Tag Archives: literature

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.

Time to read something that’s not on your syllabus

It’s summer and there’s finally time to read something that’s not on your syllabus. But what to pick when you both want to unwind and catch up on the titles you’ve missed in the last year?

Whether you’re looking for quick reads or something longer, whether you’re longing for advice or mythology or horror, The Squirrel has you covered!

1. A Thousand Beginnings and Endingsedited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

In this new take on East and South Asian mythology and folklore, 16 bestselling writers have their short stories span across fantasy, sci-fi, romance and more. Along with each contemporary version of a myth, you also get a summary of the original.

Available at Toronto Public Library.

2. Creative Questby Questlove

Drummer, DJ and creative all-rounder Questlove’s inspirational Creative Quest was called the most anticipated book by many last year. Drawing from both his own experience and what he’s learned from others around him, and blending this with philosophies of creativity, Questlove guides us how to best lead a creative life.

Available at John M. Kelly Library, Hart House Library and Toronto Public Library.

3. The Princess Saves Herself in This Oneby Amanda Lovelace

This is poetry that makes sense even if you’re not used to reading poems. In all its simplicity, the book shows in beautiful and painful words the process of resilience.

Available at UTS Library Information Centre, Hart House Library and Toronto Public Library.

4. The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline

Looking for a novel-length dystopia to sink into on your day off? In Cherie Dimaline’s near future, Indigenous people are hunted for their bone marrow because it will help humanity recover the ability to dream. Frenchie and a group of others travel north and try to stay hidden — but the enemy may be closer than they realize.

Available at U of T Libraries, Hart House Library and Toronto Public Library.

5. When I Arrived at the Castle, by Emily Carroll

Emily Carroll’s gothic horror graphic novel starts off with an eerie Edgar Allan Poe-feeling, but then goes somewhere completely different. The fairy-tale-like story weaves several threads together to raise questions about what evil is and who is whom. This is a quick read that stays with you.

Available at New College Library and Toronto Public Library.