Vacation / Beach Reads

auto beach car desert

Toes in the sand, book in your hand – there’s something delicious about a juicy new paperback just waiting to be cracked open at or on the way to your vacation getaway.  Here are some vacation or staycation suggestions:



Jack o lantern ghostStephen King:  When I was younger, the perfect vacation book was the latest Stephen King;  seems like I always read him in the heat of summer.  He was, at that time, such a prolific writer that there was always a fat new mass market paperback waiting for me at Waldenbooks. The most recent title I have read and reviewed (and far from the best) is The Institute



Woman gossiping on phoneAnything by Liane Moriarty:  Although some are better than others, all of Ms. Moriarty’s books are engrossing and readable.  I enjoyed What Alice Forgot and The Husband’s Secret, both of which rated high on the intrigue meter.  All of her titles are standalone novels, all taking place (so far) in Australia. Here’s what I had to say about her most well-known novel, Big Little Lies.


baby ducksAnything by David Sedaris: If you can snag an audio version (always read by Mr. Sedaris), do it.  His books and essays are very funny.  Share with your friends as well, but it’s best to vet before sharing; some stories are graphic.  All of his books are broken into individual (hilarious) essays. This guy is a comedic genius.



sickleDarynda Jones’s Grim Reaper series is made for vacation reading if you’re into the paranormal and like your novels on the (very) spicy, very irreverent side. Charley Davidson is a private detective, so you could sort of call this detective fiction – but she also happens to be the Grim Reaper.   Jones also has several other series that you can read about on her blog,



booksDan Brown’s Robert Langdon series  make great leisure reads; he has mastered the art of the uber-short chapter and the action-packed story.  His breakthrough novel of codebreaking and intrigue in the Vatican was The Da Vinci Code, although there is a prior novel featuring the same characters called Angels and Demons as well as three more titles that follow Da Vinci.  These books are fast reads; you might want to grab more than one title.


"love" in floral letters

Debbie Macomber is the author you want to check out if you like a pleasant romance that does not contain horror, sex, or international intrigue involving the Catholic Church.  She has several series,  including a few knitting novels that showcase enduring friendship and at least one knitting pattern per book. If you knit (as I do), buy or check out The Shop on Blossom Street and find the pattern before you head out on your getaway, so you have time to buy the yarn and supplies needed to knit as you read.

Beach Reads Reviewed on this site:

M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth Mysteries  are light, funny, and not overly long.  See my reviews of The Quiche of Death and Death of a Gossip

Rosemary’s Baby (Ira Levin) is a great choice if you like a little holiday horror.  The horror is subtle, the book is readable, and you’ll enjoy a glimpse into trendy 1960’s New York City. (I can’t let go of that link between horror novels and vacation.)

Two Truths and a Lie by Meg Mitchell Moore is a respectable choice; after all, it’s a thriller (of sorts) that takes place in a beach town in the summer.  It has a decent little plot twist at the end but also some triggers; see the review by clicking the link for more information.  I don’t really provide the plot at all but I explain the triggers.

The Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley could make a respectable beach read; the series is a little gloomy but the heroine is so endearing and so funny.  This would be a good choice for bedtime reading rather than beach-chair reading. Learn more by following the link.