The past two weeks, I’ve been at the Jersey Shore*, observing egregious fashion choices (short shorts are NOT for everybody), eating way too much ice cream, and of course reading books.

I’ve devoured at least five thus far, with a sixth about to be finished, if I have my way.

During the summer, I don’t get a lot of time to do my own writing (my Son is in Camp Mommy, so I am on call most days), so I make up for that by reading a ton.

My favorite thing to do is to rotate genres: First romance, then action, then sci-fi, then historical fiction, then back to romance, etc. So this summer I have read Barbara Hambly‘s fourth book in the Benjamin January series, Die Upon A Kiss, Tara Janzen‘s Crazy Kisses, MaryJanice Davidson‘s Drop Dead, Gorgeous, Liz Carlyle‘s Never Lie To A Lady, and Lee Child‘s Tripwire.

I’ve read all of these authors before; summer beach reads are not for experimenting, because if you hate the book, you’re stuck in the sand with it.

I don’t do any research reading during the summer because I get too frustrated at not being able to write; instead, I try to figure out what it is I like about each author I read. Hambly I love for her language and ability to make any setting–in this case, 1830s New Orleans–come alive. Her hero, Benjamin January, is a complex character who you really come to know, and who grows throughout the course of the series. Tara Janzen’s Crazy series are fast-paced, delicious fun, great for her ability to get into a man’s head. Lee Child is just plain brilliant. Liz Carlyle’s writing is lush and gorgeous, and this hero is just about perfect for me–nothing gets to my heart like a tortured alpha male. And MaryJanice Davidson’s voice is so fantastic I don’t care her plots are as thin as some of the bathing suits I’ve seen on the beach this week.

Next week, we go back to reality: Brooklyn, school, writing, washing my own dishes, the possibility of sweatshirts. But right now I’m reaching for another book in the huge pile and savoring the last few days of summer.

*on dial-up, so no pictures.