Better Beach Books

No summer vacation feels complete without a few great beach
reads tucked in your tote. Here’s our must-read short list with something for parents,
the little ones, and bookworms of any age.

QUIRKY. S’Mother: The Story of a Man, His Mom, and
the Thousands of Altogether Insane Letters She’s Mailed Him
by Adam Chester
takes a hilarious look at a helicopter mom to the extreme. Chester
welcomes readers into his world of s’mothering by sharing handwritten
notes from his overeager mama and retelling stories of teenage embarrassment.

HILARIOUS. A bedtime story exclusively for grownups, Go
the F— To Sleep
by Adam Mansbach, challenges sleep-deprived parents
everywhere to lighten up and laugh at themselves. Mansbach weaves traditional
storytime illustrations with real-life bedtime scenarios—kids fighting sleep
and parents fighting the urge to yell expletives until they finally doze off.


The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder Through the Seasons
is the ultimate
guide to living a quieter lifestyle centered around nature.
Authors Amanda Blake Soule, the SouleMama
blogger, and Stephen Soule explore a
simpler way to raise a family and embrace the natural world. Available in
bookstores this month!

PROVOCATIVE. Carolyn Evans shares her relationship-salvaging
techniques in Forty Beads: The Simple, Sexy Secret for Transforming Your
This humorous (albeit in-your-face) “manual” derives from Evans’s
first-hand experiences with her own struggling marriage. With chapters like,
“Sex or a Dark Chocolate Dove Bar?” and “Hitting the Reset Button” reading Forty
feels more like indulgence therapy.


CREEPY. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar
by Ransom Riggs just hit the shelves earlier this summer. An
overnight success, this intriguing young adult novel was named best book of the
month by Amazon. Sixteen-year-old Jacob travels to a mysterious island off the
coast of Wales, uncovering frightening details about children who occupied “the
Home” years before, including his own grandfather. Vintage photography
escalates its haunting charm.

PASSIONATE. For all of you hopeless romantics out
there, The New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather delivers with
her latest historical romance novel, A Wedding Wager. 18th Century London
creates the perfect backdrop for lovers in turmoil, inheritance woes and family
turbulence. Readers are sure to devour every bloody word.


GRIPPING. The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by
Mark Seal, a Contributing Editor for Vanity Fair, is
a true-to-life page-turner.
This is the unbelievable story of a man
obsessed with having it all, madly
the American Dream to the tipping point of obsession. As one review
aptly describes it, Seal captures the
idiosyncrasies of “a real-life Talented
Mr. Ripley.”

TOUCHING. Award-winning journalist Melissa Fay Greene
opens her home and candidly shares her story of raising a family of nine
children—five adopted from Bulgaria
and Ethiopia. No Biking in the
House Without A Helmet
is a light-hearted and honest look at adoption,
raising children and defining family.

INTELLECTUAL. If you’re into pondering the great mysteries
of the mind, then you’ll want to check out neuroscientist David Eagleman’s Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain. Exploring the deep crevices of
brain function and subconscious thought, Eagleman examines scientific research,
breaking down concepts in a way that every reader can comprehend.

ADORABLE. From the award-winning Mo’s Nose Scentsational book series, for ages 4-8, Margaret Hyde’s Mo
Smells Pink
follows rescue dog Mo on his “pink-infused play date.” The
story’s theme, permeating with pink aromas of Grapefruit Bubble Bath and
Peppermint Stick Ice Cream, illuminates the value of friendship with
eye-catching illustrations.


CAPTIVATING. Five words . . . The Invention of
Hugo Cabret.
Author Brian Selznick follows up the 2008
Caldecott Medal
Winner with his latest novel, Wonderstruck. Once again Selznick wows
readers with an interwoven tale of magical pictures and an intriguing story of
two children living 50 years apart and their simultaneous journey in search of
something more.