Capital, Thomas Piketty
What this beach read says about you: You’re reading Capital on the beach? You are truly a party animal on the same level as Spuds MacKenzie.
My Life in Middlemarch, Rebecca Mead
What this beach read says about you: Not only are you a person with exquisite taste in 19th-century British novels, but your idea of escapist literature is a book about one writer’s obsession with one of the great books of the 1800s.
Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings
What this book says about you: You lugged this 600-plus-page hardcover biography of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated critics and philosophers to the beach, so that means you either went to grad school (and won’t let anyone forget about it) or are still in the middle of finishing your thesis.
My Struggle: Book Three, Karl Ove Knausgaard
What this beach read says about you: You’ve read the other two My Struggle books. And, probably, this week’s New York magazine.
Utopia or Bust, Benjamin Kunkel
What this beach read says about you: You probably went to a very good college. You think you might be close friends with one of the characters from The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
Bark, Lorrie Moore
What this beach read says about you: You might not own a beach house, but you probably end up staying in one at least twice every summer.
Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay
What this beach read says about you: You are awesome… and, if you’ve already got a copy to read on the beach, you either work in the literary world or know somebody who does, since this highly anticipated essay collection doesn’t come out until August.
The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig
What this beach read says about you: You just saw Grand Budapest Hotel. A suggestion, though: this is a beautiful, 750-page book. Unless you’re willing to replace it, you should be reading it with care in the comfort of your home.
The Essential Ellen Willis
What this beach read says about you: You are amazing, and you shouldn’t change one thing about yourself. Just keep reading radical feminist theory on the beach, and changing the world.
The Trial, Franz Kafka
What this beach read says about you: What are you, a goth teenager? No? Then come on. Don’t read Kafka on the beach.