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Beach Books and Summer Reading

>Beach books should be easy to put down on the blanket but absorbing enough to get right back into when you pick it up again. Also, they should NOT be depressing. 
Vogue blogger Megan O’Grady recommends the season’s hottest new beach books here. Her list includes The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek and The Same River Twice by Ted Moone. One of my own favorite authors for beach chair reading is Penny Vincenzi. Her most recent novel is The Best of Times
In its list of 10 Unforgettable Beach Reads, Reader’s Digest recommends older titles that might be found on the library shelf instead of the holds list. Most – such as Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret? and Jennifer Weiner’s Good in Bed – look like they’ll appeal more to women, but guys might try Gutted: Down to the Studs in My House, My Marriage, My Entire Life by Lawrence LaRose, which Reader’s Digest describes as the “touching, honest, and often hilarious true story of one couple’s struggle to build their dream home and dream life together.”
Summer reading lists tend to be more substantial than beach book recommendations — assuming that readers have more time to devote to reading in the summer and want to tackle some big titles, maybe some of the books that everyone’s been talking about, like Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, starting with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
For a Latina take on summer reading, check out some of the suggestions from Latina Magazine in its list of Top 10 Latina Summer Beach Reads. Isabel Allende’s new historical novel about Haiti’s slave rebellion, Island Beneath the Sea, shows up here, as well as on other lists.
NPR has compiled a list of summer reads, Best Of The Bestsellers: Wisdom Of The Crowds, from the purchase habits of NPR listeners. For more, check out NPR’s Audience Picks: 100 Best Beach Books Ever from last summer’s public radio listeners’ recommendations.
Another list that’s heavy on the literary, light on fluff, is Oprah’s 2010 Summer Reading List. It includes The Passage by Justin Cronin, which has been getting a lot of buzz in a lot of places, including on BookPage‘s The Book Case blog, as this year’s big summer book. (Literally. It’s 766 pages long.)
Whether at the beach, in the backyard, or sitting inside with the air conditioner, we hope you have lots of time for reading and visiting the library this summer.

Audiobooks for Everyone

Booklist audiobook blogger Mary Burkey has posted a list of family-friendly audiobooks perfect for car trips. For older kids and teens, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, has also posted its list of Amazing Audiobooks for Teens.

It was a running joke in my family that whenever my husband or one of the kids came in while I was listening to an audiobook in the kitchen, the opening to an off-color scene or an impressive string of swears would invariably issue forth from the speakers before I could reach the remote. These lists of family-friendly audiobooks come too late for me, but may be helpful to others.
A young adult audiobook I have recently listened to and liked was the Full Cast production of Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. It’s a good introduction to the steampunk genre for kids, and a rollicking adventure that adults will also enjoy.

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