If you’re headed for the shores this summer, you’ll probably want some beach bag stuffers to keep your idle minutes occupied.
But when your iPod, iPhone, and other i-gadgetry just won’t do, there’s always the good old written word—since, after all, reading on the beach is a time-honored tradition, whether it's in the classic paperback, pocketbook, or hardbound format, or on an e-reader like the Amazon Kindle or any other eInk gadget. Pack a few light reads to pass the pre-Happy Hour tanning time with, and we guarantee satisfaction throughout your sandy getaway.
Not going to the beach this summer? That's still no excuse not to pick up a book. A light, feel-good read is a sure to help relieve stress, which the heat and workplace issues that come with the current economic climate are likely to bring on.
Here are our balmy book picks for summer 2010!
by Becca Fitzpatrick (2009)
High school sophomore Nora Grey has been living a humdrum country life with her widowed mother. So when she meets Patch, her enigmatic new biology partner, she’s pleasantly surprised to find things are getting a little more interesting. But when Patch starts to show up wherever she is, knowing details about her that she’s never told anybody, Nora starts to realize there is much more behind the boy than his irresistible charm. A series of terrifying encounters eventually leads Nora to the truth: that Patch is a fallen angel, and together they are caught in the epic clash between his kind and the immortals. With its themes of forbidden love and a swiftly growing fan base, Hush, Hush could very well be the next Twilight!
(Photo courtesy of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing)
BELONG TO ME
by Marisa delos Santos (2009)
Half-Pinay authoress Marisa de los Santos was lauded by Sarah Jessica Parker for her first novel, Love Walked In, which the Sex and the City actress optioned for a film adaptation. The series’ second installment, Belong to Me, follows heroine Cornelia Brown as she moves to Philadelphia with her husband Teo, only to face a barrage of domestic dramas. Suburbia proves a challenge to the city-slick Cornelia, who must navigate her way through family planning with Teo, forming a delicate friendship with the elusive Lake, and evading the judgment of her not-so-nice neighbor Piper Truitt. Narrated from three points of view, delos Santos’ sophomore novel bespeaks good tidings of sequels to come.
(Photo courtesy of Harper Paperbacks)
BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS
by Lola Jaye (2009)
Lois’s dad died when she was five years old—but not before he wrote her a book called The Manual, filled with fatherly advice to be read on her birthday. When she receives the book seven years after his passing, Lois almost cannot bring herself to read it; the thought of him not being there still gives her pain. But soon enough, she is using The Manual to guide her through the various stages of life, following her dad’s careful instructions: 1) that a new chapter is to be read every year on her birthday, 2) that the book is a private journal between her father and herself, and 3) that there will be no skipping ahead! Keep your sunglasses on for this one, folks—it’ll have you in tears at the turn of a page.
(Photo courtesy of Avon A)
MERCURY IN RETROGRADE
by Paula Froelich (2009)
Page Six gossip columnist Paula Froelich blends fact with fiction in her debut novel Mercury in Retrograde, which centers on three women in a life slump inhabiting the same SoHo apartment building. Socialite Lena Lippencrass has just been cut off by her rich folks; small town reporter Penelope Mercury is out of work after accidentally trashing office property; while ambitious lawyer Dana Gluck desperately attempts to shed the pounds as she gripes over her divorce. All seems lost until the girls join forces to piece their lives back together (and snag new boyfriends while they’re at it) in a frenetic New York City run-around that name-drops all the best society and invites the reader into upper crust-only events. It’s like an episode of Sex and the City—minus one.
(Photo courtesy of Atria)
BEST FRIENDS FOREVER
by Jennifer Weiner (2009)
Addie Downs and Valerie Adler used to be best friends. But a tactless teenage betrayal causes a rift between the two pals, rendered even more irreparable by Valerie’s induction into the popular crowd and Addie’s fall to school loser. Fifteen years later, the pair meet again at a high school reunion—Valerie, a beautiful weather girl itching for revenge on an ex-boyfriend; Addie, looking for love on the Internet as she cares for her unstable brother. Old loyalties resurface when Valerie unexpectedly shows up at Addie’s house with blood on her coat and the opening words, “Something horrible has happened, and you’re the only one that can help.” Together, the two frenemies engineer a hilariously touching Thelma & Louise-type cover-up that will prove just how important your real friends are.
(Photo courtesy of Atria)
THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE SKY
by Marian Keyes (2009)
Set in Dublin, Ireland, this darkly humorous novel by Marian Keyes sets its stage on 66 Star Street, a tenement building chock full of friends and lovers whose lives cannot stay untwined. On the top floor lives music publicist Katie, who at 40 is reconsidering her relationship with a “fella” who refuses to commit. Below her is Lydia, the madcap taxi cabdriver whose concerns are split between her aging mom and her Polish flatmate, whom she desires and disdains simultaneously. Then there is the new gardener Fionn, who lives with his mother on the first floor and prefers the greens to the gals (but is so incredibly good-looking that he is offered his own TV show). Finally, residing in a basement flat are Matt and Maeve, the perfectly happy newlyweds who are crippled by a terrible secret. Lives change when a little visitor arrives at 66 Star Street, shaking up the system the tenants have grown so accustomed to.
(Photo courtesy of Viking Adult)
LUNCH IN PARIS: A LOVE STORY, WITH RECIPES
by Elizabeth Bard (2010)
In this delicious little memoir, American journalist Elizabeth Bard recounts how she first met her French husband and moved to the City of Lights to live—and eat—with him. Lunch in Paris narrates their entire love story, interspersed with delectable French recipes as well as comforting American ones that make for the perfect complement to Bard’s thoughtful anecdotes. She plunges the reader into a world of pungent open markets, of homesickness staved off only by chocolate cake, and of size 2 femme fatales who are constantly consuming cheese (there’s even a crush-worthy neighborhood butler who could be a stand-in for Matt Dillon). As Bard’s French romance unfolds, punctuated by a recipe for ratatouille or a lesson in the seductive properties of onion and bacon, you are enchanted by a story that is both tender and tantalizing to behold.
(Photo courtesy of Little, Brown and Company)
by Elizabeth Gilbert (2010)
Here’s the next chapter to Elizabeth Gilbert’s love life! At the end of her bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, we found the author head over heels for the Brazilian-born Felipe on the romantic isle of Bali. Committed picks up right where she left off: the couple makes it work long-distance until finally settling in America under the strict oath that they will never marry (having each overcome a devastating divorce). But when Felipe is detained one day at an American border crossing, US officials give the couple a choice: either tie the knot, or Felipe is never to be permitted in the country again. In a follow-up memoir that is equal parts personal and investigative, Gilbert traces the earliest historical roots of matrimony and divorce while weaving in her family love-line and stories of starting over with Felipe.
(Photo courtesy of Viking Adult)
SEARCHING FOR TINA TURNER
by Jacqueline E. Luckett (2010)
Devoted wife and mother Lena Spencer has the ideal home life—or so it seems. Her wealthy husband is emotionally distant; her beloved children have morphed into teenage monsters (a son who is into drugs and a daughter who resents her); and her attempts to improve any situation are misconstrued as “overbearing.” Sick of marriage counseling, Lena’s husband gives her the bottom line: she needs to start being grateful for the life he's provided for her, or she can leave. Inspired by the life of music legend Tina Turner and aware that her marriage is now a sham, Lena chooses the latter—leaving behind the family that has defined who she is for over two decades in order to uncover her true self.
(Photo courtesy of Grand Central Publishing)
by Tracy Chevalier (2010)
It is the early nineteenth century. Mary Anning has been considered special ever since she was struck by lightning as a baby. This is solidified when, years later, she finds some dinosaur fossils that contest the matter of our human origins. But in an era dominated by male thought and power, Mary is soon relegated to a minor role in what should have been her own investigation and subjected to prejudice, mindless gossip, and heartache from a prohibited attachment. Fortunately, she finds an unlikely ally in the spinster Elizabeth Philpot, and together, the two women break pre-existing boundaries of gender and class to unearth some of the most significant discoveries in early science. Author Tracy Chevalier, who wrote cult success The Girl with the Pearl Earring, once again blends historical figures with an imaginative plotline to concoct a tale that is pure fictional magic.
(Photo courtesy of Dutton Adult)
Got a hot summer read that isn’t on this list? Maybe you’ve picked up one of the 10 books above. Let us know what you’re reading and how you’re liking it!
For more summer books, you might want to check out some of the chick lit series published by Summit Books. Check out this Female Network article to learn more about the Vince's Life and Every Girl's Guide series.