Typically we tend to think autumn and winter are the moments when we read the most… but even if we associate summer with making the most out of sunny days and late returns home, this season also has an ace up its sleeve. For a few years now, beach reads have taken social media by storm and lists of books ideal for summer are immensely popular.
Sometimes summer holidays are one of the rare moments when we can devote a bit more time to reading, and that’s what makes it so tough to pick books to read on vacation. But the fact that we do indeed read a lot during summer is evidenced by well-stocked airport bookstores or outdoor booksellers’ stalls that no respectable seaside town could do without. These book stands are sometimes a genuine lifesaver for bookworms whose rough estimates were off and whi ended up stranded without books halfway through their holidays.
We hope that this article will help you choose the best books to read on your holiday!
The anatomy of a perfect beach read – may it be gripping, moving, and inspiring
For years, chick-lit was considered to be the infantile and less interesting sister of fiction. Meanwhile, light romance that often touches on quite sensitive topics very much has its moment now, and if we are on the lookout for the perfect summer read, it’s worth giving these books a try. Beth O’Leary’s books have been immensely popular in the last years; these include “The Flatshare” (that also came to TV screens!), heartwarming “The Switch” or “The Road Trip”. Emily Henry has found her niche in the genre, systematically sparing us the dilemma regarding the books we should take on holiday. Her literary works include e.g. “People We Meet on Vacation” and simply… “Beach Read”.
If you’re into complex interpersonal relationships and the dynamics within a group of people full of powerful personalities, novels by Taylor Jenkins Reid will be the perfect choice. From “Malibu Rising”, through the intriguing “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”, up to “Daisy Jones and the Six”, Reid delivers novels written with true Hollywood splendour, brimming with round characters and a unique atmosphere. This summer, we cracked open the Polish translation of “Carrie Soto is Back”, a story of a recognised tennis player who returns to the tour. Could there be a better time to read it than during the summer Grand Slams?
We also have something for those than enjoy digging into truly grand novels; a compilation of summer reads cannot do without Ali Smith’s “Summer” (and the remaining books from the Seasonal Quartet), Brit Bennett’s “The Vanishing Half”, “The Housekeeper and the Professor” by Yōko Ogawa (while at that, we encourage Polish readers to explore other phenomenal books by the Tajfuny publishing house), Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, “The Florios of Sicily” by Stefania Auci or engrossing “Anomaly” by Hervé Le Tellier, though this might not be the best read for those who aren’t really fond of flying.
Ghost stories by a campfire; summer mystery stories and horror, thriller books perfect for your stay at a remote cabin in the woods
And what if we devour books and movies mainly to feel the thrill? If that’s your jam, fear not (pun intended!) – there’s plenty to choose from! Admirers of lengthy series will certainly feel at ease while reading through books by Scandinavian authors, such as Camilla Läckberg or Jo Nesbø. While we might not have enough days off to catch up with the complicated fates of characters created by Remigiusz Mróz, standalone books or short series by Polish authors are also worth mentioning. We’d like to recommend “Żmijowisko” by Wojciech Chmielarz, which revolves around a summer trip to the lake, or “Urwisko” by Robert Małecki, where the main plot follows the events during one particularly hot summer. The motifs of adventure and mischief are present in “Priceless” by Zbigniew Miłoszewski, a novel that will certainly come in handy after a long day of active leisure.
We cannot help but recommend “Szczelina” by Jozef Karika to Polish readers who are mainly up for terror and chills. A retelling of a series of mysterious disappearances within the Slovak mountain range of Tribeč goes far beyond a mountain hike, exploring human fears and phobias. Those who love epic doorstopper novels will likely enjoy the intricacies of “Night Film” by Marisha Pessl, a story navigating blind alleys and peculiar plot twists complemented by interactive elements such as audio recordings and documents.
It’s also a perfect moment to revisit the classics! Millions of books are published new year, but there aren’t many of us that are familiar with the literary heritage of Agatha Christie, Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, John le Carré or Joanna Chmielewska. Chances are low you’ll spend months waiting for them until they become available again – and you’re even more likely to find them in your home library.
Nostalgic journeys into the past; comfort reads and revisiting childhood reads
There’s a special place in our hearts for places we visited in our childhood, but also literature that gives us a chance to return to the simpler times. Summer is often a time when we revisit iconic young adult books that might have not aged best, but still evoke positive emotions. In Poland, most frequently mentioned sentimental summer reads include novels by Krystyna Siesicka, the iconic “Jeżycjada” series penned by Małgorzata Musierowicz, as well as Stanisław Lem’s prose. The youngest – but not only! – can also spend the summer in Kraina Deszczowców, listening to a wonderful audio drama based on “Przygody Baltazara Gąbki” [The Adventures of Baltazar Gąbka].
And what are Alingua employees reading this summer?
Though sometimes the sole thought of reading one more paragraph of text is enough to send us over the edge, the people of Alingua don’t give up so easily and decided to share the books they’re reading this (but not only!) summer. A number of people recommended books by Katarzyna Puzyńska for anyone enjoying mystery book series, though novels by Remigiusz Mróz were also highly appreciated. A collection of Yōko Ogawa’s stories entitled “Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales” is a perfect choice for readers who enjoy shorter literary forms.
André Aciman’s “Call Me by Your Name” was also mentioned a number of times, mainly due to the book’s atmosphere that perfectly conveys the balmy ambience of Italy in summer. Before setting off on a journey and during your trips, we recommend the “Podróż nieoczywista” book series by the Wielka Litera publishing house, which explores the mysteries of Zanzibar, Venice, Oslo, and many other wonderful places. There’s also something for readers who are always up for learning something new; George Zaidan’s “Ingredients: The Strange Chemistry of What We Put in Us and on Us” explores the peculiar nature of ordinary things.
And what are your go-to summer books?