Friday, 20 July 2012

Beach blanket books


Note: This is a repost...but worth re-reading to get some summer reading inspiration!


The fantabulous part of summer reading is the lack of any desire on my part to better my mind in any way whatsoever.

Summer reading is ALL beach reading, glorious, often fluffy, always escapist, this is what I want. Reading on the beach, reading while reclining with a cold drink on the back deck, reading while driving (as a passenger of course) to the next camping destination. Oh, and don't forget reading at breakfast before anyone else is awake. I have to cram in reading when I can, and for that reason alone, we have reading material in every room of the house. And I do mean every room. That way I can pick something up and fly though a few pages or chapters when I get the chance.

Years ago, pre-kids, pre-career, pre-anything really, my BFF and I would pickle ourselves in baby oil, grab a towel, drinks, snacks and a nice trashy paperback novel each and head to the beach for an afternoon of sunbathing, reading and watching all the other teenagers who were hanging out. OH, the freedom! These days we use SPF 85 sunscreen, carry at least three bags of stuff, and spend the whole time making sure our children don't jump off the dock and drift away on the tide.

I still get some summer reading in, though, and I am plotting the books for this season. The obvious beach reads are those by authors like Iris Johansen, Nora Roberts, Fern Michaels, Susan Wiggs, and those kind of romance-thriller&suspense authors. And there are few of those in my stack. But I thought I would share some of the maybe lesser-known or long-forgotten books on my list as well as some of my all-time favourite summer reads.

Pageturners for summer reading

  1. Frenchman's Creek by Daphne DuMaurier: Love this. Books set in Cornwall get me every time, but this little volume about a bored noblewoman who falls for a charming pirate (and aren't they all charming?) is SUCH a guilty pleasure. DuMaurier's books are all worth picking up.
  2. Casting off by Nicole Dickson: The main character travels to a tiny island off Ireland to write a book about the region's traditional fisherman knit sweaters, and is embraced by the tight-knit (little knitting pun there) community. Makes me want to go there. Makes me want to knit.
  3. Thinking of you by Jill Mansell: Funny, funny, quirky. British writers are my go-to authors when I am looking for self-deprecating humour, and this is a good one. The romantic male lead is named Finn Penhaligon. Need I say more?
  4. Good in bed by Jennifer Weiner: Cannie Shapiro is a Big Girl. Voluptuous, curvy, real-woman sized. She is a great character, looking for love in all the wrong places, but surprises ensue and her whole life path changes. It will make you cheer.
  5. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher: Perennial favourite, big, sweeping family epic set in Cornwall. Like I said, Cornwall, I love it. Covers several generations of a family and all of their secrets, scandals, love and wind-blown beaches.
  6. The birth house by Ami McKay: Best. Book. Ever. It is such a good read that I have forced it upon almost anyone who asks in the library. "Oh, looking for a book? Read THIS." Set in rural Nova Scotia, it is set during the time when midwives were slowly being pushed out by the medicalization of childbirth. A few strong women fought back, and it makes for a great story.
  7. Ice cold by Tess Gerritsen: I was surprised by this. Don't know what I was expecting of this author but it was much better than I thought it would be. A real page-turner I consumed in a day.


Ones I am planning to read
  • The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo: I hear a LOT about the Scandinavian writers of murder mysteries, but this guy gets the most talk.
  • Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James: Okay, so, fabulous mystery writer takes on the world of Jane Austen?? I am so there.
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: Heard a lot about this, so I must try it.
  • The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny: This series has just gotten better and better, and I cannot wait for this latest Chief Inspector Armand Gamache book to be released in August.


Reading anything good? What is your best summer read? Please share... I still have room on my list for more titles! Now if only I can find the time...

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