This Might Be the Last Summer Beach Reading List You’ll Ever Need

Elin Hilderbrand: The Identicals

The quintessential beach reading author, Elin Hilderbrand weaves an immersive tale of two islands in her newest novel. Readers who found Hildebrand’s last book a worthy distraction from 2016’s political climate will discover her latest dose of seaside escapism to be more than capable of quelling their anxiety over the actual climate. Is it hotter outside than it was last year? Does the water seem just a bit higher? You’ll be so wrapped up in the saga of the Frost twins, you’ll hardly notice the fallout from the shrinking EPA budget.

John Grisham: Camino Island

Beach readers will enjoy Grisham’s breezy departure from legal thrillers, whether your legal thrillers of choice are Grisham novels or televised congressional hearings. The bigger large-print version will help near-sighted readers looking for an escape, as well as readers looking to escape the rising sea levels by standing atop their books. A low-key account of the book industry, Camino Island is a book for people who love books, especially how getting on top of those books makes it easier to stay dry amidst the increase in global mean sea level.

Noam Chomsky: Language and Politics

This comprehensive collection of interviews will satisfy the intellectual lounger for whom the beach is not a mindless retreat but a place to recharge for the revolution. While the seaside activist might feel drawn towards Chomsky’s more concise critiques of capitalism and imperialism, beachgoers will be rewarded by a return to this 800-page linguistics tome, as it is tall enough for leftists on any shore to climb upon and escape the effects of thermal expansion.

The World Book Encyclopedia

Readers curious about the consequences of climate change need not risk getting their phone wet to research the difference between “ice shelves” and “ice sheets.” Carry this 20-volume set on your next beach trip, and you’ll be equipped with a grasp of environmental issues that dates back to 1967, just like the Republican Party. Best of all, you can use the other 19 volumes to turn your tiny book platform into a book tower to sit upon undampened as you read about the untarnished record of former vice president Richard Nixon.

David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest

While perched upon your encyclopedic tower (which is easily scaled yet much harder to escape), you’ll have plenty of time for reading all the books you’ve been putting off. Now you’ve no excuse for not finishing Wallace’s magnum opus! This book definitely makes the list because its dystopian heft will provide a further hedge from the rising sea levels and most certainly not because the curators of this list aren’t so worried about our impending climatological doom that they forget to let everybody know they’ve actually read it.

Baby’s First Waterproof Bath Book

Perhaps you’ve accepted your fate, swan-diving off your literary perch and into the rising ocean. Maybe you never went out to the beach at all, opting to relax at the pool instead. Either way, you’re in the water: after all, the earth is heating up, and it’s the only place you can stay cool. Keep up your reading streak with an 8-page gem that’s both waterproof and deregulatory-ocean-sludge-proof. Plus, Baby’s First is the perfect reading level for anyone straining to see in the ever-brightening sun, an effortless page-turner that will give beachgoing bookworms a preview of the average reading level of next year’s list. If there is a next year.