Hopefully you’ve received and opportunity this summer to go to a beach or a pool or at least somewhere you can relax in the sun. One of my favorite things to do on a warm summer day is to relax in the shade of the little pergola next to our pool. It is a wonderful work, writing, and reading space that I have really come to treasure in the time we’ve lived here.
And honestly, summer is the time for beach reading. Something I also call candy reading. Those books that you can read in a highly distracting environment and still take in. It’s easy and simple and sweet. These kind of books may also be known as guilty pleasure reads.
So now I expose to you some of my top favorite candy reads. The unintelligent stuff I enjoy with slight embarrassment that you may actually like as well. If you’re looking for a semi-good book for the beach or pool-side, here’s what I got:
1. Anything by Sophie Kinsella
No, it’s not literary by any means, but Sophie Kinsella (of Confessions of a Shopaholic fame) has numerous
romantic comedy novels that are truly funny. Her heroines are sweet, snarky, and super relateable. I always find myself smiling like an idiot as I read the hi jinx of these sassy characters and hope you might as well.
Some of my favorites include Can You Keep A Secret, Remember Me, and I’ve Got Your Number.
Koontz’s market is usually middle-aged men, but I picked up this novel as a kid in high school and loved it. (It was recommended to me by a middle-aged man, if that helps…) Odd, Koontz intriguing main character with a supernatural ability, has a GREAT voice. The novel is told through his perspective. Though the Koontz thriller is a mass-market commercial phenomenon, there is a fabulous sense of symbolism and subtle foreshadowing that no book-snob should dare turn their nose up to. Also, there is an ending that you probably won’t see coming unless you are a careful reader. And if you are a careful reader, you will be so impressed at how he leads up to such a pay off.
Apparently there is a movie adaptation of this on Netflix. I haven’t seen it, but I’m leery because I don’t recall it ever going to theaters… Book is most likely better.
3. the Percy Jackson series–Rick Riordan
So I pretty much read like a middle school boy. I love that books marketed to this demographic always have action, start to finish, as well as a decent amount of humor. You got to keep this rowdy bunch entertained, right? And I find myself in that ADD, keep me stimulated all the time camp.
Enter Percy Jackson! This modern exploration of Greek mythology is brilliant. Told through the eyes of Percy Jackson, a regular boy who discovers he is a demigod, we get to explore Camp Half-blood (Pretty much Hogwarts for the children of gods) and even venture on a quest across America. Great storytelling, wonderful characters, and a simple, fast-paced read. This seriously is one of my favorite series ever. Five books in all. Start with Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief.
There is a movie adaptation of this one too. Just ignore that.
So any time I’ve mentioned that I don’t like Christian fiction here in Bohemia, it has been shortly followed by a recommendation of Christian fiction…huh. Well this is no exception. Blink is a fabulous, action packed, sci-fi thriller, laced with a love story. Seriously love this book. You can also find a second edition under the title Blink of an Eye.
Seth is a brilliant, but directionless young man who develops the mysterious ability to see multiple outcomes of the future, only a few second before it happens. He and a runaway Saudi princess cross paths and must depend on one another to decide the fate of the future. (How’s that for cheesy back-cover-copy synopsis!)
Could not put this one down and I know you won’t be able to either.
There is not a movie adaptation of this one. There probably should be…Unless it is the same quality of the ones listed above. Then no. No one should touch it!
5. Teen Idol–Meg Cabot
Travel back to high school with one of my childhood favorites. This was a fluff read that totally changed how I viewed my relationships with people when I was in middle school. That said, don’t expect anything profound. Instead, just enjoy some of the good parts of those awkward years through this wonderful little story.
Teen Idol is about a girl Jen in her junior year of high school. She writes the anonymous advice column for her school paper and has become the confidant of most of the students in her small Indiana high school. Teen heartthrob Luke Striker comes to town to research a role, undercover, at her high school. And only Jen knows his secret. Great book that can be read in one sitting…a whole day sitting at the beach.
Hope these recommendations are helpful for any of you looking for the brainless but fun book to take to the lake!