10 Great Vacation Reads

When relaxing on the beach, poolside, fireside or anywhere else on vacation or even a fun long fall weekend the best bet is to go with a paperback. Not only is it easier and lighter to hold, but it also tends to be less expensive. That way if it is lost, left behind somewhere or damaged you will not be as upset at the loss. Here are my top ten picks, in no particular order.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is fairly well known now because of the movie, but the book is still a great read. If you don't know the general idea of the book, then here is a quick run down. Henry and Clare are a married couple very much in love. However, Henry randomly gets transported to different times in his life. The narration of the book gives us the thoughts of both Clare and Henry at all the different points in time, and we see great character development. This book is a great romance with thought provoking aspects of science or speculative fiction. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows has been very popular among book clubs that use my library. This book an enjoyable book that is told completely in the form of letters. It takes place in the 1940's and is a journey of discovery, friendship and fellowship. While the majority of this tale is fun and light there are some darker moments, since the Nazis occupied Guernsey, that is to be expected. I think that rounded out the total feel of the book.


The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards is a tear jerker, for those that enjoy heart wrenching reads. This story starts with the birth of fraternal twins. The boy, Paul, is completely healthy. However, his sister is not as lucky. The father tells his wife that the baby is dead, but he really sent the baby away with a nurse to be sent to a institution. The nurse couldn't bring herself to do it and raises the baby herself. The novel shows us the two very different households. One full of healthy successful people that are troubled and at odds, and one that had some grief and struggles but is full of love.


The Beach House by Jane Green is sentimental, light read about people at a crossroad in their lives. We see a widow that might have to sell her long time home, instead she converts her home into a bed and breakfast. He son returns home with mistakes and problems effecting him, and guests all arrive facing varies changes in their lives with decisions and realizations that need to be made. It is an easy read with several intersecting story lines, great for reading beach or pool side.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman is a all time favorite of mine. What is not to like? True love, adventure, pirates, giant rodents, death machines, this book has it all. If you do not already know the basics of this story via the movie, then shame on you. You need to read the book and watch the movie. In no particular order, and many times. Seriously, just do it. 


Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot is a fun mystery, real woman story with some romance. Heather Wells is a former teen idol, but then her boyfriend dumps her and her manger (and mother) runs off with all her money. Heather turns to a local college to work as a resident hall director for funds and free tuition. To make things both easier and harder the now ex-boyfriend's brother offers Heather free room and board for some clerical work in his Private Investigator business. Of course he is hunky, intelligent and honest. Unfortunately, a student in Heather's dorm is murdered and she ends up neck deep in the investigation. This is a cute, fun read with two more books in the series to follow it up.


Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner is a very witty book. Candace asker her boyfriend for a break, and he apparently doesn't understand her request. He thinks that they are through and writes a humiliating article about larger women in bed. We then see Cannie deal with a variety of issues including her weight, being emotionally abused and deserted by her father and her sister's struggles. She changes and grows towards becoming a confident woman who loves herself. 

Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich is a great fun read. If you are a fan of the Stephanie Plum series than you will enjoy this as well. In this series we meet Alexandra Barnaby, otherwise known as Barney. She knows her way around cars and great one liners. She flies to Miami to get her brother out of what ever mess he's gotten himself into, only to find much more than she bargained for. Her brother is missing and she ends up working with Sam Hooker, another race car driver, even though he is everything she tries to avoid. Together they work to solve the mystery, save Barney's brother, and stay in one piece.

I'm the Vampire, That's Why by Michele Bardsley combines a divorcee soccer mom romance with vampires and werewolves. We see Jessica, divorced mother of two, get attacked my a crazed werewolf then turned vampire to save her life, unlife?, whatever. Of course all the supernatural guys are gorgeous and Jessica falls hard, but she needs to take care of her kids. The book, and the books that follow in the series, combine a lusty romance with smart, sassy characters trying to do the right thing and take care of their responsibilities.


Sunshine by Robin McKinley might not be the typical vacation read, but it is a great one. Rae, nicknamed Sunshine, is attacked and kidnapped by vampires while walking through the woods. She is brought to a huge house and chain to a wall, across from her is a vampire who is also chained. Her attackers leave the pair chain, one to die and one to kill, but Sunshine and her fellow prisoner defy their captives, convention and themselves. This is a great story, and there is much more to it but I would hate to destroy the surprises in store for those that do give this book a chance.


Vacation should always be relaxing and enjoyable, what better way to make it even better than a good book? I could keep on listing great books to read, but who really wants to spend their entire summer, or winter, vacation reading. Well, besides me.
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