Summer beach days are the best, but there’s also something kind of great about staying in on a scorching or rainy day and curling up with a good book. From lush and literary to juicy and suspenseful, here are 5 of our favorite lounge reads, covering the gamut from classics to recent releases (the only common factor: you can’t put them down).
Circe by Madeleine Miller
A feminist retelling of the story of Circe the witch, immortalized in Homer’s The Odyssey. Through mesmerizing prose, we learn the story behind the titular heroine, from her outcast childhood in an otherworldly kingdom to her ultimate exile on an island, where she discovers how to harness her powers, encounters many mythic characters and creatures, and ultimately comes into her own.
Looker by Laura Sims
What initially seems like a traditional thriller quickly veers into more unexpected, but no less satisfying territory. Based in Brooklyn, the unnamed narrator, grappling with infertility, an acrimonious divorce and career disappointments, becomes obsessed with her famous actress neighbor—and increasingly unhinged behavior ensues. Sharp and sinister as a Hitchcock film.
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
Seth’s famous doorstop of a novel clocks in at more than 1,000 pages, but it’s so worth it. Set in mid 20th-century India, it’s an epic family saga with shades of Pride and Prejudice, following a mother’s determined efforts to marry off her daughter, along with many other interconnected and equally absorbing threads.
The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz
In this page-turning thriller, Lindsay, the thirty-something narrator, is forced to confront the long-ago suicide of her best friend Edie, along with the chilling unreliability of memory. Using her skills as a magazine fact-checker, Lindsay dives into the mysterious circumstances surrounding her friend’s death in order to unearth the truth, no matter what the cost.
Possession by AS Byatt
There’s nothing like a well-written literary mystery to sink your teeth into on a lazy summer day. This dense novel, about two modern-day academics working to uncover the secret relationship between two Victorian poets, has got a little bit of everything—romance, poetry, suspense. You don’t have to love 19th-century novels (though you’ll be thrilled if you do!) to love this one.
The best way to enjoy your lounge read is in a cozy chair (or in bed, no judgment), wearing your comfiest loungewear, with a cool drink on hand. It’s great to get out and enjoy the sunshine, but don’t forget to also treat yourself to a few lazy lounge days in this summer.