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Pool floats and hot-weather ’fits aside, you’ll need something to keep you from going brain-dead this summer. Sure, you could pick up whatever’s on the bestselling list at the airport bookshop, but if you clicked through to this post, you’re probably better than that. These Highsnobiety-approved reads will turn heads at the beach like no Gucci sandal can.

Below, five Highsnob bookworms have shared their recommendations for summer 2018. From rapper biogs to political satire and gripping fiction, scroll down to discover what’s made the cut, and share your own suggestions in the comments.

Sanzhar Toxanbayev, Editorial Assistant
The Autobiography of Gucci Mane | Gucci Mane

“As a member of my top five rappers, dead or alive, I was seriously stoked about The Autobiography of Gucci Mane. Seeing him go through his most recent turmoil prior to his stint in federal prison made me question whether the world would ever hear from him again, but he came out the winner in the end. For someone who has released several dozen projects and is greatly responsible for the success of Migos, Future, Waka Flocka Flame, Young Thug and many others, this book is truly The Bible of the Trap God.”

Aaron Toumazou, E-Commerce Editor
A Little Life | Hanya Yanagihara

“Full disclosure, this is actually probably a bit of a downer for summer, but I powered through on a sun lounger regardless. Chronicling the lives of four friends — an aspiring artist, actor, lawyer and architect living in New York City — the 800+ page novel is a timeline of their relationships as they deepen and darken, unraveling the particularly traumatic backstory of its chronic pain-suffering lead, Jude. I need this to be a Netflix series.”

Lia McGarrigle, Senior Staff Writer
Exit West | Mohsin Hamid

Exit West follows the relationship between Saeed and Nadia, two young people who are forced to flee their home country. The book is about refugees, but it never gets too heavy or depressing. Instead, the focus is on the couple whose relationship is sweet, heartbreaking and incredibly relatable.”

Max Grobe, Associate Fashion Editor
Love’s Executioner | Irvin D. Yalom

“For a piece of non-fiction, I was absorbed in the honest and funny accounts of psychotherapy from Dr. Yalom’s practice in the U.S.. Ten patients’ treatments become ten short stories, giving fascinating insights into how people experience feelings of grief, secrecy, loneliness, and illness. I would recommend it to anyone with a passing interesting in psychology, or wanting to know more about how to help others with mental health issues.”

Robbie Russell, Brand Assistant
The Sellout: A Novel | Paul Beatty

“Politically speaking, sometimes it feels like we’re living out a bad joke, where nothing is real and everything is hopeless. This novel takes that idea and runs with it, telling the story of an African American farmer who hopes to reintroduce segregation into his Los Angeles neighborhood. Equal parts hip-hop and philosophy, comedy and tragedy, hopelessness and optimism, I found The Sellout daring and subversive novel that is as important as it is enjoyable.”

Looking for something a little lighter? You can still buy your copy of Highsnobiety Magazine Issue 16 in time for your next big trip.

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