I’m one of those people who can be a bit of a reading snob. I try to select books that are challenging, thought provoking, and introduce me to worlds I know nothing about.
Geez, that all sounds very high-minded, but honestly, sometimes you just need a beach read.
When the world has gone sideways, I crave books that are mindless entertainment, with eye-rolling, insufferable characters living in houses with incredible ocean views. Enter Elin Hilderbrand, an author who New York Magazine dubbed "the Queen of Beach Reads." With most of her books set in and around Nantucket Island, Hilderbrand’s books most literally are about beaches.
The New York Times recently reported that “Hilderbrand’s novels are temporary passports to a world where you won’t get queasy on a sailboat or have to Google a recipe for cocktail sauce. When you’re there, you’ll know how to tie a sarong.”
And you know what? They’re well written, engaging books. Hilderbrand was a teaching/writing fellow at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has written 29 novels in the last 23 years and has sold more than 20 million books worldwide.
I’ll admit that I am embarrassingly late to the HIlderbrand beach party, and reports are that she will retire from writing in 2024. Luckily, Lawrence Public Library has a healthy supply of her novels on its shelves. So, this summer, pull up a beach chair, pour up a beverage, and dive in.
New for 2023!
Often cited as the best overall Elin Hilderbrand book
A Nantucket murder mystery
- Kathleen Morgan is Deputy Director at Lawrence Public Library.