Top Ten Books for the Beach

Can you believe it’s Tuesday already?

Alternately, can you believe it’s only Tuesday?

Whichever side of that coin you choose, take a few minutes to enjoy this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by the fine bloggers at the Broke and the Bookish.  Summer is here, and with it comes my list of the best books to read on the beach.  Check out my list, check out the lists of other bloggers, and add your favorite beach reads in the comments!

Now, one of the criteria for a beach read is that it’s light, and light reads are often forgettable reads, aren’t they?   So, here are some fun books that I remember enough to recommend . . .

1. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie: I could put an Agatha Christie book on every list, of course.  I just finished this one a few weeks ago, and it is delightful.  No Poirot, no Marple, no police inspectors.  Just Lady Frankie Derwent and Bobby Jones the vicar’s son.  Like many of Christie’s novels-without-detectives, it’s basically a light romantic comedy with a few dead bodies.  Perfect for the beach.

2. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne-Jones: My new favorite fantasy novel doesn’t take itself too seriously, but is a captivating story with lovable characters and a good sense of humor.  That sounds a little like a personal ad, but what can I say?  I would totally take this one for a long walk on the beach.

3. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler: Light and fun, but not inane.  It may make you want to reread your favorite Austen novels, too.

4. Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office by Jen Lancaster:  The first of Jen Lancaster’s very funny self-deprecating memoirs.  I’ve read two or three of these and enjoyed them all.  Now I see there are two newer ones I haven’t read, which may be on my vacation / beach book list this year . . .

5. Bossypants by Tina Fey: Just so funny and well done.  Naturally.

6. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling: Speaking of funny . . . Mindy Kaling is funny and talented and someone I would totally hang out with.  (I probably said something to that effect in my review of this one.)

7. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: To be honest, sometimes I like to read a big fat classic novel at the beach.  This one is dark and brooding, engrossing, and deliciously Victorian.  In fact, part of what I loved about Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? was the way it reminded me of this spooky tale.

Woman sitting on a beached boat reading a book, ca. 1925

And . . . this week’s list is just a top seven.  But I know there are tons of great books for the beach.  What are your favorites?


Filed under Book Report

12 responses to “Top Ten Books for the Beach

  1. kara

    I loved Bossypants I read it after i read a string of books about death and it was just what I needed. I laughed from start to finish. I would add to the list The Discovery of Witches (Debroh Harkness), Jemima J (Jane Green), and Size 12 is Fat (Meg Cabot) . In fact Size 12 is Not Fat has two other books. They are a light mystery and a lot of fun.


  2. I love to read nonfiction, and Bitter is the New Black looks like something I would like to read. I will have to look into that one.


    • Oh, yes! It is incredibly funny, as are her next two books. It turns out there are THREE more I haven’t read, all of which will soon be on their way to me via my local library. Top Ten Tuesday totally lit up my week.


  3. Slightly off topic but Tuesday is my least favourite day of the week…at least on Monday you are still in weekend mode, but on Tuesday I’m always shocked that it’s *only* Tuesday still.


    • Ha! I am ambivalent about Tuesday. Sometimes, I think, “Oh, thank goodness, only Tuesday. Two more days to procrastinate writing my sermon.” Other times I think, “Shoot, Tuesday already? Get to work!” This week is VBS every night, so I am just thinking, “What day is it?”


  4. I have The Woman in White as a reread this year. Loved it many years ago. Enjoyed your list. Thanks.


  5. Oh, I quite like your list! It makes me want to dive into more Agatha Christie. And also? I love that you included The Woman In White because it’s one of those books that completely absorbed my attention!

    My Top Ten Tuesday


    • Thank you! You really should dive into more Christie. More like this one include . . . The Man in the Brown Suit, The Secret of Chimneys, and really most of the ones without Poirot or Miss Marple (I love those books too, of course). And I think I may need to reread The Woman in White this summer, because it just keeps springing to mind.

      Thanks for stopping!


  6. Kate

    Bookends by Jane Green


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