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5 books to enjoy this summer

A holiday isn't complete without a book to read by the pool or on the beach. Here are five great reads we recommend.

A book to inspire your travel plans

Black Dog, Blue Sea by Danforth Slater

Danforth Slater’s travel memoir describes a trip that he took with his 72-year-old father around the Caribbean Sea. Before the trip, Dan was aware of his Dad’s Asperger Syndrome diagnosis, but he had no idea the intensity of the clinical depression that accompanied it. Together, they circumnavigate 10,000km of Caribbean coastline, across beautiful beaches and through treacherous jungles, encountering exuberant locals and listening to a lot of reggae. This is a heartfelt, touching story of a father and son reconnecting, against a stunning tropical backdrop. 

Book cover: Black Dog Blue Sea by Danforth Slater

A book to read on the plane

True Biz by Sara Novic

This fantastic literary fiction novel topped a lot of best-seller lists and critic’s picks last year – with good reason! Sara Nović has brought d/Deaf culture to the mainstream with her ‘own voices’ story about students at the (fictional) River Valley School for the Deaf. There are three main characters: Charlie, the rebellious transfer student; Austin, the golden boy with a newborn baby sister who can hear; and headmistress February, who is fighting to keep the school open for students. It’s an unforgettable book, one that journeys into the heart of the Deaf community and celebrates the universality of human connection. 

Book Cover: True Biz by Sara Novic

A book to read by the pool

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

Ali Hazelwood’s latest novel is a steamy romance, starring a heroine chasing the job of her dreams – and not letting her chronic illness hold her back one bit. Elsie Hannaway works as an adjunct professor, but she dreams of being a full-time theoretical physicist. She finally gets the chance to interview for a tenure-track faculty position, but there’s a problem. The problem is Jack, the broody older brother of a client from her gig moonlighting as a fake girlfriend. This is a delightful, fun romance that goes perfectly with sun and SPF.

(Bonus tip: the audiobook is excellent, if you want to read with your ears and leave your hands free to slip, slop, slap!)

Book Cover: Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

A book to give for Christmas

Mean Baby by Selma Blair

You probably know Selma Blair for her roles in Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde, but this Hollywood ingénue has a fascinating story to tell. In her memoir, she lays it all bare: her childhood as a “mean baby” (where the book gets its title), her time on the silver screen, her battle against addiction, and the long uphill climb to a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. This book is the perfect gift for anyone who likes inspirational real-life stories– but it’s so good, you might just want to ask Santa to slip it into your own stocking. 

Book cover: Mean Baby by Selma Blair

A book to start the New Year on the right note

Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig

You might already be familiar with disability advocate and creator Rebekah Taussig from her Instagram account, @sitting_pretty. She’s written a brilliant memoir by the same name, one that will surely have you feeling uplifted, the perfect way to start a new year. Growing up, Rebekah only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback Of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). So, she’s written a book that shows the life of someone with a disability in all its complexity: the highs and lows, the unique and the ordinary, the joys and the challenges.

Book cover: Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig

This story first appeared in Travel Without Limits. You can subscribe to the magazine here.

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