5 Retro Beach-Reads to Add to Your Summer Reading List

Photo courtesy of http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/10-best-beach-reads-summer-2014

Imagine this. The sun is out, and from the moment you step out of your house you can already feel the inevitable sunburn appearing on your shoulders. The sky is blue, the ocean is blue and in one hand you hold a beach chair that you fished out of the depths of the garage, in the other you hold a cooler packed with Montauk Summer Ales and a couple Goldberg’s bagels you bought this morning that are dying to be consumed. You set up camp, pop open a fresh one and think, “damn today is going to be tight.”

The cherry on top of this already perfect setting is a book, because (let’s be honest with ourselves) an iPad or Kindle doesn’t really work well in a sandy and salty environment, and there is something just natural about the bond between a book and the beach (Long Live Print). So if you are looking to truly sink low in your beach chair, here are a few books that you might not have heard of to get you started on a summer of relaxation. While they might be oldies, they are certainly goodies and might lend to the middle and high school flashback you might be yearning for. Besides, isn’t this “hipster movement” that we are all living in all about turning the old into the new?


  1. The Drifters by James Michener

This book tells the tale of six young travellers during the 70s as their life paths become intertwined while traveling throughout Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Mozambique. If you are looking for inspiration on how to live a carefree, vagabond-like life, then this book is for you.


  1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Hinton’s coming-of-age story follows the Greasers and the Socs, two rival groups divided by socioeconomic status. Protagonist Ponyboy Curtis narrates the tale, and if you are feeling a Westside Story Jets vs. Sharks situation, then this beach-read is right up your alley. A classic read that many of us read in our grade school days, and definitely one worth revisiting.


  1. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough 

Set in the Australian outback, the tale follows the Cleary family, spanning the years 1915 to 1969. If you’re feeling a bit romantic, then this book is for you. As the heart of the novel focuses on the forbidden love between Meggie Cleary and a Roman Catholic priest, you can’t go wrong with reading a love story by the beach. How fitting…


  1. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

A classic summer beach-read list wouldn’t be complete without a murder mystery now would it? This book is a non-fiction and details the 1959 murders of Herbert Clutter, a farmer from Kansas, his wife, and two of their four children.  The book was adapted into a great film in 2005, with Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Capote himself. #RIPphilipseymourhoffman


  1. Jaws by Peter Benchley

The answer to your question is yes, there was a book before there was the movie and now is the time that you read it. As if this book isn’t Montauk enough for you, take a glimpse into the story that is a product of the legendary local, Frank Mundus’ famous catch.

Get on Amazon, order these bad boys, stock up on some reads and don’t forget to rub some Aloe on your shoulder sunburn after you sit on the beach for far too long reading these classics.