In the vein of Heather’s “Summer Reads Uncensored!” here are a few of my own alt beach books. I’m currently in the middle of Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl, the first historical fiction I’ve read since about age 15. Part of its appeal is its proximity to Showtime’s The Tudors, a series that currently has my attention. It’s not a bad read when you’re picturing the male romantic lead as Jonathan Rhys Meyers in place of the bearded, red-headed Henry that Gregory portrays.
Although Henry and his women are relegated to the realm of historical fiction and sexy TV series for now, daughter Elizabeth I lives in lots of recent nonfiction for the bio-buff beachgoer: With the Heart of a King got a good review early this year, and an August St. Martin’s release of Elizabeth’s Spymaster may rival 2005′s Her Majesty’s Spymaster.
This must be the summer of new beginnings, because I also just started my first audiobook in many years (since a teenage consumption of The Fellowship of the Ring on tape!). If the pages blind you in the sun or if you’re afraid of a book-shaped tan line, try an audiobook. The waves won’t drown it out; I successfully listened to the beginning of Sex and the City read by Cynthia Nixon at the laundromat over the hum of washers and dryers this weekend, though I will admit it is impossible to hear one on the subway. I haven’t read the book, and it’s a nice way to relish anew in the thirtysomething singledom that, after three years since the TV series ended, may be finally getting worn out in TBS repeats. Check in with our Xpress Reviews every Tuesday for new audiobook recommendations!