For those of you who are lucky enough to have a pool to dip your toes into on these hot muggy days, the hours get long without some form of entertainment. And I personally prefer pages to screens, don't you?? So I thought I would tell you some of our staff's recommendations for poolside reads!
Rebekah: Quarter Life Poetry: Poems for the Young, Broke, and Hangry by Samantha Jayne
Samantha Jayne knows that life post-college isn't as glamorous as all undergrads think it's going to be... because she's currently living it. At 25, Samantha began creating doodles and funny poems about her #struggle to share with friends on Instagram. To her surprise, these poems were picked up by 20-somethings all around the world who agreed, "This is literally us."
At a time when it seems like everyone else is getting married, snagging a dream job, and paying off their student loans, Samantha's poetry captures the voice of young people everywhere who know that your 20s can sometimes be the exact opposite of "the best years of your life."
Annie: The After Party by Anton DiSclafani
Joan Fortier is the epitome of Texas glamour and the center of the 1950s Houston social scene. Tall, blonde, beautiful, and strong, she dominates the room and the gossip columns. Every man who sees her seems to want her; every woman just wants to be her. But this is a highly ordered world of garden clubs and debutante balls. The money may flow as freely as the oil, but the freedom and power all belong to the men. What happens when a woman of indecorous appetites and desires like Joan wants more? What does it do to her best friend?
Devoted to Joan since childhood, Cece Buchanan is either her chaperone or her partner in crime, depending on whom you ask. But as Joan’s radical behavior escalates, Cece’s perspective shifts—forcing one provocative choice to appear the only one there is.
A thrilling glimpse into the sphere of the rich and beautiful at a memorable moment in history, The After Party unfurls a story of friendship as obsessive, euphoric, consuming, and complicated as any romance.
Chris: The Whale: A Love Story by Mark Beauregard
In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville finds himself hounded by creditors and afraid his writing career might be coming to an end—his last three novels have been commercial failures and the critics have turned against him. In despair, Melville takes his family for a vacation to his cousin’s farm in the Berkshires, where he meets Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnic—and his life turns upside down.
The Whale chronicles the fervent love affair that grows out of that serendipitous afternoon. Already in debt, Melville recklessly borrows money to purchase a local farm in order to remain near Hawthorne, his newfound muse. The two develop a deep connection marked by tensions and estrangements, and feelings both shared and suppressed.
Melville dedicated Moby-Dick to Hawthorne, and Mark Beauregard’s novel fills in the story behind that dedication with historical accuracy and exquisite emotional precision, reflecting his nuanced reading of the real letters and journals of Melville, Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and others. An exuberant tale of longing and passion, The Whale captures not only a transformative relationship—long the subject of speculation—between two of our most enduring authors, but also their exhilarating moment in history, when a community of high-spirited and ambitious writers was creating truly American literature for the first time.
So what do you think?? What are your favorite poolside reads??