My friend asked me to compile a list of beach reads that hit the middle ground between being enriching and gripping but not being too difficult to consume. We’re trying to find that sweet spot between a Rushdie or a Morrison let’s say and a Jojo Moyes (no shade but also some shade).
So here are a few… this may be a working post…who knows!
Ask Again, Yes — Mary Beth Keane
This book cured my reading slump earlier this year (not indefinitely because it’s definitely back) but I stayed up until late to finish it. Family saga, good level of detail, and very engaging. Not too taxing but the writing is considered and lovely.
The Amateur Marriage — Anne Tyler
Any Anne Tyler (and there are plenty) is a good bet. Plot and character driven with divine, sparse prose that only Tyler can deliver (we Stan). This is my favourite of hers but I’ve never read a Tyler I haven’t liked.
The Mothers — Brit Bennett
A very topical read in the current climate of Roe v Wade. I had a few issues with this but I can’t deny it’s an engaging and thought provoking book that reads like butter.
Conversations with Friends — Sally Rooney
Love her or hate her (and I can’t decide), Rooney is the thinking woman’s beach read (looooool). Nearly every novel includes a Mediterranean location and some filthy scenes — what more do you need? Honestly?
An Equal Music — Vikram Seth
Maybe this is pushing it a lil because it’s a) long and b) full of classical musical references but this book sweeps you up into a romantic cocoon and is absolutely impossible to put down. I read it in a windy November years gone by and it felt like a warm hug.
We Were the Mulvaneys — Joyce Carol Oates
Last one from me today, but this book BROKE me on a summer holiday once and I’m still picking up the pieces tbh. Long and arduous but written so perfectly and deftly that you can’t help but read on. Prepare not to talk to your holiday mate for a whole week.
Make the difference out there!