Top Ten Tuesday: Books For Your Beach Bag!

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful, long holiday weekend. Luckily, I was able to do a lot of reading and completed three books! Now, I just need to write my reviews. Look for those later this week. In the meantime, I present you with my top ten beach reads!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s topic is Top Ten Books That Should Be In A Beach Bag (your perfect beach reads!). While most of my reading is more focused on literary books, I definitely love my fun and easy summer reads. These are books that are really enjoyable, but allow me to start and stop leisurely without feeling like I've missed something. 

1) Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (or anything else she has written)

I was first introduced to Allen's work with The Girl Who Chased The Moon earlier this year and absolutely loved it. After finishing that I wanted to read the author's back list, so I started with the first book. Allen's works are such whimsical and lighthearted reads, and I always get such a warm, fuzzy feeling when I complete one. The writing is simple and the plots are a little predictable, but I think that's perfect for summer. Plus, I love fiction that includes a food element.

2) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

This book won my heart because of the nostalgia factor. I absolutely adore letters and letter writing, even more so now that it is becoming a lost art. Rayna at Libereading wrote this post about a postcard exchange program called Postcrossing that I think is absolutely wonderful. So, when I learned that this novel was comprised of a series of back and forth letters between two seemingly different worlds, I knew I had to read it. The book definitely spoke to my nostalgic side, and I highly recommend this one for those that might wish for the summers of years past.
3) The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

I know what you're thinking, but yes these are worth the hype! For a long time I refused to pick this one up because I was sure it would only be a disappointment. However, once I was sucked into this story of societal cruelty and survival I couldn't stop turning the pages. Katniss is such a strong female protagonist and a great role model for young adults today. While these are not perfect by any means, they are definitely engaging. By the end of the first book I immediately picked up the next one in the trilogy. This series is not to be started unless you have time to complete all three books, which makes them perfect for the lazy days of summer. 
4) The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

Oh the joy and the heartache that is a summer romance. Levithan's use of dictionary entries to convey the multifaceted emotion that is love was very original. There were so many quotable lines and entries where I could only nod my head in agreement. While the book is short on words, it is definitely not lacking in power. I found myself delving deeper and savoring many entries. The Lover's Dictionary will definitely lead to reminiscing about past, present, or future relationships. Perfect for a breezy night and a glass of wine.

5) Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Set during the summer of 1967, Hoffman's work is a sad, but ultimately hopeful novel about a young girl named CeeCee who moves in with her aunt in Savannah, GA after the tragic death of her mother in Ohio. This book moved me much more than I had anticipated, and I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderfully written this debut novel was. The book is a reminder that we can find help and redemption in places we least expect. Much of the imagery used definitely reminded me of the long, hot and languid summers of the south, making it a great book to throw in a beach bag. 
6) On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle (part of the Coffeehouse Mysteries series)

The biggest draw of this series, for me, was the coffee angle. Claire Cosi owns and manages a coffeehouse in NYC's Greenwich Village. Through some very unrealistically coincidental events, Claire thrusts herself into the role of amateur sleuth. I don't read many "cozy mysteries," so I can't really compare this work to the genre. However, this is a quick read that manages to not only to entertain, but to educate on different aspects of coffee. There isn't much to contemplate or analyze with this series, which makes is a perfect pick for an airport or any other vacation spot where many interruptions will be encountered.
7) Dog On It by Spencer Quinn

Finally! A book with a canine narrator who doesn't end up dead by the end of the story. I can't tell you how pleased I was after reading this cute, quirky little gem. Chet the dog (who has his own website by the way) is such a smart and loyal companion to his owner Bernie, who runs his own private detective agency. Reading along through Chet's eyes as the two try to solve the case is so entertaining! Definitely a summer must-read with Fido by your side. 
8) The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen
I finished this one over the weekend and think it's the perfect summer read. The entire time I was reading it I kept wishing I was able to wander around a wide open farm. This bittersweet tale has such memorable characters and a picturesque setting that I think it would make an excellent book to settle outside in a rocking chair with a glass of lemonade or sweet tea for the afternoon. Plus the cover is absolutely gorgeous!
9) The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

Jeffery Deaver is pretty much the only big name mystery writer I will read. Too often those books are too predictable and some authors publish so frequently I have to question whether they are actually writing their own novels. I read the first book in the series, The Bone Collector, years ago after watching the movie with Denzel Washington. For me, the most interesting part of these books lies in the forensic science aspect. Deaver does an excellent job of explaining the procedures without bogging down the narrative. If you're looking for a smart, fast-paced thriller for you beach trip, then I suggest you check this author out.

10) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Flavia de Luce has won my heart. Her precocious sleuthing was so entertaining! This book is one that could easily be devoured in a day. Reading such an interesting mystery through the eyes of a child narrator brings back many fond memories of childhood summers. A lot of people associate the summer months with being a kid and not being in school. I think the season is a time when we all feel a little bit younger and carefree. Bradley's tale is an excellent choice if you want to be reminded of those mischievous summers as a kid.


  1. I absolutely loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

    Dog On It sounds really interesting. I'm adding it to my TR list! I've been wanting to read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie for a while now.

    Great list. Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. Wow, you have so many books on here that I want to read! This is a great list and looks like an ideal summer beach trip to me!

  3. This looks like a great holiday selection only I would add a chick-lit or two.

    I also love some easy books for my holiday. I save them up, usually. As in "No, won't read this yet, that's for the holidays". :-)

  4. I am reading Garden Spells right now and I am loving it- your description of her writing is perfect. I can't wait to read her other books. I am a new follower!

  5. ooh i haven't heard of many of these books but they all sound wonderful!

  6. What an interesting list. I haven't heard of many of these books but I may have to some of these to my ever growing TBR pile.

  7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a great pick! It was a great read :)

  8. I love Jeffery Deaver although his Lincoln Rhyme series is starting to get a little dull. Not enough for me to stop reading them mind you. Great choice for holidays.

  9. All of these look like really involving and interesting reads, and would probably make great beach reads. I like your list!

  10. What a great list! I've heard of quite a few of these and they all came highly recommended so they're on my summer reading list for sure! I just don't know where to start, they all look great!

  11. I want to read The Lover's Dictionary now, and Garden Spells. I haven't read anything by David Levithan, I have to change that this Summer.

  12. Hunger Games is a perfect choice! Fun list :)

  13. Fantastic range of books -- some great recommendations. I'll have to pick some of them up -- I have Hunger Games at home, and I'm totally in the market for more Sarah Addison Allen after enjoying The Peach Keeper last month!

  14. I read 6 of these and liked them. They are perfect beach reads.

  15. Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt and Guernsey are both excellent. This is a great list - I will have to add some of these to my summer reading list!

  16. I read one of Spencer Quinn's Chet books (To Fetch a Thief) for the first time last year, and really liked it -- I loved chet's voice :)

  17. I am on the waiting list at the library for The Lover's Dictioonary. I can't wait to read it.

    Check out my Top Ten Tuesday


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