In Defense of Beach Reads


I love to read and I love to learn and I love devouring dense non-fiction books about language and anthropology and history and psychology in my free time. But there is something to be said about a good ol’ fashioned guilty pleasure book. Just cracking the cover of a just-for-fun, literary jaunt is pure bliss. Summer is definitely my favorite season to get totally lost in stories that I know won’t be particularly edifying or enlightening–but it’s READING damnit so it’s still super good for the brain! This holdover from when Summer’s were a break from homework and English class reading lists still holds up…even though, in the working world, I now fill my Amazon wishlist based on actual wishes and not syllabi. Something about the long stretches of daylight, the road trips, the reclining on patio furniture…

To kick off this season of guilty pleasure reading I tore through “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and I’m about to wrap up “Mockingjay”. Apparently, serialized fiction that has been adapted to film is what I’m feelin’ this summer. Other go-to genres for my Summer months include: Young Adult fiction, romantic comedies set in Ireland, Historical Fiction that maaaaybe borders a bit on Erotica (sex scenes are FINE if they’re historically accurate, you guys), and true crime. What type of books go in your beach bag and carry-on items? What would you bring on a road trip across the country?


Looking for a summer-read recommendation? Here are a few of my past favorites:


Looking for Alaska by John Green

coming of age story. boarding school. first love. first loss.


The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

memoir. colorful characters. unconventional upbringing. on the road.


Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

female friendship. nineteenth century China. foot binding. Nu Shu (secret women’s writing).


Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

comedic autobiography. based on one-woman stage show. princess leia. addiction recovery.


The Paris Wife by Paula McClain

historical literary fiction. hemingway and hadley. woman behind the man. lost generation.


The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

historical polygamy. modern polygamy. POLYGAMY. NEED I SAY MORE???


I hope everyone is having a fantastic Summer so far and Happy Reading! Do you have any great reads you think are deserving of a spot on my list after I finish out this Hunger Games trilogy? I’d love some recommendations!


7 thoughts on “In Defense of Beach Reads

  1. Love the list! I’m going to have to check out a few of these; I keep promising myself I’m going to take more time to read this summer. So far, so good, but there’s a long way to go…

    You should definitely check out Jennifer McMahon. “Promise Not to Tell” and “Don’t Say a Word” are both a good blend of interesting characters and relationships, suspense, and just the right amount of creepy.

  2. Great list! I love the Glass Castle. I am reading The Husbands Secret by Australian author Liane Moriarty…it’s quite the page turner but also very funny!

  3. My CYURRENT summer book is blowing my mind…”The Circle” by Dave Eggers. I thought it would be dense and difficult to get through, but it’s an incredibly easy read that keeps you intrigued. I’m obsessed!

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