One of my most guilty pleasures is a lazy afternoon by the pool with a good book nearby. I have my mother to thank for this. My mother’s summer pool bag was always full of gear. Change purse, towels, extra snacks, decks of cards and UNO, lip balm, comb, headbands and ponytail holders and always a trusted Ziploc bag full of all varieties of various suntan lotions, sprays, gels, creams and sunblock. Opening the bag after a long winter, the smell of summer quickly filled the room, taking you back to that last summer pool day. Needless to say my mother always had tucked deep down in the bottom of that pool bag a beat up paperback, her beach read, her escape, that she would crack open once all us kids were slathered in sunblock and had finally run off to swim away the 45 minutes before adult swim brought us back to her.
Summer, lazy days, preferably by the pool, and a good book are the true perfect cocktail.
Author Pat Conroy, dedicates an entire book to the magic of reading in his 2010 My Reading Life. “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language” writes Henry James. Author Jeannette Walls bridges these two worlds when she writes in her 2005 memoir, “One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”
So what’s in your pool bag this summer?
Some new titles that are creating quite a buzz in the ultimate beach read category include Betsy Lerner’s memoir, The Bridge Ladies, Modern Lovers by Emma Straub, Sweet Bitter by Stephanie Danler and Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews. You can find all of these titles at the Spanish Fort Public Library and within the Baldwin County Library Cooperative.
Some darker titles include The Doll-Master by Joyce Carol Oates, a collection of six short stories that delve into Gothic suspense and the eerie psychological. Dark Money by Jane Mayer is a work of political journalism, deeply researched and engaging, and a timely read this election year. Anyone craving sports? The Legends Club: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an epic college basketball rivalry by John Feinstein is a sports book that captures and exposes recruiting wars as it challenges the very soul of college basketball. Mysteries, romance, westerns and thrillers can also be found in our paperback section, all perfect poolside companions.
Summer is here. Beach bags. Pool bags. Back porches and summer rain. Road trips east, west, north and south are happening all around us. Family adventures showcase snapshots of tanned muffin tops, jellyfish and jubilees, all against the backdrop of yellow sun, white sand and blue surf, all preferably with a good book in tow. Before your next adventure come pick up a good book to take along for the ride. You just might fall in love all over again. See you at the library!