(originally published 6/4/2017)
Perhaps the very most fabulous thing about “beach reads” is, well, everything. Going somewhere warm when it’s 20 below? Think of the plethora of bookish escapes that await you! Too caged up in the winter-ness of it all in January? Pick up a beach read! Heading to the lake/ocean/park and need a book?
You know what you want.
Problem is, there really are a gazillion choices out there, and how does one wade through them all? Plus, not everyone’s sensibilities are aligned, so a book that makes one person swoon with joy has another holding her nose and dropping the thing in the nearest trash bin. How to discern?
I recommend triangulation. If you have a book you love, search for others like it, using phrases such as, “books like Outlander” or “novels like In Cold Blood.” You can be more specific, too, by adding the term “inspirational” or “erotic” or “literary” according to your preferences. The reading community is so generous, and you’ll find tons of options, which you can further research before you decide. Another favorite resource of mine is Listopia on Goodreads, which slices and dices genres every which way imaginable. For illustration purposes, here are lists that contain my first book, Updrift: https://www.goodreads.com/list/book/25114259/
Yet for all the dazzling internet tricks out there today vying for your book-buying dollar, the best is still personal recommendation imo. By far. I haven’t always agreed with the staff picks at the stores I frequent, but those selections have always made the choosing process more digestible, and they’ve always led me to something I’ve enjoyed. Book clubs and subscription services can help on this front, too. Hope this helps!