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The best unhinged books to read while smiling on beach

Michelle Dean traces the term “beach read” to the summer of 1990; a patronizing but increasingly potent marketing tool that has influenced covers and publisher calendars to the point that we all take for granted the idea of the cheerful pastel cover and sense that we are all in some SPF-scented vacation book club. Above all, wrote Dean, “the essence of the beach read, most could agree, was more of a mood than anything else: attached to vacation, the book shouldn’t have any weighty themes or social significance. It should be enjoyable and easy, with brisk pace and simple diction”.

The first unhinged book recommended for the beach is ‘Bear’ by Marian Engel. This is a story of a woman who falls in love with a bear. It is a “strange and wonderful” story line that is sure to keep you hooked. The next recommended beach read is a book by Adriane Howell called ‘Hydra’. It’s about a grieving antiquarian who spends her time scrambling along the cliffs chasing ghosts and attempting to hook up with the soldiers at the nearby naval base.

Another recommendation includes ‘Monkey Grip’ by Helen Garner. This novel gets into the messy, hippie world of Nora, who has a child but acts almost as though she doesn’t, dragging said child from share house to flophouse as she chases her boyfriend junkie Javo. ‘The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle’ by Matt Cain is a charming contemporary fiction story about a 65-year-old British postman being forced to retire. As he takes stock of his life, he realizes he is lonely, and he doesn’t want to be in the closet anymore. This is a great story to follow while soaking in the sun. ‘Acts of Violet’ by Margarita Montimore is a mystery; when the famous magician Violet Volk disappears without a trace, nobody can figure out where she went.

 All of these reads will keep you captivated as you get your vitamin D and relax to the sound of the waves.

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