Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted. I haven’t participated until now but this week’s topic – Top 10 Books I’d Recommend As Great Beach Reads – reeled me in simply because I have a bit of checklist for beach reads.
Specifically, I like them to be light and easy-to-read (so that I can read a little, doze in the sun, read some more, have a swim…). That said, I don’t want complete trash! I want a book that is well written and with a decent plot (this rules out lots of chick-lit which you can pick up for a couple of dollars from the bargain bin at the newsagent of your holiday destination). So here’s my list (in no particular order) –
1. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper – you will laugh out loud and you may even have a little cry. It’s about the best and worst of families.
2. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume – Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret for grown-ups. Say no more.
3. My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman – don’t you love discovering a new author and then just bingeing?! I had an Elinor Lipman binge one summer but My Latest Grievance is my favourite – her writing style is quirky, funny and a little off-beat.
4. I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson – yes, I know this book has been done to death but before the SJP-factor, Pearson’s book was already all kinds of fabulous. The ‘distressed mince pies scene’ is perfection.
5. One Day by David Nicholls – if you haven’t read it, just do. Nothing prepares you for how this love story unfolds.
6. Animal People by Charlotte Wood – aside from the fact that the story takes place on one blisteringly hot day, the characters will stay with long after you’ve finished. I also appreciate Wood’s black humour.
7. When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman – there’s a fairytale quality to this highly unusual story. And lots of laugh-out-loud moments.
8. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua – this might sound heavy but in actual fact it’s an easy (and fascinating) read.
9. And God Created the Au Pair by Pascale Smets and Benedicte Newland – who would have thought that a guinea pig with cystitis could be so funny?
10. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach – one of the best books I have read in a long time. Harbach is being hailed as ‘the new Franzen’ but I’ll go out on a limb and say he’s better. He has a lighter touch that is more appealing, more accessible. He also has a wonderful sense of humour.