11 Beach Reads to Keep You Entertained This Summer
It’s hot. (Okay, it’s probably rainy.) It’s lazy. It’s summer. It’s time to get stuck into a good book. The extended break between Christmas and New Year (and beyond) is the perfect time to lose yourself in a novel or work of nonfiction.
Whether you're partial to a romance story or prefer a good autobiography, this round-up of 11 books to put on your summer reading list are sure to keep you well entertained during the holiday break and take you on the ultimate literary escape.
11 Books To Add to Your Reading List This Summer
This is going to be on all of our Christmas wish lists at Bed Threads. Stanley Tucci, the man behind Instagram’s favourite martinis and negronis, has written a whole memoir dedicated to food, glorious, food. He’s such a great storyteller, Stanley Tucci, and he writes this book about eating, tasting, feasting, and merry making with such pizazz and panache. It’s such a joy, and we can’t wait to spend all summer long reading this memoir.
Hailed as one of the best debut novels of the year, compared to Sally Rooney’s Normal People only with a Sydney setting, Diana Reid’s Love & Virtue is on our summer reading wishlist. Reid has written a book about morality, friendship, class and connection, all set against the backdrop of the first year of university. There’s sex and lots of swimming too, which all summer books should have if they possibly can. A must-read.
Shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, Great Circle is just a proper Novel with a capital N. Maggie Shipstead tells a sprawling story in this epic book, spanning the decades as she charts the tale of a young explorer who is lost to the world, and many years later, the Hollywood star playing her in a film of her life. It’s a gripping book that you’ll want to sink your teeth into. Addictive reading for long, lazy weekends.
Those who enjoyed the Blade Runner films will be pleased to know that this science-fiction book was the inspiration behind them. Set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco after the world has been devastated by nuclear war, bounty hunter Rick Deckard is hired to hunt down a group of escaped androids. At its core, this novel is a story about what it means to be human and inhuman.
If you managed to miss reading this book when it was first released earlier in the year, now is the time to dive in. Set across a single day in the middle of summer at an isolated beach house in Cape Cod, The Paper Palace is about a decades-long secret, a love triangle, and a woman at the centre trying to keep her life together, even as it falls apart. Thrilling stuff, and the kind of thing you’ll want to tear through at the beach.
Nothing like a twisted, shocking murder mystery for a long day spent reading at the beach. The Talented Mr Ripley isn’t a new release, but we think it’s high time it’s enjoyed again by new audiences discovering it for the first time. The story follows Tom Ripley, a con artist who leeches himself onto Dickie Greenleaf over the course of a summer in Europe, with nasty ends for almost all involved.
It’s a perfect portrait of ‘50s-era Italy and if you love the story, you can watch the Jude Law, Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow ‘90s film afterwards – a perfect summer movie.
Ah, Oliver and Elio! The film adaptation of this movie has become a favourite, thanks to the lead performance by Timothee Chalamet, but we love this original novel too. So evocative of the Italian vista it’s attempting to capture, such a portrait of a time and a place and a feeling. This is a book about heat and listlessness and strange feelings and newness. We love it so much – we think we’ll be revisiting this one over summer.
There are echoes of Great Circle in Beautiful Ruins, which also spans decades and charts both historical events and the story of the Hollywood stars attempting to turn those events into film. There’s also elements of everything from Call Me By Your Name to The Talented Mr Ripley in Beautiful Ruins, too, which is set partially over a summer in Italy.
Basically, this is a gorgeous and lush book that celebrates life and love and the stories that we tell ourselves, and each other, over time, an ode to everything from the movies to the whole damn country of Italy. Just a phenomenal book that will fizz you up as you read it.
Perhaps one of the best summer reads of all time, and only a small little novella, so you can race through it over the course of a single afternoon. Set during a summer in the south of France, when a precocious teenager joins her womaniser father at their house by the coast, it’s got a little bit of everything you could want in a summer read: love, family drama, ritzy parties and the glittering ocean. Addictive and glamorous and oh so chic.
We know how much the Bed Threads community love the TV series. Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novels are a light-hearted Regency romp and, with more than eight titles in the franchise so far, you’ve got plenty of material to get stuck into over your summer break.
You can start at the first book if you like and get reacquainted with the Duke and Daphne, but we definitely recommend reading book two so that you can become very familiar with the story of Viscount Anthony and Kate, whom we’re going to see a lot of in Bridgerton season two very shortly. There’s nothing better for a summer holiday than a bag full of romance novels, trust us.
This bittersweet novel is a comedy about love, grief, and reconciliation. It explores the relationship between two polar opposite sisters who are inseparable until a catastrophic summer holiday leaves one of them heartbroken and alone. This ode to sisterhood is a particularly touching read for those grieving or in love.
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