Monday, May 25, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Beach Reads Edition

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme for bloggers who like books and lists. It's awesome and is graciously hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This topic, Beach Reads, always begs the question - What the hell is a beach read?  Specifically the topic as the Broke and the Bookish put it is: 
Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer or Ten Books I Think Make Great Beach Reads
The simplest answer for what constitutes a beach read is any book you'd like to take on vacation with you.  The type of book likely varies widely by reader but in most people's minds, including mine I think it is a book you expect to get sucked into so thoroughly you don't notice that the color of your thighs are starting to match you're cherry red toenail polish.  

The exciting thing, for me at least, is that I actually DO get to go to the beach this summer. In 39 days and 14 hours from now. Not that I'm counting.  Who am I kidding - Of COURSE I'M COUNTING! Since I live in Iowa, this is a VERY big deal.  So this exercise should help me plan.  Here goes...

1) Hostage Taker by Stefanie Pintoff

I was VERY excited to be approved for an ARC of this book which is a departure from Pintoff's usual historic mystery series.  A thriller is always welcome at the beach and this one will be released in August. Here's the blurb:
In the hushed quiet of early morning Manhattan, in front of the towering brass doors of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, a young woman holds a sign that reads: HELP ME. For one FBI agent, a madman's terrified hostages, and an entire city, a long and harrowing day is about to unfold.
The hostage taker's identity is unknown. But he knows who FBI agent Eve Rossi is—and everything about her past. Along with her presence, he demands five witnesses: ordinary people with some hidden connection. Defying her superiors, Eve begins a deadly dance with an adversary whose intentions are surely sinister, whose endgame is anything but certain, and whose cunning keeps him one step ahead at every turn.

As Eve manages a taut hostage situation, she relies on the combined skills of her team—a secret unit inspired by France's most notorious criminal and made up of ex-convicts with extraordinary talents, oversized egos, and contempt for the rules.

Eve is up against a rapidly ticking clock. But the dangerous man calling the shots has a timetable of his own—and a searing question for his targets: What are you guilty of? As shocking revelations surface, so does another crisis nobody could anticipate—one not even Eve and her team may be able to stop.
2) A whole passel of Romances by Sarah MacLean

In the last month I've read the first book in her Love by Numbers series and the first two books in The Rules of Scoundrels series so I have two more books to go in each series.  They are AWESOME and guaranteed to keep me reading through a painful sunburn.  If your looking for a fun Regency Era Historical Romance, you must check these out!

3) The Duchess War by Courtney Milam

Another Regency romance which may seem like overkill but I'm on a roll lately with great books in this sungenre and have heard many great things about Courtney Milan.

4) Red by Alyxandra Harvey

Time for some YA!  Alyxandra Harvey never lets me down and always delivers an addictive read and characters I love.  This is a Little Red Riding hood based story and it looks like a lot of fun.  

A book of genre-bending short stories sounds like a just the ticket for twilight reading on the beach.  Karen Russell's short stories are meant to be weird and wonderful and it's about time I tried them out PLUS it's one of my challenge books.

6) Changes by Jim Butcher

After a long reading hiatus from the series I recently picked up book 11 in the Dresden Files and it was really fantastic and reminded me that I love these books.  No more long hiatuses! (hiatusi?:0) If you are unfamiliar, this is an urban fantasy series featuring a Wizard P.I. named Harry Dresden working in Chicago. 

7) The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

Because after I finish Lonesome Dove which I am currently reading and adoring with every fiber of my being, I think I will want another western. And because this was the first book I bought for my kindle like 5 years ago.  It's supposed to be funny and well-written. 

8) Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton

Cozy mysteries are made for beach reading.  This is book #4 in the charming Aunt Dimity series.  Set in modern day Britain in a charming little town called Finch. 

9) Murder on Gramercy Park by Victoria Thompson

This is book 3 in another cozy mystery series which follows a midwife in turn of the 20th century New York.  I just read book 2 and want to keep up the momentum.

10) Providence Rider by Robert McCammon

Perhaps not the most obvious choice for a beach read as the books in this mystery series can be quite gruesome but they are also engrossing.  This is book 4 in a series that takes place in Colonial era New York.  It's one of my very favorite historical mystery series! 


Looking back on my list I notice that there are lots of series sequels which makes sense.  Sequels in a series you are in the middle of by an author you love are pretty much the ultimate beach read.  It's comfort reading at its best.  Kind of a a random list but I feel prepared and even more excited to be heading to the beach!

What will be your escapist reads this summer?

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