Lists, Reviews

Beach Reading 2014: A Top Ten List

It’s that time of year again – beach reading – for those of us lucky enough not to be landlocked. Personally, I am landlocked in the very dry, very un-swimmable Colorado. So I’ll just call It summer reading. That doesn’t mean I don’t daydream of lounging on the beach with a good book. If I were going to do that – and I’m hopeful that will happen at some point this summer – I’d recommend reading any of the following:

To be far, this list is nearly an even mix of upcoming/newly released titles that I’m looking forward to and backlist titles that I’ve enjoyed. As hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Beach Reading
10. This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash. Lush and gothic, so I hear. I picked this one up at BEA.

09. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. This is perfect reading, beach or not.

08. Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia. A delightful novel where Glee meets The Shining.

07. Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson. Consider this your literary fiction beach read.

06. Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood. Hemingway did like to right about the sea…

05. The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams. After the wonderful One Hundred Summers, this does not disappoint.

04. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

03. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. The conclusion of the All Souls Trilogy will finally be release this July.

02. All the Bird Singing by Evie Wyld. The cover alone was enough to sell me.

01. The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones. 

What are you reading this summer? Any of you lucky enough to actually live some place by the beach?

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

  • Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf

    I live really close to the beach, about a 15 min drive. I’m glad you listed Summer Sisters. I actually can’t remember if I’ve read it or not, but I’ve been interested in it since it first came out. Need to flip through a copy and figure that out. 😉

    • Rory

      It’s Judy Blume, you can’t really go wrong. It’s classic. It’s been years since I’ve read it, but I’d be willing to read it again.

      And 15 mins…I’m envious. Colorado is in a constant drought. I grew up in coastal New Hampshire/Maine and I miss it dearly.

      • Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf

        Ohhh I forgot you’d lived in that area! I lived in Westbrook, Maine off and on while growing up. I don’t really remember going to the beach there, though, even though it’s along the coast.

  • Alice

    So much agreement with Mrs Hemingway, I loved that book.

    I need to read an Evie Wyld book!

    • Rory

      I feel like the wives of famous writers are a trend in literature right now, but this one was really good!

  • C.J.

    I read Summer Sisters one summer when I was in high school and it was the highlight of whatever awful vacation I was on. Your description of Bellweather Rhapsody has me intrigued! What book are you reading first?

    • Rory

      I have very fond memories of that book. I haven’t read it in ages!

  • Shannon @ River City Reading

    Mrs. Hemingway and We Were Liars are so good and beachy without being your typical mushy beach read. I’m going to see if I can get my book club to read Fourth of July Creek because I need to pick it up sooner rather than later.

    • Rory

      I’m hoping to actually take We Were Liars with me to the beach this year – short and sweet.

  • Kate @ booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    Yes, yes, yes to Summer Sisters.

    Glad to see an Aussie on your list 🙂

    • Rory

      Summer Sisters is one of the books that really got me back into reading. I love it.

  • Ciska @ Ciska’s Book Chest

    OWWWW The Book of Life. I cannot wait for that one!!

    • Rory

      I have a copy of it, but I don’t know if I want to start it now or reread the last two first. It’s been too long!

  • Kerry M

    I keep seeing Mrs. Hemingway pop up here and there… I need to get on that one!

    • Rory

      It’s a surprisingly lovely little book. I was impressed.

  • tanya (52 books or bust)

    I’m seeing The Secret Life of Violet Grant on a lot of lists. I guess I need to go read One Hundred Summers first. Is it a series or just by the same author?

    • Rory

      Just the same author!

  • Charleen

    Yes, definitely looking forward to The Book of Life. Though I need to re-read the first two books first…

    • Rory

      I should do the same, it’s been a while…

  • Collene

    I see you have Mrs. Hemingway on your list. I just read a review of the book and I’d like to read it too.

    • Rory

      I read a fabulous review of it as well and I did end up loving it!

  • Athira

    We Were Liars is definitely on my list! I haven’t heard of the others – need to check them out.

    • Rory

      I can’t wait to read We Were Liars, I (sort of) met the author at a BEA party, so now I feel like I must read it!

  • Catherine

    I have begged everyone and anyone I know at Penguin for an ARC of Book of Life but to no avail. It’s perfect for summer- chunky but should be can’t put down reading.

    Was she at BEA?

    • Rory

      She was, that’s where I got my copy of the book. I’m not a series/trilogy person, but I loved the first two so much that I nervous to start the third.

  • maria helena

    Living in Hawaii, I have summer and beach access year round. Will you be very upset at me if I tell you that I hate going to the beach? (But I do enjoy reading in the park.) Great list, as always. I’m gonna add some of these to my to read list right away.

    • Rory

      I think the beach loses a little bit of its wonder if you live right by it. That being said, I absolutely adored Kauai when I went (it’s the only island I’ve been to).

      I fly to some beach area once a year and it’s wonderful for the week it lasts.

  • Acid Free Pulp

    I’m currently reading Bellweather Rhapsody (and enjoying it). Alas, I have a lukewarm opinion of All the Birds, Singing. I reviewed it back in April and, although, I was totally taken with the cover–I think it’s been one of my favorites in recent memory–the book itself, I was not. It was not as inventive as the publisher would like us to believe.

    • Rory

      I remember your review. It has me curious because I generally trust your reading taste and Shannon’s from River City Reading (and it’s one of her favorites this year). At some point I’d like to give it a shot. I loved Bellweather Rhapsody!

      • Acid Free Pulp

        I would definitely like to hear your take on it. I feel as if I’m in the minority and really wanted it to be so much better than its execution. C’est la vie, I suppose.

  • Andi @ Estella’s Revenge

    All the Birds Singing and The Book of Life are HIGH on my own list. We Were Liars! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    • Rory

      I can’t wait for We Were Liars, I think I’m only 49 on the hold list now…

      I have such high expectations for The Book of Life, and that makes me very nervous.

  • Leah @ Books Speak Volumes

    I’ll be spending a few days at a lake this summer, and Mrs. Hemingway sounds like a great vacation read!

    • Rory

      Short, (sort of) sweet (as far as Hemingway goes) – I think it’s a perfect vacation read.

  • Kelly from

    I just read Mrs. Hemingway and really enjoyed it!

  • Sarah Says Read

    So many of these look good, but of course I’m most excited about finishing the All Souls trilogy! I can’t say that I LOVE those books, but they’re pretty good as far as vampires/witches go.

%d bloggers like this: