Beach book

What book are you taking to the beach this summer?

Dan Brown’s new book is the current top seller at, and The Great Gatsby is in the Top 10, presumably because of the recent release of a movie based on the book.

I loved Gatsby when I was in high school. The summer I was 15-years-old I went on a cruise through the Baltic Sea, and I took Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye with me. It would be difficult to say which of those books I liked better that summer. The Gatsby cover was torn and cracked and bent by the time I went to college, but the cover for Catcher in the Rye was completely gone when I graduated high school.

I will warn you, if you are 15 years old and you want to spend the summer with your peers having a lot of fun, don’t go on a cruise through the Baltic Sea. It was an amazing experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but the average age of the passengers was probably around 62. There weren’t a lot of other teenagers on that cruise for me to hang out with.

I got to be friendly with one of the performers, Keith Cox, and spent a fair amount of time hanging out with him, but when he was working I mostly drank Cokes and read books in one of the lounges aboard the ship. I liked that lounge in particular because the woman working behind the bar looked exactly like Samantha Fox. So I read the Great Gatsby and flirted with a Samantha Fox look-a-like in an otherwise empty lounge on a ship full of retirees.

Gatsby and Holden Caufield seemed like the perfect company aboard that ship.

But they are not the sort of guys you’d want to take on vacation to the beach, are they?

Beach reading, it seems to me, should be light and fun. Why ruin a good time with a dark and brooding book?

So I’m curious, what book are you taking to the beach with you this summer? Post a comment and let me know.

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