Whalebone’s Summer Reading List

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You might have some downtime this summer, or you might not. Either way this is a very good list of books you can read while you’re relaxing by the beach and pool or while on a flight (probably without WiFi) on the way to your next meeting.



Easy to read while you’re baking in the Hell-like sun.


by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A young girl who is making her way in LA in the sixties is heavily seduced by the rock and roll lifestyle and, more specifically, the music.

As Daisy’s talent starts to garner attention, she meets The Six, an up-and-coming band, that is about to leave for its first road tour. When their producer decides to join their forces to create a super talent, they catch fire. Sex, drugs and the real reason behind why Daisy Jones and The Six broke up.

The backstage lives of musicians are killing it this year with biopics coming out left and right and then Machine Gun Kelly playing Motley Crew’s Tommy Lee… So it should come as no surprise that Daisy Jones and The Six has won over readers and critics. Each character is so vibrantly written you can’t help but become deeply invested in their journeys. This one will keep your attention from cover to cover, so remember to reapply your sunscreen.


by Peter Benchley

After a great white shark attacks a woman in Long Island waters, the local government is hesitant to shut down the beaches for the summer for fear of losing out on the lucrative tourist season.

As long as the beaches remain open, the attacks continue. Eventually Chief Brody, Quint and Hooper hunt the great white and discover they may need a bigger boat.

If you’re trying to trick yourself into staying out of the water for any reason, you should definitely take this oldie but goodie along with you to the ocean. And while this book may give you the wrong idea about sharks, just remember it is a work of fiction and that Bruce never really deserved to be typecast like that.


by Alex Garland

Alex Garland’s first novel centers around Richard an English backpacker who has yet to find a trip that has fulfilled his need for adventure.

After meeting an unstable man at a hotel in Bangkok who hands him a map to an alleged island paradise where a small colony of people who live, work and play. Richard seeks out the outer Thai island with a French couple he befriends on the mainland. Getting to the island and keeping it a secret is the ultimate game in this Lord of The Flies-esqe novel.

Obviously being literal here, this novel is an ideal read for the beach. It is a gripping and compelling story that will make you want to pretend you’re in paradise while reading it. It may also inspire you and all of your friends to become backpackers, if so maybe consider reading this on a Thai beach. And if you haven’t yet, definitely invest some time in the movie adaptation.


by Chuck Palahniuk

Damned follows the life and death of Maddy, a decidedly unpopular 13-year-old girl, who finds herself dead and in Hell at the beginning of the novel.

In Hell Maddy works as a telemarketer, naturally, and begins to make friendships with a veritable melting pot of souls. She, along with her “Breakfast Club of Hell,” begin a crusade to battle the big bads of Hell (Hitler and more). While traversing the landscape of the underworld, Maddy and the reader are trying to piece together just exactly how she died.

While most people already have their favorite Palahniuk novel, and there are objectively better ones out there, Damned is a slight deviation from his typical work and is fun and easy to read while you’re baking in the Hell-like sun.


Don’t worry about getting it a little wet.


by Stephen King

Master of horror, Stephen King, tells the story of a car possessed by an evil spirit with murderous tendencies. Why is the car evil and what can be done to stop it?

Truly trashy fun with a side of scary. Everyone needs a great trash read every once in a while, something that borders so heavily on absurd you can’t help but be entertained. Stephen King is a genius, but take a break from his regular schtick of keeping you up at night and take a drive with Christine. It’s a great poolside pick, if only because it appears that every copy of this book is supposed to be slightly damaged looking, so don’t worry about getting it a little wet.


by Carl Hiaasen

A mad marine scientist is making a killing off of letting a millionaire continue to dump chemicals into the Everglades.

When his wife begins to suspect him, his cash flow becomes at risk. Once he becomes sure she knows something is up, he pushes her off of a boat and into the Atlantic, attempting to kill her.

Carl Hiaasen is the ultimate summer novelist. He doesn’t have to be too deep to be extremely fun. A perfect book for sipping a cocktail by the pool, Skinny Dip is ridiculous, Florida-fun. Pick it up, put it down… you’ll finish it by the end of the weekend.


by Janet Fitch

Astrid is a child who idolizes her poet mother, who seems an entity not of the Earth.

The reader follows as her mother is undone by a man for the first time and ultimately jailed from the fallout of their relationship. As Astrid is shuffled between foster homes, she struggles to find who she is outside of her mother’s shadow.

Fitch has a way of making a book that is rooted in sadness feel airy and poetic. If you’ve seen the movie, don’t let it dissuade you from taking a dive into this underrated novel. It’ll be the perfect companion at the country club or your neighborhood pool.


Enjoy that economy-class G&T and glide through the pages of a book.


by Anthony Kiedis

Chronicling the life of Red Hot Chili Pepper’s frontman, Anthony Kiedis, written by Kiedis himself, along with Larry Sloman.

It is an in-depth look into how RHCP’s frontman fell into drug addiction, the band’s rise to fame and his struggle to maintain his music while being in and out of sobriety.

Kiedis is one of the more underrated lyricists of the ’90s and early 2000s with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ music being a cornerstone for more than a few adolescences during their run. Certainly a perfect read for a flight, and if you can, put your headphones on and listen to their music while you read—you may experience some mid-flight insight.


by Joesph Heller

A tried-and-true classic in any setting, but why not read it on a plane?

Given that it deals with a ton of terrifying plane scenarios, it might bring you great comfort to know you’re not a bombardier in the 1940s. So you enjoy that economy G&T and glide through the pages of a book that actually created a colloquialism.


by Trevor Noah

Born of a white father and a black mother, Trevor Noah tells the story of growing up in post-apartheid South Africa.

Though the story is told through a comedic lens it exposes a still-bleak time in South Africa’s history, a time where his birth was considered illegal and his mother had to take enormous risk to keep him safe.

Truly funny and raw, this is a great read for a coast-to-coast plane ride. Everyone could benefit from a little perspective on a casual 7+-hour flight. It’ll keep you entertained and invested even after the lights are dimmed. Careful with your range of emotions though, don’t want to disturb your neighbor.


All books are available at The Boneyard (a place to read magazines and maybe books) in Montauk this summer. There will be no quiz in the fall.