I grew up on Long Island, less than 15 minutes away from the Long Island Sound, so the beach is an integral part of my life. Don’t know what to do on a summer day? Go to the beach! Need a fun/romantic date idea, just about any time of year? Go to the beach! Want to have a party with a lot of people? Have it at the beach! Need some time to relax? You guessed it—go to the beach!
Now that I live in Baltimore, the beach is more than an hour away. But I’ll be going home in a few weeks, and then possibly to Cape Cod in July, so I’ll still get some beach time in, hopefully! Here are the top ten books that I would bring with me to read on the beach:
1. Bossypants – Tina Fey. It’s a quick, light, amusing read. Not much more you could ask for in a beach book.
2. Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom. While quick, it’s not exactly light or amusing—but it’s one of those books that just about everyone will probably get around to reading sometime in their life, so you might as well read it at the beach! Or at least start it on the beach. You should probably finish it at home where there are tissues handy.
3. Emma – Jane Austen. I personally find this to be one of Austen’s most lighthearted novels and it’s definitely one of my favorites of hers (it’s tied with Sense and Sensibility for the number one spot). Out of all the 19th-century literature I’ve read so far—which, admittedly, barely makes a dent in the corpus as a whole—Emma is the closest to modern “chick lit,” I think. And unless you’re a guy, chick lit is preeetty much the thing to be reading on the beach, no? Speaking of which…
4. The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one, but if I was hard pressed to find something else I don’t think I’d mind picking this up again to bring to the beach with me.
5. Divergent – Veronica Roth. Though it’s more than 500 pages long, you could easily read this in just a few beach sessions. Maybe not quite the light subject matter you’d want for the beach, but it’s an easy enough read that I think it should count. Be careful, though—you won’t want to waste time reapplying sunscreen once you start reading this, so make sure you hang out in the shade!
6. Mile 81 – Stephen King. You’d have to have a Kindle to read this at the beach since it’s only been released as an e-book, but it’s a great novella about an evil car at an abandoned highway rest stop. You won’t want to put it down. But since it’s not 500 pages, the risk for sunburn is decently minimal! 🙂
7. Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling. Just because Harry Potter is good to read anytime, anywhere. And I’m pretty sure I HAVE read it on the beach before.
8. Tick Tock – Dean Koontz. One of Koontz’s shorter, lighter (and, in my opinion, funnier) novels, this one would make a pretty good beach read.
9. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson. Ugh, this reminds me, I still have to finish this series. Whoops. Either way, this is another good beach read since it’s pretty fast-paced (once you can get through all the financial jargon) and a decently fun read. The translation seems kinda clunky sometimes, though.
10. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot. Okay, so this is a book that has been on my to-read list for a while after my college marching band director recommended it a while ago. Henrietta Lacks was a poor black woman in the 50s who died of cervical cancer, but some of her cells—which were removed without her knowledge during her cancer treatment—could be kept alive and grown, unlike any other cultured cells. Her legacy helped create the Salk Vaccine, among many others. Yes, I’m a huge nerd and plan to read this at the beach this summer—assuming I ever get any time to go to the beach!
Which books would you bring to the beach?
- Why Henrietta Lacks Matters (boston.com)
- A Bestseller Worthy of the Praise: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (emilyjanuary.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (crystaltecca.com)
- Book Club: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (gotmyreservations.wordpress.com)