10 Decidedly Highbrow But Still Beach-Appropriate Summer Reads

We get it. If you’re a literary snob, choosing beach reading is hard. You want something that’s going to keep you entertained and happy while you work on your tan or soak up some much-needed vitamin D, but you can’t bear to waste your time (or risk your reputation) with something trashy. We understand, and so we’ve come to the rescue with a list of books, both new and not so new, that are beach-appropriate but still highbrow enough that you can talk about them later. After all, there are only so many hours in a day, and we prefer to spend them reading fantastic prose, even if we’re in our bathing suits. Click through to see our list, and let us know your favorite highbrow beach reads in the comments!

Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize because of its excellent prose about high school dances and nerdy fat kids, this druggy stunner is a sure bet for your casual highbrow beach reading. It’s a satisfying read to say the least, kind of a gossipy, hazy version of every book you’ve ever read about prep school. It’s also fairly gigantic at 672 pages, giving you endless entertainment for sun-soaked afternoons, and maybe even an excuse to stay out a little longer, even once the sun hits the horizon.