Attention summer travelers, these titles will put your extra free time—on the road, in the air, or poolside—to good use.
If you’re…Craving a Beach Read (but don’t want it to be so embarrassing that you have to hide it on an e-reader).
Read…Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf, $25.95)
Because…Forget Fifty Shades of Gray—Shipstead’s tale feels salacious enough to satisfy while still allowing you to maintain your literary standards. Shipstead, a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, chronicles a family’s retreat to a fancy New England beach town amidst their daughter’s fast-approaching wedding day. You know it’s a WASP satire when the characters names are Winn, Daphne, Livia, Greyson, and Biddy.
If you’re…A Health Nut
Read…Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26.00)
Because…Most Americans would have trouble adjusting to a vegan diet even if they sit at the office all day. Jurek sticks to veganism while running unbelievable distances—an inspiring health (and psychological) tale that’s sure to strike a nerve in our sedentary health-challenged country.
If you’re…An Environmentalist
Read…Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell (Rodale Books, $25.99)
Because…Not your average travel book, Blackwell ingeniously decides to visit the world’s most dirty, depreciated places. From Canadian oil mines to a stinking river of India, readers get a fresh perspective on the environmental crisis.
If you’re…A “Fiction”-anado
Read…The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger (Knopf, $25.95)
Because…Freudenberger deftly explores how foreigners’ imaginations of American culture can take a dangerously idealistic shape. Protagonist Amina, a Muslim born in India, works her whole girlhood to move to the United States, only to discover that she may have misinterpreted what the realities of America are.
Corinne White is a voracious reader and editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.