The topic for this week is the top ten books that are in my beach bag this summer. Except there are a couple of small problems with this:
1. It's the beginning of winter down here in the Southern Hemisphere, so the likelihood of me going to the beach is slim to none.
2. I really don't like the beach so even if it were summer, I probably wouldn't be going.
With those things in mind, I've changed the topic to my top ten books for YOUR beach bags! I've been working on several theories when developing this list:
1. The books one reads at the beach shouldn't be too brain-taxing because, you know, BEACH. You're going to be doing other stuff or getting distracted every ten minutes or accidentally falling asleep, and no one can keep track of all the serious or all the world building when they're at the beach.
2. The books should be fast-paced.
3. The books should not be a thousand pages long because no one wants to lug that around with them.
SO. With those rules in mind, here are my suggestions.
1. Croak - Gina Damico
Reading a book about a teenaged Grim Reaper might seem a little dark for the beach. But this story is so fun and so entertaining that I can't resist putting it on here. I read it in about two hours, and you have the added bonus of famous people - like former presidents and authors - wandering around in the Afterlife.
2. We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
You've gotta love a summery story with a big twist ending. The writing is pretty choppy, but I liked it. It's pretty short and a quick read. You'll either guess the ending before it happens, like I did, or be staring at the book in disbelief when the big twist happens, as everyone else I know seems to have done.
3. My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick
Oh my God, this book is adorable. But adorable with a side of SERIOUS REAL LIFE STUFF OMG. The supporting characters are all fabulous, and it's a total summer read.
4. Murder with Peacocks - Donna Andrews
I have an irrational love for this utterly ridiculous murder mystery. The characters are all completely fabulous, and while the mystery side of things may be a little dumb, I just don't really care that much because THE CHARACTERS ARE GREAT. How can you not love Meg, who's tall and decidedly not willowy and stuck spending her summer being maid of honour in three weddings simultaneously and generally dealing with her bonkers family?
5. Notes from a Big Country - Bill Bryson
It may be non-fiction, but it's not the kind of non-fiction that requires a lot of brain power to read. It's a compilation of Bryson's newspaper columns focusing on different aspects of life in America, and because it's newspaper columns each "chapter" is only three to four pages. And then the topic changes to something totally different. Perfect for the beach!
6. Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
This one is pretty chunky, but it's worth it. It may be a historical romance-y thing with a bunch of squicky moments, but it's such a cool concept and so well researched. And it's way more violent than I would have expected based on the description. Added bonus: it'll prepare you nicely for the miniseries that's airing later in the northern summer!
7. Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton
Okay, so this DOES contain quite a lot of science-y stuff, which is a little brain taxing. But if you've seen the movie, you'll know the basic gist of it and you can skim over it if it seems too much like hard work at the beach.
8. Anywhere - J. Meyers/Jinsey Reese (depending on which edition you have)
This book is so stinking cute. Newly graduated twenty-somethings falling in love while travelling around Europe over the summer? Uh, YES.
9. Let's Pretend This Never Happened - Jenny Lawson
If you've ever read Jenny's blog, you'll know exactly what to expect. Mostly hilarity with the occasional dose of feels. As an added bonus, the chapters are sort of stand-alones, so if you pick it up and put it down a thousand times, it won't really matter that much.
10. Mr Darcy's Bite - Mary Lydon Simonsen
Okay, hear me out. This book is pretty terrible. But it's the GOOD kind of terrible. The so-bad-it's-come-back-around-to-good kind of terrible. Basically, Mr Darcy is a werewolf. It's total fan fiction, and the author admits that. But it's the kind of fan fiction that makes you giggle non-stop and that's just plain fun. And what more could you want at the beach than giggle-worthy fun??
Will you be putting any of these in your beach bag this summer? Or are you, like me, trapped in the half of the world that's heading into scarves and gloves and open fires territory??