Best Books For The Summer To Take To The Beach
Great Summer Beach Reads
Summer is almost here and going to the beach usually implies having some of the best books for the summer ready to go. If not the actual books, at least a good sized wishlist that includes some cozy, light and fun new reads by popular authors and new releases that are worth checking out.
No matter how many books you've read so far, there is always something new to enrich your reading experience with. Cozy mysteries, romantic suspense, contemporary romances and even paranormal romances, these are all great candidates for offering something new for each of us. New books by our popular authors are published every day, so there is no shortage of what to read next on the beach.
Here is my personal list of summer beach reads for 2014. In my opinion they're all great beach reads and I hope you find something you enjoy, something that you haven't read yet.
Seduction by M.J. Rose
The Reincarnationist Series #5
I've read all the previously 4 books in the Reincarnationist series by M.R. Rose. I've started searching for these types of books ever since I became interested in reincarnation and finding out more about our own past lives. Of course these books are fiction and they have dearly little to do with actual spiritual reincarnation, so if you haven't read any in the series yet, don't be shy to pick them up. They're awesome and make for a great beach read!
Seduction looks to be a great historical fiction involving Victor Hugo, that really grabs you in. However it is also a rather fast read, if I gauge it by the previous books. I can't wait for it to be published so I can get it shipped to my address. It should be out in May.
Note: I am breaking here one of my own rules about how light the book should be by linking to a hardcover edition. Currently this is the only edition available on pre-order, I will replace the link as soon as a paperback edition is available.
What Makes A Good Beach Read?
When it comes to going to the beach, just what types of books make excellent beach reads and what is best left behind, at home on the shelves? There are currently millions of books published, with many more getting there every single year, on hundreds of different subjects, and taking the right beach read with you can make the difference between a great day at the beach or a rather lousy one.
Don't get me wrong, there are many things you can do at the beach, from swimming, playing ball games, chatting with friends and watching your kids play, but there are those of us who simply enjoy reading a good book while being lazy on the beach chair or towel, feeling the breeze on our face and hearing from far away the weaves of the sea while getting engrossed in our book.
Having spend numerous days at the beach (I am living in Cyprus, a beautiful Mediterranean island where summer takes the most months in the year), I made some mistakes and learned from them. And this is what I found...
- I know it is popular to take the Kindle with you to the beach, but with the current high prices of eReaders, I still prefer my $5-$6 book. A bit of sand or water in it won't hurt it, but it WILL hurt my Kindle or Nook.
- It should be a light book - literally. I mean you're sitting on the beach and craving a frappe latte or an ice cream. You do want to hold the book in one hand and enjoy your delicious treat with the other. A heavy book needs to be hold with both hands, so definitely avoid hardcover books. A lightweight paperback is best.
- Speaking of light books - the one you take to the beach should be light reading. What I mean by this is that you do want to have an uplifting book (not a depressing, dark and sad book, and by no means a horror novel!). You are at the beach, you want to be cheerful and in a fun, light mood. And especially if you have your kids with you, you don't want to be so engrossed in your reading that you forget about them. You should at all times hear the weaves of the sea knocking each other, head the people chatting around you and hear your kids playing with their sand castle.
The Glass Wives by Amy Sue Nathan
I got this book as an ARC (advanced reading copy) from a friend who got it from the author, and I found it really engrossing. Usually not my style of reading (I prefer thrillers and suspense novels), but I think this makes for a wonderful beach read. Not only that, but it's a new author (The Glass Wives is her first debut novel) that is worth checking out. I think you'll not be disappointed.
The book premise is quite interesting. A man dies in a car accident and leaves not only his wife and kids alone, but also his ex-wife and their kids. The drama unfolds as the two families are trying to get together, surprising everyone when the two women actually move in together, trying to end their differences and raise their kids together while sharing all expenses.
This is a very rich book about two women who are trying to come to terms with their loss and find affection and friendship where before there was none. A great view of our contemporary society and the women within.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Now this book has an interesting premise - albeit one that some people will cringe at initially. Imagine being born and dying - and being born again and dying again - over and over again, until you get it right. The story is about Ursula, a girl who as she grows older starts to remember fragments of her life and her death, occurring several times before.
Now the premise, like I mentioned above, might turn some people off, but bear with it, because it's a great book with a wonderful story, one that I think pretty much everyone has dreamed of experiencing - at least once in their life - that of a second chance to right wrongs and live just a bit longer to do one or the other thing that is still on the 'to do things before I die' list.
And imagine knowing that you get to live over and over again, so you can right wrongs from the past and maybe - just maybe save the world.
And this is what makes the book so enchanting. Once you start reading, you can't put it down, you want to see what happens next, there's no two ways about it. Absolutely a worthwhile read.
The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison
A delightful read, perfect for the beach. It touches on relatively serious topics, however it's not a heavy read at all. The premise of the story is the following. Neil Kazenzakis has a disabled wife so he has to deal with lots of things, including raising his son, being a teach and overall cope with life. And by side he has a girlfriend as well.
A video sent to Youtube about him threatens to totally dismantle his carefully built life, and especially his relationship (which is already on shaky grounds) with his son. Not only he has now to prove to the world the actual truth, but has to repair his damaged son-father relationship and keep things from totally falling apart.
The book is emotional, intriguing, with a great character and relationship development that grabs you from the beginning. Some people found the first few pages a bit slow going, but if you do stick with it, you'll be glad you did.
More Popular Great Books For The Summer Published Since 2013
If you're looking for some more great beach reads, here are some that fully qualify. They are also new so you most probably haven't had a chance to read them yet.
This is a very heartwarming book about the relationship of a mother and daughter and about relationships in our modern world overall. A very contemporary fiction novel, one that reads like a real life story - it's as if you actually know the characters from your life, they feel very real indeed.
If you like hot, steamy romances, this book will fit the bill to perfection. It is as hot as it gets, and the perfect summer beach read.
Part of the Rock, Paper, Tiger series, Hour of the Rat by Lisa Brackmann is a great mystery set in China. If you do like travel books, this is also a great travel narrative with exotic settings and wonderful places to visit virtually.
Note: it is recommended that you do read the first book in the series, Rock, Paper, Tiger to get the most of this book.
Great mystery that can be read equally by adults and by 'young adults' as well.
The disappearance of a woman causes strong ripples through a small town, who's residents are connected with each other in a way. It is a mystery novel, but so much more than that. Worth checking it out.
Another perfect book for the beach, Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans is about friendships and how such a bond makes us stronger.
Maris Carrington is a successful Denim designer, who has her life turned literally upside down when she decides to go back home to settle the estate of her father. While at home, she watches some old films that make rethink her entire view to life, and bring her to some life changing decisions.
Are These Books Only For The Beach?
What about books for summer in general?
These books are all great to read on the beach, at home in your bed or your couch with a cup of coffee, on the plane, or in case you want to simply go on an island alone, just you and your book, and leave the hectic world behind :)
Additional Great Books For The Summer To Check Out
Great Beach Reads That You Might Have Missed Reading
These are not books published in 2013, but they are great summer reads that simply stand the test of time and if you haven't read them, they're well worth the price of a book (most of them have steep discounts at Amazon, especially since they're not newly published).
This is the first in the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day, and if you haven't checked it out yet, it's worth giving it a shot - especially if you like erotic romances that are hot, hot, hot.
This boo is all about love. It's the perfect summer read. I've never heard the term 'lovaholic' before, but I've heard it here and now I even know what it means!
Btw, this book is the follow-up to To Live And Drink In LA, so while you're at it, you might want to pick up the first one as well, so you have two great beach reads right away (they're quite funny books).
An adorable little book for the beach, or a rainy day in summer to curl up with it and finish it before you know it. It's lovely and while it's part of a series, you can read it on its own as well and then decide if you want to get the rest of the series.
Here is one for the mystery lovers, a great beach read about the mind workings of a killer and the man who is sworn to bring him down. The book is in fact a psychological mystery (one of my favorites) and I find it makes the perfect summer read.
Here is another one for the mystery lovers among us. Set in South Florida, it's the perfect book to read on the beach. If you enjoyed the series Miami Vice, you'll be drawn to this novel as well.
If you like to read books in summer and especially to take with you to the beach, which genre do you like to choose your books from the most? I do like a good mix, but especially chick-list and mysteries, but maybe you have other beach tastes?
Feel free to comment even if you are not a member of Squidoo.
Which Genre Is Best For Reading On The Beach?
Do you have one or more beach read favorites that you can recommend us?