THE BLOG

8 Beach Reads and the Beaches to Read Them On

All summer books are not created equal, and neither are the beaches we read them on.
08/06/2014 03:16pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

These books look great with a tan. Photo by Boris Ebzeev.

By Tess Falotico for Fathom | The books we read each summer are only as good as the beaches we read them on. Fathom's professional beach-reading intern Tess Falotico looked into both: What to read and, more importantly, where to read it.

THE BEACH – All summer books are not created equal, and neither are the beaches we read them on. A light, breezy book is great on one of those hungover mornings in Miami. But we like to devote a whole quiet afternoon in Montauk to devouring a heavy, emotional page-turner. Wherever your beach destination is this summer, choose your book accordingly.

2014-08-06-beach_reads_rise_and_fall_random_house_medium.jpeg

What: A Welsh bookshop-owner digs through the secrets of her mysterious past, which take her on a journey through time and place (from Europe during the Cold War to the tumultuous early 2000's in New York).

Why: To get lost along with her.

Where: A long afternoon in Montauk.

2014-08-06-beach_reads_we_are_called_to_rise_simon__schuster_medium.jpg

What: A touching story of three strangers on the brink — a woman grasping at her failing marriage, a young and struggling immigrant boy, and an injured soldier — find comfort in unexpected events.

Why: To ponder the importance of family, both biological and otherwise.

Where: At your family reunion on the Outer Banks.

2014-08-06-beach_reads_the_one_and_only_ballantine_medium.jpg

What: The queen of summer bestsellers is back with a love story set in small-town, football-obsessed Texas.

Why: Because you like your girly page-turners with a side of wry observation and wit.

Where: Between cocktails and pool parties in Miami.

2014-08-06-beach_reads_the_vacationers_riverhead_medium.jpg

What: A dysfunctional family of New Yorkers rents a villa in Mallorca and unpacks their troubles in the gorgeous Spanish beach town.

Why: For a breezy, entertaining summer read.

Where: Mallorca. Of course.

2014-08-06-beach_reads_lucky_us_random_house_medium.jpeg

What: Bloom's stunning second novel centers on two best friends road tripping from small-town Ohio to the jazz clubs of Long Island to Hollywood (and everywhere in between) in 1940s America.

Why: Because a coming-of-age story is touching regardless of its setting.

Where: Cape May, for a healthy dose of nostalgia.

2014-08-06-beach_reads_the_bees_harper_collins_medium.jpg

What: A brave lower-class worker anthophila navigates life under the tyrannical rule of Queen Bee in her home, a dystopian beehive.

Why: To see a bee convincingly evoke human emotions.

Where: Somewhere far, far away where your imagination can run wild. The Maldives, perhaps?

2014-08-06-beach_reads_the_danube_yale_medium.jpeg

What: Thorpe's personal account of his year spent travelling the Danube.

Why: For his keen observations on the ordinary and extraordinary in Eastern Europe.

Where: Amasra, Turkey, to get in the mood for Thorpe's Black Sea-to-Black Forest adventure.

2014-08-06-beach_reads_take_this_man_simon__schuster_medium.jpg

What: A heart-wrenching memoir of the PEN/Hemingway award-winner's turbulent childhood and search for his biological father.

Why: Because Skyhorse tells the story of his own life as beautifully as he writes a work of fiction.

Where: Vamizi Island, Mozambique where you can weep in peace. (It's so secluded we named it one of our top hotels for escaping the apocalypse.)

Tess Falotico is a student/Fathom intern. Follow her on Instagram (@tessfalotico). She travels for the food, but has yet to find a meal that tops her Italian grandmother's cooking.