Best Beach Reads for Your 80 Degrees Vacation

Posted by Fodor's Guest Blogger on February 27, 2012 at 5:54:51 PM EST | Post a Comment

Amy Donnelly


Now that you've found your ideal seaside getaway through our Fodor's 80 Degrees by the Sea beach finder tool, it's time to start packing! We've rounded up five of our favorite beach reads, across several genres. Even better, click here for a chance to win one of these paperbacks to take with you on your next vacation.

For the Biography Lover: Lady Blue Eyes by Barbara Sinatra

In Lady Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra's fourth and final wife, Barbara Sinatra, shares the highs and lows of her 22-year marriage with one of the world's most famous men. In this untold, personal story, Barbara shares her journey from "just a farm girl from Missouri," to a Vegas showgirl, model, and more. You’ll lose yourself in the personal photographs of the couple and the stories from the Golden Age of Hollywood about Grace Kelly, Tony Curtis, Kirk Douglas, Liza Minnelli, and Bob Dylan–all personal friends of the Sinatras'.

For the Sex & the City Devotee: Point, Click, Love by Molly Shapiro

The women of Point, Click, Love might not be from NYC, but they navigate the ups and downs of love, marriage, dating, and children in a way that’s fresh and edgy. Told from four viewpoints in alternating chapters, Shapiro introduces readers to a group Midwestern women navigating everyday complexities in the wild world of high-tech communication. From our celebrity-obsessed culture to the financial crisis, Shaprio’s dialogue will leave you feeling like you’ve just had a conversation with a great friend.

For the Fan of Offbeat Stories: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Swamplandia! is the one-of-a-kind tale of Ava Bigtree and her family’s gator-wrestling theme park in the Everglades. When Ava’s mom, the park’s headlining attraction, passes away, the family struggles to keep the park open and out of the hands of the World of Darkness, their competitor. Ava relies on her resourcefulness to keep the quirky family together as her sister falls in love with the Dredgeman (who may or may not be a ghost) and her brother defects to the competition’s hands.

For the Star-Crossed Lover Sympathizer: Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner

In Vaclav & Lena, children of Russian émigrés living in Brooklyn bond over their love of magic and dream of the day when Vaclav will be a famous magician and Lena will be his faithful assistant. When Lena’s home life proves to be more than desirable, Vaclav’s mother takes Lena is as one of her own so that she might be able to flourish. But unforeseen circumstances tear the childhood friends apart without so much as a goodbye. Seven years later the pair meets again, but are they fated to be together or will their past continue to keep them apart?

For Literary Thrill-Seekers: The Informationist by Taylor Stevens

In The Informationist, Vanessa "Michael" Munroe is part Lisbeth Salander, part Jason Bourne. As a teenage protégé of an infamous gunrunner in central Africa, she earned the respect of some of the jungle’s most dangerous men before a mysterious reason sent her fleeing back to her home base in Dallas. But when a Texas oil billionaire hires her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa, Munroe finds herself back in the land and face-to-face with the past she’s been hiding from.

Enter to win a copy of one of the five books on our list!

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Photo Credits: courtesy Random House; Woman Reading on Beach via Shutterstock

Member Comments (19)  Post a Comment

  • TiffanyHarris976 on Mar 18, 12 at 01:14 PM

    Shoot, I missed the giveaway! That's too bad. Thanks for the recommendations, though! This is the second time that I've seen "Swamplandia!" recommended, and it sounds like an interesting read. I like offbeat books. I'm actually reading a book now that I'd consider in the same category as Swamplandia, at least in the sense that it's a bit offbeat and has paranormal elements. It's called "Deadly Destination" by Cat Denison ( - you should read it!

  • niferann4 on Mar 5, 12 at 02:00 PM

    They are all going on my to-read list, but for a beach vacation, I think I'd most enjoy The Informationist.

  • Julie_Smith on Mar 3, 12 at 01:04 PM

    I would definitely go with Swamplandia - it's been on my wishlist for so long, but The Informationist and Vaclav and Lena are pretty much right up there as well!

  • immortalb4 on Mar 3, 12 at 12:28 PM

    I love a good biography

  • MyEclecticBooks on Mar 2, 12 at 12:19 PM

    I'd love to read Point, Click Love on vacation!

  • pcaradonna on Mar 1, 12 at 04:01 AM

    Point, Click and Love looks interesting!

  • Jennifer_Orozco on Feb 29, 12 at 11:27 PM

    I'd love Swamplandia!

  • ggjunk on Feb 29, 12 at 10:19 PM

    First, I would love to need a beach read, lol. But I'm always looking for something good to read. I would like to read Point, Click, Love.

  • ruthiekb72 on Feb 29, 12 at 08:30 PM

    Swamplandia has been on my list for a while now.

  • purposedrivenii76 on Feb 29, 12 at 03:27 PM

    I would love to read Lady Blue Eyes because, it would give me a first hand account into Barbara and Frank Sinatra's life.

  • AimeeFogel on Feb 29, 12 at 03:14 PM

    Lady Blue Eyes sounds great! Swamplandia and the Informationist are already on my to-read list. Would love to win any of them!

  • Lisa_Bromley on Feb 29, 12 at 01:58 PM

    would luv a new book

  • sharongracepjs on Feb 29, 12 at 01:41 PM

    Looking forward to reading Vaclav and Lena soon!

  • vuhler on Feb 29, 12 at 10:31 AM

    always looking for a good book

  • JenRutsky on Feb 29, 12 at 10:16 AM

    Point, Click, Love sounds like my perfect beach read

  • jhager on Feb 29, 12 at 09:57 AM

    Would love to win a book!

  • Mary_Woods on Feb 28, 12 at 04:31 PM

    I've wanted to read "Swamplandia" for quite a while now. Can't think of a better way than on a beach!

  • nfmgirl on Feb 28, 12 at 02:20 PM

    I'd love Vaclav and Lena! (I already have Swamplandia!)

  • Patty_Jester on Feb 28, 12 at 02:15 PM

    Would love to win a good book. Lady Blue Eyes sounds good.

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