Travel Photo Credit: Western Living

WL Editors’ Picks: Best Beach Reads

Poolside or beachside, we love working through a good book during summer vacation. Here are our favourite reads of the moment.

Unlikely-Event-Judy-Blume

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Blume’s first adult novel in years is based on the true story of a New Jersey town devastated by three plane crashes in the ’50s. That sounds a little heavy for a beach read, I know, but following the lives of the residents as they recover from these tragedies is surprisingly fun: think teenage girls falling in love for the first time, single moms trying to get by, and dancers having psychotic breakdowns. Stacey McLachlan, Associate Editor

 

thegirlwithallthegiftsThe Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey 

I’m off to the cabin on the Sunshine Coast, and I’ve got a half-dozen books stacked and ready to go for the week. (Been, there done that with the Kobo. It’s back to sweet, sweet paper for me.) Technically the world doesn’t need another zombie book (“hungries,” in this one), but The Girl With All The Gifts came highly recommended by a friend (and, erm, Joss Whedon), and I’m a sucker for dark, post-apocalyptic, page-turning novels when the sun is shining. The difference between this one and others before it: its well-drawn characters, full of heartbreak and longing (and that’s just the zombies, who are, naturally, children). And while I’m not there yet (this is book is for the cabin, after all), I’m promised an ending that Whedon says left him feeling as though he’d been “simultaneously offered flowers and beaten at chess.” —Anicka Quin, Editor-in-Chief

 

33artists3acts33 Artists in 3 Acts by Sarah Thornton

Given that it’s been a while since I was obligated to read anything, for me a beach read is just whatever book is next in my (ever-expanding) queue. 33 Artists in 3 Acts seems like it should be part of a Fine Art 410 syllabus but in her last book, Seven Days in the Art World, writer Sarah Thornton was great at making the increasingly crazy reality of the art world accessible and entertaining so I’m hoping for much of the same here. —Neal McLennan, Food and Travel Editor

 

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Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Even if you’re not a dedicated fan of Anthony Bourdain’s TV shows, his book Kitchen Confidential is a captivating read filled with colourful anecdotes about the drugs, drama and characters of the kitchen underworld (or underbelly as he calls it) in his early 80s career. Bourdain doesn’t hold back when describing his misadventures, and he talks to you as candidly and self-depricatingly as your best friend would. If you’re not cracking up, you’re writing down his cooking tips and advice about what not to eat at a restaurant and when. Julia Dilworth, Staff Writer

greyGrey by E.L. James

I should say something high-brow like Pride and Prejudice (my Masters is in 19th-century British Lit so Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, etc. are my total jam). But I’m going to own this one: I’ll also read low-brow romance too and revel. I just picked up that wretched 50 Shades of Grey sequel at the airport (told myself I wanted to be ‘culturally relevant’)—it was so terrible and poorly written and awful in every way (it made the first book look Pulitzer prize-winning). On my pool lounger, I flipped through most of it, but lingered on the scenes that mattered, ahem. —Amanda Ross, Contributing Editor

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