unless it's to grab a meal, the concept of a beach read is completely lost on me. But I do like having a quick, light read that isn't too taxing from time to time. At a loss for a category - quick reads, easy reads, light reads - that accurately sums them up, I still call them beach reads because everyone seems to get what that means.
I like solving puzzles, so one of the first genres I reach for when I need a read like this is a cozy mystery. Some involve food, unique occupations for the main characters, housewives, small towns, DIY, etc. They remind me of first picking up Agatha Christie when I was an early teen and the fun of trying to figure out whodunnit.
This year I'm reading the Lucy Stone series by Leslie Meier. The series is set in a small town in Maine, and each book is centered around a time of the year rather than always on specific holidays. The next one I'm picking up is set in the fall (Back to School Murder), while the one I just finished was set around Halloween (Trick or Treat Murder). Lucy is a wife and mother. She's doing her best to raise her kids (and keep them out of trouble), help her husband with his business, earn some extra money for the household with part-time jobs, keep her house clean, and try to feed her family healthy meals they will actually eat while losing those last 10 pounds herself. Sounds a lot like real life right? Except Lucy keeps stumbling across dead bodies or involving herself in investigating when one turns up. You definitely have to suspend your disbelief that this small town in Maine has this many people actually killing the rest of the town, but if you can do that, it's a good pleasant ride.