Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Books for beach reading

In theory at least the weather in Northeast Ohio will be summery soon (keeping my fingers crossed that it's on a weekend).

I'm looking forward to kicking back with some good beach reads. And by good I mean page-turning, light, breezy, fun chick lit. And a touch of the bodice-ripper doesn't hurt either. Exactly the sort of book my cohort Jason despises.

Got to thinking about the best beach books I've read. And started looking for some new ones to put on my list.

NPR did a survey last summer and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series books topped it.

At, the No. 1 book on the Best Seriously Entertaining Beach Reads is "This Is Not Civilization" by Robert Rosenberg. breaks down its top books to read at the beach by genre. It offers suggestions to hose who like romance, tear-jerkers, mysteries and more.

And suggests Maeve Binchy's "Tara Road" as one worth toting on vacation.

I've read the Potter books and most everything by Binchy (including "Tara Road," which was a nice way to spend an afternoon).

I've put the Rosenberg work on my list, but I'm always looking for more, so if you've got a suggestion please pass it on.

Here's a few of my favorites you may enjoy. (And by you I don't mean you, Jason.)

"Penmarric" and "Cashelmara" by Susan Howatch. Families whose fortunes rise and fall across the generations. Just about every vice you can think of is represented here. Perennial favorites among the readers in my family.

"Good in Bed" and "In Her Shoes" by Jennifer Weiner. Women who think they're not thin enough or pretty enough to get what they want do. How can you not love that!?

Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series. Made for beach reading.

Let the sun shine!

- Tricia Ambrose


Blogger Steve Roszczyk said...

Second try to post:

I'll suggest some books that are older, definitely out of your comfort zone, but ones that you won't be able to put down.

The first three are Michael Crichton novels. "A Case of Need" was written under a pseudonym and is a a medical thriller in which a Boston pathologist, Dr. John Berry, investigates an apparent illegal abortion conducted by an obstretrician friend which caused the early demise of a young woman. Because it was written over 40 years ago, you'll have to forgive some it's dated practices but if you keep that in context, you'll find it to be a page burner.

The second is "Congo", centers on an expedition searching for diamonds in the tropical rain forest of Congo. They discover the legendary lost city of Zinj and an unusual race of barbarous gorillas. The movie did not do it justice.

The final Crichton selection is "Disclosure". It is a semi bodice-ripper that centers on sexual politics in the workplace, emphasising an array of paradoxes in traditional gender functions, by featuring a male protagonist who is being sexually harassed by a female executive.

(synopsis for all three were from Wiki).

The final book is "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo. Yes, I know what you are thinking but I'll bet you a buck that you won't be able to put it down and it will be a much better read than what you expected.

Expand your horizon and step out of your box. Besides, given your ability to chunk and skim, I doubt that you'll put more than a day or two in reading all four.

June 16, 2010 at 4:37 PM 
Blogger tjohnston said...

It's not easy and breezy, but I'm currently enjoying The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. And I was late to the party with Eat, Pray, Love because I tend to hate popular things as a rule, but was pleasantly surprised.

Peter Mayle has some stuff that's been out for a while - generally about ex-pats who end up in the South of France mixed up in various criminal scenarios (art theft, jewel theft, etc). Featuring the luxury of the Cote d'Azur, sex and treachery, they are good beach reads.

June 16, 2010 at 5:52 PM 
Anonymous JLea said...

I was going to mention Crichton's "Congo" and "Jurassic Park," also, Steve.

"Godfather" is a favorite. However, if you're looking for something more local, Rick Porello's "The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia" and "To Kill an Irishman" fit the bill. But my favorite mob book is "Honor thy Father" by Gay Talese. For me, that's summer reading (not stories about women who don't think they are thin enough.)

I think summer reading books should come with a shame scale, indicating how embarrassed you should be while reading it. The scale would range from "zipper needs adjustment" to "farting at funeral."

Furthermore, making fart jokes on the book blog ranks pretty high on the shame scale.

June 18, 2010 at 1:29 PM 
Anonymous Kim said...

good information

June 22, 2010 at 1:00 PM 
Anonymous Joe said...

very good info

June 22, 2010 at 1:01 PM 

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