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11 Beach Reads Every Reader Should Pack

Culture May 11, 2017 By Hugo

The time has almost come for us to escape our busy working lives and indulge in some much-needed sea and sun, and if you're lucky enough to be away for longer than a few days, there's a chance you'll be seeking a good amount of reading time by the pool.

Image Source: TerriC/Pixabay

But before all that, you actually have to organise the whole thing, so why not also order a few books in preparation for this wonderful holiday of yours? 

Here, we recommend 11 that Lifehack Lane believes will prove a welcome addition to any suitcase.

1. Looking For Alaska- John Green

Looking for Alaska, the debut novel from world famous young adult novelist John Green is perhaps his most critically acclaimed work to date. Personally, I think it is too, and while it doesn’t have the commercial gravitas, The Fault in our Stars had, Looking for Alaska is a more relatable coming of age story.

Anyway, without giving much away, LFA will have you hooked from the start as Green‘s witty dialogue and flowing narrative reminds you of how it truly felt like to be in love for the first time.

 

2. The Girl On The Train- Paula Hawkins

Promoted as the next ‘Gone Girl’, British writer Paula Hawkins debut novel would go on to sell over 20m copies and see a film adaptation starring Emily Blunt released only a year after its release. It should be no surprise then that this book is the definition of a page-turner.

Perfect for those who don't often read, the book's easy-to-read prose; that of a drunken unreliable narrator telling us how miserable her life is, somehow manages to take us on an enthralling journey that will leave you questioning why your commute to and from work isn't nearly as exciting.

 

3. The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho 

Sometimes holidays can be about self-reflection and a chance to come back to the office happier than ever, so if you still want to be in an upbeat mood when your all-inclusive holiday comes to an end, ‘The Alchemist’ could just be the answer to your prayers.

Consumed by over 65 million readers, the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho's narrative is one which offers hope to people who believe in the beauty of their dreams, and with a wonderfully written prose, you may just realise by its end that your life can be whatever you want it to be.

 

4. Life- Keith Richards

Away from fiction, Keith Richard’s autobiography is full of funny stories about girls, guitars, rock and roll and his years growing up in Dartford, England.

Even if you’re not a fan, (which we're presuming is the case; otherwise you would have likely read it by now) Richards' autobiography is surprisingly well-written which in the end makes you question why other autobiographies aren’t nearly as good.

 

5. Outliers: The Story of Success- Malcolm Gladwell

The New Yorker journalist and bestselling author hit the big time when his book about what brings people success became a worldwide bestseller. Based largely on the 10,000 rule that Gladwell came up with, (anyone can achieve success if they practice their craft for over 10,00 hours, he argues) Outliers: The Story of Success takes a sociological approach when analysing the primary determinants of inequality and interviews successful people across a broad range of industries.

Gladwell also throws a lot of statistical research into the book and attempts to back up his 10,000 theory by analysing the early practices of successful people like Bill Gates and the iconic British band, The Beatles, which could just prove an inspirational read for burned out beach bums seeking a different path.

 

6. The Bridges of Madison County- Robert James Waller

If love stories are your thing, then Robert Waller's sweet novella about an out-of-town National Geographic photographer who has an affair with a middle-aged Iowa housewife called Francesca Johnson may just be the best book you'll read on any holiday. In fact, it became an instant best-seller and would go on to sell over 50m copies worldwide.

Touching on the universal themes of tragedy and separation as well as love, Waller's classic love story can be read in less than 4 hours and therefore serves as the perfect excuse for requesting some much-needed alone time on the beach.

 

7. On The Road- Jack Kerouac

The Americans have given the world some phenomenal literature over the years, especially in the early to mid-1900s and Jack Kerouac's drug-fuelled extravaganza was no exception. 

Certainly a book we recommend for young travellers, Kerouac's straightforward but compelling prose pays homage to one's inherent need for wanderlust. Just avoid the film at all costs. 

 

8. Beautiful Ruins- Jessie Walter 

Recommended by the British author and screenwriter, Nick Hornby, Beautiful Ruins is a great romantic read that takes place in 1960s Italy and present-day Hollywood.

A social satire as well as a romance, the latter is what makes this story an instant page-turner as various love stories are recited, leading one reviewer from The Guardian to describe it as a 'sly and sophisticated beach read.'

 

9. Uganda Be Kidding Me- Chelsea Handler

You don't even have to like the brazen and often loud-mouthed talk show host Chelsea Handler to enjoy this chucklesome book, which sees one of America's most well-known TV personalities travel around the world with a plethora of funny encounters along the way.

But yes, the title is awful. And, no, we're not kidding. 

 

10. Modern Romance- Aziz Ansari

Fed up of being single? Do you long to swipe right and find The One as opposed to being sent a picture of someone's private parts? If so, let one of the world's most famous comedians tell you why you probably never will and are doomed for eternity.

Okay, maybe not doomed, but as Ansari demonstrates through his work with a prominent American sociologist, dating apps are undoubtedly changing the way we fall in love, and for the most part, he believes dating apps are having an adverse impact on our chances at finding love.

With that said, you're probably wondering why we've recommended this book as a beach read. Put simply, we agree with its core message which is that swiping right rarely spawns love, but good conversation always does. So take Ansari's advice and talk to that hottie while on holiday, We will all be dead soon anyway.

 

11. Seven Days with You- Hugo Driscoll

Described by one reviewer as a "quick but surprisingly deep read which looks sensitively at young love and terminal illness", Seven Days with You looks set to be the latest tearjerker to hit shelves these coming months.

Short and sweet and also quite funny at times, stories like these tend to attract a female audience, so if you're a guy and find yourself on the wrong side of your loved one, why not buy a copy to show her how much you care? 


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