It's the time of year when all my friends who don't read ask me for book recommendations. It is always a challenge for me because I want them to read good books. So many "beach books" are a waste of time ? thin plots, sketchy characterization, gratuitous sex... it's like reading a soap opera.
Luckily I have hit upon two (I'll need more than two before the summer ends, but this is a start) really good "beach books." If you are looking for good writing, engaging and funny characters, and romance, look no further than How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls by Zoey Dean and How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life by Mameve Medwed.
How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls is the story of Megan, a recent Ivy-League grad with a mountain of debt. She's trying to make it as a magazine writer in New York when she gets the offer of a lifetime: her debt will be paid off if she can tutor two filthy rich girls for the summer ? think Paris Hilton, only twins. The plot moves along at a nice clip; the book is never dull!
It does read just a touch like a young adult novel ? everyone grows; everyone learns. Dean's other books are the young adult "A-list" series which are shelved in the Rose Room at the City of Books. But I would much rather have growing and learning than a sex scene every eight pages for no good reason.
How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life is another great vacation book. I started reading it in the most unrelaxing of places ? at the garage waiting for my car to be repaired ? and I was so deep in the book that the mechanic had to call my name twice.
It is the story of Abby, betrayed by her true love, dumped by her rebound, but, thanks to Antiques Roadshow, she's making a comeback. A touch more sexy than Dean's book, but still very refined; you could read it in front of your grandmother. Abby is a sweet main character and she feels really real. You will be able to picture yourself in the same situations.
So, here's my problem: it's only June and I don't have any more books to recommend. I need help, please. What do you think is a great beach book?