Summer – a season I associate with long days on the beach, swimming under the burning gaze of the sun and sipping on cocktails.
Most importantly, it’s the season where most of us are on holiday and we all can have a chance to spend many vacation days catching up on some much needed reading.
From comic books to summer romances and fascinating works of non-fiction, we’ve got an all-inclusive list of books to choose from while you’re lounging at the side of the pool or soaking up the sun at the beach.
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Blending a combination of magic realism, summery settings and a hot-pot of melting cultures, Sarah Ockler’s The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a gorgeous retelling of The Little Mermaid featuring a protagonist who has lost the use of her voice after a boating accident.
It’s a book that explores what it means to find your voice even if you can’t speak and it’s one that intersperses the themes of friendship and familial bonds with a dose of spicy romance.
Adulthood Is a Myth (Sarah's Scribbles) by Sarah Andersen
For those who’ve had enough of 2016, cartoonist and illustrator Sarah Andersen is here to make you laugh out loud with her cheeky and hilariously apt depictions of life in general.
While not a typical beach read, this comic is great if you’re looking for relief from the everyday stress of life. It’s so relatable in that it captures the complete and utter awkwardness of navigating through this whole being-an-adult thing.
Born a Crime And Other Stories by Trevor Noah
Our list wouldn’t be complete without some non-fiction recommendations and one you should definitely be taking with you to the beach is Trevor Noah’s memoir.
The Daily Show presenter and comedian takes on the journey of his life in a collection of essays that are both hilarious and moving. From what it was like growing up during the apartheid era, to navigating the awkward period of dating through high school, this collection is a book that should be carried around with you wherever you go.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
We have been ridiculously excited about Anna Kendrick’s book since forever. Not only is the talented actress hilarious (are you following her on Twitter? No? You totally should), but she also offers a no-holds barred look at her road to fame.
This collection of essays is a testament to her wit, forthright honesty and remarkable insight into what it’s like being a reluctant adult. The book deals with topics ranging from learning to make friends to dealing with relationships, sex and personal experiences that are more relatable than you’d think.
Happiness is a Four-Letter Word by Cynthia Jele
Another local book for you to add to your summer reading list is Cynthia Jele’s Happiness is a Four Letter Word. If it sounds familiar, it’s probably because you might have come across it when it was on the big screen earlier this year.
Yes, this fabulous chick-lit, which tells the story of Nandi, Zaza, Tumi and Princess - four different women, each with their own set of romantic challenges, was quite a hit this year. While the book isn’t a recent release, it’s a perfect read if you’re looking for something light and fun with a local setting.
The Girls by Emma Cline
Set at the beginning of those hazy days of summer, The Girls is based on the story of Charles Manson and his followers, whose actions, as you may know, resulted in a series of brutal crimes that were committed in 1969.
The book is a character study of teenage vulnerability and a coming-of-age story that showcases how easy it is to fall into a crowd that may not have your best interests at heart.
You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
You might not know who this stand-up comedian and podcaster is, but you’ll fall in love with her after reading her book. With her trademark sense of humour, she delves into topics of race, gender, identity and pop culture politics in a way that’s immensely accessible and insightful.
Her narrative touches on the perpetual stereotypes about black culture and she’s unapologetically fierce, frank and upfront about bigotry, privilege and politics.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
One of our favourite romances of the year, The Hating Game takes the old and familiar hate-to-love trope and plays it out in a workplace setting.
Add two colleagues who rub each other the wrong way, force them together in a work capacity and watch as the sparks fly.
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
Creator and producer of hits like Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, Shonda Rhimes is known for engendering all manner of emotions in the fans of her shows, but what many don’t know about her is that she thinks of herself as an introvert who would rather avoid going to functions.
The Year of Yes is about her learning to say yes to opportunities, invitations and challenges that came her way – and it’s a book many of us who are scared of venturing out and trying new things, will be able to relate to.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Nicola Yoon’s first novel, Everything Everything, was a book I really enjoyed. Featuring a character who is housebound because anything outside could potentially kill her, the novel features quite a jaw-dropping plot twist.
In The Sun is Also a Star, we meet two characters whose destinies collide when they meet at the worst possible time for one of them. But love, fate and the universe has a way of conspiring to make things happen and for these two characters, their story may have just arrived at the right time.
What will you be reading this summer? Share your recs with us and tell us about the books you think we should be adding to our reading pile.