5 cozy reads for a beach vacation

I’m counting down the hours until I’m back in my favourite place, soaking up the sun, salt water, and ocean breeze in Maine.

Maine is my favourite vacation destination for so many reasons: it’s where my family and all my favourite people gather every summer (and have been for generations, since my grandmother was a child); it’s where my husband and I tuck away to a little spot on the beach to have our special mid-year talk, quietly contemplating where we’ve been and where we’re going; and it’s where my daughter’s toes first touched the sand at 4 months old, making my lifelong dream of sharing this magical place with her come true. All of this, I think, contributes to why my soul feels the most at peace and at home there–a healing place of tranquility and rejuvenation, where both time stands still and new memories are made.

I’ve been in pretty a calm and contemplative mood lately, so when it came time to start packing, I immediately thought of books first. I really wanted to choose books that would pair well with this quiet and cozy frame of mind, so here’s what’s going in my book bag:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

As I mentioned in my recent Instagram post, Anne of Green Gables has been a favourite of mine since childhood. I got the first three books in the series when I was about 11 or 12, and I distinctly remember feeling so grown-up reading them. I’m not usually one to re-read books, but inspired by my friend Kerry‘s #thereadiscoverproject, I decided this would be the perfect nostalgic re-read to enjoy at the beach.

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

My friend Cate and I read the first book in the Penderwicks series together last weekend, so we’re continuing our readathon next week with book two, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. Set in New England, this is another fun, light beachside companion full of whimsey and adventure–I can see myself finishing this in one sitting on a particularly leisurely afternoon.

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

Believe it or not, this will be my first book by Jenny Colgan. I ordered this book a while ago based on the title and description itself. The main character, Zoe, seeks to escape the urban chaos of London and finds a job in a bookstore on the shores of Loch Ness where the promise of peace, quiet, and ocean air welcomes her. I can’t think of a cozier or more fitting vacation read.

Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane

Rules for Visiting is the kind of book I imagine I won’t be able to put down. It tells the story of May Attaway, a quiet university gardener who embarks on a quest for friendship and self (re)discovery after being granted an unexpected leave of absence from work. The premise of this book is unlike anything I’ve read recently, so I’m eager to get to know May and see where her introspective journey leads and what she learns along the way.

The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore

The Islanders has been on my TBR list for ages, and I knew I had to pick it up specifically to bring on vacation. Whenever I’m at the beach, I like to read at least one book that is directly ocean/beach related, and this is my pick for this year. Three strangers–a writer, a bakery owner, and a stay-at-home mother–are brought together on Block Island one summer where their stories and secrets will unexpectedly intersect. I can’t wait to dive into this one with my beach towel and iced tea in hand.

What do you like to read on vacation?

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