The Four Best (and Worst) Beach Reads

We’re all about summer reading of all kinds and we’re going to be tweeting up a #summerreading storm on Thursday, 6/7. We want you to tweet the books you’re #summerreading. Yes, even the forced classics-a-thon that your teachers give you. Think about how cool you get to look reading Dickens on the beach while your sister flips through UnBeliebable: An Unofficial Biography of Justin Bieber. And, besides, some classics were made to be read at the beach. And some…weren’t. We bring to you the four best books set on the beach and–to make sure your vacation stays beachy keen–the four worst books to bring to the beach.

The Four Best Books with Beaches

The Stranger by Albert Camus
If you get lightheaded from the sand and the sun, you can take a dip in the deep end with this existentialist book about grief, apathy, and the nature of the human condition. Plus there was a rock song made about this book, so…




Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
Because we all were or will be 17 once. And because your 17-year-old self probably didn’t (won’t) lounge on a French beach with a millionaire playboy father, trying to ruin his romantic relationships when they began to compete with you for attention. And because if your 17-year-old self did lounge on a French beach trying to sabotage the romantic relationships of your millionaire playboy father, the results still couldn’t touch the teenage angst of Bonjour Tristesse.


To The Lighthouse by Virgina Woolf
Every one needs to have read some Virginia Woolf. This book is great to pull out at parties when the nature of art is being discussed. You know, at the kinds of parties where people hold glasses they never drink from and start every sentence with, “I would agree, old chum, but–”




Moby Dick by Herman Melville
You will never look at white in the same way again. What color is that cloud? That snowflake? That piano key? Don’t ask Melville. This book frequents the “books you must read before you die” list.




The Four Worst Beach Reads

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
This book is super divisive. Some hate it and some hate how much they love it and will deny to the death the life-sized cut-outs of the main trio that they have in the back room of their offices. Either way, team loathe or team love, you won’t be able to avoid the glares when you read this book in public.




Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
This book is amazing. It’s vivid and immersive and lauds the power of the written word! But you’re sweating and sandy and the sun is turning you into a human-ka-bob. Leave this hi-temp book to the great (temperature controlled) indoors.





Modelland by Tyra Banks
No one is at their most confident during swimsuit season. Don’t make it worse for yourself. Reading about preternaturally gorgeous women while chowing down on your fourth Choco Taco is not a good combination.




I Survived #2: I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis





Make sure to join us on Twitter, Thursday 6/7, for a #summerreading Twitter blitz. What are you reading this summer? Tweet it on Thursday!

Thumbnail credit: anda (: via flickr.

10 thoughts on “The Four Best (and Worst) Beach Reads

  1. I adore 451 and the vast majority of the time I read it was outside at my sister’s softball practice!

  2. “I Survived #2: I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis


    XD What a way to get you (and anyone unfortunate to peek at what you’re reading) paranoid.

  3. Agree with Twilight. anyone I see reading that book now I usually stare at until I hopefully see a disgusted reaction. Funny how I remember that five years ago I would bond with girls over our love for twilight. Then it died

    • I read it. It’s ok. Don’t love it, don’t hate it, and the vampires sparkling thing is not necessarily something to make fun of, it’s interesting.

  4. I don’t think that anyone wanted to read Modelland anyway. We all know that Tyra is probably anything but “fierce” when it comes to writing. Unless you say she’s fiercely terrible.

  5. If I see anyone reading Twilight, I glare at them until they realze I am and then go on a rant about how Taylor Lautner is not hot and spray paints his abs on and it’s not sweet to have a freakishly white BF that watches you sleep, it’s creepy, and how jumping off a cliff is NOT the way to deal with your emotions after your super-ugly, over-protective BF leaves. Oh, and how THE MAIN CHARACTER GOT KNOCKED UP BUT HER BF AND CARRIED AND BIRTHED HIS DEMON CHILD.

    Now do you see why I hate Twilight?


  6. The awkward moment when you remember you had a crush on Cedric Diggory until you found out he was in Twilight… Not that I ever did, of course.

  7. Ooooh. I have to read The Stranger this summer for next school year. This makes me more inclined to do my work. Yay! Thanks Figment!

  8. Why read on the beach anyways? I wouldn’t want to get sand on my books, plus I don’t live by a beach and when I am at a beach on vacation, I usually rather go swimming. Reading is for at home or long car rides, or before class. I hate when I damage a book.

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