It’s summertime—and the reading’s easy
Details and descriptions of seven great “Beach Reads” with Cape and Islands connections
Imagine this scene: toes in the sand, the sun shining overhead, ocean sounds bubbling before you, and a brand-new book in your lap—waiting to be read. For many, this is a recipe for a great summer day on the Cape and Islands. For various reasons, “summer” and “reading” have always had a special synergy. Perhaps it’s due to the many books one had to read during summer vacations as a student; maybe it’s simply a result of the slower pace of the season, brought on by the heat, or by the simple comfort and relaxation of a day on the beach.
“The summer is a good time for an escape, and that’s what books can give us,” says Vicky Uminowicz, the owner of Titcomb’s Bookshop in Sandwich. “People usually set aside a chunk of time to relax, and this is a perfect time to settle in with a good book.” According to Uminowicz, many who live on the Cape, or visit in summer, enjoy books set in the quaint villages and beach towns they know and love. To suit these readers, she often points out the work of two contemporary writers from Nantucket: Nancy Thayer (Nantucket Sisters, and new this year, The Guest Cottage) and Elin Hilderbrand (The Matchmaker).
“If you are reading on the beach,” the bookstore owner adds, “you might want something lighter than normal with interesting characters and a really good story.” Uminowicz says her own summer reading taste calls for titles that stretch the mind. “I like to learn something,” she says, “whether it’s through a wonderfully written character, or a really good story. I want a book that grabs me and opens my eyes to something different.”
With so many books published in a given year, it may be comforting to know that bookstores and libraries on the Cape and Islands are stocked with experts ready to share details on new releases and offer suggestions to help readers round out their personal summer reading lists. “My staff is amazing,” Uminowicz says, “and amazingly well-read.” She adds that visitors to the Cape can find incredible bookstores across the peninsula. “We are so fortunate to have so many really good bookstores on Cape Cod,” she says. “It’s wonderful to have that human interaction and get personal recommendations.”
Gearing up for many great beach days this summer, Cape Cod LIFE staffers gathered some details on seven books we think readers will enjoy. Some of the titles were written by Cape and Island authors, some are set in this neck of the woods, and some are simply of the beach, set by the beach, and for the beach. Toss a couple of these titles in your beach bag and enjoy!