It's time to dig out the swim fins, pull out the grill, and dawn some summer whites. Summer also means getting your beach reading together. To makes this year's reading a little lighter, not in content but in weight, I have gathered some great stories that only require one book. Or should I say "The Good Book?"

Here are just a few of the less known gems of the Bible that you might enjoy. I have not included any from the Gospels because we get to hear them read every Sunday. Rather, I have chosen some tales you might not be as familiar with, or heard the names of the characters but can't remember exactly what happened. Perhaps when you finish these you might search for some more. I am sure you will enjoy my 5 suggestions for summer beach reading.

1. Bad Hair Day - Judges 16:4-31 - Samson has a secret. Delilah, an Old Testament Mata Hari, sells out the man who loves her. This story of betrayal and justice tell of the unusual source of Samson's strength.

2. Wise Ruling - 1 Kings 3:16-28 - Read what happens when two women claim to be the mother of the same baby. Solomon knows that real love means sacrifice.

3. Curious Cure - 2 Kings 5:1-27 - Naaman, an Aramean general, goes to Israel to seek a cure on the advice of his servant girl, a Jewish girl who was captured in a raid against Israel. The king of Israel allows his journey but is worried that he is being set up to fail, thus giving the Syrians a pretext for war. In Luke's Gospel, Jesus uses this story to explain that salvation is meant for all. (Luke 4, 27) See if you can see the connection to our sacrament of Baptism.

4. The Great Escape - Acts 12:1-17 - King Herod thinks he can squash those troublesome Christians by having them imprisoned and murdered. He has St. James, the brother of John, killed by a sword, but see what happens when he arrests St. Peter.

5. Shipwrecked - Acts 27-28 - This is the story of Paul's journey to Rome as a prisoner. The story involves shipwreck, intrigue and salvation. It will also make you feel better if you have any travel problems on your way to vacation!