Looking to disappear into the hottest Oprah's book club selection or New York Times best-seller - a book that will fill your sunny, self-indulgent beach days with recycled plots and mindless page-turning?
But we've got something better - the literary equivalent of sirloin steaks and brews. Instead of reading what all the other shlubs at the beach are reading, post up like you're Sawyer on Lost. You don't see that king of cool nicknames idling days away with John Grisham thrillers or Nora Roberts romances, do you? No, sir - he's too busy pondering tough questions with the likes of Walker Percy.
Here are ten books published in the past few years that we think will not only entertain you this summer, but edify you - books of depth and wisdom, truth and beauty. I've only completed one of them and am mid-way through two - and I hope you'll join me throughout the summer in checking out the rest. (We've linked to the Amazon pages for you.)
So find that perfect spot in the shade, convert that trashy paperback into a handy-dandy cocktail stand, and be onto something!
Cory MacLauchlin - Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces
James Martin - Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life