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Top 10 Legal (and Non-Legal) Summer Beach Reads

By Aditi Mukherji, JD | Last updated on

Before you dig your toes into the sand and sip a cool beverage, don't forget to pack a few summer beach books. From humor to legal history to a children's book about bullying, there's something for everyone.

Here's our list of the Top 10 legal (and not-so-legal) summer beach reads:

  1. "Glover's Mistake" by Nick Laird. This attorney-turned-author (and hubby to Zadie Smith) penned one of the funniest and most heartwrenching tales you will read this summer. A love triangle gone terribly awry.
  2. "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen. This novel, though not written by a lawyer, comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: teenage lust, middle age, suburban sprawl, and the heavy weight of empire.
  3. "The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood" by James Gleick. From African talking drums to tweets, the renowned science writer explores how information, communication, and information theory have changed human consciousness.
  4. "The Great Gasby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The legal world is no stranger to excess. Before checking out Baz Luhrmann's cinematic rendition this summer, revisit the classic itself -- especially since the movie doesn't do the book justice.
  5. "The Privileges" by Jonathan Dee. This novel explores bankruptcy -- of the moral variety, anyway. The story centers around alienating wealth and the rich people we love to hate.
  6. "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg. The Facebook COO's business autobiography has set off a national debate, even among lawyers. Improving the workplace for women is a hot-button legal topic, which makes this book a worthwhile read.
  7. "Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls" by David Sedaris. Without objection, David Sedaris is always hilarious, and always a safe summer read. If all else fails, go with Sedaris.
  8. "Hugh Howey: Wool" by Colum McCann. As we've discussed on our blogs, self-publishing is getting big. This self-published/small-published work is making waves for being snapped up by a major publisher. This sci-fi tale already has an incredible following, was a No. 1 bestseller on Amazon, and director Ridley Scott has optioned it.
  9. "Enemy Pie" by Derek Munson. For the little beach bums out there, this book focuses on a boy who literally uses a recipe for turning bullies into best friends. As Publisher's Weekly has noted, it's a great creative bullying resource for children.
  10. "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander. Finally, for adults who want something a bit more legally provocative, this book by a prominent civil rights lawyer suggests the election of President Barack Obama does not signal a new era of colorblindness. The discussion explores how the "War on Drugs" and the U.S. criminal justice system are perpetuating a racial caste in America.

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