perfect summer beach reads

The Book List is a short and fun meme that allows you to share books with the blogosphere and make a list. Who doesn't love lists (quiet, you!)? It is hosted weekly by Rebecca at Lost in Books.

This Week's Topic is: 3 perfect beach reads

1. Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

I didn’t expect to choose a book for this theme with the word ‘summer’ in the title. But as I went through my Goodreads 5-star list, this title stood out. And it made me remember all the things I love about it: the setting (an American city during WWII), the characters (baseball player, zany/needy/hilarious kid), and the almost palpable sense of summer heat and memories that permeate the writing. I felt the bustle of the city, the oppressive heat, the thrill of baseball, the relief of a fire hydrant sprinkler, and the tension, humor and love of family all at once. It’s a beautifully honest story.

2. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

I will put down anything that gets too ‘involved’ when I’m at the beach. I want an interesting story, yes. I want emotional connection. I just don’t want to feel guilty when I’ve forgotten the name of another fantasy country or custom or type of creature. I’m there for the sun and the water, after all! So a dystopian children’s book, with a good dash of mystery and adventure, fills the bill nicely. No confusing post-modern meta-narrative, but also no stinting on the entertainment. Ember is suitable for all ages, with enough slick edges and dark corners to keep any audience hooked.

3. Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks

It’s a pretty well established fact that Nicholas Sparks has a formula. His stories are bittersweet (or sappy, if you’re feeling cynical) summer beach fare. But what I found when I read this memoir is that this formula correlates to his real life. Sparks can write convincingly about love, death and tragedy because he has been steeped in it. Three Weeks with My Brother is not only a memoir and a travel diary, it is the story of a childhood and of grieving and hardship. Normally this type of book would be too much for me to handle. But there’s something about bright sunshine that makes the emotional wringer a bit easier to bear. And I have a beautiful memory of camping over spring break in Myrtle Beach with this book to prove it.

What are your perfect summer beach reads?


Tales of Whimsy said...

Oooooo COE
I need to read this.

Allison said...

Last Days of Summer is such an amazing book! I haven't heard of the other two, but I will look into them :)

Ryan said...

I keep wanting to read or even watch City of Embers. One of these days I'll get to both.

Tracy said...

Last Days of Summer sounds perfect!

I can't cope with really emotional books on holiday - maybe it's because you're in a strange place, or you're focussed on relaxing and making sure everyone in the family enjoys themselves, but anything that heavy I just couldn't read on the beach, but that's probably just me.

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I haven't heard of any of these-I'm off to check them out!

Rabid Fox said...

I think my summer beach read this year will be The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman. I think I'd just like to see reactions from people who walk by and read the cover. :)

Gigi Ann said...

Oh I remember reading the Nicholas Sparks book Three Weeks With My Brother. I loved that book. If I didn't have so many other books on my to read list, I would reread it.

Becca said...

I like the variety in your list. All interesting choices! I have Three Weeks with my brother sitting on my shelf. Perhaps I should read it this summer then!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I'm not a huge Sparks fan, but I loved Three Weeks With My Brother. It was a great blend of travel adventures, memoir and thoughts on life. It's hard to recommend it to people without them immediately dismissing it.

Kristen M. said...

I watched the City of Ember film but I'm sure the book is much better. I need to make sure it gets on my list.

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