Top Ten Books I'd Recommend as Good Beach Reads

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This week's Top Ten from The Broke and the Bookish asks for the Top Ten Books I'd Recommend as Good Beach Reads.

The other day a friend, who is a serious reader, asked for some light reading recommendations. She's going on vacation and needed something fun and not too dark, but still literary. I realized that the vast majority of books I recommend deal with some heavy issues; World War II, death, heartbreak, suicide, cancer, etc. It's not that those aren't excellent books, but I was having a hard time coming up with titles that could be considered “fun” and still made me feel engaged. So I decided to make a list of some fun, but intelligent books.
1) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

2) Stardust by Neil Gaiman

3) Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

4) Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

5) Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

6) Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

7) 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

8) The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

9) Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

10) Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Photo from here.


Carl V. Anderson said...

Wow, great list! I'm planning on a re-read of Anne of Green Gables as part of my summer reading. Also was just thinking of Wodehouse the other day and wondering about either reading one of his books I haven't read yet or re-reading a favorite, Something Fresh.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I liked #3 and 6 a lot. Great list.

annieb said...

There are four on the list I haven't read (conveniently 2,3,4,5). Guess I'd better get busy.

Care said...

I have a hard time with categorizing 'beach reads' since my own reading tastes are eclectic and I like to read heavy and funny/light.

That said, I am having tough time with Jeeves. It's so much farce and so British and I a finding it tiresome that I can't finish! (I'm reading the Right Ho one, I think) and this makes me sad. I want to like it and feel like a bad person.

So I will just get back to Harry Potter, I guess...

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Great list! I love The Eyre Affair (maybe I should pick up the sequel for a poolside read) and Attachments is a fun one too!

I'm absolutely adding 84, Charing Cross Road to my summer reading list!

Amy said...

I'm so glad to see Anne of Green Gables on the list! Sometimes I think people think a beach read has to be something recently released and just completely full of fluff, but I tend to prefer tried and true books with at least some depth to them. Thanks for some new suggestions!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I loved 84 Charing Cross Road so much, and you can read it in a whole hour or two. Which is perfect for the beach. I did not have very good luck with Jasper Fforde when I tried a month or two ago. Too clever. It got on my nerves. Maybe if I was lounging on the sand under my umbrella I would have a better attitude!

gautami tripathy said...

Great choices. I am gonna add to my already LONG tbr pile!! Come check mine too:

Here is my Top Ten post!

Jenners said...

Excellent choices! I agree with you on the ones I've read -- they are perfect lighter reads.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Carl V. - I've loved re-reading all the Anne books over the last couple years. I've been meaning to get to Wodehouse's Psmith books, but I haven't yet.

Diane - It's been years since I read Bridget. I should reread those!

Annieb - Stardust is great if you're a fan of The Princess Bride!

Care - I think Jeeves isn't perfect for everyone. You have to really be in the mood for the British farce style. Anyway, you can't go wrong with Potter!

Kat - I'm 4 books into the Eyre series. I have the 5th one sitting on my shelf and would love to get to it this summer.

Amy - I agree, it's easy to overlook the older books when making a list like this. But there are so many gems!

Sandy - You're not the only one with that complaint about Fforde. He works for me, but he's not for everyone.

Jenners - I always want something that's a bit easier to pick up and put down during the summer.

Angela said...

Great list! I'm reading Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg. I haven't read Fried Green Tomatoes, but love the film.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Angela - Fried Green is the only book I've read by her, but I need to check out more of her books!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

This is a list filled with books that I think would be perfect for summer, light but not empty.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Deb - Exactly! Light but not empty is a hard category to find.