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Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Seaside Reading is Just Beachy

I don't like my Top Ten Tuesday posts to be negative (or environmentally irresponsible), so I'm going to have to twist this week's topic of Books I'd Gladly Throw in the Ocean into something more friendly.  How about Books I'd Gladly Read By the Ocean?  In truth, I'll read anything by the sea, even if it's not really a "beach read," but for today's list I'm going to stick with some of the lighter reads on my TBR, the kind that would be perfect to enjoy while sitting on the sand listening to the waves crash nearby.  Because of my pale skin, I can't lounge on the beach without a sunshade and copious amounts of sunblock, but it would be worth it to relax with these reads by the shore.       

If you want to join in the TTT fun, click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details.

Top Ten Books I'd Gladly Read By the Ocean 

1.  Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien—Fun, frothy mysteries are perfect for seaside reading.  This is the seventh and newest installment in one of my favorite cozy series.  In this one, Lana Lee—who manages her family's Chinese restaurant but can barely boil water—enrolls in culinary school on the sly.  When the teacher ends up dead one day, Lana finds herself investigating yet another homicide. 

2.  You Have a Match by Emma Lord—I'm always up for a DNA discovery story and this YA one sounds like fun.  It's about two long-lost sisters who come together at summer camp to figure out why they never knew about each other.  Sounds like a 21st Century The Parent Trap.  Yes, please!

3.  Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee (available May 4, 2021)—I've talked about this YA historical before, but that's because it's the 2021 release that I've been most anticipating.  The story concerns Valora and Jamie Luck, a pair of estranged British-Chinese twins who are trained acrobats.  Valora sneaks aboard Titanic with plans to first reunite with her brother, then convince an American circus owner to hire them.  Of course, her plans are about to go horribly awry...

4.  Hems & Homicide by Elizabeth Penney—I just heard about this cozy series set in an apron shop in a quaint seaside town.  This first installment has Iris Buckley moving to Maine to help her grandmother run the store.  When she finds a skeleton in the shop's basement, an amateur murder investigation begins.

5.  Simmer Down by Sarah Smith—Rom-coms always make for good beach reads.  This one, which revolves around two food truck chefs competing for a coveted parking spot at a Maui beach, sounds super cute. 

6.  A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott—Lark over at Lark Writes...About Books and Life raves about the American Wonders historical series.  The first installment is set at the Grand Canyon (practically in my backyard) and concerns a woman who is determined to do the surveying job her deceased father was hired to complete for the Army.  She's stunned to discover that the project leader is the man she once refused to marry.  Sparks fly as the project is threatened and the pair must rely on each other in order to survive an expedition that grows more dangerous by the minute.

7.  The Other Emily by Dean Koontz—Koontz's newest is a little darker than my other picks today, but it sounds too intriguing to pass up.  It's about David Thorne, a man who is grief-stricken over the disappearance—and presumed murder—of the woman he loves.  When he meets the alluring Maddison Sutton, he can't help but be drawn in by her flirty attentiveness.  Most surprising is how similar she seems to David's vanished love.  Is Maddison really Emily?  Or is she a convincing dead ringer playing a cruel and sinister game?

8.  Murder's No Votive Confidence by Christin Brecher—Another cozy series opener, this one stars the owner of a Nantucket candle shop who comes under fire when the centerpiece she created for a wedding is used as a murder weapon. 

9.  A Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin—Every summer, Perry Soto looks forward to escaping sweltering New York City to relax at her godmother's seaside cottage.  Ama plans to gift the house to one of her three goddaughters, but all of them—Perry included—have secrets that could keep them from the inheritance they all want.  

10.  Bluebird by Sharon Cameron (available October 5, 2021)—I'm a big Cameron fan, so I'm looking forward to this historical YA novel about Eva, a young woman who flees Berlin with a horrifying secret, one so potentially explosive that both the Americans and the Soviets will kill to get it.  While those governments are searching for Eva, she's on the hunt for an escaped Nazi with whom she has a score to settle.  

There you go, ten novels I'd be happy to enjoy while relaxing on the shore.  Have you read any of them?  What books would you tote to the beach?  Which do you want to throw in the ocean?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I'll gladly return the favor on your blog.  

Happy TTT!   


  1. All of these books sound like great beach reads.

    My post:

    1. I agree! I don't actually have any plans to go to the beach this summer, but I'm still hoping to get all of them read. We'll see!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

  2. Oh these all sound good! I do love a cozy mystery for a beach read. Cozies or suspense are the two genres I reach for.

    1. Right? And have you ever noticed how many cozies are set in seaside tourist towns?? Cozies and the shore just belong together!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

  3. Susan I like you how you turned this into a positive. And, doesn't reading by the beach sound like a dream. I haven't read any of these but have heard a lot of good things about the Vivien Chen series. Must add to my TBR!

    1. I don't mind criticizing books in my reviews, but I really like my TTT posts to be positive and fun.

      The Chien series is a good one. Far-fetched, of course, but also just light and entertaining. I use them as palette cleansers between heavier reads.

      Thanks for stopping in, Iliana!

  4. These sound like great books to read by the beach! Fatal Fried Rice was a cute, quick read.

    1. Oh, good! I got a paper copy of it from the publisher the other day and I'm looking forward to reading it. The plot sounds especially fun.

      Thanks for coming by, Leah!

  5. I loved how you made this positive 😊 I haven't personally read any of these but 'You have a match' sounds great, i'm going to add it to my tbr!

    1. I really liked Lord's first book, TWEET CUTE, so I'm excited for her second. Plus, I'm a genealogist so I like DNA discovery type stories.

      Thanks for stopping in!

  6. This is one time I wouldn't have had a problem following the original premise of the list. I actually have a category on GoodReads (with 22 books in it) that I call...pardon the expression...Crap.

    1. Really? I never noticed your "Crap" list. I'll have to go check it out so I know what to avoid :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  7. Yeah for beach reads. I enjoyed You Have a Match. It was cute. Simmer Down was fun too.

    1. As you may have noticed, I'm really not a "beach read" kind of person, but I do enjoy a lighter read now and then. Summer seems like the time for them and we're already experiencing temps in the 90s. Ugh.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  8. It's funny how the environment where we are reading changes what we'd choose to read. Nice list!

    1. True. I pretty much read anything anywhere, but I still FEEL like I should read lighter books in summer, heavier books in winter (for instance) even though that's not what I actually do. Weird.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

  9. I love your topic! And I do love reading on a beach. :) I'd read anything on a beach chair, but I especially like going with rom-coms, so a few of these would really suit me. I hadn't heard of the Titanic book before -- will have to check it out!

    1. There's really nothing like the sound of waves crashing in the background while you read! It's so soothing.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

  10. Beach reads are a great twist on this week's topic! I love it. Cozy mysteries are perfect beach reads!

    1. Agreed. Cozies make perfect beach reads because they're light, easy reads that are just fun and entertaining.

      Thanks for coming by, Nicole!

  11. Ooo! I like what you did with the topic. I would gladly read just about anything next to the ocean.

    1. Me too. The sound of waves crashing makes the perfect background soundtrack for reading!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

  12. Nice take on this week's top ten Susan. I read You Have a Match and it was just meh for me. I hope it is a better reading experience for you.

    1. Really? Bummer. I enjoyed TWEET CUTE, so I'm hoping YOU HAVE A MATCH is also a win for me. We'll see.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

  13. These all sound perfect for relaxing. I am not a fan of negativity about books. In general, I feel like who am I to condemn the books another might love.

    1. It depends for me. I always try to include both what I did and did not like about a book in my reviews. It helps my readers understand why I rated a certain book the way I did. The same thing that bothered me in a book might bother them as well. Or not. I want to give them a balanced picture so that my review will be helpful in their decision to read a book or not.

      For TTT, though? I like my posts to be positive and fun. Truthfully, reading through lists this week was kind of a downer for me. I definitely prefer the more positive prompts.

      Thanks for stopping in, Deb!

  14. Interesting twist. I was a bit reluctant to do the topic but in the end decided to go with it and was quite happy to do it. Even if I didn't enjoy the read, it's sometimes good to remember what was the problem.

    Anyway, I love your title. I'm not one for lighter reads, as you probably know by now, LOL, but I'm looking forward to seeing how you enjoyed them.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

    1. True, true, and sometimes what you dislike in a book doesn't bother another reader and vice versa. One of the things I love about reading book blogs is seeing all the differing opinions out there.

      I'm not big on lighter reads either, but I do like them as palette cleansers between heavier reads.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

    2. Always such a pleasure.

      I just had one of my blogger friends commenting who agrees with me on a lot of books but she loved about half of the ones I had on my list. It's always interesting to see the reasons others like a book we dislike.

  15. I love that you picked your own prompt this week! And I definitely understand why you would. I'd probably do the same. Anyway, have to check these books on your list. Not much of a beach reading will be had this Summer but backyard and sunshine reading works as well. :)

    1. For sure! I have a pool in my backyard, but I rarely read poolside. It's too hot. I should sit out there more often when the weather is cool so I can enjoy it :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

  16. I'd read any or all of these by the ocean! Oh how I'd love to be on a beach right about now. :)

    1. Sounds nice, doesn't it? I haven't been to a real beach in years.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

  17. Nice twist on the topic!

    I'll read anything by the ocean too but cozy mysteries, rom coms, and thrillers are probably some of my favorite choices.

    1. Those genres scream beach reading to me as well!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jen!

  18. I like it that you've made this week's topic into a more positive post, Susan. Beach reading can be such a bliss, isn't it?

    1. Other than the risk of sunburn (even on cloudy days), I love reading by the beach!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Melody!

  19. Simmer Down sounds really good. I really have not read any Rom Coms and I am hoping to read some this year. I will definitely be adding Simmer Down to my TBR. Great post! I hope you had a great week and that you have a great weekend! :)

    1. I don't read many of them either, but they can be fun palate cleansers between heavier books.

      Thanks for stopping in, Maya!


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