Things to Read Thursday - Beach Books (for Grown-Ups & Kids)


beach again

Beach Reads for Grown-Ups

At the beach, I finally finished Nicole Krauss's The History of Love: A Novel, despite having the cheesiest title ever, this was an amazing read. Not that Nicole Krauss needs any props from me, the New Yorker magazine chose her as one of the top 20 writers under 40 (she also published this wonderful story in the New Yorker) and Granta magazine included her as one of the "Best Young American Novelists". Plus she's married to Jonathan Safran Foer, so I'm sure they'll have genius offspring someday. All that being said, The History of Love is an easy read (though somewhat depressing, the main character is a Holocaust surviver) and just a lovely story (though somewhat hard to summarize as it has three intersecting plots). But you will cry. Luckily, if you read it at the beach, everyone will just think you have sand in your eyes.

I'm not a huge fan of chick lit, but if you want an incredibly easy, somewhat trashy novel for the beach (and sometimes we all want trash, admit it) then you can't go wrong with Valley of the Dolls. The novel (which was originally published in the 1960s and sold millions of copies) centers around three friends all of who become fabulously famous and, yet, unhappy. It's a page-turning soap opera. You won't be able to put it down, even for a second.

My third beach pick is Ruth Reichl's memoir, Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table (Random House Reader's Circle). Reichel chronicles her life (starting with childhood) by using food as a catalyst for memory (every chapter ends in a recipe, all of which I've been too lazy to make). The writing is quite good and the stories are poignant, but nothing incredibly depressing happens (which was nice, as sometimes I feel that for a book to be published it has to describe something horrific).

My final beach pick is Kate Walbert's A Short History of Women: A Novel, a fictional look at the lives of five generations of women. The narrative switches between women and is not in chronological order, which at times makes it a little tricky to follow. All the women in the novel make drastically different choices in life and the book tries to deal in some form with the "struggles" of women throughout the last hundred years - from the matriarch who starves herself for women's suffrage to her great-granddaughter's drunken playdate with another mom in NYC. It is one of the best books I've read in the last year, I highly recommend it.

By the way, if you live in DC area, I own all these books, except for Valley of Dolls, and you're welcome to borrow any of them - just email me.

Children's Books About the Ocean - Ages 3.5 - 7 (Approximately)

Does Anyone Know Where A Hermit Crab Goes? This book is a simple story, a very fast, easy read (which rhymes, as the easiest reads tend to do), all about a hermit crab looking for a new home. Lots of pictures. The kids really like it.

Clam-I-Am!: All About the Beach (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library) I'm a big fan of the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library. It's fun to read books with clever rhymes and learn something at the same time. Both for children and for adults. This one is very good, though somewhat longer than other books in the series. It describes various sea creatures and then goes on to answer questions, such as "why is the ocean blue?" and "why is seawater salty?" very informative.

Tammy Turtle: A Tale of Saving Sea Turtles
This book was at the house we rented. The girls found it on the bookshelf and made us read it to them every night. It's nice in that it shows how people can help sea turtles, so for about three days my children dreamed of being "sea turtle rescuers." Plus, it has an environmental message - one of the turtles becomes sick after eating a plastic bag that she mistook for a jellyfish.

Science in Seconds at the Beach: Exciting Experiments You Can Do in Ten Minutes or Less
I was nervous that the kids would run out of ways to self-entertain at the beach (of all my fears this ended up being the most ridiculous), so I wanted to bring along a book on kids' activities. The Science Museum of Virginia suggested Science in Seconds. We didn't use it as much as expected, because the kids seemed to be having so much fun on their own, but I'm glad we purchased it as the experiments are versatile enough that we'll be able to reference it for many years to come. The experiments are incredibly simple, yet very informative - such as using lettuce leaves to show how oxygen is made in oceans and lakes and/or using an egg and a drinking glass to test whether it is easier to float in the ocean or a swimming pool.

On the Seashore (Picture Books)
We actually don't own this book, but I plan on buying it for our next trip to the beach. A good friend recommended it and said that it's one of her children's favorite books. We do have Milbourne's Snowy Day (Picture Books) and we read it over and over again during the winter.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Trout Anyone who knows me understands why this book is a family favorite. There are a TON of "old lady who swallowed x" books out there (why is this? does anyone know? what's the big deal about old ladies who swallow impossible things?), but this our favorite. IF only for the phrase "that splished and splashed and thrashed about. It wanted out!" For some odd reason, I find myself saying this over and over throughout the day.

Also, please use the following link to follow my blog - Follow my blog with bloglovin
By the way, in case you're wondering, "what does a baby walking on a beach have to do with reading?" The answer is - absolutely nothing. I just have so many cute beach pictures I figured I'd add some to this post. So be it.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...