Top 10 Beach Reads for your South Strand Vacation

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It’s a tradition almost as hotly anticipated as vacation itself (we said almost).

Unfolding the beach chair, digging your toes in the sand, and devouring a new book.

While there’s a time and place for “War and Peace,” we know the best reads to get are page-turners — think easy laughs, mystery and scandal, and, yes, maybe a bodice-ripper or two. We’ve found recommendations from popular magazines and websites for some of the best beach reads for 2015. Ten, to be exact, and we gave precedence to those set in the south, on the beach, or with some Carolina ties.

And for your convenience, we recommend finding these in paperback where possible. It will make your carry-on and beach bags much easier to handle.

1) “Beach Town”by Mary Kay Andrews: “It wouldnt be summer without another page turner from Mary Kay Andrews. In Beach Town, a movie scout looks for the perfect beach for a big budget movie —her last chance at redemption after film crews utterly destroyed her last location. She finds a hidden Florida beach, but the mayor isnt too keen on a movie crew descending on his sleepy unspoilt town. But can love change his mind?”(from Popsugar)

2) “Dear Carolina”by Kristy Woodsen Harvey: “DEAR CAROLINA is a heartwarming story written to baby Carolina by both her birth mother and her adoptive one. A tale of female friendship, family bonds, and, oh yes, falling in love with a cowboy, Dear Carolina is the right blend of humor, heart and romance for whiling away a day on the beach. This is a story that proves life circumstances shape but don't define us and that families aren't born, they're made. Bonus points for the ocean on the cover, so, even if you aren't at the beach, you'll feel like you are!”(from Huffingon Post

3) “So Pretty It Hurts”by Bailey Weggins: “Mystery book author and Cosmo editor-in-chief Kate White returns with a gripping crime novel centered around Bailey Weggins, the gutsy young journalist-turned-sleuth. She gets more than she bargains for when she agrees to go on a glamorous weekend getawayand a supermodel turns up dead. Weggin's wisecracking humor will have you laughing while you're caught up in this suspenseful whodunit.”(from Cosmopolitan)

4) “The Rocks”by Peter Nichols: “This love-story-plus-mystery involving two honeymooners who split but live on the same island for 60 years, never speaking—and the generations that follow—may be the perfect beach read. Bonus points for most vacation-aspirational cover.”(from Health)

5) “The Hurricane Sisters”by Dorothea Benton Frank: (Note: this book is a 2014 entry, but it’s too perfect not to include) “Let this cozy, thoughtful summer read transport you to the beautiful Carolina Lowcountry, where three generations of women in the Waters family—from twenty-something, head-in-the-clouds aspiring artist Ashley, to her troubled mother, Liz, to feisty family matriarch, eighty-year-old Maisie—are about to experience an emotional turbulence that will shake loose long-buried secrets, testing the bonds of love and loyalty. With a vibrant cast of characters and plenty of humorous touches to temper the difficult times, this book will make you feel like summer has truly begun.”(from Barnes & Noble)

Five more to enjoy:

Lowcountry favorite Mary Alice Monroe has us clamoring for the bookstores again with “Summer’s End.”

Crazily creepy but can’t-put-it-down fun, Kevin O’Brien delivers frights and delights with “No One Needs To Know.”

For a good laugh and a fascinating (and sometimes wince-inducing) window into the male psyche, grab Jonathan Tropper’s latest, “One Last Thing Before I Go.” 

Runaway bestseller “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins has readers buzzing, and for good reason. 

Like a good young adult novel (and maybe screening for your kid)? Try “The Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard hits all the notes of adventure, angst and triumph. 


(Posted: 5/29/15)