I love the beach, pools; anywhere hot and outdoors, really. There’s nothing more ideal to me than lying out under the shade of a large cabana with a great book and a tropical breeze. But to me, beach reads need to contain the perfect amount of substance and entertainment. I want to read books that will stimulate my mind while still managing to whisk me away into an alternate existence. So here are some books that I think you might enjoy while lounging anywhere hot and tropical.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: This novel really was a game changer. From it a whole series of “Girl” thrillers were born including: Girl on the Train, The Good Girl, and I’m sure many others. This book not only provides cultural commentary, it’s also the ultimate who-done-it page turner.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff: This book to me has such a beachy vibe, maybe it’s because there are so many references to water in it. Barack Obama called it his “favourite of 2015.” If it’s good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for me. The novel explores the secrets that are kept in a marriage and how you can at once know someone so intimately yet not at all.
Memories of my Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: This novella does contain a few racy scenes (and some rather questionable ones to boot) but it is an interesting and beautifully written exploration of age, life, and love and a great length for a day at the beach.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier: This classic gothic romance has just the right amount of creepiness and mystery to make it good. It will have you guessing till the very end.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter: This a story of unrequited love, Hollywood starlets, and Italian innkeepers. It’s one of those novels that spans 50 years and jumps from past and present effortlessly.
The Clasp by Sloane Crossley: Inspired by Guy De Maupassant’s short story “The Necklace.” A fun read that will take you from New York City to Paris all the while entangling you in a complicated love triangle.
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls: A beautifully written memoir about a terrible childhood and one woman’s resilience.
Collected Stories by Lorrie Moore: Moore is an incredible short story writer. I especially loved “How to be an other woman,” it was so clever and totally different than any other short story I’ve encountered. Her characters are eccentric but familiar and her observations are spot on.
The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri: Of course we have to include a Pulitzer. But don’t let that put you off: Lahiri’s writing engages your senses and really pulls at your heartstrings. You’ll feel for her characters and get a glimpse into a different culture along the way.