Top Ten Tuesday: Books on a Beach

Today, we're listing the books we'd take to relax on a towel in the sand, accompanied by sunglasses and margaritas and the soothing sound of waves against the shore. Now, if I were headed to the beach this summer, I'd go for something I hadn't already read. I'd look for something by certain authors—someone I could expect to write a tale in the right mood for the place. Say, anything light, summery, fun or humorous.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Do come join the fun...
Here are some authors I'd look to:

1. Sarah Dessen. For beautifully-written stories of family relationships and romance. Her very covers are summery. Read and loved: That Summer.

2. Diana Wynne Jones. For magic and humor. Read and loved: The Dark Lord of Derkholm.

3. Terry Pratchett. Ditto. I'd like to read his teen books. Read and loved: The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic.

4. Shannon Hale. You know I love and recommend her young adult fantasies; she writes funny and heartwarming contemporary adult work as well. Read and loved (from her adult work): The Actor and the Housewife.

5. Madeleine L'Engle. I haven't read the last two Time books, and then there's all those Adam and Vicky ones. Maybe I'd start with A Ring of Endless Light. Read and loved (besides the Time books): Shoot. I cannot remember the title...

6. Janette Rallison. For light, happy, funny work. Read and loved: Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To-Do List.

Of course, these are all authors I've already read at least one book by. Which means that I had to leave off Meg Cabot, Ann Brashares, and all the new mermaid books that I might be tempted to pick up and take along.

Also, the list hasn't reached ten. So here are a few recommendations from my already-read-on-a-beach (or somewhere) list.

7. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman. It gets off to a slow start, but winds up hilarious.

8. Anything by Jane Austen, but especially Persuasion, which partly takes place on the shores of Lyme.

9. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. Some of his other works might be equally good, but I've always hesitated out of fear of more tragedy-stricken love stories. This one, however, is just lovely, and set in a seaside town.

10. The Anne of Green Gables books would, I think, make excellent beach reads, though Prince Edward Island in pre-automotive days wasn't necessarily a world of constant access to sand and waves. Anne's House of Dreams and Anne of Avonlea catch the most of the shoreside feel, if I remember rightly.

What would you take to the beach? Or the mountains, or wherever you like to go on vacation? I am definitely in a beach mood right now, or perhaps a desert one. Anywhere I can find the sun...

EDIT: I always remember the best ones right after I post. Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries would so be on my list, as would P.G. Wodehouse's books. I've just loved what I've read of both so far.


  1. I loved The Princess Bride and Anne of Green Gables- great choices.

  2. Oh great list. I have to (embarrassingly admit) that I haven't read any of these but perhaps that's just a sign that I need a beach holiday ;)
    Here are my top beach reads:

  3. So many good summer reads posted already, Jenna.... I would add a few additional childhood favorites, like The Rascals from Haskell's Gym (for the former gymnast in me), The Bobbsey Twins' The Secret at the Seashore, and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Am I a Pollyanna, or what??

  4. Oh, and how could I forget the entire Trixie Belden mystery series! Tomboy Trixie captured my attention way more than Nancy Drew ever could.

  5. honestly..my favorite beach read is Anna Karinina, I think it's because I spent a summer in colloge with it and lots of Vodka and ice. It was a fantastic summer, and now, Tolstoy is permanently linked in my mind with hot days, sunshine, and alcohol. :) Besides, there's lots of drama. The Stranger is good too though, especially while listening to The Cure and drinking something that pretends to be "above" beachy drinks, and most especially if I've got a black swimsuit on and big sunglasses..yes, I'm shallow, I like to match books to clothes, to drinks, to weather. :)

  6. Anne and The Book Gatherer, thanks!

    Carrie-Ann, I haven't read Rascals, but I loved the Bobbsey Twins and Rebecca! And Pollyanna, for that matter. :D

    Masha, your comment was hilarious. And that doesn't seem shallow to me at all--I think some books go especially well with certain foods, drinks, seasons, fashions, and moods. ;)


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