Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Reader Question: Beach Reading?

Photo by Muffy Aldrich
A reader question:

Dear Muffy,

I am looking forward to spending far too many hours on the beach this summer devouring a stack of books.  Might you ask your readers to share what books they are enjoying or are looking forward to this season? 

Thank you,

 

45 comments:

  1. Everyone should read "The Big House" by George Howe Colt, but especially readers of this blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read it and it would be a good choice.

      Delete
    2. Was going to recommend “The Big House“, too.

      Delete
    3. Yes! That is the perfect book for this group.

      Delete
    4. Just purchased off EBAY for $3.76

      Delete
  2. Summer reads should be light and easy reads. Being from the South, my beach days would probably be spent in Galveston or Biloxi. I would go with a good Southern-centric mystery from James Lee Burke or Greg Iles.

    ReplyDelete
  3. “White House by the Sea” - last summer vacation’s read. “Run with the Horses,” Eugene Peterson. Anything John Grisham. “Sisters,” Joel Vaughan about 7 Depression era sisters on the New River in Virginia.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Southern India" by Lady Lawley, wife of Arthur Lawley, 6th Baron Wenlock, a British colonial administrator who served as Governor of Madras.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Light reads — which are often best-sellers — and don't have to be recent. Older paperbacks like "Jaws", "The Last Convertible", and "The Godfather" — are very engaging. I would also recommend "Tales of the City". It was written to be daily installments in the San Francisco Chronicle. It reads as light as a comic book, but it's about swinging San Francisco in the 1970s — so pretty adult!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The classic's never fail!

    ReplyDelete
  7. "David Copperfield" is a good choice. Not light, but probably my favorite novel so far. You can't go wrong with Agatha Christie. "The Daughters of Yalta" could be read in conjunction with "The Splendid and the Vile" - I found both fascinating. I'd also like to say THANK YOU for the recommendations to read John P. Marquand-what a fantastic novelist and his work is not only compelling, but parallels what's going on in the world today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Emailed from reader:

    “Ian Fleming - The Complete Man “ by Nicolas Shakespeare is enormously informative and well written with much revelatory information on Fleming's WW II role in British Intelligence including the relation with the US government. For some maybe a tad too much information about all the ladies Fleming courted …

    Yours aye

    XXXXXX,
    Wesepe, the Netherlands

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you are into sailing, British yachting fiction writer, Sam Llewelleyns' sea thrillers are the best and wonderfully accurate in every detail.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am a fan of the self-improvement genre. Naturally, books are a wonderful medium for such. “Crucial Conversations” has been a most utile tool to navigate some of the more difficult parts of life. I’ve found the ability to thoughtfully wordsmith ameliorate not only my professional and personal lives - it re-oriented my perspective from wanting to “win” conversations to wanting to better understand my fellow brethren. Would recommend.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The Great Gatsby. The Big House.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hmm, I like rereading favorites, Barbara Pym and Georgette Heyer are great for that, along with Dorothy Dunnett’s historical fiction.

    Newish stuff, Ann Leckie’s Ancillary trilogy is very fun, smart science fiction.

    Allie Hazelwood is writing the best contemporary romances around. I think everyone who likes romance novels should check her out.

    Lastly, Welcome To Lagos, (Chibundu Onuzo) is a page turner with a lovely set of characters.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ann Patchett: The Dutch House, Commonwealth, or Tom Lake
    Andy Weir: Project Martian
    Blake Crouch: Dark Matter, Recursion
    Any books by Elin Hilderbrand (queen of the beach read) or Amor Towles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, Elin Hilderbrand + beach = perfect match. Also Nancy Thayer. Both live on Nantucket and write about it (well, fictional goings-on there) with an insider's knowledge of the island scene.

      Delete
  14. For non-fiction, The Book of Wilding by Isabella Tree is a fascinating account of her family's efforts to return their farm to nature.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Martini Gavotte, D.Litt.May 10, 2024 at 12:51 PM

    I normally don't like pop fiction, but my mother-in-law recently got me started on Dean Koontz, and I highly recommend his mature work (as opposed to earlier books written under pseudonyms, not that those are bad books). I read him mainly for his asides and observations; he's an astute man. The dialogue also tends to be very sharp. Another recommendation: Mel Torme wrote a novel titled "Winner" about a singer dealing with the demise of the Swing Era, and it's as good a page-turner as I've ever read. The sad thing is that he wrote it as a serious literary novel and his publisher made him cut it down to pop fiction.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anything by Peter Mayle, particularly Hotel Pastis and the Sam Leavitt series. Also check out the Bruno Chief of Police series by Martin Walker.

    ReplyDelete
  17. if you like character-driven novels about people skirting the law or westerns, try Elmore Leonard. Law enforcement murder/crime novels, John Sandford. Sandford, under his real name, John Camp, won a pair of Pulitzer prices as a local St. Paul, Minnesota print journalist - and his writing is a cut above run-of-the-mill pulp fiction.

    ReplyDelete
  18. All the Bond novels. The Sun Also Rises. Catcher in the Rye. Frannie and Zoey. The Jeeves and Mr. Mulliner P. G. Wodehouse books...all P. G. Wodehouse. Kurt Vonnegut books. So many more. I have fond memories of reading these books on the beach in the '80's covered in Bain de Soleil or baby oil and wearing Magnum P.I. short shorts or Birdwell Beach Britches.

    Cheers,

    Will

    ReplyDelete
  19. Working my way through Edmund Morris’s trilogy on Teddy Roosevelt. Highly recommend for those that enjoy nonfiction and the escapades of TR.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beach reading. Ah yes, Edmund Morris. “One man gathers what another man spills.”

    ReplyDelete
  21. Since I will be returning to Lucca and hopefully to la costa tirrenica (Tyrrhenian Coast) this summer, I would like to finish Iris Origo's War in Val d'Orcia and A Chill in the Air, which are essentially her diary entries during WW2.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I look forward to July when the new new Daniel
    Silva novel in the Gabriel Allon series is published.
    Read ‘‘em all ( better in chronological order if possible.)
    Also, the Randy Wayne White Doc Ford series. Doc is
    the new Travis McGee.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The psychological crime thrillers written by Jo Nesbo, Janotahn Kellerman, and John Sandford. Ideal summertime reading. Haven't read anything by either author in a few years, so several new books have, no doubt, come out, and I must catch up with one, or another when we journey "Up North" as they say here in Michigan.

    Kind Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

    ReplyDelete
  24. The Devil in the White City (or anything by Erik Larson); Empire Falls (Russo); The Midnight Library (Hain)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Realized my typo…it’s Haig not Hain

      Delete
  25. We have already read White House by the Sea and The Outermost House, both of which were recommended here and I will read The Big House starting today. I also second the comments about bestsellers not having to be recent, such as The Caine Mutiny. Other than that, it's book sale season here where I live and there are always new old finds, such as an collection of French short stories with notes and many other older, signature-bound hardcover books with that delightful library smell of gently aged books.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The Gervase Fen Mysteries by Edmund Crispin - fantastic stories, fun plots & an interesting lead British amateur detective.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love a clean, intelligent mysteries for beach reading. Ann Cleeves and Louise Penny are two of my favorite authors. I recommend all their books.

    ReplyDelete
  28. W.Somerset Maugham : Cakes and Ale

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm currently hooked on Freida McFadden's books. Most of hers are psychological thrillers if you like that genre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. The first one I read was The Housemaid - riveting! McFadden is a practicing physician specializing in brain injury, btw, besides being a talented writer.

      Delete
  30. Anything by the Portugeuse Nobel Laureate (1998), Jose Saramago.

    An aetheist, communist and lifelong troublemaker, his selection was not popular with the Vatican, or the Portugeuse Government.

    I also like to reread The Hot Zone by Richard Preston - a true story that is more thrilling (try putting it down) than almost any novel. Especially pertinent since 2020.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Tana French books, especially The Dublin Murder Squad, starting with In The Woods. Every book Amor Towles writes; he’s an amazing storyteller.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anything by Amor Towles, Walter Mosely, or C.S. Harris. Also, Walter Issacson's Benjamin Franklin biography and Percival Everett's James.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I think books with true adventures in exotic places are great at the beach. So try “West With The Night,” an autobiography by Beryl Markham about her wild times in colonial Kenya and in the cockpit of airplanes. “The Man-eaters of Tsavo” is a good follow-up.

    Humor is also good at the beach, and I recommend Carl Hiassen for his Florida novels that are almost as crazy and funny as the real thing. Another Florida writer, Randy Wayne White, has a long series of Doc Ford mysteries with bits of humor and plenty of adventure. Start with the early books of both authors.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Especially for Maine lovers....My Love Affair with the State of Maine by Scotty MacKenzie...a hilarious romp through several years of two preppyish women in the 1940s running a summer grocery store, soda fountain and dance hall near Kennebunkport, Maine.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The Hilary Tamar mysteries by Sarah Caudwell are wonderful, with witty dialogue and lovely settings (London and further afield). I also recommend Anthony Horowitz's Hawthorne and Horowitz mysteries.

    ReplyDelete
  36. On my list:
    The Guest House by Sarah Blake
    Nine Stories--J.D. Salinger
    Noble Life: Memories Of A Summer Camp In Maine--Barry Macnutt
    The Unexpected Guest---Agatha Christie
    And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle---Jon Meacham
    An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s ---Doris Kearns Goodwin

    ReplyDelete
  37. Every few summers I re-read the Aubrey / Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian. The first book is Master and Commander, which was sort of made into a decent movie a few years back. There are 20 books, and if I don't slack-off too much, I can fit them all in between Memorial Day and Labor Day. They have much to recommend them; set during the Napoleonic wars, there is action and adventure, Jane Austin style romance, and the growing friendship between the two main characters. I will be starting again in less than two weeks.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are moderated.