Top Ten Tuesday: Good Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish blog.

TTT is taking a well-deserved break until August 15th, so I will be making my own lists- or recycling old topics from before I had this blog- during the hiatus.

This week I’m recycling the topic: Good Beach Reads, which first appeared on TTT on June 12, 2012. 

It may be August, but there is still plenty of time to squeeze in a few beach and/or poolside reads. Outdoor reading is one of the best parts of summer after all. Here are ten books that would make for ideal, light summer reading- either on the beach or off.



1. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

This is such a fun read by the lovely duo at the popular celebrity fashion site, Go Fug Yourself. Although The Royal We is obviously heavily inspired by the British Royal Family, it’s much more than just Prince William/Kate Middleton fan fiction. The Fug Girls are huge anglophiles, a fact that really shines through in their writing.

2. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple 

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a whimsical epistolary novel full of quirky and endearing characters. With its settings of Seattle and Anarctica, you’ll be able to imagine yourself in cooler surroundings while you’re sweating in the heat. Since the story is told through emails, notes, and documents, it makes for a quick and easy read as well.

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Epic historical fiction can make for perfect beach reading, and Outlander is certainly epic. This popular page-turner mixes history, time travel, humor, and a whole lot of romance. Just don’t get so caught up in the adventures of Jamie and Claire that you forget to reapply your sunscreen.

4. The Lake House by Kate Morton

Any of Kate Morton’s dual timeline novels would make for perfect beach reading, and The Lake House is no exception. Set in a lakeside Cornish estate, Morton’s latest novel features just the right combination of mystery and romance. This atmospheric read will be sure to hold your attention even in the great outdoors.

5. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley 

Slip away from your surroundings with Kearsley’s time slip novel. Also set in Cornwall, this escapist story features Jacobites, smugglers, lush gardens, a bit of tragedy, and a sweet love story. The Rose Garden is a light but engrossing read.



6. The Girls by Emma Cline

This much-hyped debut novel is dark and beautifully written. Based on the Manson murders, The Girls explores the difficult transition from girlhood to womanhood. Set during a summer in the 1960’s, it’s an unsettling read that is difficult to put down.

7. The Muse by Jessie Burton

The Muse is a captivating novel about a mysterious painting, set in both 1930’s Spain and 1960’s London. It’s a story about art, identity, friendship, obsession, and loss. Burton’s prose is beautiful and transportive.

 8. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

An escapist novel about a lost engagement ring and a discovered cell phone, Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number is perfectly light and entertaining. The plot may be a bit silly, but there is enough humor and romance to keep you quickly turning the page.

9. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier 

No beach reads list would be complete without the inclusion of a book about pirates. And this one features an especially dashing French pirate. Set in Restoration era England, du Maurier’s historical fiction novel is full of swashbuckling adventure, true love, and witty dialogue.

10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Admittedly, a lot of classics do not make for ideal beach reading. If you were to choose a classic that is a good beach read however, The Great Gatsby may just be at the top of the list. It’s an accessible novel that can be read for its entertaining plot and dynamic characters, or pored over and analyzed more fully. Summer is the perfect season in which to read this Jazz-age tale set during a hot Long Island summer.


What are some of your favorite beach reads? 




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