Who says you need a beach to read a “beach read”? It is Winter and many of us are holed up inside simply trying to wait out the snow. The stress of the holidays coupled with the lack of sunlight can really start to bring you down. Instead of freezing your tail off, warm your tootsies and your soul with a great beach read.
What exactly is a “beach read”? A beach read is a book that helps you escape. It transports you to another place and time. You open the book and suddenly, instead of shivering on your couch, you are sunning yourself on a tropical beach. Instead of clutching your hot tea or hot cocoa, you imagine yourself sipping an icy, sweet tropical concoction.
5 Awesome Beach Reads to Warm Up the Winter
These books are some of my favorites to truly escape. They are light and fun and do not require my full brain power. As a mom, sometimes I just need this! My mom brain needs a break and a beach read is exactly the remedy I am seeking.
The following contain affiliate links to Amazon. There is no additional cost to you, but I may receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase. I have read all of the following and all opinions are 100% my own!
1. The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich
The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich is one of my favorite escapes. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I really needed something to take my mind off the fear and worry. Stephanie helped transport me to Trenton, New Jersey with her hilarious antics.
I am not recommending starting with Book One. Yes, of course, you can go in order, but Two for the Dough is a much better starting place. It is like Janet Evanovich finds her groove with book two. Rather than being suspenseful, the series takes migrates into hilarity with one of my favorite characters, Grandma Mazur.
Stephanie’s gossip-loving, funeral attending Grandma is one of the best characters of the entire series. Add in Lula, a former ‘ho with a love of donuts and fried chicken, and you are ready to laugh out loud. I have systematically worked my way through the entire series and am currently reading Turbo Twenty-Three. Already I am feeling the stress of the winter melting like the snow.
2. The Game of Thrones Series by George R.R. Martin
They say in Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming”. However, Winter is already here and if you need a real escape, you want to go to Westeros. The series is all about the quest for the throne. However, it is so much more than that. There are secrets and lies, romance and murder, alliances and betrayals.
If you think of yourself as a “mama bear”, meet the mama of dragons. She is small, yet mighty. Daenerys is one of my favorite characters because she thinks of herself as everyone’s mother. Let’s just say…I can relate.
If you have watched the HBO series, you know you will like the books. But the books are even better! You have time binge watch the series and binge read the books before the show returns summer 2017. This is the ultimate beach read…only most of the story takes place in the freezing cold. However, there is no need to worry. When you meet the character, Jon Snow, you will feel plenty toasty!
3. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
This is one you probably have never heard of. I had not either until a parent helper recommended it. I have not seen Downton Abbey, but I imagine if you like that series, you will love these books. This is the saga of three generations of the Forsyte family, a well-to-do British family.
This series is like an early-1900’s soap opera. There is love, greed, and the struggle for power. Just like your best soap opera families, the Forstyes want to maintain their wealth and status in society…at any cost. As one family member tries to usurp another, drama ensues.
The author won a Nobel prize and there was even a movie based on the series starring Errol Flynn back in the day. The BBC recreated the saga as a mini-series, but it was not half as good as the books. The author is rather verbose, so you can just curl up and get lost in his words while immersing yourself in the story.
4. The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella
Now, this is a series you have most likely heard of. It is the perfect for decompressing with. The series is light-hearted and light reading. If mom life is totally stressing you out or you are depressed because you have not seen the sunshine for sixty-four days, this is the series for you.
The main character, Becky, is not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. But she is funny and loves shopping. Get your retail therapy vicariously through this character who has as little control over her life as she does her spending.
I have read numerous books by this author and they are all easy reads. Sometimes I feel like I exhaust all of my brain power (or what little I have left) on being a mom and teacher. This is why I sometimes find my phone in the refrigerator and an empty milk carton in the dishwasher.
Sometimes you just need to read something that requires little energy. You can just be entertained without having to think too deeply about the plot or your life. The shopaholic series is perfect for this!
5. The Harry Bosch Series by Michael Connelly
If your idea of great escape is a solid detective novel, then this series is for you. Harry Bosch is an LAPD detective with a chip on his shoulder and a bad attitude. However, he is also a darn good detective and always gets his man.
What I love about this series is that it is so well-written and there is always a twist. Harry is a flawed man and does not always make the best choices. But, he is a stickler for seeing justice served.
I love reading a detective novel and trying to solve the case right along with the main character. The author allows the reader to go along on the ride with Bosch and gather clues to find out who-done-it. You can start from the very beginning or pick and choose amongst the books in the series.
Connelly even has a spin-off series featuring seedy lawyer, Mickey Haller. Mickey also has his faults but does his best to dazzle in the courtroom. These books are so good that there is a television series on Amazon starring Harry Bosch and Matthew McConaughey himself portrayed Mickey Haller in the movie version of The Lincoln Lawyer. Both series are worth a read!