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My Progress:


10 / 30 books. 33% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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18 / 51 states. 35% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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13 / 50 books. 26% done!

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5 / 25 books. 20% done!

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19 / 100 books. 19% done!

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50 / 104 books. 48% done!

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39 / 52 books. 75% done!

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45 / 165 books. 27% done!
Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer-y, Water-y Reads


What is it that really gives you those lazy days of summer vibes? Lounging on a sandy beach with an ice-cold drink in your hand? The tantalizing smells of a backyard barbecue wafting through the air? Roasting marshmallows over a smoldering campfire in the woods? Licking ice cream out of a sugar cone while it slowly melts down your arm? This week's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is all about those sights, smells, and activities that just scream summer and how they're portrayed in and on books. 

The thing I probably most associate with summer is immersing myself in cool, refreshing water. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest's scenic Columbia River Gorge. As a family, we'd often head to the river (or one of the area's many lakes) and spend the day picnicking on the grassy bank and frolicking in the water. In the Arizona desert, backyard swimming pools are plentiful. Here, summer means the scents of chlorine and sunscreen, the sound of happy kids splashing in the water echoing throughout the neighborhood, and the sweet relief of soaking your hot, sweat-slicked body in a pool's chilly depths. Since water was the first thing that came to mind when I saw this prompt, I decided to center my list around books that take place in, on, or around the water. Because I'm me, none of the books on my list are the kind of light, frothy stories that are most often associated with easy, breezy summer reading. Most of them have a sinister bent, but that's what you get from a mystery/thriller lover like me!

First, though, be sure to head on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our hostess some love. While you're there, you can get all the details about TTT and check out dozens of fun lists about the Top Ten Books or Covers That Feel/Look Like Summer.  

Top Ten Books on My TBR List That Feel/Look Like Summer 
(mostly because they take place in, on, or around the water)


1. Those We Drown by Amy Goldsmith (available July 11, 2023)—I don't read a lot of horror and when I do, it has to be horror lite or else I won't be able to sleep. This YA novel seems to qualify. It's about a group of students who are chosen to spend a semester at sea aboard a luxury cruise ship. Liv's thrilled with the opportunity, but her enthusiasm dims when she learns she's only there because another girl disappeared mysteriously. When The Eos gets underway and more people vanish, Liv realizes there's something very sinister, even otherworldly, going on...and she's trapped.


2. Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye—Billed as The Help meets The Perfect Storm, this 2015 novel is set in the Florida Keys in 1935. As the sun bakes the town of Huron Key, a shocking act of violence rips through the small community. With tension already tearing the place apart, a vicious storm is brewing in the skies. Will anyone survive the impact when the fury of the oncoming storm meets the broiling anger on the ground?


3. Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison—This is the first installment in a cozy mystery series featuring a woman who inherits a dilapidated hotel on an island off the coast of Cornwall. Along with her sister, she removes to the location permanently—only to find all is not as it seems. When someone is killed at the hotel and another follows, the situation gets even more complicated as the sisters find themselves being accused of murder.


4. Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune—It seems as if everyone has been talking about this second chance romance. It does sound fun. The story revolves around 32-year-old Fern, who has reluctantly returned to her hometown to try to save her family's disintegrating lakeside resort business. Everything's a mess until Fern's summer fling from over a decade ago comes walking in to help. Will's not the same guy he was back then. What's he hiding? And what effect will his presence have on Fern and the business she's trying to save?


5. The Last One by Will Dean (available August 8, 2023)—This thriller has a simple, but terrifying premise. Caz and her boyfriend board a luxurious cruise ship, ready to have the time of their lives enjoying all the vessel's many amenities. And they do. For one night. The next morning when Caz wakes up, her boyfriend is gone—along with everyone else. Caz is alone on a giant ship in the middle of the Atlantic. What happened to the ship's passengers and crew? Why is Caz the only one left? And what in the world is she going to do now?


6. A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams—Like #2, this historical novel is set in a beach town in the 1930s. This time, it's Rhode Island, where socialite Lily Dane is looking forward to her annual summer stay at the shore. She gets a nasty shock when her former best friend arrives in town along with her husband, Lily's one-time fiancé. Along with all the drama the situation brings up between the former friends, there's also a hurricane barreling their way. Will any of them escape unscathed by a summer that's sure to be unforgettable?


7. Penny From Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm—It's the summer of 1953 and 11-year-old Penny is determined to spend it well by playing baseball and swimming in the city pool. Only her mother forbids her from going to the pool, terrified she'll catch polio. Growing family drama makes everything that much worse. How can Penny salvage her summer, which is turning out to be the worst one she's ever experienced?


8. A Stranger On Board by Cameron WardAnd Then There Were None on a luxury cruise liner? Yes, please! That's what this thriller sounds like to me. It stars Sarah French, an ex-Marine who takes a job as a security officer onboard a superyacht. Someone goes missing as they head out to sea and Sarah soon realizes there's a killer on the vessel. Can she catch them before they pick off the passengers and crew one by one?


9. Hemlock Island by Kelley Armstrong—After a bitter divorce, Laney Kilpatrick is left with nothing. Almost. The one thing she does have is an island house that she rents out for the money she so desperately needs. After a series of strange and sinister incidents on her property, Laney goes to the island to investigate. Another small group arrives unexpectedly at the same time. When a dead body turns up and the group's only means of transportation disappears, it becomes obvious that something has gone horribly wrong on the island.


10. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson—I love Jackson's Southern novels and I've still yet to read this one. The story revolves around Thalia, a woman who is visited in the night by what appears to be the ghost of her 14-year-old neighbor. The next day, the girl's dead body is found floating in her pool. Although everyone in town thinks it was suicide, Thalia believes the apparation was trying to tell her what really happened—and she won't rest until she finds the truth.

There you go, ten summery (ish) books that take place in, on, or around the water. Have you read any of them? What did you think? What titles did you pick for your list today? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. I also reply to comments left here at BBB.

Happy TTT! 

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Swimming in a Sea of Stars by Julie Wright

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myer



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