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Chapter 29 - The Vacationers

This is a great time of year here in North Myrtle Beach. We have loads of vacationers and they come into the store usually looking for one thing - a good beach read. There are so many good books out there both fiction and non-fiction but a beach read is almost a genre all to itself.

A beach read is an escape for both your body and your mind. The perfect beach read differs from person to person but generally it is a paperback either trade or mass market with excitement, romance, interesting relationship stories, adventure or something you can easily read in a week or less. It is a rare thing when a customer wants a business or computer book for the beach although sometimes history books are requested.

So here are some suggested authors for your beach read this summer. You will note there is not a literary realist, classic or magical realism book among them!

Dorothea Benton Frank - Frank writes about the Low Country and so many of her books take place on our beaches or a little further south. Her writing is witty in a snarky kind of way and her characters flawed and real. She has written many books but some of my favorites of hers include Sullivan's Island and Pawley's Island. Last year's By Invitation Only is currently in paperback. She usually comes out with a new book each year.

Lee Child - Lee Child is responsible for the Jack Reacher series and, if you aren't fond of the movies with Tom Cruise, you should really try the books. The latest one in paperback is Past Tense but you really should start with The Killing Floor which is the first Reacher book Child wrote. There are enough in this series to keep you coming back to the store to buy the next one. They are adventure, murder, and a good guy with some character flaws.

Wendy Wax - I enjoy Wendy Wax for a lot of reasons. First, she writes good relationship books. Second, she has a terrific series which starts with Ten Beach Road. There are currently 6 books in the series. Thirdly, she has some terrific standalone books as well which include her latest My Ex-Best Friend's Wedding. I don't think you can go wrong with her books.

Michael Connelly - Michael Connelly writes a couple of different series and I have been hooked lately on The Late Show and its followup Dark Sacred Night. The protagonist in The Late Show, Renee' Ballard is an LAPD detective who ends up on the night shift because of filing a sexual harassment claim. She teams up with Harry Bosch in Dark Sacred Night. His other series, The Lincoln Lawyer and, of course, his Harry Bosch series are excellent as well.

Robin Cook - Dr. Robin Cook is the king of medical mysteries. Cook writes standalone mysteries as well a few reoccurring protagonists, but all involve medicine, technology, and scary possibilities. It is the last item which makes them so good, I think, the fact that any of these things could happen. Some of my favorites are Coma, Outbreak, and one of his newer books Charlatans.

Who is your go-to author for a good beach read? Please let me know!

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