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Dear Thursday: Terrific Beach Reads

So, a few points about this NYT article re: Terrific Summer Reads, written by women.

1. I am so in agreement about non-romance books by women being ghettoized into either chick lit or women’s fiction, while John Updike, Philip Roth, Michael Chabon, et al, simply get to be literary fiction. It occurs to me that if a woman had written Chuck Palahniuk’s Diary (which had a somewhat mad female artist as its central character), then it would have been classified as women’s fiction and probably wouldn’t have been so well-received.

commencement2. Yea, a book about 4 Smithies made the list! But ugh, my third novel revolves around 3 Smithies, and one Trojan (USC). But yea again, my characters are black, and the likelihood of my just-started novel coming out before 2012 is slim, so hopefully time and color will create a no-conflict barrier. We’ll see. Still I’m looking really forward to reading Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan. Oh yeah, and … Smithies REPRESENT! What-what!?!?

3. I wish, there was a more general list of good beach reads. I love women’s fiction, but I just finished reading, Life Sucks, a really great graphic novel that would have been an awesome beach read. But then again, my beach reads are usually a little heavier, b/c for whatever reason reading heavier stuff helps me to enjoy my sunny vacation more. That all caveated, here is my mixed list of Top 10 Awesome Beach Reads in no particular order. I’ve included genre specifications, but might I suggest going outside your usual genre for your next vacation read? Might be fun…

Also if you guys have any suggestions for the great beach reads in any category, let us know in the comments.

1. Anything by Lisa Tucker (though Once Upon a Day is especially recommended. [women’s fiction]

2. Life Sucks by Jessica Abel, Gabriel Soria, and Warren Pleece [graphic novel]

3. The Book of Flying by Keith Miller [fantasy]

4. The Y: The Last Man series by Brian K. Vaughn [graphic novels]

5. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Ellison [women’s fiction]

6. The Accidental Diva by Tia Williams [black chick-lit] — of all of these picks, this is the “beachiest” in the most traditional sense.

7. My Soul To Keep, The Living Blood, and Blood Colony by Tananarive Due [horror/romance/adventure hybrid]

8. Anything by Marian Keyes [chick lit]

9. The Godfather by Mario Puzo (serious page turner and better than the movie. Yeah, you heard me right)

10. The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver [women’s fiction]