Depending on how you look at it the summer of 2021 is either half over or two-thirds over. Either way, beach days or poolside days are certainly happening, if not right now, then in your very near future. And if you’re not a dad who wants to jump in and get wet constantly, you might want to simply chill out with a good book. Beach reads have been a thing since perhaps before the time of the printing press, but figuring what you want to read while you’re trying to relax outside can oddly be tricky. When it comes to reading recommendations, a lot of book lists can (sometimes) feel like homework you didn’t really know you had.
So, let’s throw that idea away for a second and just focus on some fun, engaging summer books that you’re actually going to like. Here are a few titles Fatherly has been digging this summer, regardless if they’ve made it onto other book lists, or not. From thrillers to non-fiction, to a novel that reads like an extended deleted scene for a movie, here’s what to throw in your beach bag for the rest of the summer.
You may not feel like catching waves, but you can certainly read about the history of surfing. This fantastic new book highlights what many surf history books have overlooked: women basically made this sport what it is.
The fantastic journalists behind the 2020 James Bond oral history book, Ed Gross and Mark A. Altman, have now applied their expertise to Star Wars. If you think you know everything about the making of the Star Wars saga, think again. This book gets down and dirty in the Tatooine mud. Riveting and revealing!
This isn't a new book, it was first published in 2017. But, it is the basis for Martin Scorsese's next movie, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. In any case, the book, which explores a string of murders of the Osage people in turn-of-the-century Oklahoma, is well worth reading.
Throw a coin to your Witcher! The hit Netflix show isn't going away anytime soon, and there's now a spin-off series with Michelle Yeoh on the way. Here's where it all started. These fantasy novels are immersive and fast paced. Blood of Elves is the first book, but you'll probably be hooked after this.
This is a book about people stealing each other's ideas for great books. If that sounds a little bit meta, it is. But it's also thrilling. If you like thinking about thinking, but also a plot-driven book, well, The Plot is just tops.
James Patterson books read better by a beach or pool. And this new one, co-written by some dude named BIll Clinton is genuinely scary. If you're a parent, the fear will speak specifically to you, but you also won't be able to put it down.
Author Victor Lavalle can do it all. But if you've somehow missed out on his gripping quasi-horror novels like The Devil In Silver or The Ballad of Black Tom, his latest comic book series is a good place to start. This comic series is all about a young girl's journey across a future dystopian America. But, it's also very fun!
The next big Apple TV+ series will be the sci-fi epic Foundation. If you want a jump on why that series will be awesome, check out the first Asimov book in the sprawling series.
What you know about the history of Black music on Broadway? Not enough! This biography of multiple musicians and performers isn't just informative, it is action-packed and deeply moving.
Can't commit to a full novel? These short stories are scary as hell and best of all, you can finish each one while you're actually sitting on the beach. If the summer is a little too sunny, this book is a great way to get your moodiness on.
This book, deemed by many to be the thriller of the summer, is the definition of a page turner. If you're a parent, it will scare the hell out of you. But, there's a degree of authenticity to this airplane horror, as the author used to be a flight attendant. Meaning? The worst-case scenarios here are things people on planes, apparently, think about.
We have to recommend this one simply because of the way it looks. Quentin Tarantino has adapted his hit 2019 alternate history movie into a trashy looking grocery store novel straight from the 1960s. The book is basically everything Tarantino didn't manage to stuff into the movie. A novelization written by the person who wrote the movie is rare and this book is so much fun.