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7 books to pack in your beach bag this summer

A summer reading list for the casual reader
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Posted at 10:11 AM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 10:11:24-04

Summer is here and it's the perfect time to read some of the year's hottest books. This list contains something for everyone, whether reading on the beach or at home during a long weekend. 

"The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy returned to the literary scene this month with “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness,” her first novel in 20 years. Her first and only other novel, “The God of Small Things,” won the Man Booker Prize in 1997, and for good reason.

For those who have yet to read Roy’s literary debut and tour-de-force, now is a good time to pick it up and start reading. The book starts with the death of a young girl. Roy masterfully reveals the events leading up to her death by taking readers on a journey through time. She focuses on a family trying to make their way through post-colonial India and the consequences of the caste system.

"Stardust" by Neil Gaiman

A star falls from the sky in the form of a beautiful woman. Her arrival sparks a race to possess her magic. Withering witches, power-hungry princes and a boy in love all search for the star. Tristran Thorn finds her first. As he rushes to bring her to the woman he lives in order to win her affection, others attempt to intervene. The chase leads Tristran and Yvaine, the star, on a dangerous adventure. Secrets of the past and of the heart become known in this enchanting tale.

"The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas

Starr Carter's best friend is shot and killed by a police officer. As his death becomes a national headline leading to protests and rage-filled debate, Starr must decide whether she should reveal what really happened that night at the risk of endangering herself and her community. "The Hate U Give" is relevant as the U.S. continues to navigate the meaning and cause of these incidents.

"Astrophysics for People in a Hurry" by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Most people are too busy to explore the endless questions about the universe. Lucky for readers, Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the cosmos in a fun way that is easy to digest alongside their breakfast. "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry" will have readers well versed in black holes, quantum mechanics and the search for life on other planets.

"Words in Deep Blue" by Cath Crowley

This young adult novel is perfect for all ages. Rachel is mourning the death of her brother Cal when she decides to move back to her hometown. There, she will be forced to confront her childhood friend, Henry, who never responded to the love letter she left him before she moved. 

As Rachel tries to understand how to live after the loss of her brother, Henry struggles to get over his ex-girlfriend. All the while, his parents fight about selling the beloved bookstore where Rachel, Henry and their siblings grew up exploring endless pages and margin notes. “Words in Deep Blue” is a novel about grief, love, literature, the ocean and growing up that will engage your mind and heart.

"Girl in Snow" by Danya Kukafka - Release date: Aug. 1

A high schooler is found murdered in her suburban Colorado town. Her death forces three people to confront their own darkness, as the truth behind her killing bubbles to the surface. "Girl in Snow" is a thriller that will have readers questioning where love ends and obsession begins.

"Autumn" by Karl Ove Knausgaard - Release date: Aug. 22

Karl Ove Knausgaard is a Norwegian author whose masterful prose has critics calling him the Marcel Proust of the 21st century. His newest book, “Autumn,” will be released on Aug. 22. The collection is the first in a new quartet based on the four seasons.

Meditations on autumn may seem an odd choice for summer, but by the time of its release, many will be tired of the heat, and dreaming of cooler days. Knausgaard starts the collection of letters by writing to his unborn daughter. He writes to her each day about the natural world and the beauty she can expect to experience.