Published May 30, 2023
BY ELLA GAILY and GRAYDEN MILLER
Summer is fast approaching, and so the excuse of “I’m too busy!” will no longer diminish the pain felt by your sad, dejected books. We’ll steer clear of sounding like adults urging you that novels such as Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” are the perfect beach reads (sorry, Mr. DePal) and instead guide you towards varied books that won’t be forgotten like your sunglasses in a sea of identical beach chairs.
For those who just crave the quintessential beach read, nothing is better than a book literally titled “Beach Read.” The Emily Henry romance book is riddled with sardonic commentary and banter between polar opposite neighbors as the protagonist and romance writer January Andrews claims to no longer believe in love. Mindless with a simple plot, the book is as hard to put down as it is enjoyable.
For those wanting something more substantial, pick up Madeline Miller’s “Circe,” written from the perspective of the sorceress with a minor role in Homer’s “Odyssey” as she discovers herself through encounters with mythology’s most famous characters such as Odysseus, Penelope, Scylla, the Minotaur and even the gods themselves. It’ll make you question everything from love to power dynamics as Miller’s breathtaking prose propels the story as luxuriously as the warm breezes of the island of Aiaia you’ll be
wishing to also spend a millennia on.
For deep thinkers and lovers of books with detailed characters, pick up a copy of “Beautiful World, Where Are You” by Sally Rooney. Split between the lives of two best friends in their late twenties as they navigate their challenging lives in a never-ending search for meaning and purpose, the book shares insightful and thought-provoking ideas while making you yearn for travel and vacation.
For those wanting romance with familial tropes and light mystery, “Love and Gelato” will keep you invested in protagonist Lina’s stay in Tuscany forced upon her as her mother’s dying wish, leading her to an adventure to find her birth father with the help of her mother’s diary that inevitably leads her to romance and found family. Jenna Welch Evans’ descriptions will make you long both for Italy and, like Lina, to
drown your worries in piles of gelato.
For those who crave fast-paced reads and survival stories, “The Stranger in the Lifeboat” by Mitch Albom might be the summer book for you. Following a deadly ship explosion, 10 passengers fight against the elements and any potential hope, meeting what might be God incarnate and their salvation in the midst of the open ocean and on the brink of death. The open-ended conclusion only adds to the novel’s intrigue, with the reader left to find their own answer of the identity of the mysterious figure.
For those wanting a mystery within a beach read, “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart will put you at the mercy of the main character’s struggle to remember her 15th summer on her wealthy family’s private island off the coast of Massachusetts. You’ll find yourself struggling to recall the event that led to her amnesia, headaches and the fracturing of her family. Warning, even if you happen to know the shocking twist at the end, as one of us did, you may end up reading this novel in one five-hour plane ride!