Long, salty days spent lazing in the sun at the beach require proper reading material. Beach lit has long been an easy genre that populates the front windows of bookshops during the summertime, promising fun-to-read tales of lust, romance, friendship, and unbelievable drama. In short, “beach reads” have become the blockbuster rom-coms of the literary world. They are the candy bars of the bookstore.
However, we like to think that even lazy days can be an opportunity to soak up more than just sunshine. With an enticing and inspiring book, a relaxing day lying out on the sand can turn into an engaging afternoon of eager page-turning that results in something other than just a little momentary satisfation. Books by writers both emerging and well-regarded can offer new perspectives, knowledge, or even just an increased awareness of your self. That’s why we’re opting for some unconventional beach reads this summer. These eight books are easy to read in a single day—but you’ll get much more than you anticipated out of them. Flip through the gallery to find the books we’re tossing in our beach tote.