Me Before You
What can I say? I laughed and cried—okay, I may have actually been sobbing. It’s wonderful! And the movie just came out! Which, I guess means, I can now sob in public.
Outlander (Starz Tie-in Edition)
Wonderfully detailed historical fiction wrapped around a breathtaking, time-traveling romance. The first in a fabulous series of books that I haven’t been able to resist revisiting via the television adaptation.
The story of American astronaut Mark Watney who is stranded alone on Mars in the year 2035 and is forced to improvise in order to leave the Red Planet alive. This is a smart, dryly humorous tale of survival. And yes, if you want to, it’s possible to skim right over the science and still bond with this fabulous character and engrossing story.
The House on Tradd Street
Karen’s novels are all fabulous, but she has a very deft light touch in her Tradd Street series about a realtor who sees dead people and really wishes she didn’t. (After this you won’t want to miss her The Girl on Legare Street, The Strangers on Montagu Street, and Return to Tradd Street—you’ll thank me later!)
Big Little Lies (Movie Tie-In)
A stunningly good story about three women, all of whom have children at the same preschool in an Australian suburb. Witty and heartfelt—the word “perfect” comes to mind.
The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Simone St. James
I don’t usually look forward to being frightened, but St. James’ novels are full of dark and compelling atmospheres and characters that keep me turning the pages.
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey
The Countess of Carnarvon
I read this while researching my novel While We Were Watching Downton Abbey. Written by Fiona Carnarvon, whose estate, Highclere, provided the setting for television’s Downton Abbey, this is the true story of Almina, the illegitimate daughter of Alfred de Rothschild, who married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Her stupendous dowry kept the estate solvent and thriving and funded her husband’s ultimately successful search for and excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Downton Abbey‘s scripts reflect a number of the historical and personal elements recounted in the Countess’s book.
A Discovery of Witches (Movie Tie-In)
In this, the first novel in Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy, a historian opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library and is drawn into a world of witches, vampires and magic that she turned her back on long ago. Strong women, a great romance and magic—a great escape.
Although many of my books have been set on a beach and have even been known to have the word “beach” in their title, I think any book that pulls you in and doesn’t let go, is perfect beach material.
As you’ll see, my taste in books is extremely eclectic. I may have a slight weakness for stories that revolve around strong women. However, I feel confident that any one—or all—of these books will be right at home in your beach or pool bag and make the sun, sand, and water even more enjoyable.