The Atlantic

The Books Briefing: The Dangerous, Enchanting Sea

Not your average beach reads: Your weekly guide to the best in books
Source: Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters

Herman Melville, born 200 years ago next month, had some timeless advice: If the sweltering heat of July is giving you a damp, drizzly November in your soul, it is even if it’s just within the pages of a book. As Lena Lenček and Gideon Bosker write in their history of the beach, physicians of past centuries saw the ocean as healing and invigorating in part because of its dangerous qualities. That same duality applies in literature, where the sea is frequently used to symbolize the freedom, allure,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic24 min readPolitics
The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet
Jay Inslee didn’t get much traction as a candidate, but his pet issue, climate change, has become a major part of the Democratic campaign.
The Atlantic3 min readSociety
The Cops Who Abused Photoshop
Last week, The Oregonian newspaper exposed what ought to be a headline-grabbing scandal in the course of reporting on an otherwise obscure criminal trial. The dicey behavior began when Portland cops investigating a series of bank robberies felt they
The Atlantic7 min readPolitics
The Proud Boys’ Real Target
I haven’t seen Justice Hans Linde in more than a decade, but I thought of him last Saturday, when I found myself locked in a science museum with frightened parents and children while neofascist thugs marched by. Hans was a child in Weimar Germany; I