Monday, June 29, 2009

Fun Beach Reads

Summer is the season for reading...well, actually I love snuggling on the sofa under a cozy throw by the fireplace and reading in winter, but I'm just as likely to take a nap. To me, summer is all about fun beach reading. It doesn't have to be deep, it doesn't have to be shallow, it just has to be fun. You should not be sitting at the beach/pool/lake/chaise lounge on the back patio struggling to get through a book (unless of course, it is required course work for whatever you are doing and in that case, sorry, but it will be so worth it in the end). Save the painful books for winter when you can offset the struggle with a cup of hot tea.

So in addition to the usual stack of magazines, here are a couple of my summer reads this year:

#1 - Driving Sideways by Jess Riley. I would like to thank Stephanie of Sea Glasses for posting this one on her sidebar. When my book club was looking for a book for, July (we're a bit tardy with setting the date), per my suggestion, we decided to go with this one.

Sample dialogue from early in the book that I fell in love with:
Instead I say, "I'm fine. You've got to trust me. I wouldn't do anything stupid." Which was, of course, probably the same thing Katie Holmes said to her manager before her first date with Tom Cruise.

I finished it at the Lake and was sad when it ended, since I wanted more of the story. So I wait hopefully for Ms. Riley's next book! Very interesting read, very entertaining. I love her style of writing - it's so clever and so conversational. I was laughing out loud at quite a few lines in the story.

#2 - Freakin' Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else by Clinton Kelly. Some rather colorful language, and a fun read. I am about 2/3 through this one. (I started it, but set it aside when I picked up #1 above.)

Sample dialogue that I fell in love with:

You might be asking yourself what gives me the right to tell you how to speak. The answer is simple: 40 grand, roughly how much I spent on my master's degree in journalism. So suck on that.

It's not going to solve all the problems of the world but it's a great little reference book, and who doesn't want to be more fabulous? And grammar is more fun when you are talking about drinking gin or someone who is dating the same guy as her mother. I'm just about to start the How to Eat chapter, and the reviews on Amazon indicate that his 4 recipes to know by heart are supposed to be fantastic.

#3 - Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich. My mom & I are huge fans of the Stephanie Plum series - the number ones not the interim ones with "Plum" in the title. The newest in the series always comes out at the end of June. Why? Because, duh, summer reading. This one came out last Tuesday but I haven't picked it up yet. I will probably try to nab it before heading to the river on Wednesday so that I can pass it to my mom when I am done. This one hasn't gotten great reviews so far, but I'll read it because hey, it's summer, that's what we do. The series is supposed to end at 16, so my OCD side feels compelled to finish it out.

What are you reading for summer?


Workaholic said...

Thanks for the book suggestions. I love Clinton (and umm 40's more like 60 grand now for that journalism degree). I'll definitely fit that first one in between all my baseball autobiographies this summer. I mean it IS baseball season

Kathy and Seashell said...

We just bought the Janet Evanovitch and Seashell will be done with it tonight, even if she stays up all night! She sent away for the author's newletter and listed her name as Stephanie!! A book that I recommend is "Blue Bistro" by Elin Hilderbrand. She has a few books set in Nantucket and they are great beach reads but I think this one is the best!

Cate said...

Driving Sideways sounds funny, I'll have to add it to my list. I'm currently reading Belong to Me by Marisa De Los Santos and Better by Atul Gawande (which is medically related but still light enough for summer). I also love Jane Green and just got her new one the other day.

HeidiG said...

Workaholic - yeah, the 40G sounded low - maybe that's what he spent when he went?

Kathy and Seashell - thanks for the recommendation! I think I have read her books before, not sure.

Cate - great suggestions, thanks!!

Ema said...

Thank you for the post Heidi. Reading is my second favorite hobby (after shopping).
I will give Driving sideways a try, it sounds like fun. The new Sophie Kinsella should also come out soon (next week?)
I think that I'm going to continue with the Twilight saga, I'm totally sucked in.
Also on my list: Dear american airlines by Jonathan Miles and Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (OK, this one technically doesn't fall in the category of "easy readings" but I wanted to read it since it came out and I just picked it up in my local B&N for something like $3).
I also try to read a "classic" each summer (because we have more time, we are more relaxed etc). This summer I'm going to read "Revolutionary Road". I just watched the movie and absolutely loved it.

AppGal said...

What am I reading this summer? Journal articles and textbooks on how to diagnose reading problems and themes in children's literature :) Exciting, no? hehe.

I was able to squeeze one good summer read before class started, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It was a REALLY good book, IMO. I got halfway through The Year of Living Biblically, which is a hilarious book about a guy who decides to take the Bible literally for a whole year (it's not sacrilegious, though!) I have about 10 more books in my "stack" to make a dent in after class is over!

Lissa said...

thanks for the recommendations! We'll see if I get out to get one of these books. I need to read something that's just for fun! I tend to buy self help type books.

Zoë Moët said...

My coworker was just telling me about the Stephanie Plum series this morning...I usually skip Janet Evanovich because I always thought she was a violent murder mystery writer based on the covers of her books(I guess that's what I get for judging a book my its cover). I'm definitely going to start on the series right away.

Also, I love Clinton! I'm totally getting that book!

Drewablank said...

Oooh, that book by Clinton Kelly looks scrumptious! I'll have to get that...after reading Tim Gunn's book, I'm ready for something similar. ('LOOVE Mr. Gunn!)

I'm actually trying to finish "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA". I'm totally into the whole "spy/political" thing right now. I just finished "Extreme Measures" by Vince Flynn and "The Last Patriot" by Brad Thor.

There's so many books in the wings waiting for me to pick up (incl. "Long Way Gone" by Ishmael Beah, "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits" by Ayelet Waldman), but one book I'm really interested in reading is "Mortal Friends" by Jane Stanton Hitchcock. If only for personal reasons. ;)

dinagideon said...

Thanks for the suggestions...I may have to get the Clinton Kelley book...I ADORE him.

The other two sound great...I always like books that you just don't want to end. :)

Julia said...

Thanks for the book recommendations! I LOVE reading, I probably read 2-3 books per week! It's out of control. Thank goodness my library here is awesome or I'd be broke!!

I will defintely check out the book by Clinton, he is my most favorite man in the whole world.

HeidiG said...

First of all, wow - such great suggestions, I think I have filled out the rest of my summer with some great books!

Ema - I may pick up the Twilight series again after I go through this round of books.

AppGal - I was thinking about you & your reading as I typed this.

Lissa - Self help is good, but I think it works best if you break it up with some "lite" reading.

Zoe Moet - totally not violent - just funny. But start at the beginning, definitely.

Drewablank - Scrumptious is a good word. And I can't believe that I am going to admit this - b/c I do loooooove Tim - but I didn't looooove his book, even when I read it using his voice as the narrator. Maybe I was in a bad mood when I read it?

Dina - love Clinton, too!! such a smart aleck, but funny.

Julia - I used to read 2-3 books in the summer...before kids & now the blogging habit! Ahhh, back in the day...

mrs.anketell said...

Love your post------I LIVE for reading!! I have so many books going right now......"Happens Every Day"--and "Yes, My Darling Daughter" is on the Oprah list for this summer, and i thought id give it a try. I also enjoy Jane Green, all of her books and she just came out with a new one for summer!!!

Lady Buttons said...

Thanks for the book suggestions, Heidi! I always thought those Evanovich books would be to gory gore for me too, but now I'll definitely pick 'em up! I love a good mystery -- used to read Agatha Christie books when I was a tween, and sometimes I'll still dust one off for a good summer read. I also like those Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency books -- a light, none-too-challenging summer read. (And the show is pretty darn good, too!)

Ms.Mer said...

Thanks for posting your summer reads. I just checked out "Freaking Fabulous" on Amazon, and am laughing out loud -- I think I have to place an order, stat! :)

As far as my reads... going to catch up on my various Graphic Design mags that are piling up, and raid my BF's parents' Agatha Christie collection when we visit them in July. Nothing like a fun mystery to read on the beach! Hercule Poirot figures everything out so I don't have to. ;)

Stephanie said...

Thanks Heidi! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. I wish there was more too. I want to know what happens next. I loved her voice and style of writing. It's like sitting down with a best girlfriend-- with a great sense of humor and story to tell! Thanks also for the reminder to change my sidebar pic as I'm now reading Candice Bushnell's One Fifth Avenue. Cute so far but I'm just beginning.

A Bigger Closet said...

Thanks for the reading list Heidi! Summer IS the perfect season for fun, light lit. I'm with Dina - I adores Clinton Kelley too. :))

monogramgirl said...

Thanks for the reading suggestions...I'll be sure to bring a few along when I take my next trip!

Law and Fashion said...

Thanks for the book suggestions! I'm going out of town this weekend and I think I might have to get Driving Sideways for the plane.

Kristin said...

I can't WAIT to read Clinton's book. I adore him.

tastymoog said...

I want to read Clinton's book, too! Love him. :D

I recently finished Julie & Julia, because I wanted to read it before the film (comes out in August). It was a pretty quick read, I think b/c of the 'bloggy' nature of a lot of the text.

HeidiG said...

Ok, so it's a big Clinton lovefest here. It is a fun book. I just hit the decorating chapter. I will say the food chapter is fantastic!! I am definitely looking forward to trying a few recipes.

Thanks again for the other suggestions, all!! I'm sure I will post on some more beach reads further into the summer!

Slastena said...

Nothing, but I long to read so badly.. Absolutely no time. On my list is The Time Traveler's Wife. Anyone read that one? The movie is coming out soon.

HeidiG said...

Slastena - I have not read that one, but I hear it is very good.