Whether we’re heading for Waikiki or Witty’s Lagoon there are 3 things we won’t leave home without: sunscreen, more sunscreen, and a good book. Picking a decent beach read is hard to do. It has to be captivating enough to keep the pages turning, but not so challenging that it makes your beach day feel like work. Because we don’t mind doing the heavy lifting, we’ve taken the liberty of picking 5 top-notch beach books for your reading pleasure.
1. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1934 novel Tender Is the Night is set on the French Riviera during the roaring 1920’s, the perfect scenery for a summer beach read. Beautifully written, the dramatic romance is played out by a myriad of interesting characters including a young actress and an older, married psychiatrist.
2. Another product of the Lost Generation, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises follows a motley crew of expatriates through Spain, from bull fights to bar fights and of course through all the romance in between. The hot Spanish scenes and endless adventure make it the ideal book for poolside entertainment.
3. With a title like Prodigal Summer, how can Barbara Kingsolver’s bestselling book not make the list? A celebration of wilderness and the many quirks and layers of the human spirit, Prodigal Summer is the story of three separate people connected through nature and history. Raw and captivating, it’s sure to keep you busy while you achieve that summer glow.
4. You’ve seen the movie again and again. There’s something endearing about pathetic John Cusack and his floppy mop of hair. Behind every great Nick Hornby movie there’s an even better Nick Hornby book. High Fidelity is simple, funny, and refreshing – the perfect recipe for a good beach book.
5. Divisadero is exciting and heartwrenching. It’s romantic and painful, dark and beautiful. It’s one of Michael Ondaatje’s best reads, and one we will return to again and again. The story traces the lives of two sisters, their heartbroken father, and the boy who made his way into their family through love and tragedy. Read this tear-jerker behind sunglasses.