5 Favorite Reads for a Beach Vacation
It's Monday morning, which means I am drooping listlessly over coffee after a chilly yet lovely weekend at North Myrtle Beach. This year we all expanded into a condo that was big enough, for once, and had a balcony overlooking the ocean. What luxury!
What to read at the beach is always a good question, because one can't read anything too emotionally or mentally gripping without running the risk of a sunburn or heavy mind all weekend.
Here are a few that I have found to be light-hearted, or riveting in a way that doesn't engage darker emotions.
5 FAVORITE READS FOR A BEACH VACATION
1. Jane of Lantern Hill
I love this book. I met it at 11 years old - and the mackerel sky and sea of Prince Edward Island have stayed with me always, along with the picture of marigold Jane armed with an apron and teapot. Somewhat plain with a sensible and keen way of looking at life, for the first years of her life Jane didn't fit into her Grandmother's stiff and unbending lifestyle. She was neither decidedly unhappy or happy, as colorless but privileged children's lives tend to be, until one day the fateful letter arrived...
One boat ride later she met her dad and life was changed forever. She begins to learn how to do things, live and work a little, and finds that she loves it. It's a story of the joy of learning to do for oneself, and finding purpose in being needed and useful.
Expect Montgomery's nature descriptions to give you the peculiar flash of pure joy for which she is famous.
2. House on Garibaldi Street
Riveting, is the word. It's rare for me to meet a book that I will pick up and read in spare 5 minutes (that stretch to 15) but so it is with this book. It chronicles the detection and capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, and what it took for the Israeli Intelligence to safely bring him back to Israel to judge his crimes against the Jews.
It profoundly impressed me with the patience and timing it took to coordinate it, in the face of what I'm sure was strong emotion for the Israeli Intelligence force post war.
3. The Mysterious Benedict Society
One could not call this a small paperback, and it is actually a series, but in this case I refer to the first book for a starter. The reading is easy and the story excellent; it's a wonderful read for children and adults alike, and manages to surprise you with a kooky few twists and turns at the end. Warning: this one may cause sunburn, because you will forget everything but the strange world that only the children can save.
4. The Blue Castle
L.M. Montgomery is a favorite author of mine, so to find another one of her books on this list (re: Jane of Lantern Hill) isn't surprising. Plus, one would be hard put to find a more satisfying tale than old maid, cowed Valancy who breaks free from the bonds of her stuffy family to find the bewitching woods and fairy loveliness of the Muskoka. Lurking behind all this is the scruffy, smiling face of Barney Snaith with his crooked eyebrows and sense of humor, a marriage of convenience (I promise this isn't your typical romance novel) and a surprising secret.
5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
You'll laugh, you might sniff a few times, and by the end want to schedule a trip to a set of small islands in the English Channel. In a series of letters between a writer and residents on the Guernsey Islands, this book explores World War II trauma and aftermath for a handful of people who survived the occupation of the islands. The characters are colorful, interesting, and the type of people with whom you would wish to have many afternoon teas and walks.
It's just the sort of feel good book one wants to read on vacation. Buy it here.
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