Best Beach Books

Cait Findlay 24 May 2017
Image Credit: Jules Roman

If your mind, like mine, is already drifting towards thoughts of long, languid summer days stretched out in the sunshine with a book, then you’ve procrasti-clicked on the right article. I asked some fellow discerning readers for recommendations of books to enjoy once you’ve broken the bubble, and they did not disappoint. So here we have TCS’s list of the best beach books for the summer of 2017:

Martha Radbourne: “Set in du Maurier’s traditional setting of historic Cornwall, Frenchman’s Creek unfolds as a swashbuckling adventure of the affair between Lady Dona St. Columb and a French pirate. Utterly improbable and thus rather perfect escapism, this story combines its inevitable romance and daring sea rescues with just enough realism that it is almost believable.”

Beatrice Obe: “The holidays always make me think of freedom and whimsy, so I love reaching for Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi short stories (The Martian Chronicles, The Veldt, etc). I also dedicate time to re-reading old favourites, like Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines series.”

Finley Kidd: “I would recommend Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. It’s a classic stranded-on-a-desert-island plot but with more feminism thrown in. Fun, very readable, and better than Lord of the Flies.”

Cait Findlay: “Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch has become one of my all-time favourite books – it’s long enough to keep you busy for a few hours, but you can take a pause between each section to go for a ramble in the sunshine. The setting of war-time London, while hardly an exotic destination, will transport you to somewhere, and some-when, completely different if you won’t otherwise be travelling far this summer.”

Ellie Loxton: “Love Nina by Nina Stibbe; The Secret life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd; The Help by Kathryn Stockett; No Bed for Bacon by Caryl Brahms; and On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan.”

Martha Radbourne: “A shorter read than most novels we have become accustomed to, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is perfect for the beach since its short chapters will allow you to fairly divide your time between reading, swimming, and shell collecting. With its deceptively simplistic illustrations and slightly surreal setting, it reveals itself to be a moving dialogue with surprisingly profound reflections on how we choose what we accord importance to and the possible absurdity of such elections.  To challenge yourself a bit more, you could read it in its original French.”