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A Reader of Fictions: Top Ten Beach Reads

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Ten Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Well, I'll give this one a shot, even though I don't think I read too many books that I would characterize as beach reads. I mean, I've read a lot of really depressing stuff at the beach. Oh well.

So, like a lot of people, I associate beach reads with contemporary fiction, especially romantic fiction. Looking back through the books I've read, I realize precisely how little contemporary fiction I've read. Prepare yourself for a rather eclectic list. This list will also highlight the fact that I love both YA and adult fiction.

10. A Ring of Endless Light - Madeleine L'Engle
I actually can't really vouch for the quality of this one as an adult, but I loved this book when I was younger. From what I recall, there's a bit of romance, which was swoon-worthy then, but who knows now. More importantly, it's about a girl who discovers she has a kinship with dolphins, which I have always wanted. Don't you want to sit on a deck chair and imagine that's you while you listen to the music of the waves?

9. Paper Towns - John Green
While Paper Towns is not my favorite John Green novel by any means, I do think it would probably be the best beach read. Although it's perhaps slightly sad for the beach, I think the overall tone is more triumphant than some of his others. Plus, it's set in Florida, so obvi. Also, he's one of the few contemporary authors I read. :-p

8. The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear - Walter Moers
This is where my list starts getting really weird. Odds are you might not be familiar with this utterly magical book, and if that's the case, I suggest rectifying that immediately. Moers is an author and an illustrator. The pictures are really what I love the book for, but the story is utterly charming too, although he can go a bit crazy with description sometimes. My vague connection to the beach is that the book cover is yellow, like sand you see, and Bluebear starts out floating on the ocean. So there you go. Also, it's funny, and I love laughing on the beach.

7. The DUFF - Kody Keplinger
Hey look! It's a contemporary YA. Enjoy this, because it's the last one I have for you on this list. That's right I found two (three if that's how you categorize A Ring of Endless Light). I suspect another of Keplinger's books might be a better beach read; I know I'd love to read A Midsummer's Nightmare on my beach trip later this year. However, this is the only one I've read so far, and I don't like to recommend books I haven't read. What makes The DUFF a great beach read: sexytimes. Who doesn't want to read sexy scenes while enjoying the sunshine?

My review.

6. You're (Not) the One - Alexandra Potter
I do have a couple more contemporaries, but these are intended for mature audiences. Can you handle it?  I read and reviewed this one last year, and was totally charmed. The story turns romance plotting on its head in a funny, refreshing way. Again, I love funny reads for the beach. It's a time to be lighthearted and amused, even if I usually don't follow that. Anyway, I don't think you can go wrong with this one.

My review.

5. Welcome to Temptation - Jennifer Crusie
While I don't think I've read this particular one on a beach trip, I do believe I've read a Crusie book on most of my beach trips in recent years. Although I don't read too many romance novels anymore (my heyday was in middle school/high school), I always make an exception for Crusie. If you like romance and aren't reading her, omg do it right now. She has excellent sexytimes, and is also hilarious. I have to recommend Welcome to Temptation, because that one was one of my reads when I went to Florida freshman year (when my mom and I restarted a tradition of going annually). You can't go wrong with most of her books, though.

4. Enchanted, Inc. - Shanna Swendson
This series is my favorite chick lit/romance/urban fantasy. Swendson is not a big name, and a lot of people have never heard of this series. If you haven't, get thee to a book vendor anon! Swendson's books are sweet and funny. They are also magical. The heroine is a rare person upon whom magic cannot work. She gets a job with a magical firm, and has the cutest boss ever. From what I recall, the series is pretty clean, so even if you're not normally a fan of chick lit, I still recommend this. These books are just SO GOOD.

3. Big Trouble - Dave Barry
Obviously, I am hugely creative, because this one is also set in Florida. Everyone admire my ability to choose beach reads because of where they're located! Of course, Big Trouble is also side-splittingly funny. I love Dave Barry's humor, and I think this book is the best of his fiction. If you take this along on your beach trip, be prepared to have people give you the stink-eye for how loud you're laughing in public. I also recommend that you take the movie adaptation along to watch when you're done, because it's awesome.

2. Princess Academy - Shannon Hale
Along with Crusie's book, this is the only other one I've actually read on the beach. Mostly I'm including it for that fact, because, really, it's not an ordinary beach read. However, of the things I've read while at the beach, this one and Crusie are definitely closest to being typical beach reads. I really love Shannon Hale. Her books are amazing. This is the first one I read, and I really didn't have any expectations, because I thought it was middle grade (cover fail) and it sounded lame. SO NOT LAME. Anyway, if you find yourself wanting some fantasy on your trip, you can't go wrong with Shannon Hale's YA fantasy novels. Plus, this one has a sequel coming out in September, so you should prep now!

1. Beauty Queens - Libba Bray
Clearly, the ideal thing to read on the beach is a dystopia. Especially one about beauty queens stuck on an island. There are so many beach scenes in this. Awesome, right? And, you may be thinking, 'But won't I feel ugly wearing a bathing suit while I read about beauty queens?' Don't worry at all. You'll just be glad you don't have an airline meal tray stuck in your head! Seriously, this is my best beach read idea. I wish I had saved this to read until I was on a beach vacation.

My review.



Blogger Steena said...

I don't have a lot of contemporary lit in my repertoire and I cannot currently think of a light, fluffy, beachy romance in my reading annals. I feel like I always end up reading mystery and murder books at the beach, "it was a dark and stormy night" type of stuff. Agatha Christie and Daphne Du Maurier come to mind. You know, the exact opposite of sunshine and fun.

June 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I just read whatever was at the top of my to be read pile. It really doesn't matter to me where I read things. Haha.

June 12, 2012 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Christina T said...

I am becoming a fan of Jennifer Crusie. I have Bet Me on my Top Ten list and I just read Anyone But You which I also liked. I'll have to look for Welcome to Temptation. Enchanted, Inc. looks good to me too. I own Beauty Queens but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Maybe this summer...

June 12, 2012 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger SarahO. said...

Awesome list! I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction either... actually looking at my bookshelf I don't see many either.lol Beauty Queens sounds so cool, I would love to bring that to the beach!

Here's My Top Ten

June 12, 2012 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Farah said...

Totally there with you on The DUFF and Beauty Queens. Awesome list! :D

Drop by my Top 10?

June 12, 2012 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

YES on Beauty Queens! I can't believe I forgot it. It would be so much fun to read on the beach.

Thanks for stopping by LIO!

June 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay! Those are all good things. I think Anyone But You was good, but I don't have special memories of it. I've read most of her books. Bet Me was definitely one that stood out for me, especially since the heroine wasn't a skinny model type, which is so rare.

Please do yourself a favor and read Enchanted, Inc. and Beauty Queens. They are soooooo amazing.

June 12, 2012 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Beauty Queens is insanely hilarious. Go for it!

June 12, 2012 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Right? I was looking through my book list and laughed out loud when I saw that one. I Knew it had to be my top pick!

June 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger fakesteph said...

It was sooo good meeting you this week! And I wish I had time to go sit at the beach. I really want to read Beauty Queens and reread Paper Towns. And it has been a LONG time since I've read A Ring of Endless Light. I want to read through all of L'engles stuff again.

June 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I've been wanting to reread The DUFF so badly, but I have so many things to read. Not that I'm complaining, of course, because I love my to read pile, but I need some reread time!

June 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Giselle said...

Oh The Duff! I really want to read that one especially that I really enjoyed Midsummer's Nightmare. Great list! Paper Towns is also on my TBR!

June 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

Great choices. I am gonna add to my already LONG tbr pile!! Come check mine too:

Here is my Top Ten post!

June 12, 2012 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The DUFF. Oh my, I really liked that book, but never got the chance to finish it. And Kody's books are hilarious! Shut Out!:D

I have never read John Greene's books before. Must check them out.

June 12, 2012 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

You're not starting with Paper Towns for your John Green are you? I wouldn't personally. I mean, it's good, but not my fav. Then again, maybe it is a good place to start, because it's very typical John Green. Reading it after some of the others it might be a disappointment.


June 12, 2012 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay! I love adding books to my pile, even though it kind of intimidates me!

June 12, 2012 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I still need to read Kody's other books! I'm buried under review books at the moment though, and since I don't have review copies of those, they have to wait!

June 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

And yes, John Green! Do it!

June 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

hahaha...i need to check out the Beauty Queen dystopia!

June 12, 2012 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yeah you do!

June 12, 2012 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

I don't need a book set in Florida since I already live here! I love the idea of Beauty Queens as a beach read though. I have it in my tbr pile and will definitely check it out this summer!

June 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Haha, Florida just automatically equals beachy for me, since that's where most of my beach vacations have been, as it is conveniently located for Georgians.

June 12, 2012 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

YES to A RING OF ENDLESS LIGHT! I'm so glad I wasn't the only one to list that title :)

Lovely list this week!

June 12, 2012 at 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Lauren @ Story Bound said...

Enchanted, Inc sounds like such a cute book! Thanks for sharing it - I had never heard of it now I definitely want to check it out. Also, Princess Academy is on my to-read list!

June 12, 2012 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

A Ring of Endless Light was a last minute inspiration. I loved it when I was young. I really hope I like it still now when I get around to rereading it!

June 13, 2012 at 12:48 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay! I've been telling people about Enchanted, Inc. for years! You should totally check it out when you can! Princess Academy is so great! The Goose Girl is also completely stellar storytelling.

June 13, 2012 at 12:49 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

You just can't go wrong with taking Dave Barry to the beach. He's so darn funny. Great list.

June 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I really like that this list doesn't consist of typical beach reads, and I especially like that Beauty Queens is number one; so epic! haha

June 14, 2012 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger KatOfDiamonds said...

I didn't realise "A Ring of Endless Light" was a book but I loved the 2002 DCOM!!! *sigh* I miss quality DCOMS...

June 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger April (BooksandWine) said...

Hahahaha I love you are like well normally I think of contemporary books for the beach but these are my picks and there's only 2 contemps. Way to stick to your guns.


YAYYY FOR JENNIFER CRUSIE. I wish more bloggers would discover her books and read them because she is fantastic.

Also? I need to read Princess Academy like next week or something, as I have the sequel now. And Shannon Hale is fabulous.

June 14, 2012 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

It IS a book. And I may or may not have read it SOLELY because of the DCOM, which starred Mischa Barton, I think. Weird, right?

June 14, 2012 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yeah! We can read some totally not really beach reads during our FLA trip!

June 14, 2012 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Haha, right? My problem is I don't really READ beach reads, so I had to cast a broader net as it were. If I posted contemps, I would have to post like half of the contemps I've read, and it would be almost entirely John Geeen, Sarah Dessen, and Meg Cabot, which society tells me are 'beach reads' but I think they're a little deep (except for Meg's but they don't seem beachy). Whatevs!

Jennifer Crusie is so wondrous. I'm glad you're familiar with her, since you're a romance fan!

Do read Princess Academy. You so should. I have the sequel too, and I think I'm going to MAKE TIME to read the first book again because it's been so long.

June 14, 2012 at 3:52 PM  

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