Top Ten Reads for the Beach

This Memorial Day Weekend marked the official start of summer. It's perfect timing to list the Top Ten beach reads, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Harry Potter Series (J.K. Rowling): I don't think I need to explain this one... perfect for the beach.

2. Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Salmon Rushdie): A story about a storyteller; it's children's story told in the form of a novel and it's truly wonderful.

3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon): Told in a unique narrative voice, this one isn't super uplifting but it's certainly memorable.

4. Dream When You're Feeling Blue (Elizabeth Berg): I read this one in Barbados - light enough for the beach but still very interesting.

5. 84, Charing Cross Road (Helene Hanff): A short and sweet little number that will leave you smiling.

6. Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe): This book isn't light, but it's straight forward enough to make it a beach read.

7. Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi): A graphic memoir is great for the beach, and this one is especially interesting.

8. The English Major (Jim Harrison): I read this one on a sailing trip (there were beaches involved) - it details the journey of a divorced old man and his road trip across the US.

9. The Book of Illusions (Paul Auster): I read this book in one day - it's smart and unputdownable.

10. Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen): Another directly told novel, this one follows Jacob Janikowski and the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.


  1. An interesting list, whilst I read everything down the beach (I live right by) I do have a set of books for lighter reading.

    Ellie's Top Ten Beach Reads

  2. Love the list. For me, a good beach read is one that is easy to pick up and put down, but engrossing enough to keep me interested.

  3. Ellie, I suppose that's true for anyone who lives by the beach.

    Melissa, That's a perfect definition.

  4. I totally forgot about Haroun and the Sea of Stories. It's such a great story.

  5. Harry Potter DEFINITELY. We share 84 Charing Cross Road. It's one I think should be mandatory reading...so beautiful. I still haven't read Curious Incident of the Dog in Night Time. I've GOT to get around to that this summer!

  6. How good is The English Major? That novel's been on my B&N wishlist for like two years, but I've never pulled the trigger. Not sure why... Thumbs up?

  7. Loni, SO GOOD!

    Birdie, Curious Incident is fantastic. I'd highly recommend that one for this summer!

    Greg, I liked it well enough but it's not a favorite. It ended up being a lighter read, somewhat thought provoking but nothing exceptional.

  8. Hi Brenna,
    I agree on Haroun - it's our only overlap on the beach reads lists.
    And the Haddon's a fabulous pick as well. You've convinced me to put The Book of Illusions on my summer list so I'm off to my library's website...
    I always value your choices, so thanks!

  9. If I had to pick a graphic novel to read on the beach, I think I would definitely pick Persepolis. I thought about including it on my list as well.

    Check out my Top Ten Tuesday

  10. Borders came out with a list of Beach Reads too.

    Fly Away Home
    Jennifer Weiner

    Every Last One
    Anna Quindlen

    The Island: A Novel
    Elin Hilderbrand

    A Vintage Affair
    Isabel Wolff

    These Things Hidden
    Heather Gudenkauf

    Sarah’s Key
    Tatiana de Rosnay

    The Postmistress
    Sarah Blake

    Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
    Helen Simonson

    The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
    Aimee Bender

    The Lotus Eaters
    Tatjana Soli

    The Land of Painted Caves
    Jean M. Auel

    South of Broad
    Pat Conroy

    Night Road
    Kristin Hannah

    The Girl Who Chased the Moon
    Sarah Addison Allen

    The Peach Keeper
    Sarah Addison Allen

    Sing You Home
    Jodi Picoult

    I just read Fly Away Home & am now reading The Island. They are both pretty good.