Read Like A Mermaid

The end of summer always sneaks up on me, and this year it caused a slight panic about all the time I hadn't spent at the beach and in the water. So for the past few weeks, I've made it my goal to spend as much time as possible enjoying the waters of Lake Michigan. I've basically been living like a Midwestern mermaid: soaking up the sun, swimming and enjoying the waves.

Considering my favorite hobby, living like a mermaid quickly turned into reading like a mermaid. Looking beyond the obvious limitations of what format I would read in because underwater reading + book = eww! and underwater reading + device = zap!, I came up with a few titles that would settle me into a true under-the-sea pov: a book to learn about my dinglehopper, or perhaps a guide to finding a more stylish way to display my thingmabobs (I've got plenty), but I ultimately decided to go for titles that helped me understand what happens when humans and mermaids meet. Because you know mermaids—they want to be where the people are

Lydia Millet astounds with her wordplay and razor-sharp take on the absurdity of life today. Her Mermaids in Paradise is the story of what happens when honeymooners Chip and Deb see actual mermaids on a scuba diving excursion. Words gets out thanks to social media, and the couple team up with a motley cast of characters to save the creatures from the forces that mean to use them for their own purposes. Funny and dark. 

The Pisces is an impressive and wise debut from Melissa Broder. Narrator Lucy has just broken up with her long-term boyfriend and her doctoral thesis (at the same time) and takes off for sunny southern California, frantically looking for healing via group therapy and connection via a series of steamy but ultimately unsatisfying trysts. She thinks her search is over when she meets a very handsome mysterious swimmer, but is it?  

What happens when a respectable middle-aged merchant gets his life turned upside down by a mermaid? In The Mermaid And Mrs. Hancock, you'll get transported to a soggy and salacious Georgian London, full of ship captains' precious cargo and sideshow spectacle. This gorgeous book often reads more like historical fiction than fantasy, and the sweet love story at its heart is tempered by the social commentary depicting the bitterness of life for all except the most well positioned. 

Sailor Twain, Or, the Mermaid in the Hudson is a graphic novel that beautifully drifts readers back in time to a steamboat on the Hudson in 1887. Captain Twain helms the Lorelei and, in vivid and dreamy charcoal illustrations, we find out what happens when he finds an injured mermaid climbing aboard and decides to hide her and nurse her back to health. Captivating blend of folklore, drama and dreaminess. 

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