Local Beach Reads
Best Local Beach Reads. Reading in the Summer of Glove
Books can easily be considered the original form of social distancing: you find a nice cozy, comfy spot away from the world and escape into a different reality for a bit. And we could all certainly use some escaping these days. Pick up one of these new beachy picks and settle in for a long summer’s escape.
Let’s start with some truly fabulous beach reads from some of your favorite New York Times bestselling southern and romance authors. The Queen of the Beach Reads, Mary Kay Andrews, kicks us off with Hello, Summer (MPS, hardcover, $28.99), part summer romance, part mystery, and a lot of fun. After a reporter loses her big-city job, she finds herself back home working as a small-town coastal gossip columnist; soon, she stumbles upon a murder and finds herself embroiled in the biggest scandal her town has ever seen.
Don’t forget to include the rising star of southern fiction Kristy Harvey Woodson and her latest, Feels Like Falling (Simon & Schuster, paperback, $16.99), a Spring 2020 Okra Pick and instant bestseller. Set on the North Carolina coast, two women of opposite personalities and tastes share a beach cottage for the summer and find themselves helping one another to face and overcome some of life’s many obstacles.
On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe (Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $26.99) returns to Sullivan’s Island and the Rutledge family, previously featured in her beloved Beach House series. Family is brought together for a fun summer vacation but finds themselves turning to one another for support and love when a crisis strikes.
Considered ‘a perfect quarantine read’ by USA Today, Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner (Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $28.00) follows two estranged best friends as they reunite at a Cape Cod summer wedding. Is it a chance to heal old wounds, or a recipe for disaster?
In August, keep an eye out for The Wright Sister (Harper Collins, paperback, $18.99). Patty Dann’s epistolary historical novel envisions the relationship between siblings Katharine and Orville Wright after the passing of their brother, Wilbur. Orv’s disapproval of Katharine’s marriage leads to a decades-long estrangement explored in their fictionalized letters.
Last, but not least fiction, is Beach Read (Penguin, paperback, $16.00) by Emily Henry. When a romance author and a literary writer spend the summer in neighboring beach cottages, they challenge themselves to write outside their genres while introducing one another to the life not yet lived.
For non-fiction readers, check out these new books on Outer Banks history. Start off with Shipwrecks of the Outer Banks: Dramatic Rescues and Fantastic Wrecks in the Graveyard of the Atlantic by James D. Charlet (Globe Pequot, paperback, $19.95), a local historian whose decades of teaching history and involvement with the Wright Brothers National Memorial and the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site & Museum have provided him with plenty of stories to tell. Charlet sheds new light on tales of heroic rescues, ships lost, local legends, unsolved mysteries, and more. (James is a contributing author for Three Dog Ink.)
On the lighter side, stroll through Historic Hotels and Motels of the Outer Banks (Arcadia, paperback, $21.99). Author Elizabeth Ownley Cooper’s book features photos from the golden era of hotels and motels on the beach along with colorful stories of their owners and guests, beginning in the 1800s through to the end of the twentieth century.
Surfing Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks (Tony Lillis, Arcadia, paperback, $21.99) is great for any surfing fan. Photos of the Outer Banks surfing culture of the 1960s are complemented with writings about the role local surfers and waves played in the Eastern Surfing Association and the development of our coastal economy.
Manteo photographer Wes Snyder gives us your next must-have coffee table book. Journey Through the Outer Banks (Globe Pequot, hardcover, $19.95) provides a photographic record of the landmarks, sunrises and sunsets, wildlife, and night skies that locals and vacationers alike have come to cherish. From Carova to Ocracoke, Snyder captures the beauty and essence of the Outer Banks in his timeless work.
Whether you want to escape to the past or dip into a fun diversion, these beach reads can fill your bag and keep you socially distanced for hours. Happy Summer, Readers!
Meaghan Beasley has lived on the Outer Banks over 14 years; although not a local herself, she married one and finds herself completely at home here among the water and dunes. A sort of modern Renaissance woman, Meaghan works as an Indie Bookseller, a bookkeeper, a freelance writer, a small sewing business owner, and the wife of a crabber (truly a job in and of itself). When not working, she’s reading: on the beach, on the deck, on the couch – anywhere’s perfect for reading!