Sex! Vampires! A Swedish Murder Mystery! Our Fave Trashy Summer Reads

Drop that Aristotle and Dostoevsky immediately. The best part of summer? Cheesy beach books!

You know what sort of books I’m talking about … those fantastically trashy books that you can’t put down but are ashamed to tell people that you’ve read. Yep, we obsessively read those, too. So stop trudging through War and Peace now and pick up one of these guilty-pleasure beach reads.

  • Bought by Anna David: David earned her writing chops covering celebrities and sex for Maxim, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour, before writing her first novel Party Girl. The follow-up contains everything a trashy, page-turning beach read should — sex, glamor, hookers, intrigue, gossip, bitches, and more hookers. The story follows a L.A. magazine writer doing a story on high-class call girls and ends up in a moral quandry herself. [Amazon]
  • The White Tiger: A Novel by Aravind Adiga: I was totally convinced this was a trashy read. Turns out this novel won the prestigious Man Booker prize in 2008. The book was way too much fun for it to have such legit literary street cred, but whatever. The point is that this fabulous novel is a series of letters written in India by the lower caste Balram to the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Sounds far fetched and ridiculous, and the book is both. The letters tell the tale of Balram’s humble beginnings in rural India, his high falutin’ days as a chauffeur in Delhi, to his final … as if we would give away the ending! [$17, Amazon]
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer: I am praying that my boyfriend never reads this post, or this book, lest he discover that I am secretly in love with a 17-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen. I really didn’t want to like this book, or the other three in this series, for that matter; I disdainfully referred to Twilight as “that tweener book where vampires go to high school.” Now, I defy any girl not to immediately melt into a pile of goo the second he steps onto the page. You will fly through page after page, soaking up every steamy moment with this blood-sucking hottie. [$6, Amazon]
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: A Swedish murder mystery! No joke. Think Agatha Christie goes to Sweden, but luckily for us non-Swedish speakers the book is translated into English. This mystery has the excitement factor of solving a crime and the humor of, well, Sweden. Not that there’s anything funny about Sweden as a country, but the constant mentions of herring, Ikea and other very Swedish things are unintentionally hysterical for an American audience. [$10, Amazon]
  • Angels and Demons by Dan Brown: So, the coming attractions for the movie version of this novel look lame, but don’t let this put you off. By the same author as The Da Vinci Code, this novel is an action-packed thriller that makes you wish you were the female Indiana Jones. The plot is highly improbable: A dashing and brilliant American professor meets an equally stunning and genius European babe, and they run around Rome trying to prevent a madman from blowing up the Vatican and the Pope while solving age old mysteries. Not exactly a book highlighting the dreary struggles of everyday life, but, hey, that’s not what a summer read is about. [$11, Amazon]
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