Yes, yes, another list. It is the time of year when every magazine, online or otherwise, churns out its "beach reads" list. Why oh why oh why? Why is a book more suited for the beach than for one's porch? One's roof? One's bed? Why is it assumed that because I'm bikini-clad and lolling about in the sand, I'm in the mood for a different kind of book than if I were anywhere else on my free time? The assupmtion is that if I'm at the beach, I'm on vacation from all intelligent thought. As if the surf and sand will render my mind mush and I should likewise fill it with more mush.
Salon's new "beachy reads" list includes a heavy dose of froth and thrill including Peter Abraham's Nerve Damage, Peter Temple's The Broken Shore, and Val McDermid's The Grave Tattoo among the more substantial "light" delights of Laura Lippman's What the Dead Know.
Somehow, these listmakers have decided that while on vacation, one would rather give their mind a rest and read something frothy and light or mysterious and adventurous. The thriller seems a permanent part of "beachy" reading lists every year. Why would our reading tastes change with the scenery? Mine doesn't. Does yours?
UPDATE: A far better beachy-read list from, of all places, NPR...
UPDATE 2: And...upon further investigation (and several reader emails!)...an even better beachy read list that has none of the beachy and all of the qualities of good writing.