Books in My Beach Bag

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but I love a good TBR list so I couldn’t resist. This week’s Broke and the Bookish meme is about the top ten books that will wind up in your beach bag. As I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to read this summer, I’ve realized that most of these do not come off as typical beach reads. But that’s what makes these lists fun.

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Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton: One of my best friends, Brittany, is obsessed with this series and it was a bone of contention in our friendship that I had never read the original text, though I was acceptable friend material for having seen and loved the movies. Well, girlfriend, I am finally reading the book. She is stoked. I haven’t taken this one to the beach yet, but I’m definitely enjoying the read thus far. Above and beyond the fun films, Crichton has such a cinematic language that it’s easy to see why his books so often get adapted for the screen.


The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: I picked this one up at my library recently and still need to start it. But it seems like a perfect beach read with the mystery of unveiling another person’s life story. It’s been out for a bit now, but I just never got around to reading it. Now is the time! Have any of you read The Thirteenth Tale? Is it any good?

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1)

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: This is another friend recommendation. My friend Clara told me that the premise was right up my alley and that the translation was beautiful. Now her description of the plot differs somewhat from what Goodreads is telling me. From an amalgamation of both descriptions, it seems like a story about a boy who chooses a forgotten book from a bookstore and when he falls in love with the author’s writing, the boy tries to find more of the author’s work. Mystery unfolds as the boy discovers that someone is destroying all the copies of the author’s work. I’m intrigued and am looking forward to this one for sure.

The Film Club: A True Story of a Father and Son

The Film Club by David Gilmour: I’m pretty sure that I’ve had this book on TBR lists in the past and I still haven’t managed to read the darn book. I fell in love with the book at a Barnes & Noble after doing the first page test and suddenly finding myself plopped on the ground and on page ten. Despite that initial draw, this poor book has languished on my shelves ever since. It’s a nonfiction memoir about a father struggling to reach his rebellious son. The son doesn’t want to go to school anymore and at his wit’s end, Gilmour agrees that the kid doesn’t have to go anymore if and only if he sits down and watches movies with his old man three times a week. The memoir covers the three-year span that he and his son go through this “film club.” Gilmour is a highly humorous and emotive writer, so his stories really captivate.


Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters: This anthology of poetry is about the residents of a small town–Spoon River–who tell their stories in verse from beyond the grave. The personality of the town and its inhabitants is supposed then is elaborated through these afterlife reflections. It’s such a compelling concept for a collection and I can’t wait to dive in. Poetry in general is a great beach read because it’s so easy to consume.


A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin: I have been waiting till the summer months to dive into book four of The Song of Ice and Fire Series. These books are so time-consuming and huge that I like being able to dedicate solid reading time to them before I begin. Because if I don’t dedicate time to Martin’s books, they tend to take my time anyway. I can’t tell you how many nights I have lost to Martin and this series compelling me to just read one more chapter. So very worth it though!


Love is a Mix Tape By Rob Sheffield: Another memoir that already sounds heartrending. It is about love lost and how Sheffield deals with his grief through music and mix tapes. As a former Rolling Stone journalist, the man knows his music but it goes beyond esoteric knowledge and reaches out to anyone who uses music for catharsis. I probably need to have the right mindset to read this book because it could emotionally destroy me. But is sounds so good. I’ll risk reading it in public anyway.


The Genius of the System by Thomas Schatz: Technically this one would be a re-read. This was one of my textbooks for a class on American Film History and I really enjoyed the chapters we read, so I’d like to go back and read the whole thing. Schatz is extremely well researched and has a way of making non-fiction read like a narrative tapestry. I’ll read this one with my pencil and post-its next to me.


The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger: This is another one of those books that has been on my shelf for too long. I think summer is probably the perfect time for some frivolous chick lit. Who knows, maybe I’ll like the movie better? I’m just such a fan of the Anne Hathaway/Meryl Streep  combo. That’s who I’ll be picturing for sure.


The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks: What makes this the perfect beach read is how thin the book actually is. You could easily get lost in this little book and read it all day in the sunshine. It may be another one of those books that requires a certain frame of mind or else a willingness to weep in public. But I’m finally going to commit to reading this tear-jerker.

These are the books I’m hoping to tackle this summer. And maybe they won’t make it to the beach, but they’re definitely at the top of my TBR list.  Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Books in My Beach Bag

  1. I’m on the second Song of Ice and Fire book, so I definitely understand when you say they’re time consuming! I’m usually a binge-reader, often finishing books in one or two settings after a few hours, but with these books I just can’t do that for some reason! Still worth it though!


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