by Lisa Bernier
The long dreary days of winter can make you long for sunshine, shorts, and the beach. And everyone knows the best part of the beach (other than, well, the beach) is lying out on a towel, relaxing, working on your tan (or protecting your pale), and leisurely paging through a paperback. Or, since we live in the 21st century, reading it on your kindle/nook/ipad/phone.
Still, at the moment we remain in the cold, gray clutches of Old Man Winter. To elude his slushy, bitter hand, we recommend the following list of books that will have you transported (via THE MIND) to that sunny summer day by the first sentence.
Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb
If you like your Nora Roberts with a sci-fi edge and twisty, turny mystery plos, then check out this latest release in her “In Death” series. Set in futuristic NYC and featuring sharp, smart, tough NYPSD Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke, the plot of this latest offering involves a mugging gone wrong and a cover-up involving big business. This fast paced page turner will definitely keep you out of winter and plunged into future NYC.
Three Sisters by Susan Mallery
The cover of this book screams “BEACH!” because, well, it’s a picture of three woman on a sunny beach. (Already, heading in the right direction). Once you delve into its pages, you’ll be swept away from the snow and sleet and onto the shores of Blackberry Island, where 3 different woman purchase a trio of run down Queen Anne houses and become not just neighbors, but friends. Savor the summer atmosphere, the sound of the ocean, and the relaxed feel of its Blackberry Island setting, and you’ll drift away on this treat of a read.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Summer in Mississippi brings to mind sultry heat, lemonade, and in Gillian Flynn’s new thriller of a release, murder. Nick Dunne’s wife disappears, and it looks like he may be her murderer. But is he? Is she even really dead? Plunge into this exciting new mystery and winter will be a thing of the past as you weave through the twists and turns of a plot as mind boggling and characters as treacherous as a Mississippi swamp.
Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel
If you like your reading with a little more corset ( a la Philippa Gregory) definitely pick up Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Set in the court of Henry VIII, it re-tells the story of Anne Bolyen’s fall, Jane Seymour’s rise, and that man of all men behind the scenes, Thomas Cromwell. High stakes, but with full skirts and lots of lords and ladies: what’s not to like?
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Granted this is billed as a YA book, but this graceful, moving tale is for all ages. A story of courage, loss, and love against the odds, the tale of Hazel and her friend Augustus and their quest to seek out her favorite author is moving, funny, and may bring you to tears. Still, what’s a beach read if you can’t have a little weep as well?
Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
A great twist on the usual “historical romance” bodice ripper genre, Shannon Hale returns to Pembrook Park. This time, her heroine in need of an Austen fantasy is Charlotte Kinder, a single mom still reeling from her divorce from her cheating husband. Will a trip to Pembrook, with its cravats, empire waists, and handsome gentlemen help her to find herself? And is there a mystery hidden within the Pembrook Park’s walls? If you haven’t checked out Hale’s first book, Austenland, it too is definitely recommended as a light, fun, fast read. (Side Note: Austenland has recently been made into a movie starring Keri Russell, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour and J.J. Feild).
The Obituary Writer: A Novel by Ann Hood
Featuring two women, one present day and the other living in 1919, this novel by Ann Hood seamlessly interweaves two different eras and two different lives. From the Jackie O era to San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century, Hood keeps the plot moving and forms delicate relationships with her characters. The way the two lives of the protagonists connect will leave you surprised, moved, and marveling.
Bare To You (Crossfire Trilogy Book #1) by Sylvia Day
If you’re a Fifty Shades of Grey fan, then you should check out the Crossfire Trilogy by Sylvia Day. Bared To You starts the saga of the tormented, gorgeous Gideon and the woman who loves him, Eva. If you start reading and can’t put it down, put in a full days read and also check out its sequel, Reflected In You, and the third, Entwined In You. Hey, it’s a way to while away the cold indoors, and the fiery scenes between Gideon and Eva are more scorching than the sun on a hot August day.
All selections are available on ebook so load them up and go get a pedicure that no one will see for months!