Top 3 Beach Reads

Person reading book on the beach

Summer is the season of beach reading! Here are Julie Manthey’s top 3 beach read recommendations for this summer. Follow Julie on Goodreads for more reading recommendations.


Five Beach Read Recommendations

person reading book on the beach

It’s beach read season – perhaps my favorite time of year! A time when everyone starts asking about book recommendations for their long flight, camping trip, or actual beach vacation. As an avid reader, I thought I’d share some of my beach read recommendations with you. 


Indie Reading List Challenge

Recently I was part of a local library event with several other Indie Authors, to help others interested in publishing their novels. The sense of community at the event was lovely and the other indie authors shared their tips and experiences. It felt to me like meeting up with a kindred book group of authors, who have stories they just want to share with the world.

The event also got me thinking about what else I could do to support fellow Indie Authors, outside of providing tips, advice, and participating in similar events. I decided to create my own Indie Author reading list challenge, where I plan to read at least one indie author per month this year.

I was also inspired to create a separate Indie Author book shelf in my Goodreads reviews, to highlight indie authors and help them with adding a review for their book(s).

Ironically, I think that sometimes we indie authors forget to toot the horn for our fellow authors – mostly probably because we are so busy with our own work, blogs, and day jobs. Fortunately, adding indie books to our reading lists is easier than ever and is probably already supported by your local library.

For those of you interested in participating in your own version of the Indie Author challenge by adding more Indie Authors to your reading list, here are some tips on how to find their work:

  • Discover Indie Authors from contest winners featured in contests that are exclusive for independent publishers like the Forward INDIES, the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, Indie Excellence, or the IPPY Awards to name a few.
  • Participate in an Indie Author Day event to find local indie authors in your community
  • Ask your library about Indie Authors they have books for and if they participate in Self-e which connects libraries with Indie Author Ebooks
  • A lot of Indie Authors publish via CreateSpace, so you can also query “createspace” as the publisher in your library to find some indie authors that way.

Once you do start adding in some Indie Authors into your reading list stack, please consider writing a review for them in Amazon, Goodreads, or another review site. Your reviews help others discover these writers – which is exactly what I’m hoping for with my Indie Authors Goodreads shelf.


Reading and Writing

I read a lot and my book choices span most genres. Generally speaking, at any one time I’m probably reading two or three books. I might discover them at the library or learn about them from a friend, but either way there’s always a stack of books with bookmarks somewhere in my house. Sometimes my travels inspire me to read about a place. I enjoy reading, learning new things, and talking about books with others.

Generally I finish most of them and I find it pretty easy to pick up where I left off. Library books always get read faster, because of the timeline required to return them. When I’m writing, I often avoid fiction all together to avoid the possibility of another author’s style getting mixed into my writing project.

While some prefer sticking within a favorite specific genre, I enjoy the challenge and diversity of switching it up, based on my mood, what’s interesting to me at the moment, or which library hold gets delivered first. I could hardly say that I have a reading plan or anything that resembles cohesion. On my Goodreads page, I review books that I have enjoyed and you’ll see that they vary from science fiction to mysteries to non-fiction, and everything in between.

I also try to really challenge myself with a book that I wouldn’t typically read or something that’s super long and a big time commitment at least once or twice a year. My reading also inspires me about potential story ideas, characters, and improving my own writing by learning from other writers.

I’m sure that most writers read a lot – mostly because we love books. I do hope that readers enjoyed my book, The Magic of Cape Disappointment, and that it ends up in a lively discussion in their book club one day or with their friends. Keep reading, friends! There are so many wonderful books out there.

The Beach Read

There is something magical about summer. It’s the season we most typically associate with break time and when we give ourselves permission to relax. We even choose our books because they are perfect ‘beach reads.’ As a novelist of the ‘beach read’ genre I think the whole point of the perfect beach read is the escape it offers us and the permission we give ourselves to just read for the enjoyment of it.

Oddly enough, despite how common the phrase is or how often we ask for them, ‘beach read’ isn’t a real genre. I suppose that’s because the ‘beach read’ is so cool it’s almost spiritually above genre categories. 🙂 Beach reads help us escape our every day and let us dive into another world where we can vacation.

I hope that this summer you find several opportunities to recharge, relax, and take a break from the daily grind. Hopefully you’ll see fireflies darting across a dark field, smell the smoke of a camp fire, and dip your toes into an ocean or a lake, embracing the many small joys of summer. And, if you are still looking for a good beach read, escape to the ‘The Magic of Cape Disappoinment!’ This photo is from one of the many beaches around Cape Disappointment, where you can imagine the characters go in the summer to read and relax themselves. Happy summer, everyone – and, please, don’t forget the sunscreen!