SUMMER READS FOR YOU
This probably isn’t the first book post you’ve read. In fact, if you’re like me, you have a Pinterest board, a list on your Notes app, and an album on your photo app about books. And why shouldn’t you? Books give life, escape, and entertainment without you mindlessly staring at a screen, but actually engaging your mind. But, have you ever actually stopped to think about what books to read in what season?
My mother and I have shared a love for reading since I read my first words (those were Ross Dress for Less, in case anyone wanted to know). Our house has always overflowed with books, tea, and any kind of torn up paper that we could use as a bookmark. In fact, I think our latest fight was about how many holds I put on Libby, the audiobook app we now “share,” and that she wanted a piece of that magic.
My family relies on books for our entertainment and activities. Books have seen us through every season of life, so shouldn’t we read them through all seasons? Is there really such a thing as a “seasonal read?” Sure, we are bombarded at Christmas time with tales of snowy getaways, and in the spring of our fair share of smutty novels, but can you really claim that one book type is ideal for only one season? I asked myself these questions as seven emails came into my inbox claiming they had the perfect “summer reads” for me.
There seems to really be no difference between a “summer read” and just a “read.” To me, summer is just the time when I get more reading done, but nothing else really changes in the books I pick up. When it comes time to pack for the beach, I find it difficult to decide which valuable books to bring. I could choose the romantic and young adult book I picked up to my chagrin, or a biography and learn about the historical figures that will always captivate me, or a skinny little non-fiction book and find the secret to improve my life in 200 pages or less. In the end, I usually bring them all, causing me to pack an extra bag, but alleviating me of any FOMO on the perfect read.
The term “beach reads” is thrown about on every website now. Online magazines are getting on the trend of recommending books that they gobbled up in three days or just heard about in passing, but a “beach read” is subjective to every person.
I remember, when I was in high school, my friend shuddered when relaying the story of an old man checking her out while he inraptured himself in Fifty Shades of Grey – a very popular, if not gutsy, choice.
Personally, I hit the easy-to-read books on the beach. Often, I’ll find myself watching people instead reading words, so I find it helpful to get lost in some quick romance where everything goes right and the plot can be summed up in two or three sentences.
While easy reads seem to be the best go-to’s in the summer, books about adventure are also often picked up. I can’t speak much to these books as I am a homebody; anytime the traveling character doesn’t write out her entire packing list down to her underwear and bras, my heartbeat quickens that she might forget something and her summer will be ruined. Perhaps the most popular choice for summer is romance. This choice is often popular because of the notion of a “summer fling.” As a teenager, I always hoped that some cute lifeguard would come up to me while I was tanning and whisk me away on an adventure of my own.
And finally, we have factual books. The people who are most interested in these are those who don’t stop working on themselves, even on vacation. These books are so full of information that the consumer will have to re-read them a number of times in order to retain a quarter of the research the author did. Often, though, these beach reads allow the reader to feel accomplished, as though they didn’t waste their day on the beach doing something as frivolous and unproductive as “tanning” or “napping” but furthering their education and taking another step to being the best version of themselves.
There are a thousand lives you can choose to read about on the beach. Thankfully, the name “beach read” itself eases any stress of choosing the wrong book, for a beach read is, at its core, a book you read on the beach.
So grab a book, let your bag overflow, and start reading.Below are some of my favorite books I’ve read so you can get a head start on curating your own beach collection.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The Selection series by Kiera Cass
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mande
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
To Hell with the Hustle by Jefferson Bethke
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
All my Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Slade House by David Mitchell
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
My “Beach Reads” for 2020
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Grown Ups by Emma Jane Unsworth
The Guest Book by Sarah Blake
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Normal People by Sally Rooney