Summer Beach Reads

Fill Your Charleston Beach Bag with These Top Summer Reads

It’s hard to beat a summer day lounging by the pool or at the beach with a cold drink and a good book. Fortunately, you can fill your beach bag with plenty of novels that give a nod to the Lowcountry with captivating characters, splendid scenery and page-turning plots.

Beach House Reunion

“Beach House Reunion”

Bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe once again transports readers to the Isle of Palms where they get swept into a compelling story. Her newest novel builds on the characters in her “Beach House” series, yet stands alone, making it perfect for readers new to Monroe’s work. Cara Rutledge returns to her Isle of Palms home where everything is comfortably the same, yet each detail is rife with painful memories. Only through reconnecting with family, friends and the rhythms of the Lowcountry, can Cara release the hold of the past and open herself to the possibility of new love, career and hope for the future.

Lowcountry Bookshop

“Lowcountry Bookshop”

Lowcountry private investigator Liz Talbot returns to the streets of Charleston in the seventh installment of Susan M. Boyer’s “USA Today” bestselling mystery series. Between an epic downpour and a King Tide, Charleston’s historic streets are flooded – and dangerous. A late-night tragic accident along the lower Battery leads Liz straight to her next case. From a risqué, exclusive club in an old plantation to an upscale resale shop in the historic King Street shopping district to a downtown graveyard crawling with ghosts, Liz tracks a group of women who band together to help victims of domestic violence.

By Invitation Only

“By Invitation Only”

Part-time Charleston resident and acclaimed author Dorothea Benton Frank’s new novel is a tale of two families – one struggling to do well, one well to do – and a one young couple comprised of the privileged daughter of Chicago’s crème de la crème and the son of hard-working Southern peach farmers. The book is filled with a delightful cast of characters who all have something to hide and a lot to learn. A difference in legal opinions, a headlong dive from grace, and an abrupt twist will reveal the truth of who they are and demonstrate, when it truly counts, what kind of grit they have.

Monsoon Mansion

“Monsoon Mansion”

Cinelle Barnes was barely 3 years old when her family moved into Mansion Royale, a stately 10-bedroom home in the Philippines. Filled with her mother’s opulent social aspirations and the gloriously excessive evidence of her father’s self-made success, it was a girl’s storybook playland. But when a monsoon hits, her father leaves, and her mother’s terrible lover takes the reins. Cinelle’s fantastical childhood turns toward tyranny she could never have imagined. Formerly a home worthy of magazines and lavish parties, Mansion Royale becomes a dangerous shell of the splendid palace it had once been. “Monsoon Mansion” is the debut memoir for Barnes, the incoming writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston.

Dreams of Falling

“Dreams of Falling”

Nine years ago, a humiliated Larkin Lanier fled Georgetown, South Carolina, knowing she could never go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she realizes she has no choice but to return to the place she both loves and dreads – and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home. Bestselling author Karen White crafts evocative relationships in this contemporary novel about lifelong friends who share a devastating secret.


Shop Local at these Independent Booksellers

Blue Bicycle Books: 420 King St. near Marion Square. Packed with used books, first editions, books by Charleston authors, children’s books and more, this is a must-visit bookstore for any reader.

Buxton Books: 2A Cumberland St. Visit this regionally focused independent bookstore for a great selection of local authors plus signings and events.

Preservation Society of Charleston: 147 King St. History buffs will love this bookstore and shop filled with Charleston culture and charm.

Indigo Books: 472 Freshfields Drive on Kiawah Island. Shop this store for a selection of domestic and international fiction, mysteries and classics plus greeting cards, stationery, journals and office supplies.