Best Beach Reads: 5 Light and Fun Books to Peruse on Vacation

It’s summer! For those of us home from college, it’s been summer for a while, but for those of you who teach or attend younger grades, you’re finally free! And the weather is finally hot enough for a nice day at the beach. Like a true geekette, you always pack a book with your towel and sunblock, but what book to choose this year? Here are some of my suggestions:

  1. The Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudson — This was a cute book I picked up at BEA 2014, and you may remember from a post I wrote back in October.  It takes place in high school but is accessible to readers even younger than that (or adults who only have half their attention on the book and half on the waves). The protagonist is a theater techie and the constant references and fact that the plot revolves around the school’s production of Sweeney Todd is sure to make your inner musical nerd squeal. Long story short, there is a hot new librarian at the school who may literally be a denizen from hell, and it is up to Cynthia to save her best friend from his bewitching grasp, design the barber chair for the set, and make her own move on the gorgeous leading man of the play, all before the end of opening night.
  2. The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris — If you’re looking for a more adult read, perhaps a romance of the supernatural variety, I would suggest Dead Until Dark and the subsequent members of the Sookie Stackhouse series, made famous through their TV adaption Trueblood. Although I didn’t like some of the turns the book series took, and ended up dropping off near the end, I devoured the first few books like candy. The best part is, there are thirteen books in the series plus a number of short story collections, so if you enjoy the novels, they can keep you entertained for quite a while. Nothing quiute completes a sultry day at the shore like Viking vampires, super model fairy men, and your typical were-collie (okay shapeshifter who prefers to turn into a collie, close enough). If you’ve been a fan of the show or wondered what it was all about, why not pick up the books that started it all?
  3. The Princess Bride by William Goldman — How about some nostalgia with your sand and sun? This movie was part of my childhood and would make many a geek’s top ten films of all-time list, so I recently decided to see how the book compared. I have to say, the film stayed strikingly close to the novel, and the novel was just as witty and entertaining as the film. I should hope you know the plot, but it’s a story-within-a-story: the outer story entails a man telling only the good parts of a story from his childhood to his own son. The inner story is essentially an adventure tale of the Man in Black and his rescue of Princess Buttercup from Prince Humperdinck, who she has promised to marry when she thought her true love was lost to her at sea. The conversational tone and fairy tale style make it a very simple read, though beware of laughing out loud while reading it in public.
  4. The Bloody Jack series by L.A. — What could be more appropriate beach reading than life upon the high seas? You may remember it from my pirate post last September, although at least the first few books are really more about more upright sailors. This is another one geared toward younger audiences that still has value for adults. The series follows the life of Jackie Faber, a street urchin from London who disguises herself as a boy to get a job on a navy ship, and deals with pirates, storms, keeping her secret, and being the only woman in a man’s watery world.
  5. Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison — This quirky ghost (-ish) story is about a young woman named Madison who was supposed to be killed on her prom night, but who stole the amulet of the grim reaper, which allows her to continue to exist in a state in between alive and dead. It turns out the world is full of reapers, dark ones and light ones, fighting an endless battle over which humans should die and why. Based on a short story from Prom Nights from Hell, Once Dead Twice Shy tells her story post-deadly prom. With the help of a broody light reaper, a sassy guardian angel, and her human crush, she must find out why she was targeted by a dark reaper at prom in the first place and how to prevent him from finishing the job. It’s a cute story but not one that you’ll be too upset over if it gets splashed with saltwater.

What are your beach reads for the summer? Got any suggestions? Let us know in the comments!


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