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Beach books for your summer "me time"

Heading to the beach this weekend? Planning to spend some quality time with your porch or at the park? Here are just a few summer book ideas to keep you (and your kids) company as you relax and enjoy your "me time!" Don't worry - if there's nothing here for you, we'll be posting more book suggestions from other members of the House Party team soon! Sarah's picks:

* Bossypants by Tina Fey - if you haven't read it yet, do it now. Tina Fey is smart, hilarious and one of the most relatable female celebrities out there. Any SNL fan will enjoy this autobiography...but if you watch 30 Rock and have laughed at her character Liz Lemon's flashbacks to her childhood, you'll absolutely love it. Danielle adds: And if you are a mom, trust me, you will relate as well.

* The Marriage Plot by award-winning Jeffrey Eugenides (or really anything he's written) - All of Euginedes' characters are odd, smart, funny and dramatic. This might not be the best beach book, but it's perfect for sitting on your deck after dinner or snuggling up with during a summer thunderstorm.

Nicole's picks:

* Stringbean's Trip to the Shining Sea by Vera B. and Jennifer Williams - What makes this book awesome is the format - the story is told in a series of postcards sent from Stringbean to his family. They chronicle his cross-country road trip from Kansas to California with his brother, Fred, and the family dog, Potato. It's a good beach read because the book makes you feel like you're traveling with Stringbean to the Pacific Ocean.

* Comet's Nine Lives by Jan Brett - This beautifully illustrated and lighthearted book tells the tale of a cat named Comet who lives on Nantucket Island. Comet is accident prone, and each time he recovers he loses one of his nine lives. The book tells a well-paced story while still letting the reader stop to smell the roses - or rather, look at the intricate seashell designs that adorn the borders of each page. The setting, a sleepy small town on an island, makes this very suitable for warm weather reading.

* Water Tales by Alice Hoffman - This is a compilation of two books: Aquamarine and Indigo, both written by Alice Hoffman. Both are relatively short novellas that can be finished in one day.

...Aquamarine tells the story of two friends, Hailey and Claire, who are spending their last summer together before Hailey moves away. Unexpectedly, a storm hits, and a mermaid named Aquamarine washes ashore into the pool of the local beach club - and subsequently falls in love with the guy who works there. Hailey and Claire have to decide how and if they can help Aqua get back to the ocean.

...In Indigo, two brothers named Trevor and Eli live with their adoptive parents in a landlocked, drought oppressed town. Unfortunately for Trevor and Eli, they have webbing between their fingers and toes, which causes the townspeople to feel suspicious about these two brothers. Luckily, Trevor and Eli know they can count on their friend Martha, and the three decide to run away on an adventure...

Both of the stories in Water Tales make for perfect beach reading because of their emphasis on water - and don't be surprised if you find yourself scanning the shoreline for mermaids!

Bonus pick from Sarah:

* The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- Admittedly, I stopped reading the Harry Potter series after the 4th installment, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This summer, I've pledged to reread 1-4 and finish all eight books - I feel left out of a huge cultural phenomenon! I've reread 1-3 so far, and even at 24, I love the story, appreciate how obsessed I was when I first started the series over a decade ago, and am excited to finally find out what everyone was talking about as the series ended (no, I don't know what happened - so keep it to yourselves! No spoilers, please!). Oh - and the books were finally released for e-readers, so you won't have to carry the bricks in your beach bag.

What books are in your beach bag this summer?

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']#[/author_image] [author_info]Thanks to our summer intern Nicole for her help with this post![/author_info] [/author]

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