A lounge chair, a cool drink, and a great book are all ingredients for the perfect lazy summer afternoon.
Whether you’re looking to catch up on the latest bestsellers for your book of the month club, or itching to use your sunbathing time to nostalgia-binge your summer reading list from middle school, there’s something for everyone in this guide to discovering the season’s hottest summer reads.
So grab your favorite paperback or e-reader (don’t forget this Travelon Carrying Case!) and head to your beach—wherever that may be.
Admit it: Life’s a Beach (Book)
If you’d like to experience a summer vacation in the tropics, but dread all the bug repellent, then a book set in a famous beach destination might be just the armchair travel escape you’re seeking. Two entertaining, “beachin'” reads to consider are The Beach by Alex Garland, a frightening yet engrossing travel thriller set in Thailand; and South Beach by Brian Antoni, a colorful, quirky novel that takes place in Miami during the 1990s.
Discover What the Buzz is About
The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Gone Girl are just a few of the dozens of “you’ve gotta read this!” books that have surfaced over the last decade. Use this summer to finally get caught up. Rakuten’s Books With Buzz list is a great place to start—as is The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, the first installment of an exciting alien apocalypse trilogy. Or get ahead of your book of the month club and read The Last Star, the final book in the series.
Try Something Short but Sweet
Harry Potter books may be great, but they’re not the easiest to enjoy poolside. With reggae music blasting and beach balls flying, a good poolside read is one that doesn’t require your undivided attention. A collection of humorous essays, like Tina Fey’s Bossypants or Sloane Crosley’s lesser-known but equally hilarious I Was Told There’d Be Cake, is a great choice because the essays are short enough to provide ample time for swim (and nap) breaks.
Head Back to School
There’s no better way to take a mental vacation than by rereading a cherished series from your childhood. Whether you opt to revisit classics like The Chronicles of Narnia or The Giver, or even go for something more light-hearted and devour a dog-eared copy of a Nancy Drew or Judy Blume title, you can’t go wrong. The musty pages of those summer reading books from yesteryear will take you back to the days when “summer” meant three months of worry-free, giggle-filled fun.
Realize the Book is Always Better
Relish being able to say “I read that book before it was a movie,” and read one of the nearly two dozen bestsellers being made into films in 2016. While Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the latest in the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling, are this fall’s biggest book-to-movie releases, one of the most interesting Hollywood adaptations is the captivating The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.
Let your summer reading take you from sunscreen to the big screen (just don’t spoil the endings for your friends).