Best of Summer 2016: Great Beach Reads Featured

I’ve mentioned before my love of all things movies and music, but let’s add books to the list, shall we? I just got a new Kindle and I’ve blown through a LOT of great books in recent weeks. And I’m no snob about what I read – give me a great "chick-lit" book any day and I’ll be happy. I also read biographies and smarty books, but this time of year, I’m in the mood for an easy read that’s engaging and fun and will keep me entertained as I sit on a beach or by a pool relaxing. It's all about decompressing, and escaping into another world for a little bit. I thought I'd share some finds, so hopefully one of these will suit your fancy.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Here’s the deal with this one: I loved The Vacationers, so I already knew I’d get this one as soon as it came out, which I did. This is not set in glam Majorca…its Brooklyn. And it’s perfect. This is middle-aged urban dysfunction at its best. These are college friends all grown up and trying to establish their lives. My personal opinion? Modern Lovers is even better than The Vacationers. That’s saying something.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

This book was recommended to me by a Facebook friend who shares similar taste – we love the psychological thriller types of books. This was a quick read, and an intriguing one. It’s a lovely British mystery. I hesitate to tell you too much, but I can tell you that the novel has many fans, not the least of which is one Reese Witherspoon, who is adapting it into a feature film. I wouldn’t put this on par with S.J. Watson by any means, but it’s certainly worth your time.

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews fans, I really don’t have to tell you: Her books are such fun to read, especially while on vacation. This was a fast read. MKA never disappoints. If I can’t make a decision about a much-needed light, fun novel, I’m grabbing one of her books in a heartbeat. Have a blast reading this one!

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Of all the books I’ve read so far this year, this one touched me the most. Months later, it is STILL on my mind. Be warned: It’s a tearjerker in a massive way. But it’s important. And insightful. And absolutely beautifully written by Kalanithi, a soon-to-be neurosurgeon (and a brilliant writer) who learned at age 36 that he had Stage IV lung cancer. His search for what makes life worth living while facing death is incredibly moving. It left me gobsmacked. If you want something heavy, this is it.

My Next Read

The Girls by Emma Cline is on my radar and has been for some time. Lots of great buzz surrounding this debut novel about a girl caught in a web of a California cult…with a lot more going on. Shades of Helter Skelter, perhaps? This is probably going to be a huge hit. It just came out, so if you don’t hear from me for a while know that I’m busily tearing through this book.

I thought I’d share a few recommendations. Now obviously, it’s not a one-book-fits-all kind of deal. Do your due diligence before you buy (or checkout from the library, which is so much cheaper). I’m a fan personally of the reviews on Goodreads, if you need a starting point. But really, at this point, in our busy lives, I think it’s just good that we DO read – and what we read? Well that is our business.

Have a great summer and I hope you find that perfect beach read for you.

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Liz Stephens

Liz Stephens is a free spirit who loves to write about almost anything, especially pop culture. Movies and music are her life, and anytime she can combine these things in some way with our Druid City well, that’s just gravy.

Pss...yes, Liz is a pseudonym since she has another job, but she would still love to hear from you.

 

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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