I finished my last body surfing wave and trudged up to our spot on the shore. The waves this summer are punishing, with riptides, currents, and the shore break — or maybe I’m just not as young as I used to be. With the kids playing out in the surf with their dad, I sank into my chair with the best beach read I’ve had the opportunity to gather up this summer.
Toes in the sand, engrossed in romance, holding a paperback novel. My daughter was horrified.
“You’ll ruin it, Mom!”
“No I won’t. I’m making it better.”
“How will reading it while wet and sandy make it better?!”
Ah, the digital age. We’re systematically ruining our children for the real world, and I’m guilty as anyone.
My favorite books, the paperback novels that have moved with me from place to place since before college, are like this. They are warped from reading while in the pool up to my neck. They still have sand beneath the pages. Once in awhile, a pressed flower will make itself known as I re-thumb through the pages. Even a phone number of a long lost friend, or summer romance.
Each page is a memory.
So here are my 5 favorite beach reads, beach books, best books of summer, or all time. At least, as far as I can remember them this morning. Take a moment and peruse them. Download the kindle or nook samples if you must…or head to your local Barnes and Noble and hunt for your own! A trip to the bookstore at summertime is another post all together.
Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.
But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.
Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets….
#4: From a bestselling writer, a story of unexpected friendship—three women thrown together in college who grow to adulthood united and divided by secrets, lies, and a single night that shaped all of them
When UC Santa Cruz roommates Anna and Kate find passed-out Georgiana Leoni on a lawn one night, they wheel her to their dorm in a shopping cart. Twenty years later, they gather around a campfire on the lawn of a New England mansion. What happens in between—the web of wild adventures, unspoken jealousies, and sudden tragedies that alter the course of their lives—is charted with sharp wit and aching sadness in this meticulously constructed novel.
#3 Harold Donaldson unwillingly becomes the custodian of a beautiful, handcrafted kaleidoscope that changes
the viewer’s future and becomes the focus of evil operatives intent on capturing the kaleidoscope for nefarious purposes.
Brilliant but socially inept, Harold has distanced himself from any connection to his dysfunctional childhood. Abandoned by a father accused of his mother’s death, Harold trusts no one until the ’scope forces him to accept a circle of friends he must rely on. To protect all their lives from imminent danger, Harold must discover the source of the ’scope’s mysterious powers. Just as he is on the verge of learning how it works and why his past connects to his future, he must face disturbing truths he’s run from all his life.
There is nothing extraordinary about Tucker O’Shay’s dreams. Go to college. Become president. Fall in love.
And pretend like he has enough time to get it all done.
Sixteen-year-old Sarah Miller doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when she begins her first day at the one-room-school house in her new hometown of Rocky Knob. But when she meets seventeen-year-old Tucker O’Shay—the boy with the fatal illness who volunteers to tutor her in algebra—she finds herself swept up in a friendship that changes the way she sees the world and a love that changes her life.
Now available in one volume!
Any one of these books tells a separate story of faith, courage, and adventure worthy of the Discovery Network. Dani Pettrey was in my beach bag all summer in 2014/2015 and I loved every word from the opening page of SUBMERGED to THE END of Sabotaged. She leaves you totally satisfied and looking forward to her next series. If you are a lover of romantic suspense with an inspirational thread, then this is the book series for you.
And… if you like those, consider this beach read…by Ashley Ludwig
Mammoth’s new pastor is starting over. Using the pseudonym, Jake Gibb, he plans on staying far from his infamous father’s shadow.
When Jake meets the misunderstood Lilah Dale–a woman in the midst of a divorce and with nothing to hide thanks to the local prayer chain–he is convicted in the choice he’s made to hide his true identity.
With mutual deceptions marring their future, Jake and Lilah must form a careful relationship, and together learn that only the truth can set you free.