by Regina Kenney
I define a great Beach Book by three qualities: 1) Easy to read, 2) Highly Engaging and 3) Not too long (250-350 page range).
Needs to be that special type of book that you can lazily read for hours and be able to put down and pick up with the same fast-pace, engaging text throughout.
Here are my picks of the Top 5 Beach Books for your next trip…
#5: World War Z
IF you’re looking for: Horror/Thriller
If you saw the movie, please know that the only thing the movie and the book have in common is the title (and… there are zombies). This book is an ‘oral history’ of a Zombie Apocalypse including military strategies, history of how the disease spread and personal survival stories.
The Beachiest part of this book, is that every chapter is a different story within the Zombie apocalypse — so it’s easy to switch from reading to swimming to reading to mojitos.
#4: Bridget Jone’s Diary
IF you’re looking for: Romance
I promise some obscure options are on their way, but this is really a delightful read. If you’re not into the horror of World War Z and want a more romantic, light book – this is the one for you. It’s the meeting point between Jane Austen and a Harlequin Romance novel. Easily put down and easy to plunge back in.
#3: Wise Blood
IF you’re looking for: Literary Merit
This is such a fun read. Flannery O’Connor nails the dialogue of the U. S. Southern language in this short, hilarious novel. Following Hazel Motes who recently was discharged from service in WWII and finds his home abandoned, the story follows the path of one rejecting religion by becoming a preacher. Easy to read, short and will also knock an American classic off of your booklist.
#2: The Help
IF you’re looking for: Heartful History
You have probably seen this on a lot of book lists. If you haven’t already read it, pick it up for your next trip. The book follows African-American maids working in Mississippi for white households in the 1960s. This is a beach/airplane/daily-commute type of book. It is funny, thought-provoking, fast-paced read that gives a personal insight to a time in history. I picked up this book when I was doing a media tour in England last year. The first night, I had extreme jet lag and though typically a slow and somewhat sporadic reader, I stayed up til 4am reading this book.
#1: The Asylum
IF you’re looking for: Thriller, Can’t-Put-Down
Now, you might have to plan ahead and order this one from Amazon as (to my knowledge) it is not available in the States yet. If you like Stieg Larsson, you will adore Johan Theorin. He is not very well known yet (in the States), but he writes fast-paced thrillers that will keep you up at night turning pages. The Asylum is by far his best book (and I have read four of the five that currently have English translations). It is one of those can’t really describe the plots in an adequate way without ruining anything — but here is my attempt: It is about a man who works in the nursery of an insane asylum.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett (Really, any Terry Pratchett is a good beach book)
Hard-Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
(Didn’t make the list because too long – but great, thrilling read)
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Disagree with me? Or have other suggestions? Place in the comments below.