Every year, recommendations for “beach reading” or “summer reading” turn up everywhere. Sometimes, it’s just a list of what’s on some famous person’s summer list (like Rashida Jones, Bill Gates, or the faculty of Harvard Law School). For example, Barack Obama’s list got a lot of attention this year, and may have given a significant boost to “Southern noir” writer S. A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears.
- Oprah’s 35 Best Beach Reads of 2022
- Harper’s Bazaar Top 20 Books for Vacation
- Beyond the Bookends’ Ultimate Beach Reads 2022
- Literary Hub’s Ultimate Summer 2022 Reading List
But do many people really look for—or follow—such reading suggestions? I, for one, am not a seasonal—or locational—reader. And I don’t personally know such people, either.
Once again I spent a great beach week with family, thirteen people ages 13 to 91. And here—in no particular order—are the books being read.*
- Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
- 60 Songs that Explain the 90’s by Rob Harvilla
- OpenIntro Statistics, 3rd ed., by Diez, Barr, and Çetinkaya-Rundel**
- Health Behavior: Theory, Research, and Practice by Glanz, Rimer, Viswanath**
- Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus by Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Wheel of Love and Other Stories by Joyce Carol Oates
- In the Region of Ice by Joyce Carol Oates
- Winter’s Curse by Mary Stone***
- Winter’s Redemption by Mary Stone***
- Winter’s Rise by Mary Stone***
- Winter’s Ghost by Mary Stone***
- Berlin Diary by William L. Shirer
- Small, Great Things by Jodi Picault
- Gettysburg Faces by Ronald Coddington
- The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
- Stiff by Mary Roach
* The four teenagers really didn’t contribute much this year!
** Necessary when someone is enrolled in an online master’s program.
*** Evidence that a series reader was on a roll.
Bottom line: Anything can be read anywhere, any season. “Beach reading” goes well beyond the beach. What are you reading now?