Friday, July 8, 2016

Beach Reading

I love the beach!  I love walking along the shore, picking up shells, listening to the waves crash, and even boogie boarding when we’re home in Florida, where the water is warmer and the waves are gentler than up north.  But just as important, I love sitting in a sand chair facing the ocean and––you guessed it––reading.
Me with a book at the Jersey Shore.

I don’t read just any book at the beach.  It’s has to be vacation reading, even if I’m not on an official vacation.  It has to be fun and filled with characters I can identify with and love.  Happy endings are a plus, although I can live with a sad, but hopeful ending.  But no tragedies are allowed on my beach.

My favorite beach authors are, not surprisingly, my favorite authors off the beach, too––those who write about women’s lives and the ups and downs of love, family, and friendships.  It’s even better when the books have beautiful settings, places I’ve been to or would love to go.

These include:  Elin Hilderbrand, who lives and writes in Nantucket, a beautiful, historic island off Cape Cod that I fell in love with my first visit;  Marie Bostwick, whose Cobbled Court Quilts series is set in a quilt shop, a craft I’ve dabbled in (I proudly display my pillows in my living room);  Jane Green, a British writer who now lives in Connecticut and writes about ordinary families (with problems of course) in southern Connecticut towns;  Mary Kay Andrews, many of whose books are set in and around Savannah;  Dorothea Benton Frank, whose books about the South Carolina Low Country I first discovered in a Beaufort, SC, book shop;  Kristin Hannah, whose books delve deeply into family relationships––Home Front and The Nightingale were books I couldn’t put down;  and Anne Rivers Siddons, who writes about both New England and the South. 

Seagulls at New Smyrna Beach, FL
Last week, I enjoyed four days “down the shore” at a beach house in Avalon, NJ, with my daughter and her family.  I brought Jane Green’s The Beach House with me.  The story revolves around an old beach house in Nantucket’s Sconset community.  Finding herself financially strapped, the owner, a widow in her sixties, decides to rent rooms.  Not surprisingly, her guests are men and women escaping life crises.  It was fun watching them resolve their issues and find new friends and a new “family.”  Perfect beach reading.

What do you like to read on the beach?


  1. While I haven't been to the beach in ages, way too long in fact, but - and this is a big butt I love beach reads and often put on beach music, which is what I call songs such as Down on the Boardwalk, and another oldie but goodie, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. I like to bring the beach to me when I read. Lately I'm bringing back the 50s and 60s with all sorts of CDs I ordered from Amazon. Love music when I read. In fact I recently bought a cd specifically to listen to when reading, a nice soft piano piece. Love love love reading. Really enjoying this blog. Keep writing and I'll keep reading. Oh, just finished The Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham.

  2. I was at a North Carolina beach in June and I read a MG novel called FREE VERSE. Any chance I get to catch up on my reading is valuable time. I also worked on my own writing at that NC beach, and that's valuable time too.