Treasures on the Shelves: Who wants a good beach read?

Published 3:26 pm Thursday, July 4, 2024

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Our recent heatwave has many of us thinking about a seaside vacation and what’s a better companion that a good beach read?

If you’re looking for an adventure story, “The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye” by Briony Cameron is a thrilling pirate tale. Based on a female buccaneer in the 17th century Caribbean, this novel has bravery, intrigue and plenty of action. Few women of color are given their due in the history of piracy and privateering and this engaging book brings their feats to life.

Is an entertaining book about a serious subject more your style? Kirsten Miller’s “Lula Dean’s Little Library of Banned Books” combines a cast of quirky characters whose varying attitudes about books and ideas cause hilarious mayhem in a small town. Miller brings a deft hand to the topic of censorship and freedom of thought and allows the joy of books to shine through.

If thrillers are your go-to genre, Nicola Yoon’s “One of Our Kind” explores a mysterious planned community that may demand more from its residents than they realize. Suspenseful and thought-provoking, this book explores the concept of community on those who don’t conform and what others will give up for a feeling of safety.

Well-written literary fiction is a pleasure any time of year but these titles can sometimes get lost in the summer crowd. “The Garden” by Clare Beams is a psychological mystery/thriller that is deceptively low-key, allowing the suspense to build. In 1940’s Massachusetts, a woman goes to a private hospital reputed to help women achieve successful pregnancies but after discovering a hidden garden, she and her fellow patients find out there is much more going on.

If you think summer and music go hand in hand, then a memoir by one of the most popular and successful singers of several decades is a treat. “What a Fool Believes” by Michael McDonald covers his extensive career with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers in the 70’s and 80’s, and his successful solo career as well as collaborations with Patti LaBelle and Christopher Cross. Whatever you want to call it: yacht rock, classic rock or blue-eyed soul, McDonald has sung it and has plenty of stories about his experiences.

Whether you plan to visit the beach or not, enjoy summer with a good book!

Holly Howze is the branch manager for the Ripberger Public Library located in Kenbridge. She can be reached at