Summertime Beach Reads

A good beach book is engaging and a quick enough read that you can finish most of it on the beach before your sunscreen wears off. A beach book isn’t necessarily literature, but a beach book will entertain. This list of top beach books helps you choose an entertaining read that fits your personality, whether you like romance, thrillers or something smart but not too heavy. With these beach books in hand, all you need to remember is your towel and sunscreen.By:

If You Like Serial Mysteries – Beach Books with Likable Detectives

'Dead Until Dark' by Charlaine Harris
Serial mysteries are great beach reading for a number of reasons: 1) they are fast paced, 2) they can often be found inexpensively in mass market paperback, and 3) if you like the first novel, there are usually several others in the same formula that you can read.Here is a list of eight popular mystery series. These will appeal to you if you like authors like Janet Evanovich and James Patterson. My favorite on the list: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.

If You Like “Chick Lit” – Modern Romance on the Beach

'Confessions of a Shopaholic' by Sophie Kinsella
Books like Bridget Jones’ Diary and Confessions of a Shopaholic are light, comic choices that provide romance and relief for modern women. If you enjoy these kinds of novels, check out this list of seven great chick lit books for your beach bag. (My favorite is Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews).

If You Like Young Adult Books – Reclaiming Your Childhood in the Sand

'Stardust' by Neil Gaiman
Some young adult books–books that have interesting stories and compelling characters–are not only good reads for teens, they can also be very enjoyable for adults. If you want to remember what it was like to be young and let your imagination soar, try these young adult books. My favorite is Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

If You Don’t Like Fluff – Smart Beach Reads

'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' by Mary Ann  Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Beach reading, by definition, is not very heavy. It is difficult to contemplate weighty content with sand between your toes and a frisbee flying over your head. But just because you need a fun book for the beach, doesn’t mean you have to read something completely fluffy. These eight books were some of the best from the past few years, but they are also light enough to throw in your beach bag. My pick from the list: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

If You Yearn for Romance – Beach Reads to Make You Sweat

'Matters of the Heart' by Danielle Steel
There is a fine line between romance novels that make you sigh and those that cross the line into an area that is too cheesy or sexual. If you like reading romance, my suggestion is to stick to the masters of the genre: Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel and Nicholas Sparks. They each release one or more books per year, and they have many older books that you can find in the libary or mass market paperback for next to nothing. Look at these lists to find titles you haven’t tried:

If You Like a Good Tear-Jerker – Beach Books to Make You Cry

'The Memory Keeper's Daughter' by Kim Edwards
Admit it: You like to watch Lifetime movies, you listen to sappy love songs, and you tear up at greeting card commercials. Every now and then, we all need a good cry. There are two sure ways to achieve this with page turning books that will go well in your beach bag: 1) Read a Jodi Picoult Book or 2)Try these Books that are Like Jodi Picoult Books. My pick: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards.

If You Like to Read the Latest Releases – 2010’s Hottest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

This year has seen the release of many fun and entertaining books — from a new Elizabeth Gilbert memoir to fantastic thrillers. Check out this 2010 New Releases Calendar if you want to be the trendiest reader on the beach.

For your go to guide for all things summer in Baltimore, visit our online Summertime Guide for your family’s source for fun in the sun.


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