The Best Summer Beach Reads

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Welcome to Tuesday--and another great contribution from my extremely talented and helpful intern Amy Copperman. Take it away, Amy!

The Best Summer Beach Reads

One of my favorite things about summer is that I can ditch those deep, intellectual school books that I read with a hi-liter in one hand and a bucket of coffee in the other. Instead, I soak up some sun as well as enthralling, fun novels, reveling in the love lives, adventures, and heartache of fabulous heroines. If you desire a little sunny entertainment this season, grab your sunscreen and one of these page-turners and head to the nearest shoreline or lounge chair, because sometimes, a summer vacation is just a beach read away.



The Feasting Season
, Nancy Coons
: Prepare yourself for a taste-bud titillating, romantic adventure through the French countryside as travel writer and mother of two escapes her suburban blues and ho-hum marriage to pursue her dream job of writing about French history. Her research of the past, however, brings her closer to her present and future as she begins a passionate love affair that is as sinful and decadent as French food. Rich descriptions of food, wine, and beautiful countryside punctuate this steamy, exciting, yet heart-wrenching novel.


Heat, Geneva Holliday: For a steamy getaway, you don't have to look farther than the pages of this sultry, sexy, and funny book. Heat is acclaimed author, Bernice McFadden's, third novel under the pen name Geneva Holliday (Groove; Fever). Its shifting first-person narrative follows the hot, heavy, and misguided adventures of four New Yorkers, Geneva, Crystal, Chevy and Noah. A stimulating read full of snappy dialogue and steamy scenes will have you suspending your disbelief.


Body Surfing, Anita Shreve: Author of internationally bestseller and Oprah's book club choice, Pilot's Wife, Anita Shreve lures readers with another lyrical, poignant, and delicious novel. Body Surfing takes place on the New Hampshire shore as 29-year-old widow and divorcé, Sydney, tutors the teenage daughter of a wealthy family. What she doesn't count on is romance to blossom while working her summer job.


Queen of Babble in the Big City, Meg Cabot: The loveable but tactless, big-mouth Lizzie Nichols is back in the second novel in the series, Queen of Babble. This time, Lizzie must tackle finding a job, a home, and a satisfying relationship when her tendency to speak her mind gets her in trouble at work and with her commitment-phobic summer fling. Meg Cabot once again delivers a laugh out loud quirky girl-conquers-big-city story –comfortably predictable and full of lovable characters.


Life's A Beach, Claire Cook: 41-year-old relationship-challenged aspiring sea-glass artist, Ginger Walsh is living above her parents' garage, finding herself thrown into her family's dysfunction just as her own life is falling apart. Delightfully flawed and unique characters depict a slice of life about growing up at any age. Claire Cook, author of Must Love Dogs, presents a hilarious view of family life, with all its rewards and trials.

The Guy Not Taken, Jennifer Weiner: This collection of 11 short stories shares the same wit and fearless heroines as other famed Weiner Chick-lit, such as Good in Bed and In Her Shoes. The engrossing stories and fast pace of this collection make it perfect for an afternoon spent in a lounge chair.



Barefoot
, Elin Hilderbrand: Friendship, passion, love, and women facing seemingly impossible odds, including cancer, a loss of a job, and a cheating husband, make this novel a perfect summer read. Not to mention that its picturesque Nantucket beach setting will have you smelling the sea air, even if you're anchored inland.



Shoe Addicts Anonymous
, Beth Harbison: A debt ridden shoe addict, Lorna Raffety, places an add on "Greg's List" in order to find, similarly sized and shoe-obsessed women to swap Jimmy Choos, Manolos, Maglis, etc. Through this add, four very different women become connected through a shared shoe size, and end up helping each other out with more than just accessories. Little vignettes about each character make each woman and her situation relatable and endearing.


The Late Bloomer's Revolution, Amy Cohen: If you have ever felt as if your life wasn't quite on schedule, this moving, yet dry comedic memoir is for you. Amy Cohen honestly and openly delves into her dating mishaps, offering Sex and the City-esque musings on life, love, and happiness. While her sardonic perspective on single life will make you laugh out loud and sigh, Cohen's novel goes deeper than just disappointing dates. She must not only brave the pressures of finding the right guy, but also deal with real-life issues, such as the death of her mother.


Over the Hill and Between the Sheets, edited by Gail Belsky: In this anthology of short stories and essays, the heroines are not naïve twenty-something girls, but rather experienced, i.e. middle-age women who honestly delve into sex, love, and lust. Tidbits of wisdom, humor, and truth will have you laughing and possibly re-defining at what age one is "over the hill."

--Amy Copperman

[tags]best summer reads, books, recommendations[/tags]