Monday, June 11, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday: Beach Reads

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend As Good Beach Reads, from the Broke and the Bookish:

This list is going to be a tad eccentric, but then again so am I. I'm going to limit the list to books written after 2000.

1. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter -- Entertainment Weekly reviewed this novel favorably (A- I think), as did I. The magazine said it would make a good beach read, so I'll go along with that. It's tremendously fun, and the narrative is complicated by flashbacks, excerpts of things written by characters and Richard Burton, big head and all.

2. Thud by Terry Pratchett. Again, I'm going for a complicated plot -- because if you're reading on the beach, you want your mind engaged so that you won't fall asleep and get burned. I think this is my favorite of the Ankh-Morpork novels, and it's got great characters -- Commander Vimes, Lady Sybil, Nobby Nobs, Sgt. Angua and the Diamond Troll, to name a few.

3. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. This novel technically is YA, but steampunk (actually biopunk, too) fans will enjoy it as well. Westerfeld reinvents World War I as a battle between the Darwinists, who have manipulated animal DNA to create war monsters, and the Klaners, who operate giant steam-driven robots. Plus, there's a girl pretending to be a boy -- God's Wounds!

4. The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Lots of people are reading this. Harry Potter curses a lot -- it's an adult novel that involves magic, loss and a Narnia-like fantasy land that's not so fantastic.

5. Paper Towns by John Green: In which a MPDG comes with some serious issues -- like she disappears. I very much enjoyed this YA title, and it would be great for light summer reading for adults, particularly guys.

6. How I Paid for College by Mark Acito: This would be a YA title if it weren't for all the bizarre sex. But it's extremely entertaining; the novel follows a teenage bisexual actor as he tries to pay for training at Juilliard.

7. Redshirts by John Scalzi: I haven't read it yet (I just bought it and gave it to my daughter), but it promises to be pure SF fun. Set phasers on laugh.
8. Little Children by Tom Perrotta: The novel takes place in the summer, at a public pool, and although it's extremely dark (a child molester is confronted with his past; a man failing at becoming a lawyer enters into a destructive affair), it's also extremely funny. Thematically, Perrotta is the successor to Updike, only he's not as hung up on beautiful prose. Instead, he's concerned mainly with the failing interactions among adults and their repercussions for children. Somewhat different from the movie.
9. Company by Max Barry: This hilarious corporate satire finds a young executive landing a job at a company with no apparent products to sell -- but with a hot receptionist. Beware of plot spoilers; suffice to say the plot is tangled and highly imaginative.

10. The Writing Class by Jincy Willett: It's something of a mystery (whodunit and who's doing it), but it's really about a woman who comes out of years of isolation to rediscover her true calling. Delightful, serious but light in a summer kind of way.


Angela said...

I've not read any of these, but The Writing Class sounds like it would be up my alley :)

marissa said...

oooh I've really been wanting to read redshirts too

here's my TTT

vikk simmons said...

Interesting list. Thanks for sharing these titles. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts about the books, too.