Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme which features a different book-related theme every week and is hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish.
This week’s topic: Summer Reads Freebie
Top Ten Books to Go in Your Beach Bag
When Dimple Met Rishi – Sanhya Menon
What could be better for the carefree days of summer than a sweet, funny read featuring some “opposites attract” love? Even the cover screams summer to me. Perfect for an afternoon of sun and surf.
Synopsis From Goodreads:
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
Sweet Little Lies – Jill Shalvis
I love the idea of a woman in a “man’s job” and Pru sounds like she will be a delight to come to know. Oh and I can’t get enough of the “friends to lovers” trope. The cover makes me smile and the plot feels like the perfect summer day spent with the one you love – light, sexy, and filled with happiness.
Synopsis From Goodreads
Choose the one guy you can’t have…
As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas—the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she’s in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody But Her.
Fall for him—hard…
Pub owner Finn O’Riley is six-foot-plus of hard-working hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don’t ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast.
And then tell him the truth…
Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it’s what she wishes for at the historic fountain that’s supposed to grant her heart’s desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story—because Pru’s been keeping a secret that could change everything.
Magic – Danielle Steel
The first books that introduced me to the idea of romance and love and heartbreak were by Danielle Steel. I devoured her entire catalog (at the time) and loved every moment. Over the years, my reading preferences changed and I drifted away from Ms. Steel’s style of writing but when I read the blurb for this book, I was ready to give her another try because it has so many swoon-worthy things: Paris in the summer – Interwoven love stories – Magical possibilities – so much wonderful and an ideal reading choice for a lazy day at the beach.
Summary From Goodreads
A dazzling contemporary novel that vividly portrays the glamorous White Dinners that occur annually in Paris, and the ups and downs of three interconnected couples for whom the dinners have become a tradition, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel. The White Dinner is a love poem to friendship, joy, elegance, and the monuments of Paris. And each year it is an unforgettable summer night, especially for Jean-Philippe Dumas, a longtime participant, and the three couples he’s carefully selected to attend this exclusive and cherished event. Interweaving the stories of seven individuals, lives will be forever changed on the eve of one such White Dinner; a night that will lead to new friendships, new love, and of course, magical possibilities.
The Rumor – Elin Hildebrand
I added this book to my beach bag reads as soon as I saw the cover – it could be the poster for an ideal summer day. And then I read the synopsis and I LOVED the juxtaposition of this ideal image with the twisted, troubled story line. I think summer is the perfect time to dive into a complicated story of love and friendship and all the things that come along with both. A nice glass of rosé , this book, and a breezy summer day overlooking the ocean = my idea of paradise.
Synopsis From Goodreads
Madeline King and Grace Pancik are best friends and the envy of Nantucket for their perfect marriages, their beautiful kids, their Sunday night double dates with their devoted husbands. But this summer, something’s changed, and if there’s anything Nantucket likes better than cocktails on the beach at sunset, it’s a good rumor.
And rumor has it…
…that Madeline, a novelist, is battling writer’s block, with a deadline looming, bills piling up, and blank pages driving her to desperation–and a desperately bad decision;
…that Grace, hard at work to transform her backyard into a garden paradise, has been collaborating a bit more closely than necessary with her ruggedly handsome landscape architect;
…that Grace’s husband, successful island real estate developer “Fast Eddie” Pancik, has embarked on quite an unusual side project;
…that the storybook romance between Madeline’s son, Brick, and Grace’s daughter Allegra is on the rocks, heading for disaster.
As the gossip escalates, and they face the possible loss of the happy lives they’ve worked so hard to create, Grace and Madeline try mightily to set the record straight–but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it.
The Rules of Love & Grammar – Mary Simses
I am usually not a huge fan of the love triangle trope in romance but there is something intriguing about the premise for this book and the cover is so sweet, I couldn’t help but add it to the list. I think this book would be an ideal read for those days of summer when I need a light read that doesn’t require my full attention but still delivers a worthwhile story.
Synopsis From Goodreads
Newly jobless, newly single, and suddenly apartmentless, writer Grace Hammond has come unmoored. A grammar whiz who’s brilliant at correcting other people’s errors, she hasn’t yet found quite the right set of rules for fixing her own mistakes.
Desperate to escape the city and her trifecta of problems, Grace hits pause and retreats to her Connecticut hometown. What begins as a short visit with her parents quickly becomes a far more meaningful stay, though, as she discovers that the answers to what her future holds might be found by making peace with-and even embracing-the past.
As Grace sets out to change her ways and come to terms, finally, with the tragedy that took her older sister’s life so many years ago, she rekindles a romance with her high school sweetheart, Peter, now a famous Hollywood director who’s filming a movie in town. Sparks also fly at the local bike shop, where Grace’s penchant for pointing out what’s wrong rattles the owner’s ruggedly handsome schoolteacher son, Mitch.
Torn between the promise of a glamorous life and the allure of the familiar, Grace must decide what truly matters-and whether it’s time for her to throw away the rule book and bravely follow her heart.
The Barefoot Summer – Carolyn Brown
Oh my gosh – this book sounds equal parts, hilarious, heartbreaking, and thoughtfully human. Like a popcorn worthy blockbuster summer movie, this book feels like an ideal choice for a weekend at the lake or lazing in the backyard. Definitely on my must be read list!
Synopsis From Goodreads
Leaving one widow behind is unfortunate. Leaving three widows behind is just plain despicable. Oil heiress Kate Steele knew her not-so-dearly departed husband was a con man, but she’s shocked that Conrad racked up two more wives without divorcing her first. The only remnant of their miserable marriage she plans to keep is their lakeside cabin in Bootleg, Texas. Unfortunately, she’s not the only woman with that idea.
Fiery, strong-willed Jamie wishes Conrad were still alive—so she could kill the scoundrel herself. But for their daughter’s sake, she needs that property. As does Amanda—twenty-eight, pregnant, and still weeping over the loss of her true love. On a broiling July day, all three arrive in Bootleg…with a dogged detective right behind who’s convinced that at least one of them conspired to commit murder. One momentous summer filled with revelations, quirky neighbors, and barefoot evenings on the porch offers three women the chance to make the journey from enemies to friends, and claim a bright, new beginning.
Camino Island – John Grisham
I have been a fan of Grisham’s work from the first book he released and this book feels like a return to his best type of writing – the kind that sucks me in and won’t let go. I love the premise, the setting, and I know it will make a PERFECT beach bag read.
Synopsis From Goodreads
A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.
Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.
Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.
But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens – Eddie Izzard
Summer is the perfect time to dive into a good memoir, I think, because the laid back attitude that accompanies the season allow me to fully immerse myself in the life of someone else – at least in the pages of their book. I have been a longtime fan of Eddie Izzard’s comedy, have watched many of his specials, and would love to get to know him as you can only do through a well-done memoir.
Synopsis From Goodreads
Critically acclaimed, award-winning British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard details his childhood, his first performances on the streets of London, his ascent to worldwide success on stage and screen, and his comedy shows which have won over audiences around the world.
Over the course of a thirty-year career, Eddie Izzard has proved himself to be a creative chameleon, inhabiting the stage and film and television screen with an unbelievable fervor. Born in Yemen and raised in Northern Ireland, Wales, and England, he lost his mother at the age of six and that has affected the rest of his life. In his teens, he dropped out of university and took to the streets of London as part of a comedy double act. When his partner went on vacation, Izzard kept busy by inventing a one-man escape act, and thus a solo career was ignited. As a stand-up comedian, Izzard has captivated audiences with his surreal, stream-of-consciousness comedy—lines such as “Cake or Death?” “Death Star Canteen,” and “Do You Have a Flag?” have the status of great rock lyrics. As a self-proclaimed “action transvestite,” Izzard broke a mold performing in makeup and heels, and has become as famous for his “total clothing” rights as he has for his art. In Believe Me, he recounts the dizzying rise he made from the streets of London to West End theaters, to Wembley Arena, Madison Square Garden, and the Hollywood Bowl.
Izzard is arguably one of today’s top comedians. At the time of publication, he is still performing his Force Majeure show—so far in more than forty countries worldwide and in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish. With his brand of keenly intelligent humor that ranges from world history to historical politics, sexual politics, mad ancient kings, and chickens with guns, he has built an extraordinary fan base that transcends age, gender, and race. Writing with the same candor and insight evident in his comedy, he reflects on a childhood marked by the loss of his mother, boarding school, and alternative sexuality, as well as a life in comedy, film, politics, running, and philanthropy. Honest and generous, Izzard’s Believe Me is an inspired account of a very singular life thus far.
Since We Fell – Dennis Lehane
One of the masters of psychological thrillers, Dennis Lehane delivers a book guaranteed to suck me in and not let go until the very last word. I really enjoy having books like this in my beach bag for those times when I want to tune out the rest of the world and simply get lost in a book and I have really enjoyed many of Lehane’s other works and look forward to seeing where he takes me this time.
Synopsis From Goodreads
Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself.
Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths. By turns heart- breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. It is Dennis Lehane at his very best.
Becoming Bonnie: A Novel – Jenni L. Walsh
Probably the most intriguing book on the whole list, I absolutely love the idea behind this book and know it will be an absolute treat to read. And the fact that the book comes in time to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the movie version of the infamous love story of Bonnie and Clyde, only makes me more excited to get this in my beach bag!
Synopsis From Goodreads
From debut historical novelist Jenni L. Walsh, Becoming Bonnie is the untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo!
The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family’s poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas’s newest speakeasy, Doc’s.
Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, and embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—Bonnie tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. What she doesn’t know is that her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.
She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.
Few details are known about Bonnie’s life prior to meeting her infamous partner. In Becoming Bonnie, Jenni L. Walsh shows a young woman promised the American dream and given the Great Depression, and offers a compelling account of why she fell so hard for a convicted felon—and turned to crime herself.
Wow – with this list of beach reads all ready to go, I can’t wait for summer to arrive! So many super fun hours of reading ahead.
What books will be in your beach bag this summer?