1. The Archy McNally Series by Lawrence Sanders - McNally is a funny, quirky, playboy character living and private detecting in Palm Beach. A little mystery, a little weirdness, and a little beach background. I think there are more than 10 books, the later ones are co-written.
2. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles - Lose yourself in 1930s Manhattan - the gin and the jazz and the streets are almost so descriptive that you can feel them. The story is good too.
3. A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams - It starts on Memorial Day 1938 in a little seaside community in Rhode Island and whirls around you from there until you're entrenched in it.
4. Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky - The setting calls to me so I put up with some of the crap I wouldn't stand for in a story normally.
5. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells - I hope you haven't seen the movie, but even if you have, you should read this book. I loved it fiercely. It's full of some hard stuff but there's a lot of perseverance and love and southern charm.
6. Beach Music by Pat Conroy - This is also heavy. Very. But the story is so intricate and there's so much going on, plus you get The Drifters and the book itself being a basic love letter to the Low Country. This is Conroy at his best.
7. Outer Banks by Anne Rivers Siddons - I love the writing in this book, it seems urgent and melancholy all at once. There's a lot of quotable passages in this book and I love the southern in Siddons.
8. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume - Judy for adults. A weird and complicated friendship set against the backdrop of Martha's Vineyard.
9. Lake Wobegon Summer, 1956 by Garrison Keillor - Ah, the good old days. A book about a geeky boy coming of age in the heartland with a passage about a fart that made me laugh so hard I cried numerous times. Not a bad way to meander through an afternoon.
10. Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt - I read this book over and over as a young adult. It's one of my favorite books. I've also read it as an adult and still enjoyed it. Yes, it's YA, but it's also a Newberry Award winning novel.
What do you recommend for people looking for beach reads?
Happy long weekend! As we enjoy our flags and our burgers, don't forget why we are able to do so freely. Memorial Day is not Veterans' Day. Memorial Day is in observance of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice - their lives for our freedom and interests. I mean no disrespect to anyone serving now or who has served, but every day is a day to thank a veteran, yes? Monday belongs to those who didn't come home.