Beach Cottage Reading List and the Mini iPad

Tue 27th, Aug, 2013

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Good morning, talking books here today in Beach Cottage Land, as in books to read and how to read ‘em.

I’ve always loved a good book, I don’t really care what it is, whether it is amazing literature or trashy stuff…and books were certainly an escape in my younger years…

Somehow though over the last few years I lost my way with reading, still reading a LOT of cookery books…but I found that I was reading much less fiction and that when I did open a book I found I was picky and couldn’t get into things as easily as I had done before.  I didn’t really do a whole lot about it to be honest, I found other things to read, and there is certainly no lack of things to do with my time in this old cottage…

Then one day recently I was speaking to a girlfriend about reading, how I missed finding a good book and how I missed that mental break that reading so brilliantly delivers.  She told me how she had been the same and that buying a Kindle had got her mojo back.

Hmmmm, I pondered it for a while – to be honest I was definitely in the camp of ‘I like to turn the pages of a book’ and the ‘I like to feel a book in my hands’ but being the very lucky owner of an iPad Mini I decided that though I wasn’t sure I would like it, I had not much to lose from downloading the Kindle app and having a go.


Hello whole new world!

Hello to browsing books from all over the world and getting lost in titles I loved the look of.

Hello to books that don’t cost the earth.

Hello to books delivered in an instant.

Hello to reading again.

I have to say I haven’t looked back, though I still love a book, and I’ve recently bought a few, my book buying has seriously gone digital and my book reading has gone up by about 200% in the last month.  Have to love that however you read.

Anyway recently I had come to the end of a book and put out to the lovelies on the Facebook page a request for any good books that anyone had read (another thing about digital is the amazing sharing isn’t it)…within not very long  I had a list of recommended books for me to have a look at from women from all sorts of walks of life from all over the world.

I mean how good is that?

This list is gold to me, which is why I wanted to get around to blogging it and why I love bloggers, blogging and the internet – despite what certain journalists have said recently about bloggers I value the engagement and sharing and love to hear what the people who have even a mild interest in what I have to say are reading, saying, doing and enjoying…a list like this from comments from real women out there in the real world goes a long way I think…

So here’s the list in no particular order, just recommended by real readers xo

(I started off on this list including who recommended what book but it got a bit complicated so in the end I just copied and pasted what comments were left –  THANKS for all those who left me their thoughts…)


Cross-stitch by Diana Gabaldon

The Help

The Book Thief

The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books

Maggie Alderson – Mad about the boy, How to break your own heart, Shoe money

Three Wishes by Laine Moriatry

‘tell me I’m here’ by the ABC Journalist Anne Deveson about her sons struggle with schizophrenia

The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield) or The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova)

The forgotten garden by kate morton

Anything by Kathy Reichs, Tami Hoag, Carol O’Connell, Christopher Moore (hilarious satire), the witches series by Anne Rice (The Witching Hour trilogy), John Dunning

Phryne Fisher Murder Mystery novels by Kerry Greenwood

The Snow Child

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Hothouse Flower by Lucinda Riley

Someone Knows My Name down here . Lawrence Hill

Under the dome by Stephen king

anything by Jojo Moyes

The Late Lamented Molly Marx

any of the contemporary female Aussie authors….Fiona McCallum, Rachel Treasure, Joy Dettman, Fleur McDonald

Crazy little thing by Tracy Brogan

Lincoln Rymes novels by Jeffery Deavers or something by Kathy Reichs

The Happiest Refugee

Light Between Oceans, The Storyteller by Jodie Picoult and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Fin & Lady

Kate Grenville – The Secret River

Lost dogs and lonely hearts by Lucy Dillon

Anything by Nora Roberts, Santa Montefiore. Christina Dodd

Lola Bensky by Lilly Brett

Any Human Heart

The Yorkshire Pudding Club

(The Kashmire Shawl, Iris and Ruby…) or Kate Morton Shifting Fog, The Forgotten Garden

Camilla Lackberg has a series of crime novels

The Winner by David Baldacci

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of The Window

The Drowning Pool by Syd Moore

Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D

The English Girl- Daniel Silva’s new book

The Wine of Angels by Phil Rickman

An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor

Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Awaken the buddha within

The Whitest Flower – Brendan Graham

Wings of Fear – book 1, Shattered Skies – book 2 and Burning Lies – book 3 all by Helene Young

when god was a rabbit

Where’d You Go Bernadette

Woner by R J Palacio

The Cuckoo’s Calling by J K Rowling

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Sarah’s key


A Thousand Splendid Suns


Ladies’ Night. Mary Kay Andrews

The Kitchen House

Ted Dekkar

The Sun Child

Match Meets the Metaphysical

One moment, one morning – Sarah Rayner

Richard Paul Evans, has a series of books (fast reading) starting with The Walk

The Good House by Ann Leary

Nancy Thayer, Samantha Wilde, Starr Ambrose, Mia March, Melissa Senate, Douglass Kennedy

The Time Traveller’s Wife

A Thousand Splendid Suns

The Kite Runner

The Beach House, Jane Green

the Jack Reacher series

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garden Spells’ by Sarah Addison-Allan

Into the forest

Labor Day by Joyce Maynar

We Need to Talk about Kevin

Flavia Deluce series by Alan Bradley


Gone Girl


I’m slowly going through these and have found some interesting reads!  Please leave me any books you’ve read that you’ve loved recently in the comments

Sarah xx


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34 Responses to “Beach Cottage Reading List and the Mini iPad”

  1. MDN says:

    Need to check out those you’ve listed…

    May I suggest anything by writers of the American South, who speak to us of a certain culture and its peoples? These writers all seem to have a certain style of relating to the reader – can’t explain it. Slower place, appreciation of life.. Two excellent authors in particular to start your journey there are Eudora Welty and Reynolds Price. Works of both include fiction and non-fiction. While reading their words, I find myself immersed in the pictures of characters and places they paint and forget about “reality.” (Practically can hear the sounds and smell the aromas, too!) Also, Bobbie Ann Mason and other Kentucky writers….)

    Oh – great to see The Barls – and that he’s now dressing in a “Springier” ensemble…harbinger of things to come!

    PS – While Mr. BC and you are planning treks, how about the good ‘ole USA? (Maybe the South – Savannah, Charleston, Outer Banks, New Orleans, etc., or, of course, anywhere in the country…Grand Canyon, Sequoia Natn’l park, so, so, much to see all of a different variety!

    • MDN says:

      Forgot to include Czech Republic – Prague in particular – as a travel consideration. Lots of hx and not as much was destroyed by WWII. One of the focal points for Art Nouveau buildings – and those back to the 13th century. Folks there are fluent in Czech, English, and Russian…so it’s easy to communicate and get around.

  2. Fleur says:

    Wow, I love a list and that is a serious list! Will be checking back to read the comments.

    I have one question, do you read your iPad books at night? Do you find the light then keeps you awake? Before bed is about the only time I have to read, so am a regular library borrower, but would love to read some newer books or have a waiting list or aren’t in yet.

    • sarah says:

      I do read it at night mostly and no I don’t think it keeps me awake :-)

      I just turn the brightness down, in fact I prefer it now b/c I don’t have to keep the light on and can just switch it off and go to sleep xx

  3. Jos says:

    Fab list – some great books on there. Another avenue to ‘join’ is the Facebook Book Club. It is one of those gems where the books suggested and commented have all been ripper reads so far. J xx

  4. Twexploits says:

    Love Janet evanovich – that Stephanie Plum makes me laugh! Love reading on the iPad as it doesn’t keep the other half awake on his side of the bed. And no stretching and reaching to turn the lamp out! The iPad is brilliant for travel, all my magazines and a book or two, a movie and the fave tv shows missed during the week, all in one neat little bundle, not taking up much space in my bag. Patiently waiting for the new Kathy Reichs release in a few days.

  5. alison says:


    Could you create a specific place on your blog for this book list?

    My dirty little secret is that I read Mills & Boon. Everyone is shocked when they find out, especially because of my occupation…which I’m not telling. I love the trash, the escapism.

    An easy read is Australian author Dianne Blacklock who does chic lit.

    Susan Duncan “A Life on Pittwater”. True story with a strong sense of community along with a fabulous house renovation and amazing photography.


  6. Fantastic!! Thanks for sharing such a fab long list of possibilities!! xx (is Barls sporting a new scarf? Very spiffy!)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Like you I’ve just recently gotten back into reading and I am loving it! I use my iPad and find I can read even with the lights off if my hubby is already asleep. Don’t know why I left it so long…maybe the kids had something to do with it but now that the youngest is 6 I can have my hour or so to read and unwind most nights :) A few other books to add to your list that I have enjoyed recently:
    ‘Sharp Objects’ and ‘Dark Places’ by Gillian Flynn (Same author as Gone Girl)
    ‘Reconstructing Amelia’ by K McCreight
    ‘The Casual Vacancy’ by JK Rowling
    The Hunger Games series
    The Game of Throne series

  8. Jenny McAteer says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I had thought about getting an electronic reader but not sure how I would go with this in bed, don’t think it would be so relaxing somehow. Awsome book list being started, will have to save this and start working my way through.

  9. lg says:

    What a fab list! One book to put to the top of the pile (it’s on your list) is ‘The Secret River’ by Kate Grenville. I think it will be right up your alley – history, set in Sydney upper Hawkesbury. The descriptions of the countryside are so beautiful – and it’s about a young English lass who finds her spiritual home in oz. I may even have a copy you can borrow,


  10. Belinda says:

    Got to say I agree completely though found looking at a backlit screen not relaxing for my eyes….so kindle (purchased with points) it was….happy days! Love it. Using the original kindle holder with the built in light. It stands up (or its side without the need to hold it)….lazy girl option only page turning with a click required.

  11. Alice says:

    Thanks for this! I was thinking today how I have lost my reading mojo(Tuesday is library day for my little one)… I really love reading and escaping in these stories but can’t seem to find anything exciting enough to keep me interested… I have an e-reader but to be honest it is collecting dust… It has run out of battery and I keep forgetting to re-charge it (massive disadvantage). Not only that, I love the smell of new books! I think it’s because I feel it envelops me as I am reading and it takes me on the journey (I know… I know… weird much?!). I wish someone would bottle it up and sell the scent because I would be buying bucket loads of the stuff…Hmm… Book worm…. or wisdom….the little book …Book in a bottle….lol see? Day dreaming about a name for this scent hee… hee…(I know… I know… weird much?!)

    • Alice says:

      um I can add a couple to your list… Love Sick by Angeles Mastretta, Peacocks Dancing by Sharon Maas, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, Beneath the shadows by Sara Foster, the Five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom who Also wrote Tuesdays with Morrie (and have been meaning to read as it come highly recommended) oh and Ines of my soul by Isabel Allende (any book written by this amazing author is worth reading)… I have so many more but this will be enough :)

  12. mandy meza says:

    All the books by Francis Mayes,made famous with under the tuscan sun,reading about her life in tuscany during the summer months so wonderful.

  13. Kate says:

    Hi Sarah
    Would just like to add my twopennies worth ….. absolutely agree with anything by Jojo Moyes. I have read several of her books now,The Girl you left Behind, Me before you, Ship of Brides to name a few, and they are all, without fail brilliant. Thank you for the rest of the list.
    Kate x

  14. Anonymous says:

    I just finished A Hundred Summers which had a Great Gatsby feel to it…loved it! Check out authors Susan McBride, Linda Castillo, and Erica Bauermeister. Of course, Lisa Gardner has wome page turners that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I love reading on an ipad and the fact that I can carry a whole library with me wherever I may wander. Even moreso, I love to have access to a new book on a cold, rainy day without having to leave home. I miss the smell and feel of a new book but the words are just the same! Happy Reading! Starr

  15. Robyn says:

    Hooray. Great list. I have a paperwhite kindle. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It’s a much softer light than reading on an ipad so much closer to having a book in print.
    I’d like to add Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver to your list.
    Happy reading everyone – I’m coming back to this page to make a list.

  16. Winnie says:

    “Almost French” by Sarah Turnbul

  17. Nancy Thayer says:

    I’m delighted to be included in this fascinating list, and I adore your photos. The end of August on Nantucket is always a wild crazy social time as friends pack up to leave, and as much as I hate to see them go, your photo & list make me take a deep breath and relax. I want to put some flowers in a pitcher, kick off my sandals, and read read read. Thanks for posting all these suggestions.

  18. Keren says:

    I used to LOVE reading! There was nothing better than to be reading a book that I was desperately wanting to find out what was going to happen next – you know the ones that you end up reading into the early hours of the morning and then feel like the walking dead the next day… Until children came along and since then, hmm… not sure if I have been able to read even one novel! I was wondering what it would be like reading with an electronic device, if it was any easier to just find a book and get cracking on it. Good to know that you have found it to be a winner! Might look into an electronic purchase… Thanks! :D

  19. Rukmini Roy says:

    The Help, memory keeper’s daughter and yes +100 to a 1000 splendid suns.But you’d need a lot of guts to read and digest the last one.
    Loved it!

  20. marcia says:

    I love anything written by Peter Pezzelli. I started with Home To Italy. Thanks for the reading list Sarah, I’ll have to check some of them out!

  21. Marlene says:

    The Shack by William Young

  22. Rowen says:

    I love my Kindle, especially if the paper version is a thick book, the Kindle is far less cumbersome. Try Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, an oldish one so you may have read it or seen the film. Anything by Barbara Erskine is good and the Outlander series which starts with Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon is very well worth reading. X

  23. Julie says:

    I have to admit that despite owning an ipad I have never read a book on it! There is something about the feel and smell of a book that I prefer even though I love all my technology gadgets. It’s such a shame that enjoying a good book slips down our list of priorities when family, work and life in general gets in the way. Reading has become my thing to do when I am on holidays – just doesn’t feel like a guilty pleasure then. On my last holiday I took a couple of novels by Aussie author Michael Robotham who writes crime fiction. That genre has never been my thing in the past but I really enjoyed them and the great thing was I actually got my hubby reading them too. And this is the man who never reads anything except the financial pages in the newspaper! Thanks for sharing your list Sarah – lots of inspiration there. BTW I always buy my books from online booksellers – I like Book Depository, Fishpond, Amazon and Bookworld.

  24. Kelly McLean says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I recently read the book The Beach House by Jane Green. The story has a nice cosy feeling to it.

  25. Libby Boyle says:

    Hi Sarah. I stumbled across your blog via oh, hello friend and am about to subscribe. I have very recently bought an iPad mini and love it! It has changed my world. The first book I e-read was Burial Rites, so beautifully written. I loved it. I hope you get the chance to read it too.

    • sarah says:

      thanks so much I need to read it b/c it’s been recommended a lot, welcome to abeachcottage too x

  26. Anonymous says:

    Can I add: “Cutting For Stone” by Abraham Verghese. A book I found hard to put down.