Send Frivolous Help

Whenever I'm in the mood for a 'vacation-ish' read, I find myself very disappointed in my options. There are times I love reading memoirs, books on specific spiritual topics, moving fiction, self help, perspective broadening books, etc., etc. But, sometimes a girl just wants to have fun!

And, as an aside, have you ever found a blogger, podcaster, or maybe even just a friend who recommends frivolous reading material?! I am guessing that making trivial reading suggestions doesn't hold appeal for many, but I will happily take the role of said recommender, if only I can figure out how to find these books!

So, here are some things I want and some things that I don't want in a frivolous read, and if you have any suggestions for me, please make my day and start commenting!


  • Lighthearted-nothing deep or moving 
  • Fast paced-I want something that I can hardly put down
  • Mystery and/or romance are always enjoyed, but nothing smutty or dark, please
  • Could just be a book with a snarky/humorous take on an otherwise boring topic
  • I want authentic characters in well written stories

Some books you might be tempted to recommend, accompanied by my reasons for rejecting them as vacation reads :) :

  • Books like the Mitford series-fairly light hearted, completely clean, and well written. However, they are not fast paced.
  • Many, many children's books-often well written, generally not heavy or dark like adult books on similar topics. However, they are rarely fast paced with mystery or romance that engages me. I guess I want a story about adults.?
  • Mary Higgins Clark type mysteries-fast paced for sure, well written, contain mystery, but tend to be a bit dark (at least the ones I've read) 
  • I also have a hard time finding Christian fiction that qualifies. They are often lighthearted, include mystery and romance, but the characters' emotions or predicaments are not things I can relate to.
So, what do you think? Is there anything out there that I would consider a good vacation read?


Linda said…
I totally understand your dilemma. I also have had a hard time finding books that fit my criteria:) If you enjoy a little mystery....I stumbled upon Laurie King's "The Beekeepers Apprentice" which is about Sherlock Holmes and his young apprentice, Mary Russell. This is the first book of the series and the story continues in several more books she has written. I feel it is well-written, not gory or dark and is a book I could pass on to my grandaughter,as well. (She has aspirations of being a detective:)
emilykate said…
Ha, this is very specific. :)

I can't recommend these personally but I've heard the Mindy Kaling books are really funny/easy reads. They're on my list. Kate Morton? It's VERY hard for me to find fiction that I can't put down, but I've loved her books. I'm reading "at home in the world" by Tsh Oxenrider...about hauling their 3 kids around the world for a year. I'm really enjoying it
smw said…
That sounds perfect!! Thanks so much, Linda!
smw said…
Thanks for these recommendations, Em! I tried Kate Morton once, but had a hard time getting into it. Not that they wouldn’t be good, but probably not fast paced enough for me for a vacation read. I’ll have to check those others out!
Anonymous said…
I am always looking for interesting fiction books to read, so I will be checking back in to read others' comments! I have read several good books lately, the only caveat being these aren't written by Christian authors and sometimes the language makes me cringe! Here are some suggestions- hope you find something you enjoy!

Little Fires Everywhere
Girl in Disguise
Necessary Lies
The Admissions
The Family Next Door
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine
Something other than God (by Jennifer Fulwiler).... this is non fiction, but I absolutely adore Jennifer- she was an atheist who converted to Catholicism and this book tells her story. She also has a second book, One Beautiful Dream, which is good but not as good as her first!)
I also love Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilt series. These aren't necessarily "can't put it down" books, but they are good for a light read. There are probably close to 15 books in the series which could keep you busy all winter :) It's important to read them in order though!!!
smw said…
Wow! Thanks for so many suggestions! Excited to look into them, and I wish I knew who you are! :)
Anonymous said…
How about Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt? It was not really what I would call light or not moving, but it was a great read! Maybe check out Oprah's Book Club List from the 90's plus. I used to enjoy some of those.
Happy reading! I hope to read some of the suggestions from the comments, also!
smw said…
Thanks for the suggestions!
Anonymous said…
I don’t usually post comments on blogs but I found your blog hopping over from another blog (flying kites). I love giving book suggestions!! I thought of a few but aren’t sure if they fit the bill. (Do you have any books that you consider good vacation reads? This might be easier if I had a couple examples of books you liked!). Anyway, here goes!!
Fatherless, Godless, And Childless by Dr. Dobson and Kurt Bruner (This is an adult fiction trilogy about life in 2043. Fascinating characters. This is the suggestion I think you’d like the most. Fast paced & romance.
Call the Midwife trilogy by Jennifer Worth. Nonfiction series about a midwife in England in the 1950’s. Think James Herriot as a midwife. But better because it’s people not animals. Fascinating stories! Better than fiction!
Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle. Fun, lighthearted memoir about marriage.
The rest of these are young adult books. I know you said you weren’t interested but I thought I’d try anyway!
Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz
Theodore Boone series by John Grisham
Sons of Angels series by Jerel Law (think a Christian version of Percy Jackson)
Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus

I’d love to hear what you think of these or any others recommended to you!! Even a sentence or two would be great!

Anonymous said…
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smw said…
It’s a great idea for me to post an example of a good vacation read! Unfortunately, the last few years have been crazy and full, and weirdly have changed my reading habits. I’m not sure if I’ve read books that are what I’m looking for in theory in my head. :)

Thanks for all the suggestions! I love the show “Call the Midwife”, so it’s good to hear the books recommended.

I don’t get lots of reading done, but do occasionally review books here. I will try to remember to write a review if I find some good vacations reads, or maybe even if I don’t, huh? :)

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