Books to read when relaxing by the beach

Beaufort County adults enjoyed summer reading with the Beaufort County library system this year with giveaways, chances to blog and grand prizes for the greatest number of books read. Congratulations to all of our adult participants. With the Lowcountry weather on our side (sometimes), it's never too late to grab a good beach read. Here are some favorites, with book reviews written by the adults who loved them, from the Lobeco library.

SUSPENSE

If you like suspense, then try John Grisham's "A Time to Kill." From a reader: "A young girl is raped. Two men arrested. Her father plots and takes matters into his own hands. Racism abounds. Her father is defended by a town lawyer, fires him and his friend gets him another. Can he win the case? It is interesting, involves KKK and lawyers, ethics. Find out if he is acquitted for two murders and one intent."

RELIGIOUS

Maybe you would prefer something with a more religious touch? How about "The Hadassah Covenant" by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen? From a reader: "This book is about a modern-day queen whose life parallels that of an ancient Jewish queen. We learn of their similar struggles and how some things never change. If you like a modern-day adventure with a touch of ancient intrigue, this is the book for you."

CLASSICS

Classics are always good, but Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" might not be the best beach read. From a reader: "Follows the lifetimes of numerous Russians through the beginning of hostility with France in 1805 up till the French defeat in 1813 with an epilogue in 1820. Not an easy read, but Tolstoy brings up many good points about the nature of war and death and other philosophical stands so I would recommend it -- just not for the beach."

ROMANCE

Of course, a little sizzling romance is always good for putting a spring in your step and a sparkle in your eye, so try "The Marriage Act," by Elissa Ambrose. From a reader: "A woman has a one-night stand, then she's expecting. He's a private investigator and her boss's illegitimate son. He's investigating his father and his company. Find out what happens -- if they end up together or not."

NONFICTION

A historical biography called "Ike," by Michael Korda, might be more your speed. From a reader: "One of the ultimate American stories of a man rising from one of the most humble origins in the middle of Kansas to become a five-star general. ... He seemed to be the happy, smiling grandfather, but was also known to be a man who got the best out of the brightest -- but sometimes most difficult -- men of his generation. ... Highly recommended. ... Eisenhower led and made it look easy. The leadership style he used is now what we are heralding as 'change' and 'new,' although no one really noticed because he liked others to share in the credit."

Column published in the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette, August 16, 2009.