Tag Archives: books

Five great novels to read on the beach

  1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book spans the decades of the life of Evelyn Hugo, a retired Hollywood icon. After 70 years of silence, she relates the story of her life and her many marriages to a reporter. The sun won’t be the only thing that has you sweating while reading this book. It is a myriad of heartbreakingly tragic moments of loss, love, friendship and family that does not make for the easiest beach read. Jenkins Reid’s raw representation of what it meant to be a member in the LQBTQ+ community, as well as Cuban American, is impossible to be ignored under the harsh spotlight in the 1950’s.

  1. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend

I actually did have the pleasure of reading this on a beach. I can tell you that this middle-grade novel — which is about an unlucky girl who gets sucked into the most wacky, imaginative fantasy world — is a perfect choice for when you hit the sand. I’ve never read a book that has reminded me of Harry Potter to such an extent, while standing on its own two feet as a fantasy novel: full of giant talking cats, dragon riders, and dangerous trials.

  1. Summer of Salt, by Katrina Leno

Every time I think of summer and the beach, my mind is inadvertently brought back to this book. This is a whimsical tale of a family in which every female member is blessed with a magical ability, crucial to them being able to protect the strange island they live on. It’s a heartwarming tale about finding yourself, and is truly magical realism at its finest.

  1. Persuasion, by Jane Austen

I had to put a classic on this list, and although the latter half of this book takes place in perpetually rainy Bath, I still think it’s a perfect pick for the beach because it’s a lot lighter compared to Austen’s other books, following the story of two young lovers who meet many years later and try to give love a second chance.

  1. The Shades of Magic Trilogy, by V. E. Schwab

This one is for all the fantasy lovers out there. The series follows a man who can travel between four parallel London’s, and the antics that ensue when he smuggles an artifact out of one London to another. It may not be a quintessential beach read, but it is a hilarious, fast paced series with witty dialogue and characters that you will find yourself rooting for till the very end.

Five books to read on the TTC

  1. The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Imagine this. You’re on the subway and you have an exam in fifteen minutes. You’re stressed, and you barely got any sleep. In a panic, you rummage through your backpack for notes to do some last-minute studying, only to discover you left your notebook at home. You cry out to God in anguish just as the robot lady announces, “doors will open on the left.”

But then, what’s this? The Tibetan Book of Dead? It immediately calms you by reaffirming that this life is an allusion and we will all be reincarnated in the end anyways, and you go to your exam in peace.

  1. Catch 22, by Joseph Heller

 You’re waiting on the subway platform, preparing for the commute to UofTears. The train pulls up, and who do you see taking up a blue seat with their backpack? That cutie from your tutorial last semester. You whip out a copy of Catch 22, and they are immediately entranced.

It’s said to be one of the most commonly unfinished book in the world, and they’ll be so impressed that you’re reading it they might even give you an awkward smile. Prepare to catch that honey with Catch-22.

  1. Goosebumps, by R.L. Stine

For the shorter commutes — say, a ten-minute bus ride — you can’t go wrong with the Goosebumps series. My personal favourite is the one where the kid turns out to have been dead all along, but you can pick any one. They’re short, sweet and spooky, and simple enough that you won’t miss your stop because you’re too engaged in reading it.

  1. The October Country, by Ray Bradbury

But wait, you wonder, what if I have to take several different modes of transport? Like a bus followed by a streetcar followed by the subway followed by a bus again? Never fear, because The October Country is here!

A collection of short stories is the best for this type of journey, because you can read one story per trip, and no short story collection is better than Ray Bradbury’s October Country. From “The Scythe,” the story of a farmer who learns each blade of wheat in his field is a human life, to “The Skeleton,” about a man horrified to discover that there is a skeleton inside him (which, I mean, aren’t we all), these stories are wonderful and I highly recommend them.

  1. For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf, by Ntozake Shange

I haven’t finished reading this yet, but it’s incredible and I think everyone should read it anytime, anywhere — and that includes the TTC. It’s a series of interconnected poems that can be performed as well as read, and it is the choreopoem that pioneered the form. Detailing the struggles that coincide with themes such as love, abandonment, and trauma, it is a triumph of the written word.