Beach Reads Recommended By the Professionals
Who doesn’t love a relaxing beach vacation? If you are like the librarians at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, one of the first things you grab is a great book to read while you soak in the sun. Your local library staff compiled a list of great beach reads for you to peruse next to the beach or pool. Enjoy! (And make sure you reapply that sunscreen!)
The Pro: Laura Noble
The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel follows the story of the intelligent Olivia who finds herself living out a far more simplistic life than she originally planned. Forced by circumstance, she marries a stranger and must learn to find “the magic” in living a life she never dreamed. The novel lets us know that happiness and self-fulfillment is found not in extraordinary events or plans, but by seeing it as it already exists in the people around us.
The Pro: Audrey Jones
Dark Mystery? The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Cute chick-lit? The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion; Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
GREAT audiobook for a road trip? Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Non-Fiction? The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Also an excellent audiobook choice.)
The Pro: Susan Markham:
Anything by Mary Kay Andrews – fun, quirky, many are set at the Beach, and there are always problems and capers.
Anything by Karen White – another Southern writer, she captures the South and its people.
The Pro: Mandy Pinyan:
Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) by Victoria Aveyard – touches of dystopia mixed with caste systems and tyrannical royalty, this books grabs and doesn’t really let go. Reviews
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – Much of the action takes place on a beach. You’ll cast many wayward glances at the shapes in the surf after reading this haunting book. Reviews
The Pro: Cindy Hewitt
Flawless by bestselling author Heather Graham is a perfect beach read. This romantic mystery has intrigue, murder, mayhem and just enough sizzle to be enjoyable.
The Pro: Laura McPhail
Colin Firth instead of Cary Elwes as Westley? Arnold Schwarzenegger instead of Andre the Giant as Fezzik? Sting instead of that other guy as Prince Humperdink? Alternate choices for the cast of the iconic film The Princess Bride (based on the book of the same title by William Goldman) is not all we can learn in the totally engaging and oftentimes hilarious As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Dread Pirate Roberts himself, Cary Elwes.
While this book is also a fun read in print (great photos!), I suggest the audio version for your next road trip, or while soaking up the sun on the beach. Cary Elwes reads his first-person account of the behind-the-scenes action during the making of a film that opened to critical acclaim and low box office revenue, but now stands as a cult classic. Just when you have sunk into the warm velvety goodness of Elwes’s voice, the listener is then treated to hearing other major players read their contributions to the story. Director Rob Reiner, producer Norman Lear, and author/screenwriter William Goldman join Robin Wright, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Wallace Shawn, and Christopher Guest in this superb production.
In just over seven hours, As You Wish is an easy and delightful listen for those in “wuv” with the movie… twue wuv.
The Marathon Reader: Kathy
The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – This was a beach read, wasn’t quite what I was expected when I picked it up (see my review) but it went quick and was engrossing. Review
Along for the Ride by Sara Dessen – this is more along the lines of what most people would call a beach read — a YA “chick flick.” Good story, and my first Kindle book! Review
Defending Jacob by William Landay – suspense/murder/mess with your mind sort of book, a very engrossing book and hard to put down, great beach read (and my 2nd Kindle book!) Review
The Marathon Reader: Karlton
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – Good escapist mystery thriller.
The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie – classic murder mystery
The Marathon Reader: Amanda
iZombie, Vol. 1: Dead to the World by Chris Roberson – Told from a female zombie’s perspective, this smart, witty detective series mixes urban fantasy and romantic dramedy. Review
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close – Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.
Guess what? You too can be a Marathon Beach Reader thanks to Madison Library’s Madison Mega Marathon! If you think you’re up for the challenge and want to win fabulous prizes JUST FOR READING BOOKS, you can find all the details here.
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Mandy Pinyan has been a passionate book lover from an early age, where being busted for bringing Stephen King to school (a book, not the guy) led to much reading by flashlight. She turned out okay. She is the Youth Services Coordinator and Manager of Outreach Services at the Huntsville Madison County Public Library Extension and Outreach Department, where she can be seen driving a Rainbow Van or a Bookmobile in between gigs. Mom to a tween, Adelyn and wife to a ruggedly handsome outdoorsman with an obsession with planting bamboo, Mandy finds enjoyment in painting, gardening and geeking out over various pop culture. A small menagerie of pets - dachshunds Matt Damon and Angel, kitty BB and Boston-Chihuahua-chupacabra mix Bailey just make the chaos complete.