I’m not worthy! This Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction story follows the life of an old school surfer. I mean, this guy is the genuine article, the real deal. He even discovered what are now legendary surf breaks. If you want to travel around the world and get lost in exotic places, feel like you really know what it’s like to surf, and the nitty-gritty of surf culture, check out Mr. Finnegan’s Opus de Agua, Barbarian Days.
This Is Paradise
Set in Hawaii, this collection of beautifully-written stories chronicles the real lives of locals, and puts a big solar eclipse across paradise. The title story of a hotel housekeeping staff—women who surf the local breaks on their off time—gives you a messy view of the not-so-benign, vacation-happy tourists who inhabit the hotel. Get it before you book a flight to the islands. Then read it on the beach. Don’t forget your SPF 50!
The Surf Guru
The Surf Guru is an old, graying surf-merch tycoon who sits on his deck sipping Chianti, watching young surfers shred a Nor Cal break—a dude so powerful the locals think he controls the tides. With a character like that, I’m in. If the title story doesn’t get you, the other eleven will. Among them: two drunken drifters who decide to care for an abandoned baby, and a losing politician on the campaign trail. Mr. Dorst has a way of balancing humor with the debris of the human condition, a combination that’s guaranteed to leave you heartbroken and at the same time, stoked.
Hello! I’m Mafuri Long, a pro surfer training for the 2024 Olympics and the protagonist, (love that word), in the novel That Crazy Perfect Someday. Booklist calls my story “[A] beach-bag must-have.” It’s written by Michael Mazza. The dude followed me from my hometown of San Diego all the way to Australia, Key West, Florida, and Manila, chronicling all the crazy stuff that made my life a mess. I mean, things were golden after I rode an 80-foot wave—sponsorships from Google and Nike, a ton of cash. Fame. But then my dad, a cantankerous former Navy captain finds out the supercarrier he once commanded is going to be sunk to make a dive site and goes off the deep end, pulling me down with him. Throw in a vicious social media scandal, and an Aussie surf-diva named Kimberly Masters, my nemesis, who accuses me of doping, and well…you can imagine what a wild ride it’s been. Anyway, if you want all the tabloid-worthy details, the whole sick, devastating story, you can pick it up at any bookstore. But be warned. It ain’t pretty.
Check out some of my favorite books to read when I’m not shredding waves myself!
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