With Memorial Day behind us pools have been officially opened, lake houses cleaned up and everybody has been given the green light for flip flops. If you are on your way to the beach you might find yourself whisked away on a great romantic adventure a la Dirty Dancing or like Stella when she got her groove back, but if you don’t find the romance and adventure you seek you can always try to get it from a book. The list below is packed with adventure, mystery, romance and heartbreak. All the makings of a great summer experience.

13599050Firefly Beach, by Meira Pentermann – For under $10 in paperback and less that $5 digitally this book has all of the elements of a great beach read. First, it has a reputation as a page turner and it takes place in a cottage on a beach in Maine. It’s the story of a woman renting a beach house with no plan but to paint and relax. Then the mystery begins when she inexplicably finds the diary of a girl who vanished in 1975.

Just This Once, by Rosalind James – James is an Indie doing everything right, her digital books are priced free on occasion and if you don’t want sand and water on your digital reader you can get a paperback under $10. James has created a fun and refreshing franchise that screams beach read. All of her books take place on the shores of New Zealand; she has named it the “Escape to New Zealand” series. In the first book of the series, Hannah Montgomery sets off for a trip to the beach in search of a relaxing time and finds her trip “interrupted” by a handsome Rugby player. Poor girl. James is earning a reputation as a great storyteller and this; the first book of the series is collecting rave reviews and hitting best seller lists everywhere.

Chicken Soup Books, by various authors – Digital and print copies typically sell for under $10. I am a sucker for the Chicken Soup for the soul books. They are short and sweet and I often find myself laughing and crying at the same time as I read those stories. A few of the newer titles are heavy, but there are at least a couple that I could curl up with on the beach, namely “The Power of the Positive,” “Parenthood” and “Angels Among us.”

The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls – This is an oldie but a goodie. It’s available in paperback for around $12 and digitally for under $8. I read it several years ago, at the beach, and it has stuck with me all of these years and I still remember the beach where I read it. It’s the unbelievably true memoir about Walls and her family, who lived a nomadic lifestyle that was exciting for Walls as a child but as an adult she sees the dangers that it meant. The book starts showing how she was a Park Avenue New Yorker on her way to a party when she sees her mother digging through trash for food. It seems unbelievable from the get go, but it’s true. The story is exiting, just like the exhilarating and terrifying Walls family. It’s a great read for the beach or anywhere else that will be pertinent for years to come.


Nicole Loughan is a professional writer and author. She loves mystery, humor and a little romance. Her books are packed with what she loves and are available through her website www.littlespotforstories.com.