7 Intelligent Books to Read As An Antidote To Those Poolside Page-turners

Sort out your Summer reads now, for maximum impressiveness

Summer Reads

As much as fiction acts as a revealing mirror to our lives, sometimes you need to read in a different form to to get closer to the truth.

Don't worry, we're not suggesting epic poetry, instead we've got some critical thinking, essays, plays, manifestos and more to sink your teeth into.

These books are a round-up of some of our favourite thinker's manuals, and plus, you look really smart name dropping them at brunch.


1 White Girls by Hilton Als

Having just won the Pulitzer Prize, critical and literary genius Hilton Als is your first stop for revelatory reading.

This collection of essays talks race, sex pop culture in the most refreshing way that combines street 'reading' with critical analysis.

White Girls will enable you to think about Michael Jackson and Eminem in fascinating ways as Hilton unpacks where race, music and identity intersect.


2 I Love Dick by Hilton Als

As important as Mrs Dalloway or The Bell JarI Love Dick by Chris Kraus is lauded as the most eye-opening read of many women's lives.

Soon to be available in TV show form on Amazon Prime (starring Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon), you need to read it before popular knowledge truly bastardizes it. 

Part epistolary novel, part memoir and part art criticism, Chris Kraus (both author and narrator) yearns for Dick from afar, and includes her husband (both real and literary) Sylvère Lotringer in her humiliating exercise in unrequited lust.

Making the personal public and political, the book becomes an exploration in female sexuality and maturing sense of self.

Read for the funny looks you'll get on the tube and the liberating feeling you'll experience at it's close.


3 Nasty Women by 404 Ink

Nasty Women comes Margaret Atwood recommended, what more could you want?

The collection of essays gives a brief glimpse into over twenty young women's lives in the wake of Donald Trump's election.

The book was funded 369% on Kickstarter, heralding a new democratic age of publishing.


4 The Good Immigrant ed. by Nikesh Shukla

The Good Immigrant is a LOT of people's favourite book of 2016.

The perfect post-Brexit book, 21 writers of colour unpacked what it was to be an immigrant, of child of immigrant, in Britain today.

With the likes of Riz Ahmed creating parallels between the casting couch and border control as a Muslim man, this book will make you laugh and think in equal measure.

Also crowd-funded, buy this book to prove diversity really does sell as well as to have a really good read.


5 Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jess Crispin

In a time where the importance and popularity of feminism can often seem as though it hinges on inclusivity, Jessa Crispin takes a look at the problematic nature of the fourth wave feminism of today.

As the crux of today's battle seems to be on the issue of choice and empowerment, Crispin explores the self-congratulatory elempents of the fight against the patriarchy we are all currently enjoying.


6 The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

You've seen the Friends episode, heard people joke about student performances, Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues has been the butt of many a joke.

But this play is no joke, not to say it isn't funny. Try reading one of the monologues without laughing, but there is depth and warmth (just like a Vagina) to these stories too.

Try The Floodfor example, which follows an elderly women talk about a bad experience that stopped her having sex for the rest of her life. The kind of tragi-comic scene that you have to watch to believe.

You also need to read it because it's a living text; each year Eve Ensler adds to the monologues and women around the world perform the well-loved play to raise money for female benefitting charities.


7 Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf

Sorry to be all about vaginas, but Naomi Wolf, who brought us The Beauty Myth, will teach you something about vaginas you did not know in this epic.

Charting the neurological connections women have with their vaginas, Wolf explores the critical links between mental health and vaginal attention and care.

Wolf will breakdown everything from, how rape is an effective tool for warfare to the synesthetic quality of different orgasms (and how and why there are different types).

Read it, and be ready to pass it on to a friend. You're welcome.

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