Upon rereading my title I figured maybe it might sound a little naughty, but its not, so shame on you! This week over on Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the darling blog The Broke and the Bookish) our topic is Top Ten Books I’d Recommend as Beach Reads. Now I am in Central Alberta, Canada and contrary to popular belief we don’t have beaches and palm trees and movie stars everywhere. We do however have beautiful roasting summer days that are perfect for sitting out on the patio or by the lake, and what better to do while tanning your self then picking up a good book and wafting away?
Now for something to be a good Beach/Summer read it needs to be two things; 1. Easy to tote around/the cover is no so incredilbly embarassing your afraid of people seeing your read it in public*, 2. The story is easy enough to pick up and put down multiple times (cause its the summer and heck if I’m going to spend all of it sitting) but still keeps your interest. So I will go with those two qualifiers and be on my way!
*Obviously if you are lucky enough to own an e-reader of some sort this may not be an issue, but I am personally afraid to bring my Touch Screen Kobo any where near sand and water.
Rose Daughter – Robin McKinley: Two Tuesdays in a row and its far from coincidence. Robin McKinley is a favourite author with a splendid imagination. Her second retelling of Beauty and the Beast is less childish and more complex, but just as beautiful and elegant as you remember. The good points? Its a story that’s familiar to about 99% of us, so we can go and come back and still have a good idea of who the characters are and the general idea of what is going on. Also the cover is rather non-descriptive so your safe from hecklers. Bad points? It starts off a little slow, so don’t give up if it doesn’t grab you in the first 50 pages.
The Story of Beautiful Girl – Rachel Simon: If you checked out my EOG Book Club review from April you will know just how much I loved this book. The characters are beautifully written and the author well researched. The story follows Lynnie and Homan and their dash to freedom from their terrible treatment in the School for the Incurable and Feeble minded. Lynnie is recaptured and sent back, Homan is feared lost in a flooded river, and Lynnie’s baby being cared for by the elderly widow Martha. Good points? The chapters focus on one character at a time at a specific moment in time, it doesn’t jump all over the place willy nilly so following the story even after leaving it for a week is rather easy. You also have your choice of covers, all of which are well put together. Bad points? I cant even think of any, this book is perfect.
World War Z – Max Brooks: Not going to lie, I have learned to love Zombie novels! Zombie movies not so much, because they are far too gory. In a book I can choose to jump a gory part, or since its my imagination limit the blood and off screen the gore. A friend turned me onto this book, and after reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth Series (a teen zombie series) which I loved, I was game. Good points? There are enough thrills and chills to keep you coming back for more, but it written as episodic stories of peoples experiencing the Zombie war so its pretty impossible to get lost. Bad points? I personally hate my cover, more cause its ugly then anything. Also if your a wimp like me the chapter in which you meet the first case may terrify you.
The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury: This one is a little heart breaking as we lost Mr. Bradbury last week. He was an amazing writer with an imagination like no other. I remember my first experience with his work in grade 10, we were reading short stories and we had to read a creepy short by him called The Veldt. The story stuck with me and I spent the next 7 years (oh man I feel old now) trying to find a copy of the story. Two years ago I was searching Veldt on the bookstore computer (a habit I ritually do with 2 authors and a number of out of print titles) and got a hit! The whole collection quickly became a favorite. Good points? Each story is self contained and doesn’t require any previous knowledge of his work to understand. The stories while dense, are on average 10 pages or less. Bad points? If you don’t like classic science fiction this is not the book for you. I personally find reading 1950’s science fiction in a modern world fascinating. (Was super hard to find the same cover as the one I have, I personally like this cover infinitely more then the modern artsy covers, this is classic sci-fi dang it. Hand drawn is key!)
The Princess Series – Jim C. Hines: If you want a series of fantastic adventure written for grown women, that’s easy to read without being childish, and will make you laugh, yell and cheer I highly recommend this series. It follows the adventures of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty in the years after Cinderella’s marriage to the Prince. Cliché you say? You couldn’t be more wrong! Hines mixes our Disney girls with the original Grimm tales and a good helping of his own brilliance to make 3 lead female characters you cant help but love and root for! Good points? Its action, adventure and fantasy for women. It doesn’t talk down to you, but is light enough to be enjoyable. Bad points? I really don’t like the covers, especially of the first one, it makes it look like its all cotton candy and bubble gum which its not. Not so embarrassing I wont take it to public (this series and I were inseparable) but if I had had the option of an e-reader I probably would have gone that way.