Monday, 2 June 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer

Image taken from the host's blog

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday, book bloggers from all over the blogosphere (har har har cliched much Nath!) will present a compilation of 10 book(ish) things they love. Details and lists of past and future topics can be viewed here.

Alright. This is my first time participating in Top Ten Tuesday, after months of lurking in the (Bloglovin and Twitter) background, spying on and reading everyone else's entries. And, esteemed readers, let me tell you something -- I nearly delayed starting my venture into this meme's world (*cue horror gasps*). I actually messaged this lovely lady this morning to agonise over whether I should really make a list of 'top ten books that will be in my beach bag this summer', because to be honest there is nothing summer-y about the dystopia, high fantasy, sci-fi, and haunting 'true story' type biographies that I read!

After a bit of that oh-so-familiar 'should I' discussion, and a walk in mild-yet-still-cold Sydney winter (which I will soon leave for the Pacific Northwest summer :)), I decide to bite the bullet -- and compose the list of 'light, fresh' summer-reading... Nath's version. Some of these books are recs I haven't yet 'attacked'; some are little pretties I stumbled upon in bookstores; others are second and third books of series I've started reading and liked; and a couple are old favourites I'd love to read again under the summer sun. Without further ado, here they are -- hope you all enjoy!


  1. Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3), by Laini Taylor (Cover image from: Laini Taylor's Website)
    My lovely, minky (ha!), fantasy lover and book nerd lawyer-to-be sister-in-law (hi there Tones!) introduced me to Daughter of Smoke and Bone last year, and I've been loving it since. It's high-fantasy, and quite different from the sci-fi and dystopias I usually read, but Taylor's beautiful imageries and interesting characters and storyline keep me hooked. This book is near the top of my to-read list, and is waiting for a continuous period of five or six or seven hours in which I can devour it uninterrupted. I figure a tanning session on the beach (with a big brolly and a slathering of sunscreen) will be an ideal time for it.  It will be haunting and heavy at times, yes, but the finale of Karou and Akiva's worlds-and-lives-spanning love story is a beautiful fairytale for summer.
  2. The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass (Cover image from: Kiera Cass's Website)
    I've seen this book everywhere and taken a sneak peek in the bookstore, and I'm pretty interested in the theme/premise of a 'The Bachelor' type reality show with dystopian twist. But, to be honest, the presentation (girl with dress on the cover) and the light style is too much 'flowers-and-love-hearts' for my hardened reader soul. Perhaps the warm sunlight, the cocktails with mini umbrellas, and the lovely sound of crashing waves will soften my heart and help me to start reading this.
  3. Uglies (Uglies #1) by Scott Westerfeld (Cover image from: Scott Westerfeld's Website)
    I did an online YA fiction writing course last year, and this book came recommended by my amazing tutor (hi there Benjamin!). I started reading a sampler, and could already see the looming dystopia -- but I've been distracted by other books with 'heavier' themes since and haven't been able to get back into the world of surgery-enhanced 'pretties' and untouched youngsters 'uglies'. Continuing the pretty-dress-and-party theme of The Selection, this one will be a good read for a holiday too.
  4. Once We Were (Hybrid Chronicles #2) by Kat Zhang (Cover image from: Harper Collins' Website)
    I read the first book of the Hybrid Chronicles, 'What's Left of Me'. And I cried over Eva and Addie and the world which forces them to pretend only one of them still live in their body. As time goes past and I read more dystopian books, it becomes apparent to me that whilst still dark, the Hybrid Chronicles is one of the 'lighter' of the dystopian series I have read. I really want to know what becomes of the sisters and their love stories and their friends, thus I will take this in my beach bag (or in my kindle in my beach bag) to read.
  5. Tandem (Many Worlds #1) by Anna Jarzab (Cover image from: Anna Jarzab's Website)
    Confession: I've had this book since early this year. And I've never got past page 9. The premise of dimension travel is interesting for me, but the first scene where the character's approached by a guy at her school threw me off somehow (bad, impatient reader, I know!). In this book, the main character will channel her princess alternate-reality persona, thus this book goes really well with some other in the list.
  6. Defector (Variants #2) by Susanne Winacker (Cover image from: Susanne Winnacker's Website)
    I read Impostor (Variants #1), which was a pretty short book to me. Whilst the premise of X-men style superpower has been done so many times before, the combination of crime/murder mystery and the superpower itself provided an interesting read. This goes with the theme of 'continuing the books I've read and sufficiently liked'.
  7. Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin (Cover image from: GRRM's Website)
    I haven't progressed on this good book for a year or so. So, yeah, time to pick up my slack and at least finish this first book (although, admittedly, I love my YA dystopia genre more).
  8. The Demon King (The Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima (Cover image from: Cinda Williams Chima's Website)
    This comes with a strong rec from my awesome friend Tina at The Book Landers. Apparently it has a protagonist similar to some characters I've loved before -- and the next books in the series apparently don't disappoint too! I haven't read much 'kingdom-fantasy' type books for the past few years, and I'm looking forward to start this.
  9. These Broken Stars (Starbound Trilogy #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Cover image from: Amie Kaufman's Website)
    This will be my go-to book if I need some romance to brighten my day. I read this before, finished it, and loved it as a romance. Tarver and Lilac are heartbreakingly perfect as a couple, sweet and fiery, childish at times and mature at other times. And along with the romance, it presents valid questions about life and great character developments, which satisfy my need for 'heavy' themes.
  10. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K Rowling (Cover image from: Bloomsbury's Website)
    A classic favourite of mine. I will be re-reading this for Hermione and her Time Turner, the Trelawney funny moments, and the wonderful DADA class with Professor Lupin (one of my favourite characters in the entire series). It's a heart-stopping page turner with good emotional arcs, serious at times but not yet too dark like the later books are.
  11. Mandatory to-bring Read to everywhere: Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu (Cover images from: Marie Lu's Website)
    Well, I'm obsessed with this. And I do miss Day and June and their love story every single day, so taking them on a holiday with me is just a natural thing to do. (Yeah, Cousin? *winks*)
So... what do you think of my summer reading list? Is it summery enough? Have you read any of books 1 - 8 (which I haven't actually read?) Also... why all my summer books are part of series? lol 


  1. I read "Uglies" a couple of years ago and it's a great pick for a beach read! And I definitely have to read the Legend Trilogy.
    Here's my list:

    1. Good to know "Uglies" is a great beach read! Have you read the sequels too?

      And of course you have to read Legend Trilogy, for all its awesomeness :)

  2. You've got some great choices! These Broken Stars and A Game of Thrones. Dreams of Gods and Monsters and Legend are on my TBR list!

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

    1. Legend is absolutely amazing (it just keeps getting better with the next books). And These Broken Stars is a great YA romance/space opera. Each of them are dual-POV, so you'll get to be in the head of two different characters in one book. They're fun :)

  3. Oh hey, you like LEGEND?? hmmm I didn't know ; ) a
    This is an excellent list! Glad you decided to bite the bullet!! I really want to read What's Left of Me, sounds like a truly fascinating concept...
    I totally get all judgey about super girly covers too, I think thats why it took me so long to read TBS, which i loved. I almost didn't read Daughter of Smoke and Bone either... maaaaaayyyybe.... I should lear form this and stop "judging books by their covers"!!

    1. Yeah I like Legend! Like, a lot. I even wrote ff-s about it. And am Beta-ing/idea-bouncing for a few other Legend fanfictioners ;).

      What's Left of Me is fascinating. I read it in one evening, and cried multiple times throughout the course (har har har). I judge books by their covers too *sigh*. Although recently I've gotten better and started actually reading the blurb and first pages. Oh well... they'll have to get some stuff on a book cover, yeah? And apparently girls with masks and pretty dresses still sell (wonder if girls in camo uniforms and/or all black with guns will have the same appeal?)