HomeEditors' PicksFrom beach reads to broken hearts, The Sandpiper’s summer reading guide has it all

From beach reads to broken hearts, The Sandpiper’s summer reading guide has it all

Published June 5, 2024

BY SHAYLA DUTTA

Though today’s world is full of limitless distractions, lying in the sun with a good book remains one of the world’s greatest joys. Looking for your next read? Not sure where to begin? This guide is for you.

Educated by Tara Westover

“Educated” (2018) by Tara Westover – Memoir

Alone, the premise of this memoir is enough to make it stand out: Westover, despite being raised in an isolated rural household in which her anti-establishment father never put her into school, taught herself enough to get into college without ever having set foot in a classroom. But the premise is only a small part of the novel’s charm. Westover is, as one might imagine, breathtakingly brilliant in a manner that affords her wisdom and perspective beyond the typical human experience. Her story will leave any reader both awed and inspired.

The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett

“The Very Nice Box” (2021) by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blacket – Romance

This comedic, vaguely satiric, romance-themed novel is an excellent beach read, and yet much more. By telling the story of obsessively organized Ava, a designer for a fictional, Ikea-adjacent, hilariously large company, “The Very Nice Box” ends up taking on deeper issues such as grief and loneliness. Even still, the novel never gets too heavy and wraps up with an incredibly satisfying ending.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

“Conversations with Friends” (2017) by Sally Rooney – Contemporary Fiction

Summer isn’t always sunshines and smiles, and neither are good summer books. Rooney’s novels tend to meet readers when they’re down and bring them even lower. “Conversations with Friends,” a story told from the perspective of a young woman suffering the consequences of her brilliance and emotional unavailability, is ultimately a painfully keen character study of the novel’s four leads. Linguistically, it’s an easy read. Emotionally? Not so much.

This book does contain mature themes and triggering topics.

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

“The Lincoln Highway” (2021) by Amor Towles – Literary Fiction

This novel follows the story of good-natured Emmett Watson caring for his young brother and reckless friends on an impromptu road trip. Though realistic fiction, the story of their transcontinental journey is so fantastical it seems as though they exist in another world. Towles writes with a warm love for humanity expressed through his flawed yet endearing characters that leaves his readers lighter than they were at the first sentence. Even though “The Lincoln Highway” is one of Towles’ lesser-known novels, the writing is no less delicious.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

“The Library at Mount Char” (2015) by Scott Hawkins – Fantasy

The experience of reading “The Library at Mount Char” is somewhat akin to the experience of watching “Everything Everywhere All at Once” for the first time: painfully bewildering, occasionally nauseating and, as the many threads of the story come together, breathtakingly brilliant. Carolyn, the protagonist, is a student of a godlike figure known as “Father” in The Library, where she studies alongside her eleven adoptive “siblings.” In their hands, the laws of the universe are mere suggestions, and the lives of mere mortals are hilariously mundane. Despite the daunting premise, this novel far exceeds expectations as well as a human’s processing capacity. Enjoy, with caution.

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  • I will read them all!

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