Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ttt: top ten beach reads

This week's Top Ten Tuesday on the Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Beach Reads.

Unfortunately, I'm not able to do any research on the topic this summer. I probably won't make it out of Missouri at all. If only I could go back to my little island Aigina for a few months :) 

But I did my best to imagine what books I would enjoy reading on the beach if I could. My main requirements for a beach read are that it be some combination of the following:

a) Funny
b) Light
c) Romantic
d) Fast-Moving

So without further ado, I give you:

Top Ten Beach Reads

1. How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely. Hilarious but also an insightful look at best-selling novels.

2. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The Ukrainian narrator's English vocabulary/grammar mistakes always me laugh, plus he's got a funny dog and grandpa. Just a great book overall though.

3. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. On the short side, but really unique and interesting. Magical realism combined with romance and Mexican flavors.

4. Wideacre by Philippa Gregory. A total guilty pleasure book with a despicable narrator doing horrible, selfish things just to keep control of her family's beloved home, Wideacre.

5. One Day by David Nicholls. I almost didn't read this because it looked so much like chic lit (which I'm not a big fan of), but it was actually quite good. The characters and set-up are interesting. I just didn't like the end.

6. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Romantic, enthralling, and a great setting (1930s circus). If you've only seen the movie (which wasn't that great), please do yourself a favor and read the book.

7. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. A cute, coming of age story about an English girl who lives with her family in a decaying castle in the 1930s. The story really starts when two American brothers move in next door.

8. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. A long (but quick-moving), guilty pleasure read about a sheep-raising Australian family, the Clearys. It's known for the romance between Meggie Cleary and a priest, but the story spans through many more characters and years (about 1900-1970) than that.

9. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. As I'm sure you all know, this cute and funny book is a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice. But frankly, it's much better because it can really make you laugh and Bridget's plights are oh so relatable.

10. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. I haven't read all the books in this series, but I do remember enjoying the first a lot, way back when. Romance, friendship, drama, Greece! A light, fun combination.

Happy reading to all you beach bunnies this summer!


  1. I just read I Capture the Castle recently and I loved it. Great pick!

    1. Thanks! It's such a cute book. And if you haven't seen the movie, I'd recommend it too. The actor playing Stephen is GORGEOUS :)

  2. I remember when The Thorn Birds came out and how much attention it received. Nice list. I saw that you've been to Greece. So jealous. :)

    1. I wasn't around when it came out, but I figured it had to be pretty popular to have a mini-series! And Greece is just beautiful. I hope you have the chance to go someday :)

  3. Great choices. I am gonna add to my already LONG tbr pile!! Come check mine too:

    Here is my Top Ten post!

    1. Thanks! And I know what you mean-- my list has got to be around 250-300 books with new additions all the time :P

  4. How I Became a Famous Novelist sounds hilarious! Definitely adding that one to my TBR list, as well as One Day.

    You also listed a few of my favorites: Water for Elephants, Traveling Pants, I Capture the Castle, and Bridget Jones! We have similar taste :-)

    1. We do! I just checked out your list and you've definitely convinced me to add a few new books to my list :)

  5. What a terrific list of beach reads!

  6. Great list - have you read Saffron Foer's 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' - one of the best books I've ever read.

  7. I realllly want to read 'I Capture the Castle'- this year I will hopefully get to it at some point! I love JSF and that books is amaaaazzzing. I hated 'Like Water for Chocolate' but I think that's because I generally despise anything cheesy and relating to food in books. Great list x

  8. I haven't read I Capture the Castle, but now I really want to! You've definitely peaked my interest :)

    And I completely agree that Water for Elephants & Bridget Jones's Diary are PERFECT beach reads!


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