Break out your plushiest pool towel: it’s finally warm enough to spend a weekend afternoon by the pool with a really great read. At BookClub, we think there is no better way to spend a Summer afternoon, and we’re excited that local and public pools are finally re-opening after long closures so we can enjoy our favorite summer 2021 releases (and classic favorites) with our toes dipped in the water. Check out five of the books we’re most excited to read (or re-read) by the pool, and don’t forget to lather up before heading outside!
Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn (Coming June 1)
Cal Flyn, an investigative journalist and renowned nature writer, has traveled to the most remote places of Earth desolated by war, famine, disasters, etc. In this powerful non-fiction read about what happens after humans wreak havoc and then leave, readers have a unique chance to follow Flyn on a thrilling journey as she explores once-abandoned areas now reclaimed by nature.
At each location—disputed territory in Cyprus, a village decimated by volcanic eruptions in Montserrat—Flyn finds redemption in the ‘new life springing from the wreckage of the old,’” writes Publisher’s Weekly. “Through lush and poetic language, she captures the vital forces at work in the natural world. This is nature writing at its most potent.”
Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie
A poolside reading list isn’t complete without a chilling thriller (we have to keep cool while sitting in the sun somehow, right?) and this classic from Agatha Christie is the perfect fit if you haven’t yet read it already— or even if you have! The winding plot follows Hercule Poirot (a well-respected detective) as he attempts to solve a strange murder that seems to leave almost everyone onboard The Orient Express a likely suspect.
Complete your experience with a themed-beverage (check the rules on outside beverages at your pool first!) like sparkling water, tea, orange juice, or even this recipe for a gin cocktail called The Chaos, invented by the bartender in the book.
This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan (Coming July 6)
An in-depth read by Michael Pollan, an expert on plant medicine, covers psychoactive plants like mescaline, opium, and caffeine, and their effects on our brains and cultures. Full of personal stories, this read provides a fresh take on psychoactive plant medicine and its potential for healing.
“The biggest misconception people have about psychedelics is that these are drugs that make you crazy,” said Michael Pollan to Time. “We now have evidence that that does happen sometimes — but in many more cases, these are drugs that can make you sane.”
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Often ranked as one of the best books to read poolside, you can’t go wrong with this classic memoir written by Frances Mayes, a well-published poet and gourmet cook who gave up everything to restore an old villa in Italy. Full of incredible, rich prose about Mayes’ own hardships and triumphs, readers will feel as if they traveled to Italy, fell in love, and embarked on the same journey— the whole thing is a major summer vibe.
After a day spent enjoying the story under your own version of the Tuscan sun, wherever that may be, head home to watch the 2003 film starring Julia Roberts. If you’re feeling extra inspired, treat yourself to a dinner with book-inspired dishes like Tiramisu and sun-dried tomato alfredo.
While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory (Coming July 13)
Readers will have to wait until July to indulge in this romance from serial novelist Jasmine Guillory, but we think it will be well worth the wait. With a captivating plot that follows an unlikely romance between Ben Stephens, a hard-working ad salesman who doesn’t have time for long-term relationships, and Anna Gardiner, a gorgeous, up-and-coming movie star who has just signed a professional contract with Stephens, we don’t know of a better romance release coming this summer.
Reviewed by Kirkus as a “light, frothy, and fun concoction,” we have a feeling this breezy read is one that’s best enjoyed outside!
Regardless of what you decide to read poolside this summer, we’re just happy to see you enjoying the sunshine with us. Share your poolside setup with us by tweeting to us @bookclubdotcom or share it on Instagram using the hashtag #bookclubsummerread!