Friday, August 2, 2013

Recipe For A Perfect Beach Read

Hi everyone! My name is Molly and I blog over at Pop.Bop.Shop. When Stephanie asked me to write a guest post, I was both flattered and thrilled. Since I have been devouring books this summer, I wanted to share with you my fool-proof recipe for choosing the perfect summer beach read.

When prepping for a day trip to the beach or a week long vacation on the sand, you have to pack (or download for you tech savvy mavens) books that are fully immersive. At the beach it’s so easy to get distracted by chiseled lifeguards and sexy surfers, or worse, squawking seagulls and screaming children. You need books that will keep your attention.

For me, the best beach books fall into one of two categories: trashy or transportive. Major bonus points if you can find a book that bridges both.

Why trashy? Well, that’s simple. Because salacious news is gripping. It’s the same reason women gossip and subscribe to US Weekly. When something is juicy and scandalous, we are addicted.

The second type of book is one that transports you. A book that makes you feel like you’re walking the streets of Paris or you’re drenched in the humidity of summer in the South. If you’re the type of person who likes to spend the day at the beach, you already know you appreciate being in places that are different from your every day surroundings, and these books take you one step further.

What type of person would I be if I didn’t share with you my top picks for both categories? Without further ado . . .

The Top 5 Trashy Beach Reads

-         Confessions Of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella – I read this book freshman year in college and to this day it is still one of my favorites. I dare you not to cringe as the main character spends with reckless abandon and racks up credit that begins to chase after her.
-         The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger  - I know you’ve seen the movie, but the book was the inspiration and it’s better (aren’t they always?). You’ll be wide-eyed and horrified at the world of fashion editorial.
-         The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus  - I grew up with nannies my whole life so I couldn’t wait to read this one. Following a young girl as she witnesses the crazy life of this wealthy family will have you shaking your head and wanting to hide.
-         Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling – If you aren’t already a fan of Mindy Kaling from “The Office” or “The Mindy Project,” you will be obsessed with her when you finish her autobiography. I laughed out loud every other page while reading her recollections of her rise to fame.
-         History Of A Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason – I used to try and hide this book cover while I read it on the train because I didn’t want people to know I was reading something so racy! This story follows a handsome, charming young man as he moves into an aristocrat family’s home to tutor their young son. The teenage daughters chase after him, he sleeps with the mother and has a fling with the butler on the side.

The Top 5 Transportive Beach Reads

-         The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – This is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s the story of Earnest Hemingway’s first wife and their life together in Paris. Even if you’ve never been to the City of Light, you’ll feel like a full time resident.
-         The Help by Kathryn Stockett – If you haven’t read this book, slap yourself on the wrist. Stockett’s story of a young woman in Mississippi trying to give a voice to “the help” is incredible. She transports you to the plantations, the dirt roads and that oppressive heat, all from page one.
-         Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin – I think I have a thing for books that take place in Mississippi. Tom Franklin’s account of the town pariah has you feeling like a local, accent and all. The book tells the story of two men who grew up together - one black and one white. In adulthood, one becomes the town sheriff and the other becomes the prime suspect in a local murder investigation.
-         The Art Of Fielding by Chad Harbach – When I read this book I remember thinking, Lake Michigan really feels like a main character. Chard Harbach writes beautifully about life on the lake. His fantastic book tells the story of a small town boy, Henry, recruited to play baseball at Wetish College on Lake Michigan. The story follows Henry’s college career as he gets stronger, becomes a national sensation and ultimately, caves under the pressure. I couldn’t put it down. 
-         Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson – I’m a mega foodie and a huge “Top Chef” fan so when I heard Chef Marcus Samuelsson was publishing a memoir, I had to have it. What I didn’t expect was how much of the story would take place in his native Scandinavia and how much I would learn about their local food traditions. Don’t read this one on an empty stomach.

And there you have it!

Now that you’ve seen my list, what’s on your summer reading must-list?


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