09 August 2019

5 Books for Your August Beach Bag

Now that the steamy dog days of August are upon us, my reading mood has turned to light, fun contemporary stories that can take my mind off the fact that I don't have central air in my house. These kinds of stories are also great for beach and poolside reading and for listening to during a car trip.

I've limited today's recommendations to August titles that haven't gotten a lot of book blogger or bookstagramer buzz. All of these caught my attention, and I hope to make a dent in this list over the next few weeks. Have you read any of them yet?

review of Say You Still Love Me by K. A. TuckerSay You Still Love Me by K. A. Tucker (Atria, Aug. 6). This is a second-chance romance involving a couple from opposite sides of the tracks. As teenagers, rich Piper and working-class Kyle met--and fell in love--at a summer camp, where they were both counselors. Young love didn't survive real life, and the two lost contact. Almost fifteen years later, Piper is getting ready to head up her family's high-powered real estate company when she discovers Kyle is a security guard for one of their buildings. She recognizes him, but it seems he doesn't even remember her name. Will sparks fly again? And if they do, would their grownup relationship have any kind of future? First lines: A spoiled tart. Or was it spoiled brat? Audiobook: Read by Devon Sorvari (Simon & Schuster Audio; 14 hr, 23 min)

review of Going Dutch by James GregorGoing Dutch by James Gregor (Simon & Schuster, Aug. 20). This twenty-first-century love triangle is set in New York and centers around a doctoral student in medieval Italian literature. Richard isn't having much luck with the men he meets, his dissertation hit a wall, and his funding is running out. Enter Anne, a fellow student who offers to help him write and who also seriously elevates his lifestyle. Their working relationship develops into something deeper, but Richard then meets Blake, who seems to be everything he's ever wanted in a guy. Richard has some serious soul-searching ahead of him in terms of sexuality, commitment, money, love, friendship, career, and more. First lines: Richard looked out the window. April, and he was sure he could identify in the faces of the passing students a certain late undergraduate mood: the weather having turned sweet, exams just finished, and you're preparing for whatever plans you've made. Audiobook: Read by Michael David Axtell (Simon & Schuster Audio; 9 hr)

review of The Other's Gold by Elizabeth AmesThe Other's Gold by Elizabeth Ames (Viking, Aug. 27). Four girls bond after being assigned to the same freshman dorm suite at their (fictional) New England college. This is the story of how their friendship deepens and then is tested by realities of their backgrounds, the pressures of school and dating and then, later, love, marriage, poor choices, bad mistakes, motherhood, and careers. Is the ultimate test of friendship the power to forgive, even when you know each other's darkest secrets? First lines: After their room, the four spent the most time together in the dining hall, so called as though anyone could mistake its vaulted ceilings, tree-length tables, and brassy chandeliers for anything so pedestrian as a cafeteria. Margaret managed, though. Audiobook: Read by Julia Whelan (Penguin Audio; ~11 hr)

review of Start Here by Trish DollerStart Here by Trish Doller (Simon Pulse, Aug. 13). This story of friendship is part sailing adventure, part coming-of-age, and part overcoming loss. During the summer before college, two girlfriends set off on a planned sailing trip. Although still grieving the loss of their other BFF, who died of leukemia the year before, they honor her deathbed wish that the pair stick together and take the boat from Lake Erie down to Florida. Along the way, the girls discover their inner strength, learn about the power of friendship, and find hope for the future. Written for a young adult audience, this novel has adult crossover appeal. First lines: Finley sits cross-legged on her bed, wearing the glossy blue Coraline wig she bought last Halloween. Her parents had put the kibosh on trick-or-treating when she became a teenager, but she and her friends still dressed up to hand out candy to the neighborhood littles. Audiobook: no information

review of Love at First Like by Hannah OrensteinLove at First Like by Hannah Orenstein (Atria, Aug. 6). In the best rom-com tradition, a jewelry shop owner mistakenly posts a photo to Instagram and then decides not to correct her followers' mistaken notion that she's gotten engaged. It's all in good fun and good for business until the lie becomes too complex to maintain. And then there's the matter of finding a pretend boyfriend, which in turn complicates a possible real relationship. What's a contemporary social media star and desperate businesswoman to do? First lines: Tonight’s date was the kind of disaster that makes people give up on finding love forever. For starters, I had eyeballed his height from his Tinder photos; I had guessed he was about six feet, maybe four inches taller than me. Audiobook: Read by Rebekkah Ross (Simon & Schuster Audio; 9 hr, 8 min)


rhapsodyinbooks 8/9/19, 6:14 AM  

Say You Still Love Me and Love at First Like both sound appealing to me, and perfect for a break from more serious stuff! Thanks for the heads-ups! (which may or may not be a word...)

bermudaonion 8/9/19, 8:14 AM  

I wish I had an August beach bag! All of the books look good to me.

Vicki 8/9/19, 2:31 PM  

Say You Still Love Me & Start Here may be going on my list to read.

(Diane) bookchickdi 8/10/19, 10:48 AM  

I love that you chose books that are more under-the-radar for this post. Love At First Like sounds very cute.

Daryl 8/10/19, 1:32 PM  

some of these sound like a perfect contrast to Peter Straub's Koko which i am listening to .. i read it waaaaay back when and its been long enough that i dont remember most of it ..

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