Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists of other bloggers who participate!


June 11: Top Ten Beach Reads (however YOU define a beach read!)

What is a beach read? Something entertaining and/or quick, that you’d be happy to read between splashing in the water? Or something adventurous you read while lurking under an umbrella? Maybe both…

anna french kiss

1. Anna and the French Kiss; Stephanie Perkins. Anna, sent to France for her senior year, is having a hard time adjusting to school life. Not speaking a word of French doesn’t help. A cute, addictive read, with a sweet and realistic love interest and relationship.


2. Divergent; Veronica Roth. The world is small, and divided up into groups chosen based of virtues like courage or truthfulness. Most people stay in the groups they are born into, but Beatrice leaves for Courage–and her defiance and bravery doesn’t stop there. A riveting read.

forgotten garden

3. The Forgotten Garden; Kate Morton. A sweet and haunting story about family, love and loss. Complex and layered, with a bit of heft to it, this is a good book to get lost in.

Harry Potter

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; J.K. Rowling. These books should be re-read every so often. Why not over the summer?

Let's Pretend

5. Let’s Pretend this Never Happened; Jenny Lawson “The Bloggess.” If you haven’t read this memoir, you should. Jenny Lawson is unafraid to share her own special brand of weird–no matter how difficult and peculiar you feel you are, or your life is, the Bloggess can make you laugh. You’re not alone.

monstrous regiment

6. Monstrous Regiment; Terry Pratchett. Anything by Pratchett is readable and hilarious, but this book in particular is fun. I don’t think I can put it better than the first line of the Goodreads summary “What do you get when you cross a vampire, a troll, Igor, a collection of misfits, and a young woman who shoves a pair of socks down her pants to join the army?”

one for the money

7. One For the Money; Janet Evanovich. Desperation drives Stephanie Plum to become a bounty hunter, but she isn’t very good at it. In fact, it’s hard to believe anyone could be worse, stumbling through apprehensions. Somehow, she keeps going–and hilarity ensues as she moves like a wrecking ball through the carefully laid plans of criminals.

size 12

8. Size 12 is Not Fat; Meg Cabot. Heather Wells was a pop star, but her mother ran off with all her money, so now she works as an assistant dorm director. Chic-lit mystery, with laughs and danger.

Storm Front

9. Storm Front; Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden, wizard, has a difficult life–full of challenges that pile up one after the other. But he’s so full of twisted humor, he makes you laugh. A great series, full of wonderful characters.

Trickster Queen

10. Trickster’s Queen; Tamora Pierce. Book #2 in a two-part series. You should read both of them. 🙂 Alianne has a famous warrior mother, and a spy father. How is a girl supposed to live up to that? After an argument, Aly is captured and sold by slavers–and this isn’t a coincidence. A Trickster god has plans for her…

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

22 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    I define a beach read a little differently than most, since I don’t do sun at all, and only swim in bodies of water enclosed in turquoise concrete. Therefore, my idea of a beach read is something I stay inside on a hot summer’s day to get lost in. Since that’s pretty much my idea of ALL reads, I have to admit, I can’t offer much here. I love your choices, though, having read many of them, myself. I’m an ardent Stephanie Plum fan, and as you know, I can’t live without Harry Dresden. The Forgotten Garden was wonderful, and I’m learning to love Terry Pratchett, though I haven’t read this one. Yet. The Potter books are a given for a good time. So, that leave me Meg Cabot (haven’t read her at all, yet), Divergent (sounds good), French Kiss (love the title), Let’s Pretend and Trickster’s Queen. I’m writing all of them down.

    My recommendation for any summer reading, beachy or otherwise, would be all of the Infernal Devices books by Cassandra Clare. Skip the “City” series, and go straight to the prequel. Much stronger writing and characters you fall in love with.

    And for non-fantasy, I say go back a year or so, and read the stunning love stories of Marisa de los Santos, especially Falling Together. It will touch your soul. (Love Walked In & the sequel, Belong To Me are both divine, too.)

    • caitlinstern says:

      I don’t go swimming much, either. Water washes off even the most persistent sunscreen, and then I end up cooked-lobster red.

      But, provided you’re by a body of water that doesn’t include gators and venomous snakes–there’s not usually any in the ocean, right?–a beach chair, umbrella, and a pitcher of lemonade isn’t so bad. 🙂

      I’ll check out Ms. de los Santos!

  2. I really, really need to get reading Terry Pratchett. He’s recently been recommended to me by so many people (including you, now).

    Anna and the French Kiss sounds delightful. I should see how quickly I can get my hands on a copy. Library, ho!

    • caitlinstern says:

      Yes, yes you should. His books are wonderfully hilarious, and thought-provoking, if you look beneath the surface.

      Anna and the French Kiss was cheerfully stolen from a bunch of other bloggers’ recommendations. I love to share the wealth. Happy reading!

  3. ChrissiReads says:

    I really need to read Divergent. Can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. Great list!

  4. Courtney says:

    Divergent was on my list too! Also, I can’t believe I didn’t put Harry Potter on my list! Ah!

    • caitlinstern says:

      I always have that moment when reading other people’s lists–hey, this book is perfect! Why didn’t I think of it?
      But if all our lists were the same, no one would get new books to read. 😉

  5. Tova says:

    Somebody gave me One For the Money as a gift– I have to read it one of these days. Nice list!

  6. beckireads says:

    Great list! Tamora Pierce is a brilliant writer, and I like the fact that you included her on your list! Size 12 Is Not Fat is, I agree, a brilliant beach read as well as Anna and the French Kiss.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Many times my lists are made up of six or seven carefully thought up books, and then a few tossed in there after a moment of staring at my bookshelves.

      When it works out, I’m glad to pretend it was on purpose. 😀

  7. megan says:

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT! You’re right about evil farm animals-I know for a fact that the rooster is a real jerk. I really want to start the Dresden series. Some day….

  8. YES to Divergent and Harry Potter. I loved those two series.

  9. nikihawkes says:

    Great choices! I particularly love your idea to reread HP every year… The beach sounds like the perfect spot for that! 🙂

    • caitlinstern says:

      I know some people hate rereading, but I have a handful of books I return to each year.

      And rereading is perfect in a distracting environment–you don’t have to miss anything that’s happening in the book or in the world outside the book!

  10. […] Pratchett’s Discworld series as a great beach read.  (Lianne at & Caitlin at caitlinsternwrites) This is daunting to say the least – how many books are in that […]

  11. Krystianna says:

    Anna and the French Kiss & Divergent are some of my favorites! Thanks for sharing and I love your blog design. 🙂
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  12. I always forget how much I love Tamora Pierce’s books until I reread them, and then I want to reread ALL OF THEM.

    Great list! 🙂

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