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Must-Read Books by Female Authors: Best Beach Reads

Whether you call it the shore or the beach, sitting by the water and sand with a good book in hand is a classic summertime escape. As you head to a sunny seaside, consider bringing along one of these books to be your companion. 

The Indulgent Pick

The keywords for Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins say it all: Italy, love stories, Hollywood, hotelkeeping. It’s been recommended as a “best beach read” by Huffington Post and Refinery 29. The novel creates “a glittering world filled with unforgettable characters,” including an Italian housekeeper and his “long-lost American starlet.” Go ahead, we give you permission to indulge. 

The Advocate Pick

Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West is exactly what you’d expect from a strong female writer/comedian: a straight shot of bold, brave writing chased with bits of humor. As she reflects on her own experience as a woman in a male-dominated industry, West addresses a number of trending topics. She tackles women’s health, body image, relationships, and more. At the end of the day, she warns people to remember that women matter. “When you raise every woman to believe that we are insignificant, that we are broken, that we are sick, that the only cure is starvation and restraint and smallness; when you pit women against one another…that moves the rudder of the world.” 

The Easy-to-Read-on-A-Kindle-or-iPhone Pick

Graphic by Brian Rea

Under the Fashion & Style section of The New York Times, you’ll find my favorite little column, Modern Love. It’s a safe space where readers submit stories weekly about their experiences living and loving in a modern world. If you don’t know where to begin, I suggest starting with To Fall In Love with Anyone, Do This by Mandy Len Catron. Then, move on to her recent follow-up essay, To Stay in Love, Sign on the Dotted Line. In both pieces, Catron offers insight into her matter-of-fact approaches to finding and staying in love. She includes a peek at “Mandy and Mark’s Relationship Contract,” which she and her partner renew like an apartment lease each year. While a relationship contract sounds terribly unromantic, Catron responds, “Every relationship is contractual; we’re just making the terms more explicit. It reminds us that love isn’t something that happens to us — it’s something we’re making together.” 


What are you reading by the beach this summer? Share with us in the comments!