August 1, 2018 • BOOKS

5 Southern Summer Beach Reads

One of life’s greatest pleasures is cracking open a book while relaxing in your favorite beach chair.

The sound of the waves crashing perfectly complements the calm brought about by the pure joy of reading.

And there’s truly nothing like reading on a Southern beach. Whether it’s Kiawah Island, Hilton Head, Tybee Island, Daytona Beach, or Sullivan’s Island, beaches down South are just better for cozying up with a summer beach read. Often, they’re even the setting of the beach read itself.

We rounded up five of our favorite beach reads, all set in the South, to consume before the summer ends. So grab a bathing suit, towel, and one of these books, and head to the ocean for a day of pleasure reading.

Emily Giffin, “All We Ever Wanted”

Ballantine Books

Emily Giffin is a Draper James Girl who knows a thing or two about the perfect beach read. Her latest novel, “All We Ever Wanted,” takes place in our hometown, Nashville.

Nina Browning married into “Nashville’s elite,” yet she doesn’t feel quite at home. Tom Volpe works multiple jobs to support himself and his daughter, Lyla. Nina and Tom’s worlds collide when a drunken photograph, taken at a party, turns everything upside down.

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Dorothea Benton Frank, “By Invitation Only”

William Morrow

Dorothea Benton Frank brings us down to Charleston, South Carolina to introduce us to Diane English Stifel’s family. Diane, a single mother, is getting ready to marry off her only child, Fred, to his wealthy fianceé from Chicago. The Stifel family isn’t quite prepared for the Cambrias, and the Cambrias certainly aren’t ready for the Lowcountry. It’s a beach read full of butting heads, merging cultures, and lots and lots of Southern food.

Karen White, “Dreams of Falling”


Karen White (who you may already recognize from the Love, Reese blog), also brings us to the Lowcountry; “Dreams of Falling” is set in Georgetown, South Carolina. Nine years after leaving, Larkin Lanier must go back to her hometown in order to help find her missing mother, Ivy. Her return is greeted with mystery and secrets (just like any compelling beach read).

Julia Reed, “South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land”

St. Martin’s Press

Julia Reed knows Southern culture better than almost anyone. In this collection of powerful, witty essays, she broaches topics ranging from alligators to music to navigating life with Southern poise. It’s a must-read for anyone with a vested interest in life below the Mason-Dixon line.

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Mary Kay Andrews, “The High Tide Club”

St. Martin’s Press

Josephine Bettendorf Warrick is a 99-year-old heiress living in crumbling mansion on a private island. Her life collides with Brooke Trappnell when Brooke makes her way to the island. There, it becomes apparent that Brooke must help protect Josephine’s island, as well as make amends with her friends, know as “The High Tide Club.” Lost love, scandal, and murder all unite to make this one the definition of a page-turner.