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Beachy

  • After all these years

    After all these Years by Susan Isaacs.  Isaacs is the ultimate beach book author. Her books are funny and engaging - usually murder mysteries. This is one of the best.  "The day after her lavish wedding anniversary bash, Rosie Meyers gets a big surprise: her nouveau riche husband, Richie, is leaving her for a sultry, sophisticated, size-six MBA.  So, when he's found murdered in their exquisitely appointed kitchen, no one is surprised to find Rosie's prints all over the weapon."  "The suburban English teacher is the prime suspect -- the police's only suspect. And she knows she'll spend the rest of her life in the prison library unless she can unmask the real killer. Going into Manhattan on the lam, Rosie learns more about Richie than she ever wanted to know. And more about herself than she ever dreamed possible."

  • After You

     

    After You by JoJo Moyes.  This is the sequel to Me Before You.  "I couldn't resist After You. Not as perfect as me before you but still a great read.”

  • American Wife

    American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield. "Fun easy read – Laura Bush story with a Midwest twist! High school tragedy, survival, falling in love to someone out of your element, questioning a marriage, repenting husband, finding religion, power, wealth, white house Read the 500 page book in four days. A real ego boost when you haven’t finished a book in a year. Very light, but not Danielle Steele." And, “am embarrassed, but whipped through American Wife and fully enjoyed the trash.”

  • Attachments

    Attachmentsby Rainbow Rowell. "Very beach-worthy. A romantic story about an Internet security professional whose job is to monitor the emails of employees in the newsroom of the paper where he works. He becomes fascinated by an ongoing email conversation between two friends and falls for one of them. A tech geek makes for an odd romantic hero, but it works."

  • Bergdorf Blondes

    Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes “A total beach read, but it does have something to say and it's pretty darn funny.”  From Amazon (on release of 10th anniversary edition):  "For readers who adore Candace Bushnell, Tinsely Mortimer, and Lauren Weisberger comes New York Times bestselling author Plum Sykes’s sly and amusing satire—now back in print for its 10th anniversary in a gorgeous, eye-catching package, with a new foreword by the author."

  • Best Day of Someone Else's Life

    The Best Day of Someone Else’s Life by Kerry Reichs. Looks like chick lit with an "always the bridesmaid…" theme, and, I gather, some deeper messages than the average product of the genre." Eleven weddings in eighteen months would send any sane woman either over the edge or scurrying for the altar. But as reality separates from illusion, Vi learns that letting go of someone else's story to write your own may be harder than buying the myth, but just might help her make the right choices for herself.

  • Best of Us

    The Best of Usby Sarah Pekkanen.  "It is an easy, easy read, but she develops characters unusually well for a paperback beach read.  And although I hadn't met her before her recent reading at Politics and Prose - she's a Chevy Chase mom of three, so hats off to her!"

  • Big House

    The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Homeby George Howe Cult. "I thoroughly enjoyed this book from last year’s list, the history of a summer house on Cape Cod. It helped that I read it while I was staying in a house that had been in a family (not mine) for generations and had to be sold, mirroring exactly what was in the book."

  • Big, Little Lies

    Big, Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.  This was on the list last year, but so many of you told me you loved it, I'm promoting it to a top pick this year. VERY beachy.  (NB: Moriarty has another book coming out in July called Truly Madly Guilty)  “Another hilarious novel from Moriarty whose familiar female characters share all of the petty conceits the rest of us do – but articulate them far more humorously. Voted top comedy on Goodreads last year, this story involves a murder at an elementary school parents’ party, but neither the killer nor the victim are revealed until the end.  Among the hysterically recognizable cast of characters: the members of a “support group for the parents of gifted children.” "Murder mystery among parents at a private school in Australia.  Twists and turns.  Characters you will love and hate and fight for." "I had an absolute blast reading this book about parents at a little school in Australia. It is clear from the start that someone was killed at a school fundraising event, though we don't know who or what the circumstances were. Moriarty takes us back through the months leading up to the event, tying the stories of various characters together in an artful fashion. She intersperses this with little snatches of dialogue that are evidently from police interviews with parents who attended the party. These are HYSTERICAL. So, yes, it's a satire. But it's not an over-the-top, cover-to-cover campy satire (those exhaust me). It's also a murder mystery, a romantic story, a friendship story. It's very clever but also very human with endearing characters and love-to-hate characters, and some in between. I just had the best time." "Why did I resist this book for so long? This book was a blast - - overall the story has a light tone and yet Morriarty covers some pretty heavy topics including spousal abuse and bullying. The characters were well drawn, sympathetic, the humor was actually quite funny and the observations about marriage, the parenting culture, and class differences among friends were all spot on. I originally dismissed this as chick lit and I guess it is but it makes me realize that not all chick lit is created equal."

  • Bittersweet

    Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore.  Gothic suspense.  From Amazon:  Plain scholarship student Mabel Dagmar is surprised when her glamorous blue-blooded roommate at their prestigious east coast university befriends her, even more when Genevra "Ev" Winslow invites her to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the sprawling Vermont estate owned for generations by her family.  Mabel falls in love with the place, finds a love interest and begins to feel like one of the Winslows.  But she soon discovers a dark side to this family - will she keep the secrets?  Lots of twists will keep you turning the pages.

  • Castaways

    The Castaways (and other titles) by Elin Hilderbrand. "This is perfect beach reading. She writes well, her characters, dialogue and plots ring true, and they are all set on Nantucket, so it’s like a mini-vacation just reading her books."

  • Chaperone

    The Chaperoneby Laura Moriarty. “A fast beach read with a vivid 1920's backdrop, this is the story of Louise Brooks (who became a famous silent film star) and the chaperone accompanying her to NY where she will attend dance school. To borrow from Wicked lyrics, both women are not sure they were changed for the better, but because they knew each other they were changed for good...”

  • Charm School

    The Charm School by Nelson Demille. Okay, I cheated and added this NOT NEW book after the list was published. Until this Russian spy story emerged, this book might have seemed a little dated. But hey! Cold War intrigue is BACK, baby, and suddenly this novel is not only timely, but seems weirdly prescient. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading this great old (v beachy) book, I highly recommend it. I remember when I got to the end of this book, I absolutely HAD to be somewhere, but I absolutely COULD NOT put it down. DeMille's best, I think. Maybe now that fear of Russian spies is once again in vogue, they'll finally make a movie of it.

  • Circle of Wives

    A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante.  “This is a super-fast beach read about a man who was married to multiple wives (only one knew about the others) who is found murdered and the story is about trying to figure out which wife killed him and how.  It isn't a wonderful book, but it is readable and does keep you guessing about who murdered the polygamist and why.”

  • Colony

    Colony by Anne Rivers Siddons.  Beachy -- SOOO beachy.  But no surprise, that's what Siddons writes - beach books, (many are actually set on beaches).  This one is about a summer colony in Maine.  Lots of family melodrama, very page turney.  Was a runaway bestseller when it was released in 2002.

  • Confessions of a Shopaholic

    Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella: “This and other books in the Shopaholic series are total beach reading; I just bought my fifth one.” Another reader recommended Undomestic Goddess.

  • Cowboys are my Weakness: Stories

    Cowboys Are My Weakness: Stories by Pam Houston. "Houston is a frequent contributor to O magazine. Ok, this is OLD, and this is not classic in any way but it is one of my FAVORite books! it's a collection of short stories written by a 20 something year old woman, about 20 something year old women who are doing their darndest to make their ways in the world... they are falling in love with the wrong men, trying out the wrong jobs, but always hanging on to their sisters and, thankfully, their own true grits. This book makes me reminiscent for my past-- and, even better-- thankful for my present. Short stories. chick focused. Easy breezy, clever read (but not dumb)."

  • Devil in the Junior League

    The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Francis Lee. "Good non-thinking book for the beach. Southerners, in particular, will appreciate this. 'No diamonds before 6 p.m.'" The Junior League of Willow Creek, Texas, is très exclusive. Undesirables need not apply. Fredericka Mercedes Hildebrand Ware (Frede to her friends) is a member beyond reproach...until her life begins to unravel. When her husband betrays her, steals her money, and runs off to places unknown, it's something Frede would prefer to keep under wraps. The last thing she needs is to become fodder for the JLWC gossip mill. And to make matters worse, there's only one person in town who stands a chance at helping her get revenge—Howard Grout, a tasteless, gold-chain-wearing lawyer who has bought his way into Frede's tony neighborhood. But there's a price: She has to get his tacky, four-inch-stiletto-and-pink-spandex-wearing wife, Nikki, into the Junior League.

  • Falling

    Falling by Jane Green. "Formulaic Jane Green fiction, which is why it’s perfect for a summer read.  British gal has heartbreak, moves from Manhattan to Westport, CT, meets rough-and-tumble single dad.  Making out ensues, as does tragedy.  Blah blah, blah …. pour some rose and crack this one open.  It’s a fun, easy read".

  • Falls

    The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates.  Several of our contributors mentioned this as a good beach read.  From Amazon:  "It is 1950 and, after a disastrous honeymoon night, Ariah Erskine's young husband throws himself into the roaring waters of Niagara Falls. Ariah, "the Widow Bride of the Falls," begins a relentless seven-day vigil in the mist, waiting for his body to be found. At her side is confirmed bachelor and pillar of the community Dirk Burnaby, who is unexpectedly drawn to her. What follows is a passionate love affair, marriage, and family -- a seemingly perfect existence. But tragedy soon takes over their lives, poisoning their halcyon years with distrust, greed, and murder."  Another great one by the same author is We Were the Mulvaneys.