Life’s a Beach

In June 2022, Stuff by Cameron RhinehardtLeave a Comment

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“Got my toes in the water, butt in the sand, not a worry in the world, a good book in my hand…” Summer is here (aka beach trips galore!), so we tapped Raleigh’s So & So Books team for their (arguably ironic) beach recs. Happy reading!

The Lying Life of Adults 

Elena Ferrante

“If ‘beach read’ implies some sort of inattention on the part of either the author or the reader, this is a terrible recommendation because Ferrante’s characters and the dynamics between them are iconic, kinetic and nuanced. Part family saga, part bildungsroman, Lying Life follows the teenage Giovanna as she bounces between family members, friends, mentors, potential lovers; between Naples and Milan; between childhood and adulthood; between innocence and experience. … On the other hand, if ‘beach read’ implies a pageturner chock-full of drama, sex and beautiful scenery, then Lying Life fits the bill to a T.”

—Chris Tonelli, co-owner, So & So Books

A Novel Obsession

Caitlin Barasch 

“This is a beach read for writers in that it’s about a 20-something woman who’s desperate to find something interesting to write about and so decides to shake things up in her life by stalking her current boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. When she strikes up a friendship with this ex under false pretenses, she spirals into a web of lies, secrets and obsession. I kept turning pages, myself obsessed, waiting to watch it all come crashing down around her—and I’m happy to report that the crashing was quite satisfying. I said this was a beach read for writers, but it’s really a read for anybody who’s interested in identity creation, flawed people doing creepy things and lonely women making choices.” 

—Emily Cataneo, co-founder, Redbud Writing Project 


Sarah Moss 

“Aesthetically, Summerwater is in many ways the opposite of a beach read: it’s set in a series of gloomy, drizzly, eternally drenched vacation cabins in Scotland. But this novel, which alternates points of view between vacating strangers—young and old couples, children, teenagers, mothers—is a finely drawn exploration of domestic, interior spaces, and vast indifference and wonder of the natural world. (Also, one of the most interesting descriptions of going for a long run that I’ve ever read!) You’ll keep turning the pages to figure out how these lives and points of views will intersect and how the ‘subtle menace’ all around them will manifest.” 

—Arshia Simkin, co-founder, Redbud Writing Project 

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