I received an email from Milly, who is looking for some books to read:
I was just enjoying my lunch hour reading the latest O magazine – the summer reading one and I realized very few books in it were HAPPY. Now I wouldn't expect otherwise from “serious” readers but come on… their beach reads section was quite depressing.
So I got to thinking: what is the bitchery's best beach reads that some of us may not know about? Must be light, frothy, fun, engrossing, crazy sauce welcome.
PS are is there any funny erotica out there that isn't angsty or alphahole'ish?! Girl' gotta have some smut for the beach but honestly the aholes get old.
Beach reading, and funny erotica minus alphaholes. Ok, then!
First, I think Milly's right to identify what beach reading is (and isn't) for different readers. Sarah MacLean wrote about this subject for her WaPO column recently, and echoed some of Milly's comments.
For me, and this is my own opinion after many hours in a chair on the sand, beach reading serves a few purposes. IThe story has to be easy in, easy out, happy and relaxing. If you have to pay attention to what is going on around you – kids, shore, food, bugs, beach tag inspectors – being able to easily enter and exit the story is important. I prefer not to have to put my book down, but I know that I'll have to. I also like my summer vacation reading to be funny, happy, and enjoyable. Vacation reading is joyful reading for me.
The first books that come to mind for me when I think of chairs, sand, sunscreen and hours to read are the Chesapeake Bay series by Nora Roberts ( A | BN | K) – which I remember reading on the beach and being so engrossed that high tide came and a wave broke onto me, the chair, and the book, soaking it. And it was a library book – so I felt awful.
Beach reading is almost always contemporary comedy for me, too, or historicals that I know won't be angsty or rip my heart out while I'm reading. The Smith/Smythe series by Julia Quinn would be a good example, as would Tessa Dare.
So what is beach reading for you?
What aare your beach reading recommendations – and while we're asking, what's your most favorite beach? (Mine, all in New Jersey: Sandy Hook National Recreation Area, Sea Bright, Seven Presidents, and Stone Harbor.)