From one beach to another, Laura Brading of curated book subscription service WellRead dives into merman fiction

At Summer Stories, we've asked our favourite changemakers for their best summer read. Like Laura Brading of curated book service WellRead

Laura, tell us your favourite summer story. 

"It's The Pisces by Melissa Broder. So dark, so dirty, so biting and so wonderfully weird, the only thing ‘beach reads’ about The Pisces is that it’s set by one (Venice, Los Angeles) and concerns a merman. 

Consumed voraciously over a couple of sessions at Austinmer Beach on the South Coast of NSW (my local), it’s a hard one to describe succinctly: existential dread type fiction laced with some mythology and a metaphysical romance thrown in for good measure which reads like merman erotica (I told you things got weird). 

Broder, who is also the author of the Twitter account cum book of essays So Sad Today, delves into some exciting subjects here: despair, emptiness, loneliness, love, addiction, misery, anxiety, Tinder dates! The writing is smart, searing, subversive and so, so funny. Like slap-your-knee-and-throw-sand-over-old-mate-who-is-baking-way-too-close-to-you-anyway type funny. At a guess I’ll say it’s probably not for everyone (merman erotica is quite specific), but it was absolutely, entirely for me.


Laura, while we have you, tell us about your business WellRead.

WellRead is a curated book subscription business that I’d been dreaming up for a couple of years. It wasn’t until my friend, and now business partner, Biz got involved that things got serious. We launched in July this year. For us, WellRead is all about the immeasurable power of reading and the very real ways it can make us better and more interesting people. We wanted to share that passion in a unique and modern way, one carefully curated book at a time. We wanted to help people get off their devices. We wanted to create something of value. We offer subscriptions for readers big and small with the promise of stimulating your reading life.

Laura, thank you so much. We'll keep an eye on your bookshelf, always.


📚  Gabriella Simonian of online retailer Hey Harlow on reading on a Cypriot beach

🌿  Full disclosure: lemon myrtle is possibly the most popular ingredient in Summer Stories product playlist

✨  Totes amaze: our Whitsunday blue string market bags are just the thing for the beach or bodega