20 Highbrow Books to Read on the Beach This Summer

For even the most seasoned of book nerds, a trip to the beach can raise some difficult questions. After all, you don’t want to waste your precious vacation minutes reading something you’ll forget by the time your suntan fades, but a beach towel is also (probably) not the ideal location to tackle Ulysses. With this weekend marking the unofficial start of summer, Flavorwire has you covered with a list of twenty decidedly highbrow but still totally beach-appropriate books, all of which have come out in the months since last summer (or are about to hit shelves). Check out the list after the jump, and add your own favorite highbrow beach-reads in the comments.


Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Karen Russell

Short stories are perfect for beach reading — you read one story on the towel, take a dip. Come back to a brand new story, then back into the water. No extra scheduling required. Russell’s newest collection is extra-good for this purpose, what with its high concept, often magical stories, as playful as a day on the beach should be, if rather darker.