What could be better than reading a good book while on the beach, lounging outside in a hammock or enjoying a day out on the boat?  We’re dreaming of relaxing days like these, and we think this weekend might just be the time to make it happen.  This year we are creating a summer reading list of books that are works of fiction based on life on Delmarva, and in some cases, written by Eastern Shore natives.  Get ready to gain a new appreciation for the Eastern Shore through the eyes of these authors.

Beach Bodies by David Healey

This thriller by David Healey takes place in Rehoboth Beach.  Those who are familiar with the Rehoboth Beach area will find references to plenty of local landmarks throughout the plot.  We can’t wait to dive into this one!

The Oysterback Tales by Helen Chappell

The Oysterback Tales takes you on a trip to Oysterback, a fictional town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  The characters are a bit eccentric, and the stories are said to ring true to anyone familiar with the area.  Author Helen Chappell is a native of Dorchester County.

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

Perhaps this is a rather obvious choice, but we love giving Misty of Chincoteague a quick read every now and then.  While this is considered a children’s book, the legends of Assateague’s wild ponies captivate us.  Marguerite Henry also wrote a number of other books based on the herds that call Assateague home for those who would like to continue the adventure.

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt

Homecoming is the first book in the Tillerman Cycle series by Cynthia Voigt.  We recognized this title from our book fair days.  This novel describes life along the Chesapeake Bay for children who come to live with their grandmother.  There are 6 other books in this series.

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

Set on the island of Rass in the Chesapeake Bay, Jacob Have I Loved is a story of sibling rivalry.  Many believe that the setting of the book is inspired by Smith Island.  We must warn you, reading this book may make you want to hop on a boat for a day trip to the island.

The Lord’s Oysters by Gilbert Byron

Author Gilbert Byron was born in Chestertown, Maryland and lived on the Eastern Shore all his life. After writing a number of books and poems about the area, he was referred to as The Voice of the Chesapeake.  The Lord’s Oysters is a story about growing up along the Chester River as the son of a waterman.

The Right Hand Shore by Christopher Tilghman

Christopher Tilghman perfectly captures growing up on the Eastern Shore in this novel.  The story highlights the struggles in the area after the Civil War.  Reviewers are raving about how beautifully this story is written, and we’re excited to give it a try!

The Sand Lady: An Ocean City Maryland Tale by Corinne M. Litzenberg

This fictional tale is rooted in the history surrounding the Ocean City, Maryland area.  We suggest reading it on the sandy shore of Ocean City, taking notice of how much the area has changed over the years, and spotting what history still remains.

Down on B-Dock by Paul Dyer

The storyline of Down on B-Dock takes place in Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach, Delaware.  This is the story of a love triangle with a bit of action and adventure along the way.  You’ll be dreaming about the beach lifestyle after this read.

Sandy Shorts by Nancy Powichroski Sherman

If you’re looking for short stories with familiar landmarks along the coast of Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey, this is the perfect read for you.  Sometimes we love a book of short stories that can be picked up for quick reads over time.  Great for those that may not have time for a full novel!

Chesapeake: A Novel by James A. Michener

Follow this tale of crossing the Atlantic with John Smith and settling in the Chesapeake Bay region.  Fact and fiction are interwoven in this novel.  History buffs will love this one! We’re hoping for incredible descriptions of the area before it was developed.

Sea Swept By Nora Roberts

For those that love romance novels, the first of Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay saga is not to be missed. Born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Roberts has made a name for herself by writing more than 213 romance novels.  Don’t miss the other books in Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay Saga, Rising Tides, Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Blue.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

While Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was based on a remote island off of Wales, the author, Ransom Riggs, is an Eastern Shore native.  We were surprised to learn this fact after reading the books and watching the movie, and eager to let everyone know about this local talent.  If you’re looking for more by this author, the series continues with Hollow City, Library of Souls and Tales of the Peculiar.  

Now that our summer reading list is full, we’re off to the beach!