10 BOOKS TO LISTEN TO ON THE BEACH
As someone who has read on every beach he has visited, I enjoy nothing more than getting sunstroke while reading a great book on the beach. I can remember one summer I started reading Anna Karenina on Memorial Day and finished it up on Labor day, a summer with one of the most intriguing ladies I ever met.
In recent years, I have given up the struggle to get comfortable in the sand while trying to read a book. Instead, I listen to books. It started with an ipod, but now I can enjoy a book on my phone or tablet and with wireless earphones, I can lay, sit up or even walk in the surf while listening to a great read.
Here is my list of 10 audiobooks that you will love to listen to on the beach:
1. PILLARS OF EARTH by Ken Follett read by John Lee
This audiobook clocks in at about 41 hours so you can listen to it all summer. It's the story of the construction of a Gothic Cathedral and of the times. It's a sometimes brutal but always entertaining story with dozens of colorful characters and many twists and turns. Believe me, you will get so caught up in the drama that this is going to be the quickest 41 hours you have ever spent with a book.
2. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee read by Sissy Spacek
Of course, you've seen the movie but the book is actually better. What makes the audiobook special is the voice of Scout done by Sissy Spacek. You may think that it is no fun to read a book whose ending you know, but listening to books you have read is a totally different experience than re-reading them. The narrator is an artist who paints the novel in words, so that you are always seeing things in a new light.
3. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Steig Larsson read by Simon Vance
There is a lot more to this book than the incredibly interesting character, Lisbeth Salander. I read the book before I listened to the audiobook and preferred listening to reading the book. It’s a layer cake of suspense, mystery and thriller on every page.
4. THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams read by Stephen Fry
The only problem with listening to this book while on the beach are the stares you are going to get as people watch you laughing your head off. SciFi is usually not funny, but this is a very unusual book. I dare you to listen to it without telling all your friends that they have to listen to it too.
5. LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI by Mark Twain read by Grover Gardner
Mark Twain was a river boat pilot on the Mississippi River before he was an author. In fact, his pen name (he was born Samuel Clemens) comes from a river pilot term meaning that the river at a certain point was deep enough to be safely passed. I know you are probably thinking, why would I want to read this? The answer is simple - you will love Twain's wit and stories and lore all about the great Mississippi and Grover Gardner is the dean of audiobook narrators.
6. THE SHINING by Stephen King read by Scott Campbell
What is the only thing that is scarier than reading The Shining? That's right - listening to it! This is a classic and Scott Campbell is as good as it gets as a narrator.
7. A Is for Alibi,B Is for Burglar,C Is for Corpse by Sue Grafton read by Judy Kaye
This is a real deal - 3 for 1. The first three Sue Grafton books that started one of the best modern series about a private eye, Kinsey Millhone. It is also three of the best in the series.
What is a summer without John Grisham. Probably, you read this book, but it's been 20 years or so and your memory isn't that good. Scott Brick is a great narrator who brings to life the story's many characters. Give it a listen and you will satiate your legal thriller need for a while.
I have neither read nor listened to this new book, but Sedaris is a safe bet to make you laugh and cry and feel things just a bit deeper than before you read him.
You have probably heard of this book, but even if you haven't or if you have and read it years ago, do yourself a favor and listen to it. It is a safe bet that you will be listening to it going to, on and headed home from the beach.