Written by Jake Romm
Summer means vacation, vacation means beaches, and beaches mean reading. Beach reading is often associated with mind-numbing page turners — those books which are found in the thriller or romance stalls at airport kiosks. While certainly fun to read and good for a relaxing afternoon on the beach, these books often leave something to be desired when it comes to intellectual stimulation.
If you’re looking for a different type of beach read, this is the list for you.
1. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
This Russian novel, finished in 1940 by Mikhail Bulgakov, is a definite sleeper pick for a great beach read. While the devil showing up to Moscow during the reign of Joseph Stalin may not seem like the funniest of plots, this book is a surprisingly light and hilarious read.
The novel is largely episodic – splitting time between descriptions of the devil and his cohorts (including the giant, trash talking, black cat Behemoth), playing practical jokes on the Moscow elite (some more sinister than others), and the more serious and challenging sections about Pontius Pilate.
2. Among The Thugs, Bill Buford
With the World Cup in full swing, it’s time to read up on your soccer. Even if you’re not interested in the history of the sport, tactics, biographies of players, or even soccer in general, Among the Thugs is still a worthy read. No book better captures the extremity of European (specifically English) soccer fandom.
Shocking, funny, engaging, and informative, Among the Thugs follows Bill Buford and his real encounters with soccer hooligans (more dangerous than they sound) throughout Europe, including the riots at the 1990 World Cup in Turin.
3. Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes
This critically acclaimed debut from ex-Marine Karl Marlantes is a gripping and powerful Vietnam War novel. The novel follows Waino Mellas and Bravo Company as they build a base on a hill code-named “Matterhorn”, only to be ordered to abandon it.
The second half of the book centers around their struggle to retake the hill from enemy hands. At times gruesome, this novel is not for the faint of heart. That being said, you will not be able to put this book down.
4. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
Everyone knows the movie, but few are familiar with the book that it was based on. Mario Puzo’s epic novel about the Corleone family is every bit as entertaining as the film. You all know the story, but the novel provides more plot-lines and much greater insight into both the major and minor characters.
5. All The Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy isn’t exactly known for writing “light reads”. His novels almost exclusively take place in bleak and hostile landscapes and his sparse punctuation makes them slightly difficult to read. Once you get acclimated to his writing style however, All The Pretty Horses is a quick and engaging western (although it is a bit dark).
It is a classic coming of age story replete with romance, knife fights, and lots of horses. The first part of a trilogy, it sets the stage for an expansive western that is equal parts beautiful and devastating.
Get Your Relaxation On!
Of course, finding the free time to go to the beach or get some reading done is fairly difficult. Everyone has their responsibilities, so let Seva Call help you thin the to-do list. We can help you take care of any outstanding home repair, car maintenance, or a variety of other needs in a matter of minutes – leaving you more time to relax and catch up on your reading.