I love Alissa Nutting’s Tampa (I really do), but I can’t extend that praise to whoever is responsible for the fuzzy black cover that feels like the shorn underbelly of a Muppet, collects random bits of fuzz, and also begs the hot summer sun to just beat down if taken outside. Either this most impractical summer book cover is some hoax perpetrated by a great prankster in the publisher’s art department or somebody forgot to mention that the book was coming out in July, because Tampa is a total anti-beach read. With that in mind, I’m in no way trying to discourage you from reading it or any of the other books on this list — I just suggest you do it in the comfort of your own home.
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
Like I mentioned, without Nabokov’s classic, there would probably be no Tampa. And just like Alissa Nutting’s brilliant new novel, you probably shouldn’t bring Lolita to the beach, because nobody wants to be seen reading a book about a pedophile while kids in bathing suits frolic in the water.