Okay, so when you think of beach reads, you’re probably not picturing non-fiction books. We know you probably imagine lounging by the ocean in your favorite swimsuit with a steamy twisted love story in your hand — or maybe a good body-positive YA book. But hear us out: Non-fiction can make a great beach read, if you choose wisely. To make it easy for you, we’re sharing eight newly released non-fiction reads that are perfect for summer beach hopping.


1. It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort ($26): This is a true and touching story of a couple who go through the unimaginable. Aaron is diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, but they don’t let that deter their inspiring relationship, getting engaged on Aaron’s hospital bed and having a baby while he’s in chemo.


2. Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti ($26): Jessica Valenti is one of the most popular and influential voices in feminism right now, and for good reason. We promise you won’t be disappointed by this completely raw and honest memoir.


3. Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow ($18): Whether you’re super into comedy or not, you’ll whiz through this book of intimate and side-splitting conversations with some of our generation’s biggest names in comedy: Lena Dunham, Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Roseanne Barr and more.


4. I’m Just a Person by Tig Notaro ($27): In 2012, Tig Notaro opened a comedy set with “Good evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you? Hi, how are you? Is everybody having a good time? I have cancer.” So now you know the kind of dark humor you’re in for in this memoir about how she turned a personal tragedy into a joyful year.


5. Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology by Andrew Bolton and Nicholas Alan Cope ($50): The inspiration for the theme from this year’s Met Gala, this book explores how technology intersects with fashion’s long-held tradition of handmade haute couture. Bring this one to the beach for a luxurious day.

black man white house book

6. Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years by D.L. Hughley ($28): We know a book about politics is not the typical beach read. But this one’s written by the legendary standup comedian D.L. Hughley, so it’ll definitely have you laughing out loud and attracting some stares from your beach-umbrella mates.


7. Being Jazz: My Life As a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings ($18): America has fallen in love with Jazz Jennings, a teen activist for freedom of gender expression. This memoir tells her own story of the struggles and triumphs that come with being a public figure as a trans teen girl.


8. But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman ($26): Here’s the perfect read if you’re up for some mind-bending questions like, “How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Is it possible that the greatest artist of our era is currently unknown (or— weirder still — widely known, but entirely disrespected)?… And perhaps most disturbing, is it possible that we’ve reached the end of knowledge?” Whoa. (P.S. that book cover is supposed to be upside down.)

Which of these picks will be in your beach bag? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.

(Featured photo via Getty)