F**k Facebook, kill your Kindle and leave your phone at home. When you hit the beach this summer we think you should give your brain a break and read a book. A paperback ideally, so you can get suntan lotion sheen and sand all over the pages. But what to read? Over the next week or so we’ll give you four lists grouped tenuously into the following themes: sea, style, trip, and music. The books won’t be new but we’re pretty sure they’ll still resonate. And if not then we hope you’ll enjoy the covers at least.
1. THE BEACH BY ALEX GARLAND
Before the Leo movie there was a book and it was a belter. English backpacker Richard goes in search of a fabled beach community paradise far removed from the backpacking hordes that blight the rest of Thailand. It’s fast-paced, funny and not afraid to cast a critical gaze on everything in its path.
2. BONJOUR TRISTESSE BY FRANCOISE SAGAN
We first read this with a gun to our heads at school but ended up loving it. Set over a long hot summer on the French Riviera, Cecile is used to having her widowed Dad’s affection all to herself, inconsequential mistresses aside. Then he meets someone he really likes. Sagan was 17 when she wrote this. When we were 17 we were listening to too much Bob Marley.
3. THE WASP FACTORY BY IAIN BANKS
The breakthrough book for Iain Banks (RIP) stars 16-year old Frank who lives not the most cheerful life with his father on the east coast of Scotland. To offsets the darkness he tortures wasps, as you do. Appreciate this may sound depressing but it isn’t, it’s actually very funny, if a little gruesome at times.