Each and every summer, hordes of book lovers set out to find good beach reads to occupy them on vacation. In preparation for a season full of reading, we looked back 10 years to see which beach reads kept us entertained the summer of 2007. The list below features novels that appeared in the top three slots of the New York Times fiction bestseller list in June, July, and August 2007 (some of which appeared more than once). Check out these beach reads worth revisiting below, complete with publishers’ descriptions.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.
A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.
Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
New secrets, old flames, and hidden agendas are about to send bounty hunter Stephanie Plum on her most outrageous adventure yet!
Stephanie was married to him for about fifteen minutes before she caught him cheating on her with her archnemesis, Joyce Barnhardt. Another fifteen minutes after that, Stephanie filed for divorce, hoping never to see either one of them again.
Doing favors for super bounty hunter Carlos Manoso (aka Ranger)
Ranger needs Stephanie to meet with Dickie and find out if he’s doing something shady. Turns out, he is. Turns out, Dickie’s also back to doing Joyce Barnhardt. And it turns out Ranger’s favors always come with a price…
Going completely nutso while doing the favor for Ranger, and trying to apply bodily injury to Dickie in front of the entire office
Now Dickie has disappeared, and Stephanie is the natural suspect in his disappearance. Is Dickie dead? Can he be found? And can Stephanie Plum stay one step ahead in this new, dangerous game? Joe Morelli, the hottest cop in Trenton, New Jersey, is also keeping Stephanie on her toes — and he may know more than he’s saying about many things in Stephanie’s life. It’s a cat-and-mouse game for Stephanie Plum wherein the ultimate prize might be her life.
With Janet Evanovich’s flair for hilarious situations, breathtaking action, and unforgettable characters, Lean Mean Thirteen shows why no one can beat Evanovich for blockbuster entertainment.
The 6th Target by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
When a horrifying attack leaves one of the four members of the Women’s Murder Club struggling for her life, the others fight to keep a madman behind bars before anyone else is hurt. And Lindsay Boxer and her new partner in the San Francisco police department run flat-out to stop a series of kidnappings that has electrified the city: children are being plucked off the streets together with their nannies — but the kidnappers aren’t demanding ransom. Amid uncertainty and rising panic, Lindsay juggles the possibility of a new love with an unsolvable investigation, and the knowledge that one member of the club could be on the brink of death. And just when everything appears momentarily under control, the case takes a terrifying turn, putting an entire city in lethal danger. Lindsay must make a choice she never dreamed she’d face — with no certainty that either outcome has more than a prayer of success.
High Noon by Nora Roberts
Police Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara found her calling at an early age when an unstable man broke into her family’s home, trapping and terrorizing them for hours. Now she’s Savannah’s top hostage negotiator, defusing powder keg situations with a talent for knowing when to give in — and when to jump in and take action.
It’s satisfying work — and sometimes those skills come in handy at home dealing with her agoraphobic mother, still traumatized by the break-in after all these years, and her precocious seven-year-old, Carly.
It’s exactly that heady combination of steely courage and sensitivity that first attracts Duncan Swift to Phoebe. After observing her coax one of his employees down from a roof ledge, he is committed to keeping this intriguing, take-charge woman in his life.
She’s used to working solo, but Phoebe’s discovering that no amount of negotiation can keep Duncan at arm’s length. And when she’s grabbed by a man who throws a hood over her head and brutally assaults her — in her own precinct house — Phoebe can’t help but be deeply shaken.
Then threatening messages show up on her doorstep, and she’s not just alarmed but frustrated. How do you go face-to-face with an opponent who refuses to look you in the eye? Now, with Duncan backing her up every step of the way, she must establish contact with the faceless tormentor who is determined to make her a hostage to fear… before she becomes the final showdown.
Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child
From a helicopter high above the empty California desert, a man is sent free-falling into the night…. In Chicago, a woman learns that an elite team of ex–army investigators is being hunted down one by one…. And on the streets of Portland, Jack Reacher — soldier, cop, hero — is pulled out of his wandering life by a code that few other people could understand. From the first shocking scenes in Lee Child’s explosive new novel, Jack Reacher is plunged like a knife into the heart of a conspiracy that is killing old friends…and is on its way to something even worse.
A decade postmilitary, Reacher has an ATM card and the clothes on his back—no phone, no ties, and no address. But now a woman from his old unit has done the impossible. From Chicago, Frances Neagley finds Reacher, using a signal only the eight members of their elite team of army investigators would know. She tells him a terrifying story—about the brutal death of a man they both served with. Soon Reacher is reuniting with the survivors of his old team, scrambling to raise the living, bury the dead, and connect the dots in a mystery that is growing darker by the day. The deeper they dig, the more they don’ t know: about two other comrades who have suddenly gone missing — and a trail that leads into the neon of Vegas and the darkness of international terrorism.
For now, Reacher can only react. To every sound. Every suspicion. Every scent and every moment. Then Reacher will trust the people he once trusted with his life — and take this thing all the way to the end. Because in a world of bad luck and trouble, when someone targets Jack Reacher and his team, they’d better be ready for what comes right back at them…
Invisible Prey by John Sandford
In a wealthy Minneapolis neighborhood, two elderly women are bludgeoned to death. They are apparent victims of a random robbery, though nothing of value appears to have been stolen. But when Lucas Davenport looks deeper, he fears that the victims weren’t so random, and the items stolen were far from invaluable.
As a pattern emerges it leads Lucas to…certainly not where he expected. Which is too bad, because the killers are expecting him. And that’s only the first surprise…
The Overlook by Michael Connelly
Near Mulholland Drive, Dr. Stanley Kent is found shot twice in the back of the head. It’s the case LAPD detective Harry Bosch has been waiting for, his first since being recruited to the Homicide Special Squad. When he discovers that Kent had access to dangerous radioactive substances, what begins as a routine investigation becomes something darker, more deadly, and frighteningly urgent. Bosch is soon in conflict with not only his superiors but the FBI, which thinks the case is too important for just a cop. Complicating his job even more is the presence of Agent Rachel Walling, his onetime lover. Now guarding one slim advantage, Bosch relentlessly follows his own instincts, hoping they are still sharp enough to find the truth — and a killer who can annihilate an entire city.
The Good Guy by Dean Koontz
Timothy Carrier is an ordinary guy who enjoys a beer after work. But tonight is no ordinary night. Instead, Tim will face a terrifying decision: Help or run. For the jittery stranger sitting beside him at the bar has mistaken Tim for someone else — and passes him a manila envelope stuffed with cash and the photo of a pretty woman. “Ten thousand. The rest when she’s gone.”
Now everything Tim thinks he knows — even about himself — will be challenged. For Tim Carrier is the one man who can save an innocent life and stop a killer as relentless as evil incarnate. But first he must discover resources within himself that will transform his idea of who he is and what it takes to be the good guy.
The Harlequin by Laurell K. Hamilton
Malcolm, head of the vampire Church of Eternal Life, is no particular friend to Anita Blake. So when he shows up in her office, to ask for her help against creatures so feared that no vampire will willingly speak their name, Anita is surprised. But she believes him. Malcolm may not be a Master of the City, but he’s an old and powerful vampire, a leader of men, and he does not easily ask for help — especially from Anita and Jean-Claude, whose power Malcolm considers corrupt. That was the first warning of The Harlequin. The second warning is presented like a gift, left where she’d be sure to find it, with “Anita” printed on the box. Inside, carefully wrapped in folds of pristine tissue paper, is a white mask, utterly plain. The fact that it’s white, Jean-Claude tells her, is the good news. White means they are only being watched. The flow of power that connects Anita Blake with Jean-Claude, vampire Master of the City, and with Richard, Ulfric of the werewolves, has been growing and changing, increasing exponentially. Their power seems to have attracted attention, and it’s a kind of attention no one would desire. Jean-Claude and Richard need to be strong allies now. Nathaniel and Micah need to give all their love and aid. And Anita will need to call on Edward, whose utterly human ruthlessness in her defense makes him the right man for the job. Anita Blake has the authority to pass judgment on vampires. The Harlequin have the authority to pass judgment on her. It is forbidden to speak of The Harlequin unless you’ve been contacted. And to be contacted by The Harlequin is to be under sentence of death.
Blaze by Stephen King and Richard Bachman
A fellow named Richard Bachman wrote Blaze in 1973 on an Olivetti typewriter, then turned the machine over to Stephen King, who used it to write Carrie. Bachman died in 1985 (“cancer of the pseudonym”), but in late 2006 King found the original typescript of Blaze among his papers at the University of Maine’s Fogler Library (“How did this get here?!”), and decided that with a little revision it ought to be published.
Blaze is the story of Clayton Blaisdell, Jr. — of the crimes committed against him and the crimes he commits, including his last, the kidnapping of a baby heir worth millions. Blaze has been a slow thinker since childhood, when his father threw him down the stairs — and then threw him down again. After escaping an abusive institution for boys when he was a teenager, Blaze hooks up with George, a seasoned criminal who thinks he has all the answers. But then George is killed, and Blaze, though haunted by his partner, is on his own.
He becomes one of the most sympathetic criminals in all of literature. This is a crime story of surprising strength and sadness, with a suspenseful current sustained by the classic workings of fate and character — as taut and riveting as Stephen King’s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.
Double Take by Catherine Coulter
FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock are joined by one of their own and a Virginia sheriff in an extraordinary case that immerses them in the world of psychic visions, mind benders, and communications with the dead.
Bungalow 2 by Danielle Steel
The phone call came on a hot July day — a day like any other for Marin County mom and freelance writer Tanya Harris. But this call — from Tanya’s agent — was anything but ordinary, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the chance to write a major Hollywood screenplay, a dream she had put aside long ago to devote her energies to her family. This time, Tanya knows she cannot refuse, even though she’s torn about leaving her husband and their daughters. From the moment she steps into her lush bungalow at the fabled Beverly Hills Hotel, Tanya is thrust into an intoxicating new world where she feels reborn — energized by the creativity swirling around her—yet the pull of her family at home is strong.
Suddenly she’s working alongside A-list actors and a Hollywood legend: Oscar-winning producer Douglas Wayne, a man who always gets what he wants–and who seems to have his sights set on her. Flying home between shoots, struggling to reconnect with a family that seems to need her less and less, Tanya watches helplessly as her old life is pulled out from under her in the most crushing of ways.
As her two lives collide, as one award-winning film leads to another, Tanya begins to wonder if she can be a wife, a mother, and a writer at the same time. And just as she confronts the toughest choice she has faced, she is offered another dazzling opportunity—one that could recast her story in an amazing new direction, complete with an ending she never could have written herself.
In Bungalow 2, Danielle Steel takes us into a world few ever see — a world of fame and fortune, celebrity and genius–daring to show us the real lives, real dreams, and real struggles hidden beneath the flash and glitter of Hollywood.
The Quickie by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Lauren Stillwell is not your average damsel in distress. When the NYPD cop discovers her husband leaving a hotel with another woman, she decides to beat him at his own game. But her revenge goes dangerously awry, and she finds her world spiraling into a hell that becomes more terrifying by the hour. In a further twist of fate, Lauren must take on a job that threatens everything she stands for. Now, she’s paralyzed by a deadly secret that could tear her life apart. With her job and marriage on the line, Lauren’s desire for retribution becomes a lethal inferno as she fights to save her livelihood — and her life. Patterson takes us on a twisting roller-coaster ride of thrills in his most gripping novel yet. This story of love, lust and dangerous secrets will have readers’ hearts pounding to the very last page.
The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva
While in Amsterdam, Israeli intelligence officer and master art restorer Gabriel Allon discovers a plot that is about to explode in the middle of London. The daughter of the American ambassador is to be brutally kidnapped. But Gabriel arrives too late to save her. And when he reveals his face to the plot’s masterminds, his fate is sealed as well.
Drawn once more into the service of American intelligence, Gabriel desperately searches for the missing woman as the clock ticks steadily toward the hour of her execution. The search will thrust him into an unlikely alliance with a man who has lost everything because of his devotion to Islam. It will cause him to question the morality of the tactics of his trade. And it might very well cost him his life…
Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon
As an ancient Sumerian god, Sin was one of the most powerful among his pantheon… Until the night Artemis brutally stole his godhood and left him for dead. For millennia, this ex-god turned Dark-Hunter has dreamed only of regaining his powers and seeking revenge on Artemis. If only life were that simple.
Unfortunately he has bigger fish — or in Sin’s case — demons, to fry. The lethal gallu that were buried by his pantheon are now stirring and they are hungry for human flesh. Their goal is to destroy mankind and anyone else who gets in their way. Sin is the only one who can stop them — that is if a certain woman doesn’t kill him first. Unfortunately, Sin discovers that now he must rely on her or witness an annihilation of biblical proportions. Enemies have always made strange bedfellows, but never more so than when the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Now a man who knows only betrayal must trust the one person most likely to hand him to the demons. Artemis may have stolen his godhood, but this one has stolen his heart. The only question is will she keep it or feed it to the ones who want him dead?
How many of these bestsellers have you read? Let us know in the comments!