Beach Book Suggestions

I read a lot of fantasy novels, but they don't often come to mind when I think about beach books. It's tougher for me to engage with an entirely imagined world when the surf and salt air tie me down to this one. When I've got my hands on the next entry in a great series or a long-awaited new release then I don't have any trouble concentrating on more of a genre pick, but otherwise it's easiest to just choose something that fits my surroundings.

Here are a few ideas for your own beach (or poolside) getaways.

Gidget, by Frederick Kohner
Gidget (Gidget series, #1) Gidget has a great sense of voice and character, and I love the heroine's transformation from shy "girl midget" to confident surfer chick. Gidget's definitely got her share (and more) of guy trouble, but the focus of the story stays on what she wants and learns about herself. The book's final pages - especially the last two lines - are really refreshing, they make this one a pleasure to come back to again and again.

Close to Shore, by Michael Capuzzo
Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916  Who doesn't love a good shark book at the beach? This nonfiction account of the 1916 shark attacks that left four swimmers dead (and eventually inspired Jaws) touches on both what we know now about sharks and what we thought we knew then. It's also about American culture in the early days of the beach vacation. It presents the facts without being dry, partly because the book tries to give readers a victim's eye view.

Wishful Drinking, by Carrie Fisher
Wishful Drinking I don't typically read celebrity memoirs, but I'm a giant Star Wars geek so this caught my eye. It's a collection of anecdotes about Fisher's family, her career, and her struggles with mental illness and substance abuse. She writes with humor and a sense of fearlessness that made me want to root for her at every turn. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments you'll want to read aloud to your beach buddies, and at under 200 pages, you can probably finish before it's time to reapply your sunscreen.

If you have any other suggestions, let me know in the comments!

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