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beachreadFor most North Americans still thawing out from the nastiest of winters, the summer of 2014 is long overdue. Time to visit a beach, dig your toes deep and luxuriate in the lazy days of sunshine. Personally, my number one must-have for a truly spectacular beach hang is a great book. In anticipation of summer I’ve loaded my Kindle with several buzz-worthy summer reads of multiple genres. Feel free to draft off my picks:

  1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – Without fail this is the book that I keep hearing is wonderful. There are over 10K reviews on Amazon and it won the Pulitzer, so I might actually be the last person to jump on this book club bandwagon. That said, if you are like me and haven’t yet tackled the 755 pages, summer is the ideal time.
  2. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler – A bizarre premise and a great title, this book has induced raves from friends.
  3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Seanz – I felt like I was falling in love for the very first time last summer while reading Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Supposedly Aristotle and Dante, also a YA book, holds promise of a similar intoxication.
  4. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown* – I confess, I read this one in February, so I won’t be reading it on a beach this summer. However, it was so good that I’d be doing readers a disservice by not recommending it as a choice summer read. If you enjoy creative historical non-fiction books like Unbroken or Seabiscuit, both by Laura Hillenbrand, you’ll be riveted.
  5. Gabriel Allon Novels by Daniel Silva – I’ve heard and read that these are well written international spy thrillers. Admittedly popular fiction isn’t my frequent go-to, but the key phrase here is well written. I suspect these books will make my transatlantic crossing (a necessary evil involved in our family summer vacation) fly by.

If these suggestions don’t meet your fancy feel free to check out these Eight Great Love Stories or my first Summer Reading post. I hope as summer unwraps herself in glorious heat I’ll discover additional gems worthy of a Part Two post. In the meantime, feel free to send me your suggestions and have a fun in the sun season of rejuvenation!

both*For Seattle locals, author Daniel James Brown will be coming to Island Books at summer’s end at 7:30 p.m. on Friday 9/12. Yet another incentive to make this your summer read!