For the second year in a row, I’m writing a beach reads round up for the Philadelphia Inquirer (check out last year’s article here).

These are always fun but tough to write. You’ve only got a sliver of space to cover the gamut of what will be available this summer to accompany you and your beach chair. I just sent an email out to my book PR contacts. Last year when I did this, I found about 40 books on my doorstep within two days. I feel like I should tip my UPS man now instead of at the holidays.

So here’s my question for you: What makes a good beach book? And what have been your absolute favorite summertime reads?

And if you’re looking for suggestions right now, most of the books I put in last year’s article are in paperback now, or soon will be:

The Department of Lost & Found: A Novelby Allison Winn Scotch
Black Hats: A Novel of Wyatt Earp and Al Caponeby Patrick Culhane
Mr. Dixon Disappears: A Mobile Library Mystery (Mobile Library)by Ian Sansom
French By Heart: An American Family’s Adventures in La Belle Franceby Rebecca S. Ramsey
The Clarks of Cooperstownby Nicholas Fox Weber
Rules for Saying Goodbye: A Novelby Katherine Taylor

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.


  1. Trish Ryan on March 27, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Laura Dave has a new book coming out in May called THE DIVORCE PARTY that I’ll be buying in advance for my summer beach reading.

  2. Champion of My Heart on March 27, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Karen Quinn’s newest book “Holly Would Dream” comes out in June 2008. Her stuff cracks me up. I love a good laugh in the summer. Plus, there’s just enough driving plot, just enough (ahem) sex, and just enough underlying smart stuff. It may seem like chick-lit, but she does some really clever things with plot that pay homage to classic novels, movies, etc.

    And, well, she’s a really nice gal from CO (where I live), so I’ve got to love her.

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