Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday: Connie's Favorite Beach Reads

Time for another Top 10 Tuesday, hosted by our friends at the Broke and Bookish. This week, I, Connie, share my top ten favorite beach reads! I'm rather excited about this category, because as an English degree holder, I sometimes feel pressured (whether from myself or from others) to read the heavy stuff, the serious stuff, the challenging and stimulating stuff. Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE it. But I also enjoy a nice, mindless beach read to break up all the seriousness.

1. The Devil Wears Prada by  Lauren Weisberger -- I read this many years ago around the time when it came out, so I don't remember too much about it other than I read it right in the middle of a series of very serious books and found this one hilarious. And I remember thinking that while I love Meryl Streep, the movie utterly failed to capture what I then found to be the comedic brilliance of this book. Who's to say if I read it again whether I would hold the same high opinion of it, but, there it is.

2. Digging to America by Anne Tyler -- a nice, straightforward story that makes you care about the characters without asking too much of you

3. Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for our Life and Times by James Finn Garner -- I stumbled across this little gem at a thrift store, and let me say, it is surprisingly delightful. Take, for example, the following quote from the opening story, "Little Red Riding Hood":
There once was a young person named Red Riding Hood who lived with her mother on the edge of a large wood. One day her mother asked her to take a basket of fresh fruit and mineral water to her grandmother's house-- not because this was womyn's work, mind you, but because the deed was generous and helped engender a feeling of community. Furthermore, her grandmother was not sick, but rather was in full physical and mental health and was fully capable of taking her of herself as a mature adult.

4. The Hunger Games Trilogy -- an engrossing read that's a lot of fun. In case you missed my review of the series, check it out here.

5.  Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri -- While there is much to be said about the literary merit of this collection of short stories (indeed, I studied this book in college), they also happen to be entertaining, surprisingly funny, and just the perfect length to read intermittently throughout a day of relaxing on the beach. (My review here)

6. YOU: The Owner's Manual by Dr. Oz -- My husband, before he was my husband, mentioned that he would like to read this book, and as he is not much of a reader, any time he casually mentions ANY book he'd like to read, I automatically buy it for him. Then he usually gives up on it, and I end up reading it. This is one of those cases. Who knew learning stuff about the body could be so much fun? I love the writing style -- casual, funny, and very informative. 

7. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl -- an odd choice for a beach read, no doubt, but oddly enough I did read this book while on a beach trip, and while I wouldn't call it "beach reading," I thoroughly enjoyed it and will always associate this book with reading at the beach. 

8. Harry Potter -- I would be remiss if I didn't mention this is a favorite ANY time read.

9. Any Roald Dahl book or story -- Short, simple, quirky, strange. Purrrrfect.

10. A British Mystery, such as Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers -- I never was a big mystery fan, but while studying in London, I took a British Mysteries class and gained an appreciation for the genre. While I admittedly have not read another one since, I think this year at the beach perhaps I will pick up another Dorothy Sayers and give it a whirl.

What do YOU like to read on the beach?