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Spring Break Beach Reads: Five Authors and One Must-Read

What to read on the beach or during your spring break staycation

3 minutes
Haley Stomp

If you’re packing for a trip this spring and want a good book, or if you’re looking to escape into a fun story while your kids play Fortnite at home and scream at their friends, here are a few books and authors that come to mind:

Three female authors to check out:

1.     Elin Hilderbrand’s books are the ultimate beach reads. I especially recommend her Paradise trilogy that starts with Winter in Paradise. Our hero in the series is a woman based in Iowa City who uncovers her husband’s many secrets in the Caribbean. Complete with romance, murder, infidelity, unexplained children and several fun Iowa City references, you’ll want to breeze through all three books in this series.

2.     Taylor Jenkins Reid has written several great books. She tends to create complex characters with interesting lives. I especially liked Daisy Jones and The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Both books are fictionalized, behind-the-scenes stories of famous women– one a famous actor and one a famous rock star. If you have to pick one, I’d start with Evelyn Hugo.

3.     Emily Henry has written a book titled Beach Read. How much simpler could she make it for you to pick a book? Beach Read is an easy, sweet story about two writers who find themselves writing at neighboring vacation houses. Her books are the ultimate comfort food if words were food and a love story was dessert. People We Meet on Vacation is about a travel writer and her quest for travel stories and love. This is not a complicated story, but it’s fun to follow Poppy around the world and route for her love life. If you happen to be sipping umbrella drinks while reading it, you won’t miss the plot (or so I’ve been told).

Thrillers for an inside day:

If the weather is cold and rainy and you want a suspenseful, fast read, check out Joe LeValley’s murder-solving journalist series, starting with Burying the Lede. Beware, you won’t want to do anything but read these books to find out what happens.

Also grab a book by Heather Gudenkauf if you don’t want to go anywhere for twenty-four hours. I’m sure they are all amazing, but the one I remember most recently is Overnight Guest. Bonus! Both Joe and Heather are award-winning Iowa authors.

Pick This One!

If you just want me to tell you what one book to grab, especially if you'll be near the ocean, download or pack Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. I guarantee you will fall in love with an octopus named Marcellus as this wonderful creature and the aquarium night-shift cleaning lady become fast friends to solve a very personal mystery.

For you Swifties, my "secret song" recommendations, especially if you've already read all of the above, include James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific and anything by David Sedaris.