Ready, Set, Beach!!!!


I’ve determined that I am a beach bum.  The beach is my happy place be it the height of summer or the dead of winter.  There is something calming about the sound of the waves and sand between my toes.  It is a place where I can “hear myself think”.  Given the Zombie Apocalypse of 2020, I’m finding it to be my remote work refuge.  A place to contemplate and work and, better yet, the view is amazing!


With the upcoming holiday, I am setting the week aside as vacation.  It’s time for some pleasure reading, beach walking, and general out of office time.  I’m packing the beach bag with goldfish for a snack, my kindle loaded with beach reads, my iPod with audiobooks and a playlist and I’ve ordered a case of sunscreen from Amazon.


2020 beach reading list (no reviews as I’m just set to start my reading binge)

  • Feels Like Falling, Kristy Woodson Harvey
  • Hello Summer, Mary Kay Andrews
  • Chanel’s Rivera,Anne de Courcey
  • Sex and Vanity, Kevin Kwan
  • Drawing Home, Jamie Brenner


2020 audiobook playlist (no reviews as I’ve just started listening and walking)

  • The Summer House, James Patterson
  • The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel
  • Firing Point, Tom Clancy
  • Resistance Women, Jennifer Chiaverini
  • All the Ways We Said Goodbye, Beatriz Williams
  • True Evil, Greg Iles

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Packing list for the beach bag

  • Sunscreen – 30 and 50.  My go to is Coola but I couldn’t find the unscented this year so I’m opting for Supergoop.
  • Beach towel – I’m still using monogrammed bath sheets I ordered from Neiman’s years ago but I keep eyeing the ones from Weezie.  I love their makeup towels.
  • Tech – iPod, kindle and AirPod Pro (the pro are amazing at noise reduction.  I highly recommend)
  • Cooler with drinks and a spray bottle of Evian to cool you down
  • Goldfish
  • Hat

Summer Beach Reads

It’s that time of year again!  With Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer I think of the beach, pool, and nights playing tennis.  I also think of what I’m going to load to my kindle or iPod to “read” at the beach or pool.  These are some of my recent favorite reads!

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Kristy W. Harvey is my new favorite author.  If you like Alice Monroe or Dorothy Benton Frank, you will love Harvey.  Her Peachtree Bluff trilogy is can’t put down.  I love the mix of the southern beach town with a hint of New York City thrown into the mix.  The story of strong women facing and overcoming the challenges in their lives.  Run, don’t walk to grab these for your beach bag.




I devoured the Discovery of Witches trilogy.  It was different, fun, compelling and historical – even for someone who doesn’t run to stories of vampires, witches and demons.  This is the latest.  It is Marcus’ story and it does not disappoint.  All my favorite characters are back in the mix, Diana, Matthew, Baldwin but the focus is on Marcus as Matthew’s son and his upcoming marriage.


If you enjoy that WWII suspense, espionage book, this and the Alice Network are books for you  I “read” (listened) to both with the audible versions.  I highly recommend the audible version for a long car trip (say to the beach!).  The Alice Network is set in occupied France while the Huntress takes a slightly different turn moving back and forth between post war Boston, post war Austria, and the Eastern front.  Both feature the work of brave women in the war.  The Huntress takes an unusual turn by featuring a woman as a sought after Nazi war criminal.




If you’ve not found the Maisie Dobbs series yet, now is the time. The series began with Maisie in WWI and we’ve now progressed to WWII and the London blitz.  The latest, The American Agent, provides wonderful insight into the beginning of WWII and America’s take on a new world war.


More recommendations to come!  I think this is going to be a huge reading summer.

My love affair with


I’ve already said I love to read but like the rest of you my schedule is busy and I don’t always have the time to curl up with a good book. My alternative is audible! Audible is a division of Amazon that provides audio books. I download onto my iPhone titles that I want to read then I can multitask during the week – in the car, or on a plane, when I walk, when I cook or clean, or – well, you get the picture, when I’m doing something else but can focus on a good book rather than the task at hand. The added bonus is that it helps the task at hand go quicker and you’d be amazed at how many laps you can walk on the track when you’re at a good place in the book.

Audible’s selection is varied and deep and includes bestsellers and old favorites for all ages – even a selection of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys!

In preparation for a very long flight, I just loaded up my iPod. Some of my favorite authors are on my current playlist.

My playlist –

Mississippi Burning by Greg Iles – This is the final book in book in the Natchez Burning trilogy featuring Penn Cage and Natchez (Natchez Burning and The Bone Tree are the first two installments). I love that Natchez is treated as its own character. This highly entertaining and, at times frustrating, work shines a spotlight on the civil rights era while providing a commentary on the present. This trilogy is a must read or, in this case, a must listen!

Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck – There are many novels out there about WWII but this book has two new twists. Twist one is the focus is on the lives of the women left behind. The struggle of those to survive in the face of utter defeat and when faced with the lies and unthinkable acts committed around them.  This book provided new insight as to the how did the ordinary person just let this happen question.   It also highlights the power of propaganda.   Twist two is the story as told from the perspective of a resistor. Resistors were those who attempted to assassinate Hitler only to fail and be executed leaving their wives and children behind to face the consequences. I could not stop listening to this book.

The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith – This is my first book by this author; it will not be my last. Set in Italy, generally Venice, in 1944 at the end of WWII in Italy. This is the story of two brothers, at odds over, well, just about everything and the complication of Guilia . Guilia is a Jew, in hiding with her parents, who escapes when they are betrayed.  She is rescued by the reluctant hero, Cenzo. This is another that I did not want to put down.

The Orpheus Clock by Simon Goodman – A true story of a son’s quest and what he learns about his family. This is another must listen. This book is similar to the story of A Woman in Gold revealing yet another horror story of the Nazi’s treachery. If you enjoy art and museums this is well worth the “listen”.

The Black Widow by Daniel Silva – This is part of the Gabriel Allon series. If you enjoy adventure stories and spy thrillers ala Clancy, then Daniel Silva is a must author for you. A “black widow” is a female ISIS recruit – a female suicide bomber. A story of international intrigue that takes on the current day challenges of terrorism, this is an absolute must read or listen.  This one was released several months ago which is good for me as his newest was just released!

Duty and Honor, A Jack Ryan, Jr. novel – I love the Jack Ryan series, both Senior and Junior. This one is a bit over the top and would not be in my top five reads but it is still worth the listen. It does an excellent job of addressing Jr.’s growth and setting up the next chapter in the story with True Faith and Allegiance.

Also on my playlist are several fun series but I’ll leave those for another time.