Cover Snapshot of Read Books

Sara's bookshelf: read

Crazy Little Thing
A Kiss at Midnight
The Disenchanted Widow
Hollywood Wives - The New Generation
There Goes the Bride
Table for Five
Do Not Disturb
The Husband's Secret
The Ugly Duchess
Help for the Haunted
The Power Trip
The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Summer At Willow Lake
Every Crooked Nanny
The Mystery Woman
The Woodcutter
How to Be an American Housewife

Sara's favorite books »

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chosing Beach Vacation Books

What book preparations do you make for your travels and vacations? I am a planner stocking up collecting and storing books that I plan to savor on vacation. I longingly and lovingly store my potential vacation books in a special corner on the shelf--especially if they are favorite authors. This year I had ten potential vacation books lined up and I struggled to decide which to take and which to leave at home. I knew I was not going to read 10 books in a week, but what would I want at the beach? Would it be romance or mystery or intellectual novel? Oh how to choose?
I knew that I would need something easy, light and beachy, so one of the first to go into my take stash was a Susan Mallory romance. If you haven't read The Marcelli series and you like a little romance, give The Sparkling One or Delicious a try. Also there are some great English chic lit novels that make me laugh--I discovered The Chocolate Lover's Club, a cute little gem. Be forewarned that you will crave chocolate; I made my husband take me straight to the grocery store to pick up some Ghirardelli’s chocolate bars (hazelnut and dark chocolate caramel)!

James Patterson is mainstream, I know, but some of his novels are fast-paced page-turners--great for the beach. I chose Beach Road, mainly because it was one of the few Patterson books that I haven't read yet. Beach Road ended up being absolutely perfect--I was hooked on the murder mystery that occurred in the Hamptons, on the potential love affair between the defense lawyers and on solving the crime, this is one of the better James Patterson books in my opinion.

Another murder mystery thriller writer whom I adore is Linda Fairstein. If you haven't read her Alex Cooper mystery series you are missing out. Lethal Legacy (#11 in series) is one that I had been saving for vacation, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. Lethal legacy starts with a murder and delves deeply into the NY library and its history and documents therein--in order to solve the case, of course! I love the sexual tension and strong relationship between Assistant DA Alex Cooper and Detective Mike Chapman.

For more serious mystery fans, Louis Penny is a modern mystery writer whom I highly recommend. Start with the first in the series, Still Life which reminds me a bit of an Agatha Christie novel. I don't know how she does it, but Penny gets into the minds and tribulations of small town life. And, I adore Inspector Gamache--such a strong warm intelligent character—Gamache is one of my favorite book characters.

Did I get through ten books on this vacation? Nope, not even close, but a summary of book titles that I finished and recommend include Delicious, The Chocolate Lover’s Club, Beach Road, Lethal Legacy, and The Cruelest Month.

One book which I recommend against taking on a beach vacation is Reading Lolita in Tehran—this was a book club book and it was too serious and literary for me to read on the beach. Books that were in my starter pile that did not go on vacation, but which will eventually be read include Four Corners of the Sky, Twenties Girl, Murderers Prefer Blondes and Bookplate Special.

So, how to choose what to take on your next vacation? Well, my advice is to take a little bit of everything that you love. I chose a few romance/chick lits and mixed in a few mysteries. And, it also helps to know that a Barnes and Noble wasn't too far away--just in case of a book emergency.

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