It’s Almost Summer, and that Means Beach Reads!!

There are many reasons that this is one of my favorite times of year – and no, not just because it’s nearly my birthday, not because the weather gets lovely (but these are totally awesome reasons too), I love that it’s time for the beach read.  Of course I love going to the beach or pool for a little break and being able to read, but there is something about the beach read.

I tend to designate my “beach read” time (as opposed to my, oh I have a few hours that I can sit at the pool and maybe read) as either a holiday weekend or when I am away. I may read what I am working on, but I prefer to give my reading a vacation too with something that I might not normally read, or take a break from something more intense for something lighter and fast.

On Sunday I posted a review for Fly Away by Kristin Hannah, which I thought my be my first beach read recommendation of the season, when I had an early spring hot weather getaway. I was not at the beach, and this book turned out to not be at all light (not that I didn’t enjoy it, you can see from the review, but it turns out it wasn’t what I personally look for in a beach read). This holiday weekend (thank you all for taking a holiday to celebrate my birthday with me), I am not sure what I am going to read. I have many books going right now, and really if I found time to dedicate to sit out and get into a book it should be to finish The Goldfinch (it is taking me forever), but I will hopefully find myself starting Elin Hilderbrand’s Beautiful Day. It takes place in Nantucket, there is a wedding and family drama – seems exactly what a beach read should be.

What are you going to be reading this holiday weekend? And what “beach reads” would you recommend to me and my readers for this summer?


It’s Monday, 27 May – What Are You Reading

It’s time for Book Journey’s fabulous weekly posting “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?”

Happy Memorial Day! I hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend, and getting lots of reading in (whether it’s by the beach, the pool, or in your favorite reading chair because it is too cold, or even snowy, to go out). This is my birthday weekend, and I just got a new puppy, so reading time hasn’t been as much as previous years, but it has been a great weekend.

I didn’t finish up any books this week, but I have been making some progress in A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (which I got from a Shelf Awareness giveaway) and also Dan’s Brown’s newest Inferno (which is a good beach/pool read – having read some by the pool today I can attest to this).

Here’s my last week in review:

Books Finished:

Reviews Posted:

How about you? How was your week last week and what are you going to be reading this week?

It’s Monday, 25 March: What Are You Reading?

It’s time for Book Journey’s fabulous weekly posting “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?”

A finished book, and a posted review … not too bad for my Spring Break week. I powered through Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. I know there has been a lot of press on this book and a lot of strong feelings. This book really spoke to me, and I highly recommend it to women, and men. Reviews wise, I got my review for Hillary Reyl’s Lessons in French written and posted.

I admit I haven’t picked up Born to Run (but have been out there training for a half marathon) and I am not making a lot of progress in Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs by Ted Kerasote, either. I need to get back into both of those. I have a little break coming up, so please send along any lighter, beach reads you might have read recently, I am looking to add a few new things to my Kindle.

Here’s my last week in review:

Books Finished:
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Reviews Posted:
Lessons in French by Hillary Reyl

How about you? How was your week last week and what are you going to be reading this week?

What Are You Reading This Summer

OK, it’s already the middle of August and I feel like the time of summer reading is passing me by. I have been very slow on reading this year, I’m not sure what it is but I need some motivation and plowing through a few fun, perfect beach-read books is just the thing to get me moving again. As it happens, I will find myself on a beach in a few days, for only a few days — but that should do it.

So my wonderful readers who seem to devour books like candy, please let me know what your favorite beach-worthy book was this summer. I want to fill my giant beach bag with suntan lotion, twizzlers and books (and also magazines, I am a magazine junkie but that’s a different story). I would also love if you would share with me what makes a book that perfect beach read to you.

… and yes, in case you were wondering, I did already read all three Fifty Shades.

Thank you so much. Happy reading!

Beach Reads?

Each year, as we get to the beginning of summer, in addition to stores making end caps filled with sun block, bug spray and beach towels, we see end caps and tables of recommended beach reads (and not just in book stores). This category of the beach read isn’t confined to retail either as newspapers and magazines include articles dedicated to beach reads and recommended summer reading lists based on your literary leisure.

I love this! Not that I need a “reading season” but it’s exciting to see the mass interest in books this time of year. And I am a fan of the recommended reading lists — as someone who loved school, but is a few years out of matriculation — it brings me back to that time.

This past Friday, the New York Times included a cover story in the Arts Section titled “The Girls of Summer” which provided a review from Janet Maslin of the “traditional” chick lit summer fare for the beach read. 

I try and balance out what I am reading, moving between fiction and non-fiction, enough that I consider myself somewhat well-read. So, it was with great excitement that I read Maslin’s piece to find a few more books to pack in my already overstuffed suitcase. Included in the review was the latest novel from Lisa See Shanghai Girls. I have read two of See’s other novels (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love, both of which I really enjoyed) so this one was already on my “things to get before I go away” list. Another book featured in the article was Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan. The write-up, and follow-up review in the NYT Book Review section this weekend (you can check out Maria Russo’s review here) enticed me enough that while I was on Amazon today getting Shanghai Girls I picked up Commencement too. (My reviews of both these books are scheduled for mid-July as the TBR pile is so large right now that they will not get on deck until early July.)

These were the only two featured in the article that I purchased this week (although I did also get the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Olive Kitteridge), but wanted to note my favorite line from Maslin that was pulled out of Jennifer Wiener’s latest Best Friends Forever, “Ms. Weiner’s characters are warmly and realistically drawn, even if the weathergirl needs to be told, about the Weathermen, ‘those guys weren’t actual meteorologists.’” (I have not read Weiner before, not sure how I happened to avoid her books, including the novel-turned-movie In Her Shoes, but based on the Weathermen line alone and the laugh it gave me, I might have to pick up BFF too!)

But beach reads? I’m not sure why we give ourself license to read these books in the summer while on vacation or relaxing. But I like that so often books (no matter what the genre) are on people’s minds to include on their “what to pack for vacation” list, especially if they don’t take (or have) the time to read on a more regular basis any other time of the year.

QUESTION OF THE DAY (please post responses in the Comments section):

Do you find that you reserve a certain genre, author, etc. to read only in the summer or when you are taking a vacation?