Books To Fill Your Beach Bag
It’s time again to shed the stress of the everyday and kick back on the beach with your feet sunk deep in the cool grains of sand, book in hand…
Affectionately referred to as the “Beach Road,” North Carolina Highway 12 stretches the entire length of the Outer Banks from Northern Corolla to the southern tip of Ocracoke, and residents have relied on it as a means of moving across and among the various barrier islands that make up the area. With an eye to detail combined with the stories of locals who watched it come to life, Dawson Carr paints a scenic history of our beloved road in NC 12: Gateway to the Outer Banks. In his delightful new book, Carr offers a unique take on Outer Banks history by examining “how NC 12 came into being, what effects it has had, how it has endured, and what the future might hold, not only for the road but for the region it traverses.”
Yes, you are on vacation and all anyone wants to do is play! But what if you could sneak some learning into all those hours spent on the beach? Check out Lessons from the Sand: Family-Friendly Science Activities You Can Do on a Carolina Beach by Charles O. Pilkey and Orrin H. Pilkey. Meant to endear children to the fascinating elements that make up every aspect of the shore, the father/son author team offer up knowledge for children ages five to one hundred through illustrations, explanations, and suggested activities. Every question a child could have about the beach is covered, from sand to shorelines, shells to waves; there are even chapters for rainy day and night time exploring. Lessons from the Sand is a wonderful opportunity to learn and experience our beaches with your children.
In a rich story of mystery and suspense, Philip Gerard melds the Outer Banks’ history of World War II with the contentious modern issue of off-shore drilling in his latest novel The Dark of the Island. Nick Wolf takes a job off Cape Hatteras to assist with exploratory oil drilling, the same place his grandfather was reported killed in WWII by a German U-Boat. While there, Wolf encounters locals determined to way-lay the oil company’s efforts by claiming there’s no oil to be found; but unusual behavior raises Wolf’s suspicions that residents are hiding something which has lain hidden for decades. A fast-paced thriller with the heart of a novel, The Dark of the Island is perfect for whiling away the hours with periodic breaks to contemplate the pristine ocean horizon.
Fans of David Payne will delight in the arrival of a new male voice in the local fiction genre. Author Charlie Ball spent many years along the Outer Banks’ beaches as a lifeguard – and he translates that experience into a new novel, Red Flags: An Outer Banks Story. Through the character of Wesley Brooks, an eighteen-year-old visiting the Outer Banks of 1993, Ball weaves an engaging story about what it means to sit on that high wooden stand all day, watching out for the safety of hundreds of people, as well as the intense camaraderie and trust that develops amongst those who choose to serve as beach lifeguards.
A new year would not be complete without the arrival of another Suzanne Tate and James Melvin installment in their famed Outer Banks Nature Series. Speedy Ghost Crab is a natural addition to the series and one we’ve all longed for. No one can experience a trip to the beach without feeling eyes peeping out at them from a sandy hole or a walk in the moonlight that didn’t involve the fear of stepping on one of those elusive sandy creatures. With her usual clear prose and incisive wit, Tate’s tale of Speedy Ghost Crab informs children (and adults) about the creature’s homes, food sources, and their natural predators.
Meaghan Beasley has been lucky enough to be a bookseller at The Island Bookstore for over twelve years (and counting).