From the time I was old enough to sit up I had a book in my hands. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, written the year after I was born by British author Roald Dahl, was one of the first to leave a huge impression on me as a reader. As I got lost in the pages — and also Willy Wonka’s factory along with Charlie Bucket and Violet Beauregarde and the unforgettable Oomp Loompas from Loompaland — I couldn’t wait to read the sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. While it didn’t stir the same kind of emotions as the first one, it didn’t matter — I was hooked on trying to find my next great read.
Even though I have studied the classics and have a true respect for “literature,” I have to admit it is the “beach read” I most enjoy. When I read I want to be entertained, and the best beach books do this. They typically are genre books — potboiler mysteries, gripping thrillers, hot romances, breezy chick-lit novels, compelling true-life tales. They are page turners. They are not bogged down with dense paragraphs and deep messages and the kind of highbrow writing that can slow you down. Of course, that doesn’t mean they are not smart or well-written or worthy of respect. Unlike their more serious counterparts, beach reads will generally offer a sexier escape, a more compelling reason to turn the page … a better reason to stay one minute longer in the hammock or with your toes in the sand. In fact you will usually finish them before the sun sets!
Just like all beach books are not created equal, neither are the beaches on which we read them. In addition to introducing you to some of the hottest authors and most sizzling beach reads, I will take you to some of the most scenic and beautiful beaches in the world. Plus we’ll explore the latest beach-related gifts and gadgets, recipes for a delicious picnic lunch or tropical drink, and anything else that can make your beach-reading experience truly memorable.
James Patterson is a favorite author of mine. Take a stroll along a beach on any given day, and you will undoubtedly see one of his many novels in the hands of readers, or sticking out of their beach bags. The following two Patterson quotes perfectly sum up the philosophy of a writer intent on giving his fans what they want:
“Life is hard, and a lot of people come home tired from work. If they’re gonna spend half an hour reading, they want some entertainment and a sense of achievement. So that’s what I give them. That’s all I’m trying to do. Is that really so wrong?”
“A lot of writers fall in love with their sentences or their construction of sentences, and sometimes that’s great, but not everybody is Gabriel Garcia Marquez or James Joyce. A lot of people like to pretend that they are, and they wind up not giving people a good read or enlightening them.”
The title of this post is “Why I’m Writing This Blog.” It is to share two of my guiltiest pleasures — breezy books written by authors like James Patterson and beautiful beaches that truly allow me to escape … if only until my next Visa bill arrives!
What is the first book that got you hooked on reading? How do you define a beach book or beach read? I want to hear…