Summer Reads That Won't Embarrass You
Literary types give their suggestions for beach books
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2012 10:00 AM CDT
The cover of 'Tasteful Nudes.'   (Amazon.com)

(Newser) – Looking for a beach read that's not just fluff? The Atlantic Wire asked authors and other literati for "books that live up to the spirit of summer while still making us think"—or, in other words, "beach reads for smart people." Here's what they came up with:

  • The Bad Guys Won!, by Jeff Pearlman: What more can you ask for from a summer read than "1986, the Mets, unlikely triumph, [and] drug use in small spaces," wonders New Yorker writer Sasha Frere-Jones.
  • Green Wheat, by Colette: It's about "young love in the South of France"—and, as author Emily Gould notes, "If I remember correctly, it is inspired by how Colette seduced her teen stepson as a 50-something. Hot!"

  • Tasteful Nudes, by Dave Hill: Editor Jason Diamond spent a day on the beach getting drunk, reading this, and laughing. "I had to go and reread certain parts again because I wanted to make sure it wasn't the sun + tequila that was making me laugh so hard," he recalls.
  • The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home, by George Howe Colt: Wall Street Journal drama critic and playwright Terry Teachout describes it thusly: "The story of a Cape Cod house and the family that spent its summers there, fishing and sailing and keeping dark, furtive secrets."
See the full article for many, many more suggestions.