Summer Reading List: Yummy Beach Reads with Recipe Pairings

To say I’m an avid reader is an understatement. If I’m caught up in a story, I tend to shirk important things like laundry and a reasonable adult bedtime. My husband may have to wear an Old Navy T-shirt to work because his company Polos are waiting in the hamper, but at least I’ll find out how the latest Gillian Flynn novel ended. Or maybe I won’t. That Gillian Flynn, she’s an enigma.

Some people prefer to read in the winter, but I think summer is the perfect time to inhale books because there are so many places you can go. Take your novel, Kindle, NOok or other word-devouring device and hit the beach, prop yourself up at the pool, plant your behind under a shady tree at the park, swing in a hammock, or take over the kids’ treehouse. In fact, the only thing more enjoyable than reading in the summer is eating! So, let’s do both, shall we?

Listed below are five must-read summer novels and their five must-eat food companions! Still hungry for more? Our list continues with more fresh titles and bites at Yahoo! Shine.


Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs

With the last name Sugarman and a passion for cooking, you’d think the career path for Hannah would be destined. Unfortunately, she’s too busy trying to please her affluent boyfriend and academic parents so she works at a Washington think-tank. Oh yeah, and she’s miserable. After her relationship fizzles she makes a bold move and starts a popular underground supper club. Unfortunately, the club is run out of her landlord’s house and he doesn’t know about it. This could be a problem.

Pair With This Recipe: Caprese Grilled Cheese

This is not white bread and American cheese, this is grown up fare with flair! All the ingredients that make a robust Italian favorite including Roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil are reworked to create a sophisticated sandwich. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar after grilling to capture the full Caprese experience.


How To Eat A Cupcake

Julia and Annie were childhood besties until a high school “incident” pulled them apart. Years later, with Julie’s financial backing and Annie’s superior baking skills, the women reunite and open up a “cupcakery,” but the tension is always just under the surface ready to explode. When Annie finds out Julia’s secret and the cupcake shop continues to get vandalized, the girls realize they’re stronger together than they ever were apart.

Pair With This Recipe: Strawberry Lemonade Muffins

As cheery as a funfetti cupcake, with about half the fat, these strawberry lemon muffins are sweetened with applesauce, strawberries, Greek yogurt and lemon zest. They’re perfect for breakfast, dessert or a snack. Make a basket of these for your besties at book club and try not to eat them all before you get there.


Sweet Misfortune

When life hands you a series of setbacks and heartaches, what do you do? Open up a shop and sell Misfortune Cookies, of course. Sophie Jones may have experienced more than her share of tragedy but she’s still a clever entrepreneur. Her specialty, fortune cookies dipped in bitter chocolate with uncommon handwritten notes inside, have become the talk of the town. But is she too clever for her own good? When ex-fiancee Garrett Black tries to win her back, she devises a scheme to get rid of him for good, but plans have a tendency to backfire.

Pair With This Recipe: Raisin and Chocolate Filled Cookies

The only thing unfortunate about these tasty cookies is that you can’t eat them all in one sitting. Well, at least you probably shouldn’t. Filled with moist raisins and creamy chocolate chips, these pockets of deliciousness are easy to whip up since we used refrigerated sugar cookies. Still, they’re only 100 calories each!

blue plate special novel

Blue Plate Special

Kate Christensen is a popular novelist with six books to her credit, including “The Epicure’s Lament” and “The Great Man.” Kate is also known for her poignant essays and  “foodcentric” blog. Blue Plate Special – An Autobiography of My Appetites – is a memoir wherein the author writes about her childhood, her parents, and life today, all threads that weave in to a common idea – food!

Pair With This Recipe: Turkey Meatball Sub

When we hear the words “blue plate special” we think of diner food, like the classic meatball sub. Unfortunately, the traditional recipe is a fat-laden mess. For a twist on this Italian staple that will still make your mouth water and your waistline say “thanks for caring,” we’ve traded ground beef for lean ground turkey. Mix with oregano, basil and minced white onion, then layer a whole grain bun with your favorite marinara and mama, you’ve still got yourself a spicy meat-a-ball.


The Help

In 1962, the town of Jackson, Mississippi is rocked when an anonymous book is published that reveals true-life details about the way black maids are treated by their white socialite employers. Friends Aibileen and Minny know who shared this scandalous information but they’re not telling, especially the part about what was “really” in that infamous chocolate pie. Even if you’ve already watched the Oscar-winning film, your heart and soul will thank you for reading this modern classic.

Pair With This Recipe: Yummy Plants’ Vegan Chocolate Pie

The only thing scandalous about this vegan chocolate pie is how good it tastes, and the only surprise you’ll find is the Mori-nu tofu inside. Made with a moist date and macadamia nut crust, you’ll be reaching for a second slice faster than you can say, “well, kiss my grits.”


See more selections from of our Must-Read Must-Eat Summer Book List at Yahoo! Shine.

And don’t miss our Summer Reading & Eating List for Kids! Ten foodie-centric books for kids with recipes that bring the stories to life.

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