Friday, May 22, 2015

Beach Reads


By and large we seem to equate beach reads with mindless reads. I don't really discriminate - I've read some super heavy things while sitting with my ass in the sand. But it is nice sometimes to drift away with a book that doesn't require a ton of thought...even though personally, I like for them to require some as you'll see reflected below. As we roll into Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff to the summer season, here are some books that might fit the bill.

1. The Archy McNally Series by Lawrence Sanders - McNally is a funny, quirky, playboy character living and private detecting in Palm Beach. A little mystery, a little weirdness, and a little beach background. I think there are more than 10 books, the later ones are co-written.

2. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles - Lose yourself in 1930s Manhattan - the gin and the jazz and the streets are almost so descriptive that you can feel them. The story is good too.

3. A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams -  It starts on Memorial Day 1938 in a little seaside community in Rhode Island and whirls around you from there until you're entrenched in it.

4. Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky - The setting calls to me so I put up with some of the crap I wouldn't stand for in a story normally.

5. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells - I hope you haven't seen the movie, but even if you have, you should read this book. I loved it fiercely. It's full of some hard stuff but there's a lot of perseverance and love and southern charm.

6. Beach Music by Pat Conroy - This is also heavy. Very. But the story is so intricate and there's so much going on, plus you get The Drifters and the book itself being a basic love letter to the Low Country. This is Conroy at his best.

7. Outer Banks by Anne Rivers Siddons - I love the writing in this book, it seems urgent and melancholy all at once. There's a lot of quotable passages in this book and I love the southern in Siddons.

8. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume - Judy for adults. A weird and complicated friendship set against the backdrop of Martha's Vineyard.

9. Lake Wobegon Summer, 1956 by Garrison Keillor - Ah, the good old days. A book about a geeky boy coming of age in the heartland with a passage about a fart that made me laugh so hard I cried numerous times. Not a bad way to meander through an afternoon.

10. Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt - I read this book over and over as a young adult. It's one of my favorite books. I've also read it as an adult and still enjoyed it. Yes, it's YA, but it's also a Newberry Award winning novel.

What do you recommend for people looking for beach reads?

Happy long weekend! As we enjoy our flags and our burgers, don't forget why we are able to do so freely. Memorial Day is not Veterans' Day. Memorial Day is in observance of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice - their lives for our freedom and interests. I mean no disrespect to anyone serving now or who has served, but every day is a day to thank a veteran, yes? Monday belongs to those who didn't come home.

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31 comments:

  1. Joy Fielding's novels are a good mix of thriller/suspense, romance, and family drama. I recommend "Whispers And Lies", "Mad River Road", "Heartstopper", "Lost", "Don't Cry Now", and "Charley's Web".

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  2. i have a beach read - it's called "the manny". haven't started it yet but looking forward to a light, fun read.

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  3. I love a good beach read. I enjoyed that Judy Blume book years ago. And I hear there is a new adult book coming. :-) Enjoy the long weekend, Steph!

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  4. 9 and 10 look good to me!!! Especially 9, you had me at the word "fart". Happy kick off to summer. Hope everyone has a safe and sound and happy long weekend!
    Love, Your Momma

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  5. Yes, when I'm on the beach I want a book that just takes me a way to a similar happy place! Have a great weekend! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  6. FINALLY. Someone who knows the difference and believes the way I do. FINALLY.

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  7. I think that Beach House by Jane Green would have been the perfect beach read!!! Love your list, I am trying to remember if I read Summer Sisters or not and I dont think I have. I used to love Judy Blume when I was younger.

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  8. MmmmmMmm Beach reading - Need to get my butt to the beach. *SIGHS*

    I think a good beach read is a book with a really gripping story - that you can sit, and just completely mush into the book. When I read on a beach - I just want to be there forever.

    With that said - carving out the time NOW to get my butt to the beach soon!

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  9. I love Beach Music so much. Even though it's full of hard stuff, he transports you in to those rooms and to Charleston with his words so well. I just finished the Nightingale and I really enjoyed it. Also heavy at times, but I think it would be a good beach read!

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  10. Thanks for all the suggestions! I've bookmarked several of them!

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  11. One of my all time faves is The Thorn Birds... classic beach read for me! And yes to the spirit of remembrance this Memorial day!

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  12. Great suggestions! I've started to feel like recommended beach reads are typically mindless reads too. I do prefer a "light read" when relaxing at the beach or by the pool, but I really am up for anything :)

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  13. Thanks for the book suggestions. Have a great weekend.

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  14. Of all these I've only read Summer Sisters, but will check out a few more for sure. I love Judy Blume and I love that book and I'm now thinking it deserves a 2015 re-read!

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  15. Now you have me daydreaming of reading a book until I pass out in the sand, only to wake up hours later completely rested with an amazing tan. ahhhhhhhhh

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  16. Have a great weekend! I'm looking for a summer read as well!

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  17. I am now obsessed with beatriz williams. hundren summers hooked me! you have great taste.

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  18. Summer Sisters - its been awhile since I read that - I need to do it all over again.

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  19. i'm not just saying this, but i legit had my beach reads post scheduled today but i changed it for next week because i was going to be too busy today. we would have been twinsies!
    summer sisters is on my list as well - i haven't read any of the others, they are all on my TBR list!

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  20. Summer Sisters is one of my favorite books by far, I love it!

    And if we're judging books by the title- I want to read "Sweet Salt Air". That just sounds delightful.

    And I've seen the Ya-Ya movie tons of times but I suspect the book is amazing, been wanting to read that too.

    Have a great long weekend!!!

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  21. I love these types of "mindless reads" and definitely will be saving this list! I've been into books by comedians lately, but am just about out, so I will look for some of these. Thanks and have a nice weekend!

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  22. Added a few of these to my to-read list - thanks for the suggestions!

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  23. How does the Ya-Ya Sisterhood book differ from the movie? I'm sure in a ton of ways but as someone that's watched the movie plenty of times, I'm intrigued. :P Have a great weekend Stephanie! -Iva

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  24. I haven't read any of these! Adding them all to my list!

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  25. Kate Angell has a great Barefoot William series. I love her quirky characters and sweet love stories.

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  26. I read A Hundred Summers at your recommendation and LOVED it. Definitely a great beach read!

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  27. I need to read the Ya Ya sisterhood I think. The movie was okay but my mom saw it with me and it hit her really close to home and the whole experience turned into a kind of post traumatic experience for her... She doesn't talk about things like that so I was left a little afraid of the whole thing but I might try it now that I am older

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  28. I remember really like Summer Sisters. This list also reminded me of The Beach House by Jane Green.

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  29. I want #2 to be my life situation. I need to read that!

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  30. I love lighter reads for the beach and there are some good ones here. The heavy ones I like to save for just before bed (aka my reading time) when I can reflect on them a bit more. Still, Ive taken quite a few of these down for further use. haha my ever-growing reading list.

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  31. I've read most of these but was super happy to see new reads too!

    Elin Hilderbrand is my beach book go to author, I love her beach reads.

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