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Top 10 (Tuesday) Books That Should Be in Your Beach Bag

Follow along with this meme over at The Broke and the Bookish

I’m honestly not a beach kinda girl. I have my mother’s Scottish heritage to thank for that. I don’t spend a lot of time on the beach nor do I spend a lot of time filling beach bags or thinking up what to read as I lounge on the beach. On top of improper summer ideals, I’m spending my summer in school this year, so I’m afraid I’m not the best person to ask about books and beaches, but I did come up with a list of books that for some reason make me think of summer and beaches, or at least good books to tune out the rest of the world to for a little while.

1. White Oleander by Janet Fitch

I don’t think I can ever say enough times how much I love White Oleander. The crux of the story takes place during the summer, which might be why I relate it to this season. That and the fact that oleanders bloom during the summer.

Read my review of White Oleander here.

2. Mermaid Summer by Lucy Cores

Apparently this book is hard to come by. I can’t even remember how I came across it but I read it back when I was at Easter Seals and I loved it. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did since on the surface it’s primarily a romance novel, though at it’s core The Mermaid Summer is about a small beach town that is torn apart and is a wonderful character study at heart.

3. She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

I honestly think I only relate this book with summer because the cover has water on it. Either way, this is another character study which is beautifully written. It is terribly depressing and even I found moments reading it where I started wondering if anything good was going to workout for this girl, but if you can stick with it there is a remarkably beautiful ending waiting for you.

Read my review of She’s Come Undone here.

4. Failure to Zigzag by Jane Vandenburgh

Failure to Zigzag is one of those books that I am shocked never really became popular. It is beautifully written and a wonderful character study (can you tell I have a general “type”?). The narration borders on stream of consciousness which I recently learned to love this past semester in Modern Fiction. I’ve been wanting to reread this one for a while.

5. Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Perfume is a dark book but so good (oh look, another “type”). It is told from the perspective of Grenouille who is an odd sort of serial killer. I say odd because his motives for killing the women are…interesting. You’ll have to read the book to see what I mean, but it is sosososo good! Not even Alan Rickman and Ben Whishaw could do this book justice.

6. Chocolat by Joanne Harris

I’ve talked about Chocolat many times. It is amazing. A perfect example of magical realism, which is perfect for summer, if you ask me.

Read my review of Chocolat here.

7. The Girl with No Shadow by Joanne Harris

The sequel to Chocolat and the magical realism is in no amount of shortage, don’t worry! If you’ve read Chocolat and not The Girl with No Shadow you are doing yourself a disservice.

Read my review of The Girl with No Shadow here.

8. Sula by Toni Morrison

I talked about Sula in the friendship list, but summer and friendship kind of go hand-in-hand.

9. The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter

The Bloody Chamber is a series of fractured fairy tales by Angela Carter. Some have more feminist overtones than others, but either way, this is a good book if you’re moving around a lot and need something you can divide your attention through out and not miss much, which is good for vacations….yeah, that’s why I said that.

10. The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger is very existentialist and will leave you a bit lost at the end. The end especially is strange, but Camus writes with such beauty that it more than makes up for the strangeness. Also, the first part ends on a beach, so…look! Beach! I told you I wasn’t very good at this.

4 Comments

  1. She’s Come Undone was one of my favorite books in high school. I really need to read White Oleander.

  2. Great picks! I actually haven’t read or even heard of any of these, though I’m definitely going to be adding a few of these to my Goodreads. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. 🙂
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  3. Rachel

    03 Jun, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Caitie F: If you liked She’s Come Undone then you’ll definitely like White Oleander! It’s that same sort of hypnotically depressing read =)

  4. Rachel

    03 Jun, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Krystianna: Thank you, and I LOVE your blog name!

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