Beach Bag Books for Old Farts

BeachIt’s that time again when AARP makes a few suggests for adult summer reading. I suppose that the designation of “beach reads” allows for a tendency to suggest breezy popular fare but I can reasonably predict that I will not be reading any of these titles this summer. In New Jersey we rented a house at the Shore every year and three families (or so) spent a week or two toasting in the sun, overeating, and trying to read while the swim suits got smaller and smaller on the women and girls cavorting in the surf (so distracting). For me this was a chance to read some of those truly fat and difficult books that otherwise would gather dust on my shelves year after year. For some reason I tended to go for the Russian authors.

I know I read these titles while laying on the beach in the hot sun:

  1. War and Peace
  2. The Magic Mountain
  3. Anna Karenina
  4. For Whom the Bells Tolls
  5. The Alexandria Quartet
  6. The Snopes Trilogy
  7. Underworld
  8. The Brothers Karamazov
  9. The Idiot
  10. Gravity’s Rainbow
  11. Queen Margot
  12. Twenty Years After

BeachThere were assuredly many other titles, but the question is: are they beach reads because I read them at the beach? Somehow I think the term “beach reads” suggests a book you can read wearing sunglasses and a silly hat, that doesn’t tax your mind, and has thick pages perfect for soaking up tanning lotion.

Here are the suggestions from AARP:

  1. Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews
  2. The Bees by Laline Paull
  3. The Hidden Child by Camilla Läckberg
  4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  5. Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson
  6. China Dolls by Lisa See
  7. We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride
  8. The Bourne Ascendancy by Eric Van Lustbader
  9. The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman
  10. Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce by Sylvia Jukes Morris
  11. Cop Town by Karin Slaughter
  12. The City by Dean Koontz
  13. Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman
  14. The Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
  15. Wars of the Roses: Stormbird by Conn Iggulden
  16. Angels Make Their Hope Here by Breena Clarke
  17. In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides
  18. Np Safe House by Linwood Barclay
  19. Love Letters by Debbie Macomber
  20. Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough
  21. I’ll Be Back Right After This by Pat O’Brien

Excited? Overwhelmed?  Well, at least none of these titles will require you to put in your teeth before reading them.

What are your thoughts on this?

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