If there’s one thing we love about the lazy days of late summer, it's an afternoon curled up with a book.
Whether you’re on a plane, the beach, or your own backyard, there’s nothing quite like getting stuck into a story and escaping your own world for the afternoon. Looking for inspiration? We’ve curated our top five favorite page turners below.
Brown Girls, Daphne Palasi Andreades
We’ve never quite read a book like Brown Girls. The debut novel from native New Yorker Daphne Palasi Andreades weaves together the voices of multiple brown girls, all first- or second-generation immigrants, in Queens, to tell the story of a group of friends from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, all the way through death. It’s narrated using the Royal We, which means you never quite get to know the characters on an individual level, but you get a powerful idea of their essence. It’s a beautifully-written, cleverly-crafted portrait of a culture and a love letter to long-term friendship, and while the book occasionally treads into heavier territory, the refreshing narrative structure keeps things from ever feeling too dark.
The Palace Papers, Tina Brown
Iconic journalist Tina Brown led the charge as Editor at Tatler, Vanity Fair, and New Yorker in the 80s and 90s and pioneered the concept of “high-low journalism,” the idea that magazines should consist of a mix of highbrow current affairs content and frothy pop culture pieces. Her books follow the same format; informative but engaging. We loved The Diana Chronicles, her biography of Princess Diana, so it’s no surprise we tore through The Palace Papers. Released this spring, The Palace Papers is a follow-up to The Diana Chronicles, which follows the House of Windsor from the years following Diana’s death through to today. It’s a gripping and revelatory read–perfect to pack for your final beach trip of the year.
Cleopatra and Frankenstein, Coco Mellors
Destined to become a classic work of Contemporary Fiction, Coco Mellors’ book follows the marriage of Cleo, an alluring but enigmatic English artist, and Frank, an older advertising executive who can’t quite figure her out, but loves her anyway. The two married on a whim, but live for a while in domestic bliss until Frank meets Eleanor, a frumpy but whip smart copywriter who seems to be everything Cleo isn’t. As the novel unfolds, we watch both Cleo and Frank come undone in their own ways, and witness the havoc it wreaks on their relationship. It’s not the easiest read, but it’s a powerful meditation on love, relationships, marriage, and everything we sacrifice to make them work.
The Guest List, Lucy Foley
There’s nothing quite like a good whodunit to keep you off your phone and buried in a book. And, with three mysteries under her belt, Lucy Foley has proven herself a master of the format. The Guest List, her second book in the genre, is our personal favorite.
Set on a fictional island off the coast of Ireland, The Guest List opens at the wedding of magazine editor Jules and TV star Will: by all accounts, is the event of the season. Within the first few pages, you learn that things have hardly gone according to plan; someone’s been murdered. And, given the fact that the island is wholly isolated from the rest of country, it’s clear from the start that one of the guests is the murderer. The book works backwards, told in rotating perspectives by a cast of characters, all of whom have secrets, and, potentially, motives. Was it Will’s boarding school best friend, seemingly bonded to him for life by an unspeakable secret? Was it Jules’ half-sister, at a low point in her life after a devastating breakup? Or was it someone else entirely? You’ll have to read to find out…and you might want to stock up on Foley’s other two mysteries, The Paris Apartment and The Hunting Party, to have on hand when you’ve finished the book, because–trust us–you’re going to want more.
Atomic Habits, James Clear
It’s August, so we won’t blame you if you’ve got the end-of-summer blues. But if you’re looking for a book to get you into the organized and inspired back-to-school spirit, Atomic Habits has you covered. If you’ve ever struggled with setting lofty goals, only to find yourself abandoning them, reach for this book, which reassures that it’s not the goals you’re setting that are the problem, but the systems you’re using to achieve them, and provides alternatives to ensure success. It’s packed with wisdom in a way that feels digestible; and though it might not seem like a beach read, it’s interspersed with fascinating case studies that will keep you turning the pages.
Picked up any of our recommended reads? Be sure to tag us on social media using #casadesuna.