Local Beach Reads 2019
Beach vacations are about disconnecting and unwinding, kicking back and relaxing. Luckily, most of these titles are only available in print format – so you’ll have to leave your electronics behind and reconnect with words on paper. Grab a book, a towel, a patch of sand, and settle in for some blissful local beach reading
Something Read, Something Dead
Mystery novels and the beach tend to go hand-in-hand. Maybe it has something to do with escaping from the everyday and getting a little thrill from a well written whodunnit. At the top of your list put the fifth entry in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series, Something Read Something Dead by Eva Gates ($26.99 hardcover). Set at the Bodie Island Lighthouse, Lucy Richardson is it’s resident librarian, curating her small collection of books by day and solving mysteries in her spare time. In the latest entry, Lucy hosts a wedding shower for her cousin which turns deadly when a guest collapses. Can Lucy solve the mystery – and save the wedding? Treat yourself and find out!
My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding
After mysteries, classic beach romances are a great way to pass the time on the sand. If you love Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe, pick up the new title My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding by Wendy Wax ($16.99 paperback). When a successful romance writer, Lauren, returns home to Manteo for her wedding, she must face the best friend she left behind twenty years ago. Not only did Lauren and Bree once share a dream of becoming famous romance novelists, but Bree ended up married to Lauren’s high school sweetheart. More than broken friendships await; Lauren’s mother has kept a deep secret about her dead husband that will come out, no matter what. Set in Nags Head and featuring everything you love about our area, including the Nags Head aristocracy, Roanoke Island’s close-knit community, and an independent bookstore in Manteo, My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding is your number one beach romance pick this summer.
Blackbeard’s Outer Banks Treasure
For those seeking an introspective novel with ties to Outer Banks history, be sure to pick up Blackbeard’s Outer Banks Treasure by local author and comedian Greg Smrdel ($12.99 paperback). Akin to Smrdel’s previous books (Home, Sweet Outer Banks, Home? and Hurricane Izzy), Blackbeard’s Outer Banks Treasure takes the protagonist, Edward Drummond, on a search for answers to his family’s past. Taking place in both Nags Head and Bath, North Carolina, Edward’s journey along the coast leads him to discover familial ties to the notorious pirate Edward Teach – better known as Blackbeard.
Circa 1903: North Carolina’s Outer Banks at the Dawn of Flight
While the Wright Brothers continue to fascinate locals and visitors alike, Larry Tise presents a new look at the locals who populated the Outer Banks at the time of the legendary First Flight in Circa 1903: North Carolina’s Outer Banks at the Dawn of Flight ($20.00 paperback). An historic exploration of the Outer Banks at the dawn of the 20th century, never-before-seen photos share insight into the lives and culture of the people who made this isolated area home. While commercial fishing and Life-Saving services brought diverse populations to our shores, small communities developed with all the growing pains and cultural divides experienced in large cities. Eye-opening and one of its kind.
North Carolina Lighthouses: The Stories Behind the Beacons from Cape Fear to Currituck Beach
What better way to commemorate our shores than with North Carolina Lighthouses: The Stories Behind the Beacons from Cape Fear to Currituck Beach, Revised and Expanded Edition by Cheryl Shelton-Roberts and Bruce Roberts ($22.00 paperback). Beautiful photos and illustrations highlight this impressive text about our local lighthouses. From structural drawings and the history of the Fresnel lens, to the multiple re-buildings and facelifts of our shoreline beacons, North Carolina Lighthouses will delight historians and architecture buffs alike.
Chronicles of the Outer Banks: Fish Tales and Salty Gales
Sarah Downing, former assistant curator of the Outer Banks History Center on Roanoke Island, returns with her sixth book, Chronicles of the Outer Banks: Fish Tales and Salty Gales ($21.99 paperback). An eclectic and fun collection of quirky little-known Outer Banks Tales, this book is a great addition to the library of those who enjoy offbeat trivia and tales.
Images of America: Commercial Fishing on the Outer Banks
Local writers R. Wayne Gray and Nancy Beach Gray also return with their newest book, Images of America: Commercial Fishing on the Outer Banks ($21.99 paperback). An historical retrospective of the role of fishing in the development of the Outer Banks, the Grays also cover contemporary issues faced by modern commercial fishermen trying to maintain their traditional livelihoods amidst increasing regulations and tourism.
Tommy Tuna: A Tale of a Big Fish
It’s time to add to your collection of Suzanne Tate’s famed Nature Series for children with Tommy Tuna: A Tale of a Big Fish – the 40th entry in this much-lauded science series ($5.99 paperback). Suzanne Tate, better known in some circles as The Crabby Lady and an Outer Banks Living Legend, has teamed up once again with her talented illustrator, James Melvin, to cover a fish beloved by many, tuna! While teaching children about these much-desired fish and the ecosystem in which they live, Tommy Tuna will make a fun read for young readers seeking to learn about the Outer Banks nature around them.
Island at War: Spirits of Cape Hatteras Island with The Lighthouse Kids
Tenth generation Cape Hatteras native Jeanette Gray Finnegan, Jr., has spent a lifetime collecting stories about her island home. In the fifth and final book of her children’s series, Island at War: Spirits of Cape Hatteras Island with The Lighthouse Kids ($14.95 paperback), Finnegan covers 400 years of battles fought for control of Cape Hatteras. Envied for the military advantage offered by the inland passages protected by the island, would-be invaders have long attacked it’s shores. From the Indian Wars of the 1500s to the U-boats of World War II, Island at War tells the stories of the locals, fishermen, and surfmen who fought and defended Cape Hatteras’ beaches through the eyes of the children who witnessed it.
Trying to find an engaging summer read for your middle graders? Look no further than Caterpillar Summer ($16.00 hardcover). This fun and heartwarming debut novel by North Carolina author Gilliam McDunn takes place along the barrier islands of our Crystal Coast, the Southern Outer Banks. When siblings Cat and Chicken are forced to give up a summer trip to spend three weeks with grandparents they never knew at the beach, Cat learns to let go of past wrongs and appreciate the family she’s been given. Says beloved children’s author Kate Messner, “I could almost smell the ocean air as I read Gillian McDunn’s Caterpillar Summer. What a beautiful story of family, forgiveness, life on an island, and growing up.”
Meaghan L. Beasley has been a Bookseller, Buyer, and Marketing Manager at Island Bookstore for over 15 years.