Got Any (What’s Left of) Summer Beach Read Ideas?

One of the many downsides of packing up our entire home and putting it in storage is that all my bookshelves are empty. I didn’t stop and think to grab a few books to set aside. Last summer after my winter long classes in Italian and French conversation, I only read books in those tongues.

For this August, I’m up for something distracting and mesmerizing, and in English! A book I can’t put down. I’m going to wend my way over to the West Harrison Public Library today rather than buy a stash of books that I’ll later need to lug out of the apartment back home.

Shoot me your best book recommendations. And as an entertainment aside, has anyone actually been into a movie theater since last year? Or knows of any decent movie even?

Another horribly gray and cloudy day. I’m thinking the sun is in hiding.

17 thoughts on “Got Any (What’s Left of) Summer Beach Read Ideas?

    1. Virginia has written lots of books, none of which I’ve read. She wrote religion based books for a while, no?

  1. I used to insist upon having a REAL book in hand, but after accidentally buying a book in Kindle format, I became a fan. I usually read a few books at a time. Right now, a paperback (Red Sky at Morning), an autobiography in hardback and a so-far non-thrilling Thriller e-book on Kindle. I’ve become a big fan of Libby, the free service by which you can check books out of the library online. Love reading on my device at night as you can read in the dark. The only con is reading outside on hot days as the device overheats. No threat of that today!
    It’s been a while since a read an outstanding book, so I’m waiting for some good recommendations…

    1. I tried reading on a Kindle and didn’t like it.
      I don’t know Libby. Actually I know a woman named Libby but I don’t know the online library service Libby. I’ll check it out.
      I gifted my mother an iPad and an Audible account because she was having trouble seeing the small type in books (yet insisted she could still drive!) and she’d whip through two or three books a month. Because the Audible account was from my Amazon Prime account, I “inherited” all the books she downloaded. It was fun listening to a good book although the “read” was only as good as the narrator. And believe me, plenty of lousy voices are hired to read other people’s books.

      Hopefully lots of people will chime in today with ideas.

  2. The Splendid And the Vile is a wonderful summer read!

    [Ed. addition: link to book at Amazon.]

    The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

  3. Agree. The Splendid & the Vile (and any of Erik Larson’s books), anything by Louise Penny or Elizabeth Strout, Rules of Civility & A Gentleman from Moscow by Amor Towles, Little by Edward Carey or The Engineer’s Wife by Tracy Wood

  4. If a hard-boiled detective novel from the mid 20th century suits your mood, Raymond Chandler is excellent and a page-turner. I have his tomb of short-stories (all 1,299 pages of it) and it would make great beach reaching except for being so thick. Another Ross MacDonald is another hard-boiled detective writer in the same vein. Both turn out page-turners.

    The West Harrison Library looks very nice.

  5. I can recommend Sharon Kay Penman’s “The Sunne in Splendour” it is engrossing. You will come to care for the characters & it is big – I love big books that I don’t want to end.

  6. did you read, Where the Crawdad’s Sing – Delia Owens
    Nomadland by Jessica Bruder – much better than the Movie in my opinion. Its fact not fiction.

  7. Agree, pretty much anything by Erik Larson, though Isaac’s Storm was my favorite.
    Also, anything by Bill Bryson. I read his books over and over.

  8. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon -spellbinding, with two sequels if you get hooked.
    If you want to laugh out loud, anything by Carl Hiaason
    Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively- don’t miss this one
    The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif- a wonderful read

    What a joy to find you blogging again! Bibi

  9. EOS – Not to be too wonky, but as the holder of a Master’s degree in French and Italian Literature I am curious as to what books you chose to read last summer? Oldtimer

    1. Oh dear. I’ll embarrass myself. Wait a few and I’ll see if I can remember exactly what I read and come back to edit this post. Be prepared tho, it’s not Sartre.

      I read a daily French and Italian newspaper online. That was far more fun than reading classic books IMHO.


      1. The Cheffe: A Cook’s Novel by Marie NDiaye
      2. Madame Bovary
      3. Les Fleurs Du Mal by Bodelaire

      1. Faucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
      2. Garden of the Finzi Continis

      1. EOS: Bravissima! I didn’t mean to put you on the spot and congratulate you on your reading choices – FWIW I hate everything Sartre wrote. Oldtimer

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