Not to burst your bubble or anything, but the days of sitting on the beach while clutching a good book will quickly start vanishing as we get into the dog days of summer. Soon it will be cold outside, and that’s when it will be totally acceptable for you to crack open that 700-page hardcover book written by some long-dead Eastern European writer. But in the meantime, we compiled this list of the year’s greatest paperback releases so you can spend more time swimming in the ocean, and less time trying to research what’s good.
The Middlesteins, Jami Attenberg
The Middlesteins was one of the finest novels of 2012, and bookworms still can’t stop talking about Attenberg’s bestseller a year after its release.
How a Person Should Be, Sheila Heti
You didn’t read one of the most talked-about books to come out in the US last year? Well, now is your chance to grab a paperback copy of the book Lena Dunham called “an amazing metafiction-meets-nonfiction novel.”
A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers
Even though he will probably always be known for his breakout book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, A Hologram for the King is the most poignant, and possibly best book that Dave Eggers has given us yet.
Battleborn, Claire Vaye Watkins
The breakout debut collection, originally published in 2012, is a must-read for fans of short stories, and good literature in general.
The Slippage, Ben Greenman
Ben Greenman delivers yet again with this novel that could be summed up as a modern-day Richard Yates getting experimental.
Don’t Kiss Me, Lindsay Hunter
In a year filled with great short-story collections, Lindsay Hunter’s Don’t Kiss Me is a definite standout.
Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down, Rosecrans Baldwin
Even if you’ve already read Baldwin’s tales of being an American in Paris, get the paperback since the cover is way nicer looking than the hardcover.
Love Is Power, Or Something Like That, A. Igoni Barrett
Remember 2013 as the year when America was introduced to this young Nigerian author, because Barrett is a writer we can expect to see many more great things from.
Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
Jess Walter’s dazzling novel, which takes you to places like the Italian coast and Hollywood, will have you wishing the book could go on just a tiny bit longer.
The World Without You, Joshua Henkin
Henkin’s poignant novel about the Frankel family and its problems will stay with you long after you’ve read it.