Alright, so I know I said I’d be doing the second half of my Buffy list this week, but I really like the TTT prompt from The Broke and The Bookish -books that should/will be in your beach bag this summer. I’ve chosen Should. We’ll get back to Buffy later.
If you’re anything like me – and if you’re reading a blog posting about books you probably are – packing for trips includes figuring out which books are worth their weight. Summer is meant for fluff reading – books that you can get engrossed in, or easily put aside for some water frolicking or far-flung, poorly aimed Frisbee tossing. It’s not meant for books that require a high level of focus or introspection. Popcorn reading loves the summer.
These are books I’ve either read during the summer or have chosen as my camping re-reads:
Bitten – Kelley Armstrong
Paranormal romance in thirteen parts. This is the first book in a series (The Women of the Otherworld) that follows women from different paranormal species in interwoven, but mostly independent, stories. It’s great fun and if you like Bitten, you know you’ve got twelve more books to turn to (plus a seemingly never ending supply of novellas/graphic novels/YA books). And if you’ve heard of the tv show, ignore it – it’s got basically nothing to do with the book and zero to do with the series.
A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas – Chuck Klosterman
A collection of essays on pop culture. I read this on the beach last summer. The essay about a 24 hour music video watching session had me in stitches. And since it’s essays, you can read one and toss aside the book for a little while, worry free (and by toss, I mean close and place inside a protective bag so as not to get ruined by the elements).
Wool Omnibus – Hugh Howey
For those rainy summer days – trust me I know, think six straight days of rain while camping in a tent. This is a dystopian book from a couple years ago. It’s actually a series of novellas, but just pick up the Omnibus, it reads like a long novel. Wool has gotten little play in the shadow of the dystopian big wigs and their slacker followers, but it’s better than a bunch of the others out there. But hey, I’m a sucker for stories that take place in bunkers.
Some Girls Bite – Chloe Neill
The obligatory vampire novel. Yes, I’ve already touched on the paranormal books, but this one is just so light and fluffy. It’s also the first in a series (The Chicagoland Vampires), but unlike the Armstrong series, I stopped reading this one at book six. So, while the series suffers, the first four books are delightfully ridiculous. Ignore the serious trend mentioning – except Nine Inch Nails; they’re always an acceptable mention.
How to Be a Woman – Caitlin Moran
For the funny feminist. To quote Joss Whedon – you either believe women are people or you don’t. If you do, read this book. Moran hits right in the F bone, and provides a healthy reminder that feminism isn’t a dirty word.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan
Who doesn’t love a good literary quest? But instead of a serious Davinci Code style mystery, this is an adventure buried in 80s fantasy novels and audiobooks. I reviewed it over here if you’re curious.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – Alan Bradley
Oh Flavia! A precocious youngster in 1950 makes it her mission to solve the mystery of the dead man in the cucumber patch. Also the first in a series. Since this is the only one I’ve read, I can’t speak to the series, but it’s a nice change from your standard mystery.
Anna Dressed in Blood – Kendare Blake
The title doesn’t sound super summery does it? Cas is essentially the male, ghost hunting version of a vampire slayer. He travels around hunting ghosts with his mother. Then he meets Anna. I love the descriptions in this book, and the cover. Is it standard YA – yeah, but it’s good for those of us who like our sunshine with a little haunting.
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal – Christopher Moore
This one’s better if you have an understanding of Christian mythos, and if you can take it with a grain of salt. Moore’s writing is hilarious. I laughed myself to tears at parts of this book. It tells the story of Jesus through the eyes of his friend and focuses mostly on their teen years. Warning: if you can’t take a cheeky view of religion, you’re going to hate this book.
Gods Behaving Badly – Marie Phillips
FLUFF. This is one of those books that’s 100% summer reading. A bunch of Greek gods are trapped in modern day London, living together in a townhouse, working the most random assortment of jobs. They play with people and end up in a mythic style adventure. I remember it being funny, but little else. It might have something to do with the story of Persephone, but I could be making that up.