10 Beach Reads For Adults

4 min read

There is no better time to dive into a good book than on a beach in summertime. Long days and warm sunshine equal sea, sand and relaxation. Many of us save up our new books and old favourites alike to read on holiday at this time of year. A beautiful setting and the absence of distraction can offer a great sense of escapism. If you don’t have a good beachside book lined up already, this selection of seaside adventures, romance, comedy and mystery may just offer the perfect choice!

  1. Sanditon, Jane Austen

    Sanditon, Jane Austen

    It would not seem right to exclude Jane Austen’s works from this list. Though Sanditon was her last work and unfinished, her exploration of deception, snobbery and unexpected romances is as charming as ever. Invited to the fashionable seaside resort of Sanditon, Austen’s heroine Charlotte Heywood is introduced to an eclectic mix of characters. Clear sighted and sensible, Charlotte remains a careful observer until the arrival of the charming Sydney Parker weakens her self-possession. Sanditon is a uniquely entertaining read and perfect for a bit of seaside escapism.

    Shop for vintage Jane Austen at Country House Library →

  2. Evil Under the Sun, Agatha Christie

    Evil Under the Sun, Agatha Christie

    This Christie crime classic sees Hercule Poirot on holiday at a luxury hotel in Devon. His relaxing seaside trip is however swiftly broken following the discovery of a murdered woman. The question is, was the murder a crime of passion or something far more sinister? As Poirot himself so famously says, ‘there is evil everywhere under the sun’. Christie presents readers with three worthy suspects and the plot gradually unravels as it reaches the final climax. This gripping seaside mystery thriller is the perfect seaside read, so it’s time to slap on some sun cream and find out who really ‘dunnit’.

    Shop for vintage Agatha Christie at Country House Library →

  3. My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell

    My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell

    Durrell’s nostalgic account of life on the Greek island of Corfu between 1935-39 is another brilliant book choice. This autobiographical work tells of Durrell’s family and their move from dull, damp England to sunny Corfu. Though the story is mostly fictionalised, it is based on memory and truth of life on Corfu. The book explores the natural history of the island whilst also offering a wonderful account of Durrell’s unconventional family life. In later years, Durrell became a British naturalist and his written work reflects his passion for animals and the great outdoors. This humorous, adventurous and charming book, with its bright setting and colourful characters is the perfect summer read.

    Shop for vintage zoology books at Country House Library →

  4. Sea and Sardinia, D. H. Lawrence

    Sea and Sardinia, D. H. Lawrence

    Written soon after the First World War, this wonderful travelogue details Lawrence’s fascinating journey from Sicily to Sardinia in 1921. His writing paints a spellbinding portrait of Sardinia and its people whilst also offering astute insights into the political and social values of an era where communism and fascism were growing. Lawrence’s focus on human creativity and architecture outshines all else however and while there are some outdated comments embedded in these pages, his writing is utterly compelling. This detailed and amusing travelogue would make an excellent seaside read for those who enjoy adventure

    Shop for vintage D.H. Lawrence at Country House Library →

  5. Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck

    Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck

    Travels with Charley is an excellent book for readers plagued by summertime wanderlust. On the verge of turning sixty, Steinbeck paid heed to his own desire for adventure and set of to America. His travelling companion, a French poodle named Charley, naturally became a central character in his account of the adventure. The book follows his journey across the American states, from Maine to California, through woods deserts, large cites and empty tracks. It is a wonderfully vivid tale of his vagabonding adventures, meeting all kinds of fascinating people. Steinbeck describes America and its inhabitants with honesty and insight, observing it as a nation of judgement but also of kindness.

    Shop for vintage John Steinbeck at Country House Library →

  6. Scoop, Evelyn Waugh

    Scoop, Evelyn Waugh

    First published in 1938, Scoop is a brilliantly satirical novel. Waugh tells the tale of several British foreign correspondents reporting on a civil war taking place in the fictional East-African country of Ishmaelia. Lord Copper, proprietor of the ‘Daily Beast’ prides himself on being able to select excellent reporters and he believes he has found the right man to write about the civil war. This is Evelyn Waugh at his best, a hilariously irreverent satire on the power of the press and the hectic pursuit of the best ‘scoop’.

    Shop for vintage Evelyn Waugh at Country House Library →

  7. The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde

    The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde

    Why read a play when there are novels to try? Oscar Wilde’s hilarious creation is well-worth a read, whether you have already seen it on the stage or not. The plot offers a mad muddle of mistaken identities, secret engagements and lovers entanglements. It is a penetrating critique of high Victorian society, presented in the form of an absurd, outrageous and delightful play. Wilde’s ideas cut straight to the point, his words sharp, beautiful and carefully chosen to amuse readers and audiences alike.

    Shop for vintage Oscar Wilde at Country House Library →

  8. Summer Lightning, P. G. Wodehouse

    Summer Lightning, P. G. Wodehouse

    Wodehouse’s comic style is well-suited to some light-hearted summer reading. His tale of The Honourable Galahad Threepwood, writer of a memoir that contains some damaging information, is certainly an amusing one. This information has the potential to ruin polite society and it thus becomes the goal of every character to have it destroyed. However, a false heiress, a stolen cow and an underhand detective also add to the madness of the plot. This book proffers hours of delightful entertainment and is certainly a joyous book to read on the beach.

    Shop for vintage P.G. Wodehouse at Country House Library →

Fun in the Sun

If you’re going abroad this summer or simply visiting a beach closer to home, this list of books will certainly keep you entertained. Whether you’re a lover of romance, adventure, comedy or mystery, get ready to be whisked away by some brilliant novels this summer.

10 Holiday Reads for Kids →


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