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Berkleigh Wright attributes a lot of importance to reading. Not only is it an enjoyable pastime for the 2024 SI Swimsuit rookie, but it’s a meaningful one, too. Whether she’s reading fiction or nonfiction, fantasy or self-help, she can find an escape in the literature that she’s perusing.
But Wright recognizes that that’s not always the case. Some books, and particularly fiction, can be jarring to pick up. It can be “really hard to escape into a book” if “you’re not in the right headspace,” she explains in an interview with SI Swimsuit. “Sometimes books can be triggering for people.”
Knowing this, Wright has purposefully sought out authors whose books she can easily escape into—who guarantee enjoyment, rather than anxiety.
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Two authors that are guaranteed to provide an escape
These haven’t always been her go-to authors, but ever since she picked up their books, she hasn’t been able to put them down. They provide that quintessential escape that all good literature does.
This past year, Wright picked up The Hotel Nantucket, preparing to finally check Elin Hilderbrand off of her list of authors that she wanted to check out. What happened, though, was exactly the opposite. Rather than crossing her off the list, she found herself enamored with Hilderbrand’s ability to infuse “depth and drama” into otherwise lighthearted subjects.
According to the Denver Broncos cheerleader, this author’s books are “not triggering whatsoever, but they still provide you enough drama to keep you engaged.”
She likes Hilderbrand for her ability to develop characters and her ability to make Wright “laugh out loud.”
The Hotel Nantucket, $16.89 (amazon.com)
Set on Nantucket, Mass., Hilderbrand’s hit novel chronicles fictional people in actual spaces on the island.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Wright’s favorite thing about Taylor Jenkins Reid is her unpredictability. Some authors have a recognizable style. Reid, according to the SI Swim model, is “not predictable whatsoever” from “one book to the next.”
One of her favorite books by Reid—and in general—is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. It’s a “drama,” Wright says, “that documents the life of a socialite in old Hollywood.” While not itself a light read, per se, the author does have some lighter novels as well. Malibu Rising is one of her airier reads.
Another aspect of Reid’s writing that the cheerleader enjoys is her ability and habit of pulling characters from her novels into each other. There are a few names and faces that she has crafted that crop up in several of the books, though the story itself is different.
This is Wright’s favorite of Reid’s, and the one that she recommends starting with if you’re planning on picking up the author’s books for the first time.