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Life's a Beach: Unabridged Value-Priced Edition

3.1  ·  Rating Details ·  4,368 Ratings  ·  683 Reviews
Life's a bit of a beach these days for Ginger Walsh, who's single at 41 and living back home in the family FROG (Finished Room Over Garage). Geri, her BlackBerry-obsessed sister, is also nearly off the deep end about her pending fiftieth birthday (and might just drag Ginger with her). Toss in a dumpster-picking father, a Kama Sutra T-shirt wearing mother, a movie crew come ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by AudioGO (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 28, 2008 Keri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
Certainly not the worst book I have ever read but far from the best. Very forgettable with characters that are just not believable. I thought it would be a great light read for the beach but it was hard to stay focused on the book. It did start to pick up and get more entertaining towards the end but not enough to suggest this book to anyone. I finished it last night and I already can't recall the specifics of how it ended.
Alison Looney
Nov 06, 2008 Alison Looney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How do chick lit heroines have so much luck starting small businesses? They turn their kitchens into gourmet cake bakeries, they become personal shoppers for old people, they walk dogs, and, in this case, they make sea glass earrings. Out here in the real world, these jobs might net spare change in exchange for long, grueling hours. But chick lit ladies always end up financially independent and personally fulfilled.

I'm not anti-happy ending. The problem is these protagonists also nab the unexpe
Jun 22, 2011 Julie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't even stress what a colossal waste of time this book was - between the main character's constant "poor me" attitude and her father's cheesy B-movie dialogue, I wanted to gouge my eyes out as I struggled to finish this. I didn't connect with the characters, didn't find the storyline interesting, didn't even find it entertaining as a light read. Definitely NOT recommended.
May 24, 2008 YoSafBridg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This may come as a big surprise, but, Life's a Beach by Claire Cook makes great beach reading (if i still had the time and inclination to lie about on a beach insuring my future skin cancer). Ginger is single at forty-one (well not entirely single, she does have an artist boyfriend named Noah whose commitment issues are so extreme that he has a complete aversion to phoning her up and letting her know he might want to come over~opting instead to throw pebbles at her window); she lives at the end ...more
Lisa B.
Jul 31, 2016 Lisa B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I listened to the audio version and thought is was entertaining.
May 24, 2011 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-literary

Do you need a light read for the beach? Then this is the book for you.

Ginger Walsh is a 41-year-old single woman who aspires to not much of anything. She lives in a tiny apartment above her parents' garage where she attempts to make sea-glass jewelry. She has an almost boyfriend, a cat who is a better artist than she is, an older sister with age and control issues, and two very strange parents who play tug of war with taking stuff to the dump (mother) and bringing it back (father).

Childfree, Gi
Jun 03, 2008 Kathleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Claire Cook has written another summer read, a snapshot of a bright, creative woman, living in an a town quite close to where I live. I liked the main female character who knows her life isn't what she wants for herself without knowing what it is that she wants. The family members were not funny to me nor were their relationships to one another especially enlightening. Most of the plot is evident from early in the book, and the ending is just too unrealistically simple. However, I am a forgiving ...more
Sep 22, 2011 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: electronic, kindle
This was my first Claire Cook novel and I'm afraid it'll be my last. I really don't like her writing style - it felt like a first draft to me, with weird things like kids fighting in one paragraph and best friends in the next with no acknowledgement that the situation had changed - and I didn't buy the story at all. Ginger supports herself entirely by making sea glass earrings? I have my doubts.

I kept reading because I wanted it to get better but for me it never did and the ending again felt lik
Tammie McElligott
A 41 year old single woman lives above her parents garage and spends her time babysitting her sisters children.

This was a fast and light read. I rated it an "okay" because at times it seemed to be just going through the motions. It is past the "chick-lit" phase and seemed geared towards the hen-lit/mommy-lit readers which is great but it often failed to hold my interest.

Jun 05, 2008 Toni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Wa-a-a-ay too cutesy! Characters are neither particularly likable or believable and the dialogue is extremely contrived. So why did I finish it? Good question - I guess I just wanted to see where she would go with it and I also kinda liked her previous book (Must Love Dogs).
Gina Borkowski
Jul 31, 2011 Gina Borkowski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and it's main character. I think there's a little bit of Ginger in all of us...married or single...moms or kid-free. Lots of humerous moments and loveable characters make me want to read more by this author...and soon!
Definitely underwhelming. The author says in one of the extras at the end of the book that her books are about reinvention, but I certainly missed any real growth or reinvention in our main character. Ginger is lazy and selfish in my opinion. She charges her sister for babysitting and is supposedly trying to make a career for herself making jewelry but it seems more of a rote exercise than anything else. I'm still trying to figure out how she affords food!

So in short, there's an unsympathetic MC
Jul 01, 2015 Rita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Don't bother. I gave up on the idea of it getting any better & decided to stop wasting my time.
Aug 13, 2014 Shannon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm new to Goodreads and I've never really reviewed a book. That said, this book inspired me to review it not because it was wonderful but because I truly disliked it. The storyline had potential but the characters are quite unlikable. The main character, is a bratty, lazy, 40-something year old, quasi drifter with a bad attitude. And she charges her sister for babysitting! Seriously?

I was strung along with the hope that the characters might mature, morph, discover a better version of themselve
Jul 17, 2010 Laurel-Rain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ginger Walsh is the forty-something single sister living in her parents' garage apartment, while Geri is the married one, almost fifty, with three children. Ginger babysits for her sister's kids while trying to figure out how to create intriguing things from sea glass. Her on-again, off-again boyfriend Noah seems to be a true commitment phobe, but she herself is not completely sure that she wants a long term relationship. Except, perhaps, with her cat named Boyfriend.

Then suddenly something happ
Jul 04, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
This is the story of Ginger, a woman in her early 40's who makes jewelry and lives in an apartment above her eccentric parents' garage. Her primary income seems to come from watching her older sister Geri's children. Geri is almost 50 and has the great house, diligent husband, super-important job, company-supplied BlackBerry and three precocious (read: annoying) children.

Ginger pushes her cat (named Boyfriend) around in a stroller and is in turn pushed around by her wacky family and emotionally
Jun 29, 2011 Gina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Ginger lives over her parent's garage and has spent her life drifting from job to job and boyfriend to boyfriend while her sister seems to have the perfect life: happily married, 3 kids, and a stable job. Ginger is looking for her passion in life at 41 and feels adrift in her current state making sea glass jewelry, living with her cat Boyfriend, and her human boyfriend Noah, who doesn't seem to know how to use a phone and isn't always quite there for her. He has his passion in his art of glassbl ...more
Apr 10, 2009 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
From back cover:

"Life's a bit of a beach these days for Ginger Walsh, who finds herself single at forty-one and back home living in the family FROG (Finished Room Over Garage) in the fictional town of Marshbury, Massachusetts. She's hoping for a more fulfilling life as a sea glass artist, but mostly she's babysitting for her sister's kids and sharing overnights with Noah, her sexy glassblower boyfriend with commitment issues and a dog that Ginger's cat isn't too crazy about.

As if things aren't c
Oh, what a lovely and entertaining book! This will make a perfect lighthearted summer read. From the author of Must Love Dogs, this new book introduces us to 41 year old Ginger Walsh who hasn't quite figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. She's currently living in her parents FROG (finished room over garage) and free lancing as something of a jewelry designer, though there is some doubt to whether or not it's she or her cat Boyfriend who has the better design eye. Add a sister obses ...more
Marti Martinson
Apr 21, 2014 Marti Martinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a gay man, I have never felt a greater affinity for any female character, except maybe the deliciously evil Dowager Queen Eleanor in Shakespeare's "King John", than Claire Cook's Ginger. Somewhat predictable, definitely corny, it was still well written predictable corn. Would work well as a movie, as it is tightly written without superfluous side and sub plots. I can say it seems genuine, too.
Kevin Kern
Jul 22, 2015 Kevin Kern rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It really is about 3 and a half stars, but I rounded up, because it is an easy read. It is a sweet, fun, and silly book about family, life choices and growing older, even if we haven't grown up. I like Claire Cook and this is a good pool, beach book.
Jun 29, 2016 Marissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect choice for just a fun read. Love that it has a focus on being an aunt and a sister, as I'm both as well. Sometimes you need to take off the critical thinking cap and enjoy a "beach" read that's humorous and relaxing!
Claire Cook shares another reinvention story in another of her novels Life’s A Beach. This story is Hyperion Press publication. How would you change your life? This tale is a tale of two sisters and a movie shoot.


Ginger lives in a garage apartment at her parent’s house. Her mom has decided that it is time to retire and move on with her life. Will her father agree? The amount of trash bags in Ginger’s apartment might be hard to get around. So one night she takes out her sister Geri’s c
Jul 06, 2015 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can a 41-year-old woman who's spent her life traveling and never sticking with any job or man find happiness in settling down? The puzzle to me was that Ginger had become unhappy with her life. She'd never seemed to value home and hearth in the past, so why was she so unsatisfied now? She felt guilty about her lack of commitment to jobs and men--but why? There didn't seem to be any big event that changed her life. She's been home for two years, living above her parents' garage, making jewelry th ...more
Jessie Weaver
Jun 24, 2014 Jessie Weaver rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What could Life's a Beach be but a summer read with a title like that? A little shallow, a little romance, and a little actor in a shark movie ... what more could you want from an easy beach read?

Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) gives us the story of Ginger Walsh, a forty-one year old single woman looking for something in her life. Unfortunately, she's not sure what. While she waits, she plays teenager: living in the room over the garage at her parents' house, annoying her sister, babysitting her ni
Aug 26, 2011 Peggy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really looking forward to reading this book because I loved her other book (Must Love Dogs). This book started out fine with lots of Cook's usual humor. However, I soon became bored. The author spent too much time discussing glass blowing and jewelry making. It was almost as if she needed filler to complete a novel-length manuscript. This book was a real disappointment.
Oct 02, 2016 Kerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea until after I read this that it was from the same author of Must Love Dogs, but I can see the same outlook in this book. Ginger is a hot mess, trying to get a jewelry business off the ground and profitable so she can move out of her parents garage apartment but she is in no big rush. That is until they decide to put it on the market. Her on again off again boyfriend is all to comfortable with the few times he sees her. When a movie set comes to town her life is flipped upside down ...more
Jul 19, 2008 Kate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah. Don't read this book. Airport purchase, but not quite worth it. It's about sisters in MA, and said it was funny/touching, so I was like "ok I like sisters and I miss MA, so I will read it," and was hoping at least for something going on with her "mysterious boyfriend" or something like that, but nope.
Darlene Sherrill
Jul 31, 2014 Darlene Sherrill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the most ridiculous book I have ever read. I am embarrassed to say I read it!
Jul 17, 2008 Reca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008, fiction
It was very fitting that I started this book while I was at the beach even if there was very little beach in the book. This book was about two sisters, one of whom was single and in her 40s dealing with her successful older sister and growing. I enjoyed this one.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Life's a Beach by Claire Cook 1 2 Jun 22, 2013 07:03AM  
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I wrote my first novel in my minivan at 45. At 50, I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation of my second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. I'm now the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of 16 books. If you have a buried dream, take it from me, it is NEVER too late!

I've reinvented myself once again by turning Must Lov
More about Claire Cook...

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“Your problem, my darling daughter, is that you're afraid you're going to miss something. But what you don't realize is that, by not making a decision, you're missing it all.” 8 likes
“It takes courage to create,' he said. 'People are afraid of embarrassing themselves by not being good enough.'
Or maybe even by showing who they really are.”
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