Welcome to Beach Week, a celebration of the best place on earth.
Your summer reading list might not need any new additions (speaking directly to myself and my five recently-purchased books on my bedside table), but hey... maybe it does! Especially when team Dwell has some stellar suggestions for the perfect paperbacks for your next day trip to the beach, picnic in the park, or mid-flight pick-me-up. Scroll on to find your next must-read.
William Hanley, Editor in Chief:
"I'm a terrible surfer. But I love surfing. And I'm in awe of people who are good at it. I've resolved to keep trying this season. I'll probably also return to Barbarian Days by William Finnegan, which I've read a few times since it won a Pulitzer back in 2016. At first, I dismissed it as Boomer nostalgia—and complicit in the mythology of surfing as the province of well-traveled white dudes at the exclusion of all others—but I quickly got hooked on the sweep of the book. You will probably find me with it on my beach towel somewhere in the Rockaways one of these summer Fridays while appreciating the sometimes impossibly serene skills of others."
Kate Dries, Executive Editor:
"I'm normally a fiction-only person, but I tore through Tina Brown's The Palace Papers while intermittently staring at the water over Memorial Day weekend. She is deliciously juicy and does not pull punches towards a single member of the extended British Royal family, so this is really the perfect read for gawkers of that whole mess, not unadulterated fans of it."
Jack Balderrama Morley, Managing Editor:
"This recommendation comes with the caveat that I'm not a huge beach person, but I do love a languorous summer afternoon of reading and letting the world drift by. Jonny Appleseed, a debut novel by Joshua Whitehead, is perfect for that kind of thing. With a dreamy looseness, it tells the story of a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer person's journey away from home and back again. Various houses and apartments reflect the protagonist's shifting circumstances, and a recurring theme is the question of what it means to be physically rooted in a place. The book's short, funny passages are easy to enjoy in between dips in the water or pauses to watch the fireflies start to flicker across the sky."
Megan Reynolds, Guides Editor:
"The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox is the sort of book I wish I could read for the first time over and over again—a fantasy novel written for those who don't consider themselves fantasy-lovers, but are still willing to get swept away into a plot that considers whether or not both fairies and Hell are real. (Spoiler. They are!) The best part about this book, aside from plot, pacing, and all the rest, is its sheer size. There's nothing quite like a big honking doorstopper of a book for summer's interminably long days."
Sam Daly, Shop Editor:
"I have toted this to a few pool excursions so far this spring. The incredibly short stories (I’m talking a page or two) are snackable and just as remarkable as Lahiri’s longer works."
Alex Casto, Associate Visuals Editor:
"Given our current political landscape, Barbara Kruger's work is just as relevant today as it was at the 1989 Women's March on Washington. I recently acquired a copy of this title, and look forward to immersing myself in her practice."
"Werner Herzog is one of my favorite filmmakers, so this title is definitely on my list. In this first novel, he details his friendship with Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who was isolated on an island, unaware that World War II had ended, for twenty-nine years."
"In this rather fantastic memoir about adolescence, heritage, and identity, Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast fame describes her experience growing up between Eugene, Oregon and Seoul, South Korea."
Maris Newbury, Affiliate Account Manager:
"As a mom-to-be my reading selection is mainly pregnancy/childcare focused. If you know of anyone who is expecting, these are great gifts! If you are expecting yourself—highly recommend."
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