Third Annual "So You're Going to Be Reading By the Water, Eh?" List

[Hawaii. Yes, I used this one last year too]

[Edited to Add: This is also doubling up as The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday list, since I covered the topic in this post. If you've already read when it was published I apologize... check out this instead. Thanks for stopping by!]
I love a lot of things. The San Francisco Giants. Toe nail polish. Dresses with pockets. Avocados. Anderson Cooper's giggle. Nilla Wafers on frozen yogurt. But above all, I love summer. Like really, really, really love. Love times infinity. Summer is pretty much the best. 

Well, at least for teachers that bust their asses all year with their darling students, colleagues, and administrators. Not so sure about the rest of you.

Anyway, I most definitely associate the summertime season with reading by some sort of water, whether a pool, the ocean, or a glass with ice since it's too hot to set foot outside. So, without further adieu, is my list for your recommended summertime reading pleasure:

Fun Factor (FF); High Interest (HI); Funny Stuff (FS); Brain Power (BP); Awesome Writing (AW); Travel Time (TT)

Maya's Notebook 
By Isabel Allende
Maya's Notebook, Allende's newest novel, is about a young girl who gets caught up in drugs, prostitution, addiction, and a highly illegal ring of thieves in Vegas. Her grandmother, who raised her, sends her to a tiny island off Chile to live with a family friend. Maya tells us the story of her past while working on healing herself for the future. 

[2012- Laguna Beach hiking]
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
By Maria Semple
Where'd You Go, Bernadette tells the tale of how Bernadette disappears. She agrees to take her daughter (who narrates) to Antarctica after receiving perfect grades but soon realizes that will require leaving the house (the horror!). Meanwhile, her husband has troubles where he works, Microsoft, and the neighbors are out to get her.

The Interestings 
By Meg Wolitzer
The Interestings was a truly fascinating book about what happens to friends who meet at summer camp when they are teenagers. With the exception of one, they remain constant forces within each other's lives, even as they become very different adults. I was blown away by the intricate web Wolitzer weaves. 

[2012- Lake Tahoe]

Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar
By Kelly Oxford 
Kelly Oxford is sort of a nobody that got famous... through her tweets. Sure, she's written some TV show pilots, but I'm still a little befuddled about why she's written a book. That being said, the book is pretty damn hilarious. She talks about her adventures as a kid, teenager, and adult, providing honest anecdotes. A few margaritas and you'll pee your bikini bottoms laughing.

Let the Great World Spin
By Colum McCann
This has become one of my favorite books- I can't recommend it enough. McCann devotes sections to different characters, showing their perspectives on events both big and small. He then expertly connects the characters, creating this amazing "it's a small world" type feel. 

[2013- first swim of the season]

By Greg Olear
Fathermucker is the witty story of a stay-at-home father who must simultaneously cope with his young autistic son and the threat of his wife possibly having an affair while she is out of town. A definite quick read that will make you think about parenthood and marriage. 

Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles
Ron Currie Jr
Currie writes about a man, who may or may not be himself, who is spending some time in self-exile on a tropical island. He is supposed to be writing, but is also trying to get over losing the woman he loved. 

[can't stop. won't stop.]
Me Before You 
By JoJo Moyes
Set in England, this is the story of a woman who loses her job and ends up taking care of an angry quadriplegic. She learns that he is planning on terminating his life at a center in Switzerland and is determined to show him that he can still enjoy life in a wheelchair. 

Tell the Wolves I'm Home
By Carol Rifka Brunt
Set in the eighties, this story is about a teenaged girl who must cope with the loss of her beloved uncle to AIDS. Without telling her family, she befriends his surviving lover and beings to process her feelings and learn more about herself. 

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving 
By Johnathan Evison
Similar to Me Before You, this is another story about a caregiver working to teach their charge that life isn't over just because you've got physical limitations. This one also involves a road trip and an impromptu childbirth in Yosemite. 

I'll be back in a couple weeks with the titles I plan to read by the water. Anything on your list? 


  1. I've read Let The Great World Spin. Decent novel. I also have Where'd You Go, Bernadette? on my list of summer reading. Enjoy the water.

  2. Hooray for summer reading! I've read a good amount of the books on your list but I'd really like to check out Fathermucker :)

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  4. Let the Great World Spin sounds interesting. Don't think I've heard of it before. Great list.

  5. Your description of Let the Great World Spin has convinced me to check out ;) I always see it at the bookstore--highly-recommended--but I don't know why I never bothered picking it up at the very least and reading the blurb.

    Where'd You Go Bernadette aptly looks like a summer read...The Interestings is also on my want-to-read pile (still---I may have mentioned this before, lol)

    My TTT

  6. I adore how you've broken down all your beach reads into great categories! I've been meaning to read Me Before You for sometime now, so it's great that it made it to your list. I think I will have to check out some of your other suggestions too! Also I love all your photos that you've included! :)

  7. I LOVED Me Before You. Made me bawl like a baby. You can check out my review for it here if you like:

    Great list and great blog! :)

  8. I've been curious about Where'd You Go Bernadette the cover is so striking

    My Top Ten

  9. Me Before You is such a great read! I'm really intrigued by Maya's Notebook, so I've added that to my TBR pile.

  10. Never heard for majority of these books. I have to look them up and maybe give them a try. :)

    My TTT