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,

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