It’s time to escape with a book! Or, as I like to say online: #bookabooktrip.
With travel either completely off limits or available only on a small scale, you may be feeling a little anxious to get out of town. We were lucky enough to make it to the Florida Gulf Coast a few weeks ago. But a lot of us aren’t getting to travel much this summer.
If you don’t live near a beach and are longing for the ocean, you can still get there through books. This is one of the best things about books: their ability to transport us to completely new places. This is a series we’ll be doing regularly—three great books to take you somewhere else in the world. Today we have three great books set at the beach! These are all books I have read and loved and can personally vouch for, so I hope you find a book that sounds perfect for you!
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
This is maybe the quintessential vacation book. A family travels to Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain, for two weeks in paradise. But various members of the family are hiding various secrets, and through humorous mishaps and awkward conversations, these past secrets start to come out. The setting here is gorgeous and lush and made me want to get on a flight to Mallorca as soon as possible.
This is light-hearted family dysfunction at its finest. The characters are quirky and fun, and even with the drama, I still wouldn’t mind being there on Mallorca with them.
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
Set on a New England island, Seating Arrangements gathers a family for the wedding of their daughter. But drama ensues and people, including parents, misbehave. Maggie Shipstead’s writing shines though, and made me care deeply about these characters even though they were making awful decisions.
The setting here is a New England beach, and some of the memorable scenes include lobsters escaping from their impending doom of being cooked and a whale washing up on the shore. So, if that doesn’t entice you, I’m not sure what will.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
This book opens in a fictional town in Cinque Terre in 1962. An Italian innkeeper is dreaming of making his little town the next greatest tourist destination when a Hollywood starlet appears looking for a place to escape from the movie she had been shooting. Traveling from this coastal Italian town to Hollywood over the course of 50 years, this story follows two characters who have come together because of unlikely circumstances. Beautiful Ruins is an odd (you’ll know what chapter I’m talking about) but thoroughly enjoyable book, and made me want to get back to the Italian coast as soon as possible.
Whether you’re going to be able to get to the beach or not this summer, we hope you’ll at least be able to escape with some of these books set at the beach.
Enjoy your summer reading!
(Note: this post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase from the link I get a small commission at no cost to you.)