This week's topic is:
TOP TEN BOOKS I'D RECOMMEND AS GOOD BEACH READS
Sun, surf, salt, and, yes, books... they have always gone together, haven't they? Well, for me they always have, and when I was in high school that actually resulted in my first-ever bout with sun poisoning. Thank you John Grisham and The Firm. I was 15 or 16 years old and bought the paperback on the way to the beach because I (gasp!) had nothing to read with me. When my mother, brother and I sat down on the beach, we lathered each other with sunscreen. My mom went for a walk down the boardwalk to shop and my brother and I jumped in the water. I got out shortly after, and spent the rest of the afternoon reading The Firm cover to cover never once thinking that all of my sunscreen washed off in the water!! Thank goodness I finished the book, because the fever didn't break the rest of the weekend that I spent, delirious, in bed!So I will offer you up my top ten list, but I will do so paired with a fair warning: make sure someone's got your back both literally and figuratively when it comes to sun protection before you get swept away on some of these adventures!
1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel: If you haven't already read this intriguing novel, then now is the time! This winter the story will make its theatrical debut. I read this when it first went paperback and, until this day, I still have thoughts of Pi and his mysterious travels every time I look at the ocean.
2. While Mortals Sleep: Unpublished Short Fiction by Kurt Vonnegut: Do you tend to go to the beach with large groups of people that interrupt your reading a lot? Some of my trips are like this, so that's when short stories are in order! This collection from one of the masters is perfect for such a trip. It is not set on a beach, and the stories don't have anything to do with the ocean or swimming, in general, but they are true Vonnegut, and what's not to love about that?
3. Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson: I know this is still hardcover and may weigh down your already larger than life beach bag, but it is worth it. You are already going to look awesome in your brand new bathing suit, under the sun; why not accentuate it all with a big ol' smile? Lawson, more widely known in these parts as The Bloggess, is hilarious. Her memoir takes what you thought was crazy about your family and makes it Norman Rockwell material. I haven't finished my copy yet, partially because I don't want it to end!
4. Heading Out To Wonderful by Robert Goolrick: is coming out this week and one that I am looking forward to reading during this beach season. I saw Goolrick speak at BEA last week and was so impressed by him and what others were saying about this book, that I think it will be one we will all be talking about. Here's a quick synopsis from Amazon:
Oooo... I must know more!"Let me tell you something, son. When you’re young, and you head out to wonderful, everything is fresh and bright as a brand-new penny, but before you get to wonderful you’re going to have to pass through all right. And when you get to all right, stop and take a good, long look, because that may be as far as you’re ever going to go.”
It is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, recently back from the war in Europe, shows up in the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village of a few hundred people, nestled in the Valley of Virginia. All he has with him are two suitcases: one contains his few possessions, including a fine set of butcher knives; the other is full of money. A lot of money.
5. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian: I don't know if this is cheating, because this book doesn't come out until September, but after just finishing the ARC and being consumed by the beach town of Jar Island in which it is set, I can not think of a better beach read for the contemporary YA lovers out there. So, jot it down for next year (this will be a trilogy, so that will still be timely), or come back later this week and see if you can win my copy of the ARC for your summer travels!
6. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall: In my dreams when I am healthy, strong and 100% back to me, I am a runner. I'll get back there. This book is an amazing, true adventure about some of the most amazing runners in the world, of all time. Running barefoot is also one thing they love to do, so don't be surprised, if, in the middle of reading on the beach, you feel the sudden urge to put your book down and run up and down the shore! If you have any interest in running, I am sure you have already read this book, but, if not, make sure it is in your beach bag (or, as I have it, in audio form on your iPod so you don't have to put the book down to pick up and run!).
7. The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standard Text for Writing and Life by Marion Roach: OK, fellow writers, don't cringe at the word "memoir" if that is not your genre, this book has plenty to offer and is fun, too. Roach takes us through her writing life in a very realistic hold-no-punches way that is not often seen in books of this nature. Balanced with some great anecdotes from her own life, the lessons within this pretty short book will stick with you long after you've finished.
8. The Maze Runner (Trilogy?) by James Dashner: I put the question mark in only because I have barely begun book one and although everyone who knows me swears I will love this series, I'm not sure I should go ahead and recommend the whole series without reading it all for myself. That said, there's enough good news bubbling around this series that I think it is safe to say that if you are behind in your reading like I am and haven't at least started The Maze Runner, then it should be in the beach bag!
9. Ultraviolet by S.J. Anderson: I heard about this book from SableCaught on YouTube and ever since, I have been wanting to read it. Here's the great pull: "Once upon a time there was a girl who was special. This is not her story. Unless you count the part where I killed her." What?! OK... You got me. Tell me more... So, like my recommendation above this comes without my experience of reading it first, but I am excited about it! (If, by the way, you haven't yet subscribed to SableCaught's YouTube channel - you should do that now; she's awesome.)
10. Read Your TV: Have you seen this image rolling around the Internet yet?
It's hilarious, and it's true! Pick a series you are addicted to (and, yes, this works particularly well if it's on HBO) and grab the books. There's True Blood, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Bones, Friday Night Lights, and The Vampire Diaries which only begin to shed light on some TV reading you can be doing in the sun.
So that's my crazy top ten. It's all over the map, I know. My tastes are... well... diverse, I guess. What would you put on the list? What do you think I should be grabbing to toss into my beach bag (I'm up for just about anything!)? Let me know in the comments, and, remember, if you want to join in on Top Ten Tuesday, just check back in with The Broke and the Bookish!