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Read on the Beach: Travel and Adventure While You Relax

Submitted by on February 2, 2011 – 6:00 am 3 Comments

On a girlfriends vacation, there’s nothing better than a few hours alone with a good book. Whether you’re swinging in a hammock, curled up by the fire, or alone behind the wheel with an audio file or CD, there’s certainly not a shortage of talented authors writing with the female reader in mind.

The first in a series of Road Trips for Girlfriends book reviews, here are a handful of books I’ve either recently finished or have currently stacked or packed by a suitcase or nightstand. My review criteria for this first batch was books involving travel, adventure, or otherwise set in a geographical region or time period different than my own.

Hot off the press, New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison has released the next in her Hollows novel series, Pale Demon. Ninth in the book series, I read a review copy of Pale Demon to and from Lake Tahoe earlier this month.

Picking right up from the end of the series, Pale Demon takes a witch, a living vampire, an elf and a pixie on a cross-America road trip (think Jack Kerouac on tour with the Grateful Dead). Trying to outrun assassins, the unlikely crew topples the St. Louis Arch, fights a battle in the Petrified Forest and ends up in San Francisco with Alcatraz as a backdrop.

The Thieving Magpie is a new kind of heroine, an outlaw who fights for gender equity for women. Working seamlessly with the Sister Hoods, a multitasking, multi-generational, multi-ethnic group of like-minded ladies, she robs from corrupt, white-collar criminal men and gives to deserving, underfunded women’s causes.

Operating with a sense of style, humor and wry imagination, The Thieving Magpie tackles head on a variety of real-world issues affecting women, in ways that only a masked heroine can. Lose your inhibitions along with the Magpie, and discover a world where Lady Justice isn’t blind—she wears a mask.

Self-published by husband and wife team Joel and Julie Jensen, The Thieving Magpie appeals to a wide range of women and is one of my favorite new adventure books.

Georgia Bottoms is known in her small community of Six Points, Ala., as a beautiful, well-to-do and devoutly Baptist Southern belle. Nobody realizes that the family fortune has long since disappeared, and a determinedly single woman like Georgia needs an alternative, and discreet, means of income. In Georgia’s case, it is six well-heeled lovers–one for each day of the week, with Mondays off–none of whom knows about the others.

But when the married preacher who has been coming to call (Saturdays) decides to confess their affair in front of the whole congregation, Georgia must take drastic measures to stop him. In Georgia Bottoms, Mark Childress proves once again his unmistakable skill for combining the hilarious and the absurd to reveal the inner workings of the rebellious human heart.

Anxiously awaiting a copy of Georgia Bottoms in the mail next week, I’ve learned to never underestimate a Southern woman.

Water for Elephants has been on my “beach read” list for some time now. Suggested by both my mother and sister, I trust their compounded recommendations as much as the 2,000-something (mostly five-star) reviews on Amazon.com (not to mention New York Times bestseller bragging rights for author Sara Gruen).  Publisher’s Weekly begins a review with this, “The novel, told in flashback by nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski, recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression.”

With travel, adventure, love and melancholy undertones of The Great Depression, aging, and physical and mental abuse, I’ll report back on this one (check the comments). A trip to Florida scheduled for next week, I’m bringing this elephant to the beach.

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  • Janet Spurr says:

    Can I suggest a great book for beach reading?
    Beach Chair Diaries, Summer Tales from Maine to Maui.
    It’s a collection of short humorous essays from learning
    to surf at age 44, wearing flip flops, convertible rides,
    eating ice cream and just walking the beach.

    Beach Chair Diaries will bring you summer time all year long,
    makes a great Valentine’s Gift and is available on Amazon and
    Kindle as well.


  • Thank you so much for packing my book for your trip to the beach! I hope it proves a worthy pastime when you have nothing else really important to do – like a nap.


  • slacker says:

    Good read , I am going to spend more time learning about this subject

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