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22 Beach Reads To Bring On Vacation This Summer

Book Review / Recos

In this article:
Happy Stories, Mostly

Written by Arianna Rebolini, originally published in Bustle

May 03, 2023

There is much debate about what constitutes a “beach read.” Need it match the vibe of the afternoon — relaxing, sunny, breezy? Wouldn’t any book you read at the beach qualify as a “beach read”? As a mom of a toddler, I have one main requirement: It must maintain my interest despite many (many) interruptions, letting me dip in and out seamlessly. Beach reads are books with immersive worlds that pull you right back in, mysteries that live in the back of your mind, characters that feel like friends you can pick up with right where you left off. They’re also short story collections, the bite-size nature of which is perfect for consuming in bits and pieces. Here are this summer’s books that hold up against distractions — whether or not those involve making sure a 3-year-old isn’t getting sand on your neighbors. — If you like your books with an undercurrent of melancholy, Happy Stories, Mostly is for you. The slim story collection from Indonesian writer Norman Erikson Pasaribu is an impressive fiction debut, following characters who live in the margins, navigating misfortune both big and small. It’s an inquiry into happiness itself, and what it’s like to live just shy of it. A perfect mix of surreal micro-fiction and thought-provoking narratives, Happy Stories, Mostly will stick with you for a long time.

Read the full article here.

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