Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top Ten Beach Reads

I personally don't like reading at the beach.  Too windy, too many distractions, and often too cold.  But I'll attempt to ignore those irritations for now and just give you a list of a variety of favorites that happen to have what I consider the necessary qualities of a beach read:  entertaining (high interest level), quick (lively writing style), and smart (mentally engaging).

Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb
1. Something Current:  Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb by George Rabasa
A tale of dysfunction, mental illness, and purpose of life, all told in a remarkably funny and lighthearted manner.  From the lovely Unbridled Books.

Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel
2. Something Modern ClassicSlaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Check this off your list: a bizarrely historical and science-fiction-y book that jumps around as much as the beach volleyball team.

Stardust Publisher: Harper Perennial
3. Something FantasyStardust by Neil Gaiman
A quick trip into the fantastic, Stardust is never short on action.  Creativity and humor abound in this finely imagined tale.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone Classics)
4. Something Vintage ClassicMiss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winnifred Watson
 Whether you are up for a romp through London's social scene in the 1930s or just want a little Cinderella daydreaming, this delightful book fits the bill.

(TRUE GRIT)) BY Portis, Charles(Author)Paperback{True Grit} on 05 Nov-2010
5. Something WesternTrue Grit by Charles Portis
More in the mood for a quirky western?  Look no further than True Grit.  Its fairly simple story is told with such a unique voice that it may be a struggle to refrain from reading out loud.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
6. Something Young AdultThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Showcasing some of the best attributes of YA (honesty, growth, humor) this book will have you laughing, but may have you crying as well.  And you just may learn something in the process.

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen: A Novel
7. Something Sweet and SouthernLooking For Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
Looking for proof that all the oddball irritations in life can turn into something worthwhile?  Look no further than the Dairy Queen.

And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie Collection)
8. Something MysteryAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Fun in that classic mystery suspense sort of way, this book will keep you turning pages.

Lois the Witch
9. Something ClassicLois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell
There's no reason why the beach must stand in the way of your classic literature goals and desires, especially with a trim piece of historical interest such as this.  A tale of the Salem Witch Trials by the author of North and South, Wives and Daughters, Cranford and others.

Ella Minnow Pea
10. Something Linguistically CleverElla Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Finally, if you tend towards wanting something witty and love word plays, this might be just the thing.  A fable told in a series of letters, it's a delightful way to pass the time.

(Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting Top Ten Tuesday!)


  1. Too cold? Wow, my dh told me CA beaches were cold, but it's hard to fathom. The beaches around here are boiling hot. :) I think a book needs to be adrenaline-laced and mindless for the beach because of the other distractions you mentioned.

    I have Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day out of the library on your recommendation. I'm kind of buried in books though, so I don't know when......

  2. It's true...even in the couple of weeks that get above 90 at my house, the beaches stay pretty cool and breezy. I have a hard time imagining boiling hot beaches!

    I hope you enjoy Miss Pettigrew!

  3. Love your list! I really want to read Dairy Queen and True Grit.

  4. The good news is that they are both pretty quick reads in addition to being good stories...I've been all about the quick books this year. :)

  5. It looks like you have a couple of Indie books on your list. I'm itching to get a couple of those read before too long.

    As for cold beaches. Hmmm.... I'm going to have to think about that. We only have 2 summer months that are beachy but then it is muggy and humid and hot,hot,hot.

    When I think of beach reading I immediately think about Maui and and Sanibel Island. My two favorite beaches these are.

  6. I just got a copy of Ella Minnow Pea and thought it looked charming. I like your categories.

    Check out my Top Ten Tuesday


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