Call me a traditionalist, but to me, there’s nothing better than hitting the pool or the beach with a book in hand. More and more people are putting down magazines and heading back to books, whether hard copy or electronic, to wind down with at during off days. And why not! A wonderful conversation starter is discussing what you’re currently reading. It also helps you to determine those plastics that have never seen a book in their lives. Here are my top picks for summer reads.
The Girls, Emma Cline
This book is perfect for those that like to read fact more than fiction but still enjoy some flow-y verbiage. The story centers around Charles Manson’s cult with the main concentration being the women of the Manson Family and the appeal to their erotic and petrifying obsession with Manson and inevitably, their crimes.
The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
If you’re like me, I prefer to read the book before I see the movie. This book is just as intense if not more than it’s film adaptation. The protagonist, who is a slightly agoraphobic introvert ,gets her kicks through living vicariously through the people she sees while riding the train. One day she sees something so disturbing, it sends her down a deep rabbit hole and you’ll be holding your breath with each page you turn.
The Southern Reach Trilogies, Jeff VanderMeer,
These books are due to hit the silver screen with Natalie Portman staring as the lead in 2018, so you have plenty of time to catch up. The first book, Annihilation, features four professional women on a journey to a place called Area X which is shrouded in mysterious disappearances, strange happenings and madness. The books together make for a wild ride that you won’t be able to put down.
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, Mona Awad
This story is so relatable on so many ways! It makes you laugh out loud at times, but the underlying purpose of the novel is to truly highlight what it’s like to feel out of your element when everyone around you is thinner and more desirable. The narrative follows a young woman on her journey through weight loss and self- acceptance in a hilarious and sometimes very raw way.
Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, Steve Alton
No beach list is complete without a shark thriller that makes you never want to set foot in the ocean again. Luckily, contrary to what my sister told me when I was a kid, Meg is a science fictional story about a deep sea diver working in the Mariana Trench, the deepest in the world, and sees a Megalodon. The prehistoric sharks were supposedly extinct so it becomes up to our protagonist to find the shark and prove it’s been lurking in the depths all along. **Shudders**
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
This book is a classic and close to my heart, as my father read it to me as a kid. Its quirky and ever enveloping story follows an every day guy that gets saved from Earth’s destruction to build an intergalactic highway by his best pal, who just happens to be an alien. Bring your towel and just remember: Don’t Panic!
The Help, Kathryn Stockett
Another book that you could, if you rather, watch instead of read, The Help is about the interracial divide, specifically focused on maids and their employers in the 1960s south. The story of each woman you meet in this wonderfully authentic tale will make your head spin with admiration to pure hatred. The Help is a book that will bring emotions out of you that will really help you appreciate your life in ways you may not have before.
Universal Harvester, John Darnielle
This is for readers that like to be a little bit freaked out. The idea of this thriller is in a small town in Iowa during the 90s, an employee of a local video store notices some of the VHS’s that were rented out are returning with someone else’s footage and what’s equally as disturbing, he knows where the unsettling images have been filmed. Suspenseful and intriguing!
This Fight is Our Fight, Elizabeth Warren
Feeling political? It’s almost impossible not to this year. But don’t fret! Our favorite, fierce Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren, is ready to light a fire in your heart and bring passion to the page with her book about how to take back the middle class. She demonstrates how we can all fight for our rights in this day and age and frankly, we need this sort of fiery inspiration.
Where The Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
One thing Millennials love more than IPAs is nostalgia. This summer, if you want something to read that’s easy, light and brings back those beautiful memories of carefree childhood Shel Silverstein’s Where The Sidewalk Ends will fit snuggly in your beach bag. Actually, you could curl up with any of his poetry books for some solo smiles or read them to your friends, siblings or children. Either way, it’s a perfect summer accessory.
Veronica "Wildchild" and her sister Alyson are the writing duo behind Wildchild Society's blogs..