Whether you’re actually at the beach or just lying on a beach towel atop your mattress with a fan angled towards you, the books on Flavor Pill’s 10 Decidedly Highbrow But Still Beach-Appropriate Summer Reads should certainly keep you entertained. The list includes a variety of authors and genres: ranging from Virginia Woolf to John Waters, a graphic novel to a nonfiction account of a sneaky NASA intern who tried to steal a piece of the moon (why don’t One Story interns have access to such items?). Be it a beach chair, hammock, or a seat on the subway, you can maintain a balance of sophistication and class alongside some well-deserved indulgence with these reads.
Here at One Story, I asked my fellow interns and managing editor Tanya Rey to share what’s on their summer reading lists:
Eva Jablow, Intern: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri: I read Interpreter of Maladies three times in high school and it’s about time I see what else Lahiri can do. Also, I’m secretly hoping she sees this and decides that she will, in fact, speak at my Commencement (at Connecticut College) next spring. (Please, Jhumpa!)
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger: Her first novel The Time Traveler’s Wife got me out of a serious book slump a few years ago, so this is my act of gratitude and excited anticipation.
Abby Ryder-Huth, Intern: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Gabriel Garcia Marquez is always one of my favorite summertime authors—his writing just feels so lush and verdant. Pretty much anything he’s written goes well with hot, languid afternoons. But Love in the Time of Cholera feels especially fitting with its all-around theme of heat. Read it with a glass of something cold and sweet, preferably with a hibiscus flower in your hair.
Tanya Rey, Managing Editor: White Woman on a Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey: I just got back from Trinidad and picked this book up while I was there. I like reading novels set in the places I travel to, and this one came highly recommended. It’s about a British couple living in Trinidad in the 1950s, amid racial tensions and the beginnings of the Black Power movement. From what I understand this is one of the most defining times in the country’s history. Plus, I think we’d all agree that any book set on an island is the definition of “beach read.”
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy: I’ll admit it, I’m pretty much a Cormac McCarthy virgin. This brings me great shame. I figure there’s no better time than the summer to read a suspenseful, Western love story.
Rose Heithoff, Intern (Me): The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker: Just some casual trauma reading to prepare for my senior thesis on the (possible) topic of World War I and post-traumatic stress disorder in postmodern literature.
Bossypants by Tina Fey: When I find myself having graphic dreams of head wounds and trenches, I switch over immediately.
So whether you take up Flavor Pill’s suggestions (and!) or follow in a few of One Story staff’s reading traces, you should have plenty of fun and literary language to fill you up for the summer. This is only after you’ve devoured your latest issue of One Story, of course. Sunscreen advised for all reading locations.