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A beach trip is a great way to soak up the sun and cool down on the most scorching of days, but after enough dips into the ocean and moments spent lying motionless, you might want something to keep you a bit more entertained. You could bring a frisbee, football, or something else to toss back and forth, but if you’re in more of a sitting back and relaxing mood, there’s nothing as tranquil as a good beach read.
You’re better off bringing a book with you to the beach than relying on your e-reader, tablet, phone, or other smart devices. The intense sun means that glare will make your screen tough to read, not to mention all the sand and water that could get into and damage your device. That’s why this summer’s four hottest beach reads are a solid bet for enjoying your day of shoreside relaxation – find these special summer picks below.
1. Fleishman Is in Trouble, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Taffy Brodesser-Akner is best known for her lightly mocking celebrity profiles, which have been published in leading publications such as GQ and The New York Times. It should come as no surprise, then, that the narrator of Fleishman Is in Trouble is a former GQ writer. In the book, which is Brodesser-Akner’s first novel, the 40-something New York doctor Toby Fleishman grapples with divorce and romance in the era of app-based dating, a situation complicated by his wife leaving him and his kids.
2. City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert is best known as the author of the New York Times bestseller Eat Pray Love, also well-known for its film adaptation from the top of the decade. In City of Girls, Gilbert transports readers back to the 1940s, when her novel’s protagonist moves to New York to work at a “working-class” theater. There, she rebels against societal standards and sets out to make the most possible of her life, no matter the obstacles.
3. The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead is often hailed as a master of transforming forgotten moments of American history into dramatic tales. With The Nickel Boys, Whitehead continues down this path as he looks to Jim Crow-era Florida for inspiration. There, Whitehead explores a rough friendship between two teenagers doing all they can to not just survive, but fight against, the era’s racism.
4. Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide, by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are best known as the co-hosts of the massively popular podcast My Favorite Murder. This book is their first, and it’s just as unabashed and hilarious as the podcast. Kilgariff and Hardstark spill the tea on all sorts of unheard personal stories in this book, in which they also reflect on how they became such prominent figures in true-crime culture. Unlike the podcast, the book focuses more on the authors’ journeys than on murder.
What are some of your favorite summer beach reads? Share them with us in the comments!