Summer and loving are inextricably bound – there’s even a song about it! So the theme of this season’s reading list is love. But be prepared: These aren’t all tales of wine and roses. Expect unrequited love, lost love and doomed love. Because sometimes love hurts – there’s a song about that, too. Grab your Linen Throw, a lot of sunscreen and head to the beach with a few of our favorite summer reads!
‘The Dinner Party: And Other Stories’ by Joshua Ferris
If you’re looking to live vicariously through a great love story…this ain’t it. In “The Dinner Party: And Other Stories,” Ferris depicts the messy reality of coupledom – and modern life – which isn’t always pretty. But Ferris’ dark wit (you may have read his New Yorker stories) makes this short story collection a great read if you’re craving salt and vinegar.
‘We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.’ by Samantha Irby
Samantha Irby’s hilarious essay collection, “We are Never Meeting in Real Life.,” is our official beach read pick for 2017. Irby sounds like the voice in your head as she narrates the glorious awkwardness of romance, friendship and more. By the time you finish this book and pass it on to your funniest friend, it should be splattered with sand, sunblock and the remnants of a margarita spill.
‘The Idiot’ by Elif Batuman
Next time you start reminiscing about the “good old days” of college, pick up “The Idiot,” and set yourself straight. Watching protagonist Selin navigate all of the anxieties — romantic and beyond — of her freshman year at Harvard will make you laugh, cringe and cure your nostalgia.
‘Anything Is Possible’ by Elizabeth Strout
If you loved Elizabeth Strout’s number one New York Times Bestseller, “My Name is Lucy Barton,” you will love its sort-of sequel, “Anything Is Possible,” a tale of love, loss, and family in small-town America. Nobody draws characters like Strout: with total empathy but not a dash of preciousness. Alert thy book club.
‘A Spy in the House of Love’ by Anaïs Nin
Anaïs Nin, the godmother of erotica, deserves a spot on any sexy reading list – and a spot in your beach bag, too. Born in 1903, Nin was already making readers blush when E. L. James was a mere twinkle in her father’s eye. Start with “A Spy in the House of Love,” which follows protagonist Sabina’s various forbidden love affairs through sexually repressed 1950s America.