We might live in an era of Peak TV, but last we checked it’s hard to plug in a television at the beach. Instead, this is the time to luxuriate with literature. Whether it’s buzzy nonfiction that makes you the center of conversation at parties or a frothy romp that’s bound to end up on-screen soon enough, there’s a ton out there to choose from. We’ve saved you from scanning the aisles and the overwhelming abyss of Amazon and shared our summer selects. Roll out your towel, open up your book, and prepare to be transported.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Soundtrack your summer with a little sex, drugs, and rock n roll. A hedonistic history of the fictional biggest rock band of the ‘70s, this book is as frothy as the ocean. Even if you are living clean, it’s fun to indulge in a little dirt.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Wade into the waters of hype with the latest from Sally Rooney. We know you are in it for the prose and not the highly Instagrammable covers, but the young author’s latest tome would look especially lovely on instagram-ready stripes.
On Earth We Were Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
This lyrical exploration of family and the life of an immigrant is being hailed as one of the most moving books of the year, so make sure you’ve packed the necessities. We have a feeling you won’t move from your beach towel once you start.
How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
You’ll finally want to unplug with this critique of attention economy. Learn where a logged-off-life can take you if you just take a minute to not check your phone.
Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell
Because sometimes short stories are the perfect match for long days. Because one story is a dryly hilarious tale of a young boy that falls in love with a mysterious bog woman. Because another is about farm-raising tornados. Because Karen Russell is the best.
Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett
A darkly funny taxidermy novel? Yes, it does exist. Follow a woman forced to takeover her slightly unusual family business. Set in the wilds of Florida, even If you can’t make it out of town this is sure to take you on a trip.
The Overstory by Richard Powers
More backyard than beach? Head to the park, forest, or just embrace your inner indoors kid with this Pulitzer Prize-winning ode to the trees and the toll humans have on the environment.