One of the best combinations in life is that of the beach and a good book. With a background soundtrack consisting of gull cries and waves slapping the shore, it’s beyond easy to get lost within the pages of a story. While there are tons of lists about what the best books of the summer are circulating, we worked to compile a short list of five that we found to be knockouts. Check out our picks below!
The Girls by Emma Cline
Cline’s dark and addicting novel has generated a ton of buzz so far this summer. The story follows the life of Evie, a lonely girl who winds up becoming friends with members of the Manson cult. Set in the late 1960s, the novel is filled with rich and powerful detail that will place readers directly into the story. Cline spins an enticing narrative that allows the reader to reflect upon their own feelings of what it was to be a teen, and how one choice can impact so much.
Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy
Kennedy presents readers with yet another potential end of the world story, but this time told through the eyes of a young prodigy named Yuri. Yuri has been asked by NASA to assist in the prevention of total disaster, but naturally, a few bumps appear in the road. Those who have struggled to be heard by their older peers will immediately relate to Yuri, as will those who have found utter distraction in the form of a crush. Dovie comes into Yuri’s life and any impending asteroid collisions are forgotten as she reminds him what it is to be a teenager. Will he be able to handle it all?
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
Swyler’s novel made the best of 2015 list for multiple publications, and it’s not hard to understand why. Filled with magic, mystery, and circus mermaids, The Book of Speculation tells the story of Simon Watson, a young librarian searching for a solution to the mysterious curse that may be responsible for the deaths of many of his female relatives. In the hopes to save his sister, Simon, along with friend Alice, won’t stop until he has it all figured it out. Sarah Gruen all but sang the book’s praises if you need further enticement!
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Many amongst us have worked in the restaurant business at some point, and will be able to relate all too well to 22-year-old Tess, the protagonist of Danler’s latest novel. Like many dream to do, Tess moves to New York City and takes work as a backwater at a renowned restaurant. Readers follow Tess for a year and will be entertained as they watch her appetite grow, her social circle widen, and her discover what is to be a young woman attempting to navigate the world of adulthood.
Big Magic: Creative Livnig Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
For those of you seeking a bit of inspiration and the ultimate pep talk this summer, look no further than Gilbert’s Big Magic. If Gilbert’s name sounds familiar, it’s because she’s the author of the beloved Eat, Pray, Love, and she has now decided to share all her creative secrets with the rest of us. The book reads like an Oreo milkshake – delicious, but you want to savor it. Each chapter is like a conversation with an old friend. Between insights and fantastic stories, Gilbert implores her readers to all allow the creativity within them to come out, and reminds us that we are all capable of a bit of magic.
Let us know if you’ll be checking out our fave five, and leave your own beach read suggestions in the comments below!