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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday Topic:
Ahhh…Summer, the Time of Beach Reads!
1. The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand. Set on Nantucket Island, as many of her books are, this is a sweet story involving (primarily) the restaurant staff of this popular eatery. Perfect for a quick summer read.
2. Home to Italy by Peter Pezzelli. This is the first book I read by Pezzelli, and I was not disappointed. It starts in Rhode Island with the death of Anna, Peppi’s wife, but it quickly transitions to Italy as he returns to the land of his birth, reconnects with an old friend, and falls in love again. It’s predictable, but after a but of a herky-jerky start, Pezzelli settles into a quick & easy style that is perfect for a day at the beach.
3. Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik. As with most (or all?) of her books, this one is set in Minnesota, and centers around a group of women living on the same street who decide to start a book club. It evolves to much more than that, of course, and though the arc of the story is fairly predictable, it is well written and has a lot meat on the bones. Landvik has an writing style that makes for a fast, easy and enjoyable read, perfect for the beach.
5. Bitsy’s Bait and BBQ by Pamela Morsi. I was drawn to this book by the eye-catching title, and found it to be exactly the right thing for a summer read. It is set in the South, a setting I love, and it has the predictable love story. However, the writing is engaging and the characters are loveable, so it makes for a delightful read.
6. Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson. This was Jackson’s debut novel, but the unusual title suggested right away that it would be a book worth reading. I was not disappointed. This is a Southern author whose works I love, and because characters reappear from time to time in different books, this first novel is the ideal place to start. It is a quick and easy read, but truly enjoyable on every level.
7. The Last Beach Bungalow by Jennie Nash. A beach setting, which (obviously) is a great beach read. I think I picked this up because of the cover art, and it was a lovely, if predictable, summer read. Great for relaxing in the sun.
8. The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. I love epistolary novels, and this is no exception. It is the story of a 39 year marriage, documented in a letter written each Wednesday by Jack to Laurel, and it plays out for their children, who are home to attend their funeral. Though it sounds like a downer, it is not, and it is rich with all the elements of a classic love story. Worth the time, and great for the beach despite the subject matter because it is quick and easy to read.
9. Sweetgrass by Mary Alice Monroe. I have read several of Monroe’s novels over the years, but I particularly loved this one. I love the Southern setting of South Carolina, the typical “Southern” way (even in the way Monroe writes), and the cultural issues that she included. It has an authentically Southern feel. It also deals with some heavy subjects, but Monroe does not have a heavy hand, which makes it a lovely summer read.
10. Hearts on a String by Kris Radish. A story that illustrates a grandmother’s anecdote about the thread that connects all women, it is sweet and fun and easy to read. Radish always has some fairly implausible element to her story lines, but in the end it doesn’t matter, because she touches you, entertains you, and lets you escape from regular life for a bit. You will not be disappointed.