Top Ten Tuesday: Books for the Beach

It’s a gray and rainy day in St. James, but I labeled the kids’ sunscreen and packed it off to day care anyway. Because it’s summer, people. And that’s how we roll.

Summer means pool time and park time and yard time and beach time. It means beach books, too. Of course, if I take my children to . . . really, any of those places I mentioned, I will probably not be taking a book. I will be, you know, parenting.

But I remember reading on the beach. And maybe I will get to do it again one day. In the spirit of summer reading fun, here are my Top Ten Beach Reads. Check out my list, then click on over to The Broke and the Bookish to see lots more.

The Holiday for all the Family

1. The Nest. I kept hearing about this one. Then my friend J expressed his disappointment, calling it “The Corrections lite”. That actually sounded okay to me, and it was! Give yourself a good 60 pages or so to get past the fact that most of the characters are unsympathetic and the writing is more telling than showing. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the drama.

2. Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

and

3. This One Is Mine. I love, love, love Where’d You Go, Bernadette? so I decided to give Maria Semple’s first novel a try. It is not as wonderful (again, with the not very sympathetic characters), but it drew me in anyway. Two engaging reads, both light enough for the beach.

4. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

and

5. The Summer Before the War. In this case, the first novel is more wonderful than the second. I’ve read Major Pettigrew twice and loved it (and devoured it) each time. Helen Simonson’s new novel is not as well done, but I couldn’t help devouring it anyway.

6. The Jane Austen Book Club  Just so fun. Be careful not to get a sunburn while you spend a few hours on the sand with this delightful book.

7. Lady Susan.  I’m really looking forward to the Austen adaptation Love and Friendship, which is based on this slim comedy from Austen’s youth (not published during her lifetime). A non traditional but light and fun beach read.

8. The Thirteen Clocks. Beach reads should be light, right? This one is for children (and adults). It is very slim, very quick, and absolutely wonderful. If Zoe would sit still long enough at the beach / park / pool she would probably enjoy this as a read aloud, too.

9. The Girl on the Train. I think mystery novels and thrillers are great at the beach. I am finally getting around to this one, which promises to be gripping (if a little grim as well).

10. Poetry. If you are wrangling kids at the beach this summer, you might have time to read a poem or two (Pro Tip: Snack time can be book time.) I think Pablo Neruda would be great on the beach.

Olofsbo beach, Falkenberg, Halland, Sweden


What’s on your summer reading list?

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