Book Talk: Summer beach reads

Book Talk: Summer beach reads

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald lists one of my favourite quotes of all time: “[A]nd so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

After four months of preventative measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands, summer is here and the country has exhaled a collective breath as we make our way to the beach.

In the Cayman Islands, beach reads are not limited to the summertime; however, after various suppression levels, which included restricting beach access, many will spend their Saturdays being socially distant in the sand, bringing their books in tow.

As a former bookseller and self-proclaimed beach bum, I love a beach read. These are the books I’m bringing to the beach with me this summer.


For the young adult, and young adult at heart:

“Midnight Sun” by Stephenie Meyer

Meyer began penning the companion to the global phenomenon, Twilight, over 12 years ago and ceased writing following a leak of the first draft. This grown-up retelling of the original story, in Edward Cullen’s perspective as a 104-year-old vampire, is a page-turner at over 600 pages and full of bloodlust. Make sure you pick up a copy of August’s Camana Bay Times for a full review of this book in my August Book Talk column.


For the bookworm:

“Sex and Vanity” by Kevin Kwan

Kwan is a household name for those in the literary community, most notable for his explosive “Crazy Rich Asians” series that broke inclusion barriers in the literary and film worlds. “Sex and Vanity” is set to be no different, starring a Chinese-American protagonist torn between two love interests who appeal to different sides of her family. Set in Capri, Italy, this novel is set to transport you straight into summertime.


For the suspense-junkie:

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

If you saw this movie, please pretend you didn’t and read the book with a fresh mind. Set in London, not New York City, this deeply suspenseful novel provides three different narratives and features themes of addiction and relationships and substances. Hawkins has taken a high-level look at British society and subsequently taken a deep dive into relationships, and how they can involve more than two people…sometimes even the girl on the train that passes your back garden every day.


For the romantic:

“Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Beach reads are commonly associated with romance, and I chose “Eat Pray Love” because of the fact that it is a romance. It’s Gilbert’s autobiography of her romance with herself and how her journey to Italy, India and Indonesia allowed her to fall in love with herself again.


For the historian:

“A Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela

A story that I hope needs no introduction, “A Long Walk to Freedom” is the late South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of his life, education and 27 years in prison. An always-relevant read, but particularly in light of recent events, the autobiography provides insight to the mind of one of the world’s greatest activists.

What are you reading this summer? Let us know by using the hashtag #CamanaBay on your Facebook and Instagram posts.

Find your latest beach read at Books & Books in Camana Bay.


About the author

Alanna Warwick-Smith is a Marketing Coordinator supporting the business development and real estate marketing team for Dart. Alanna has worked in Dart’s flagship development of Camana Bay for the past eight years, when she began her career working at the town’s bookstore, Books & Books. A lover of the written word, Alanna reads and writes poetry in her spare time, and has written content for a range of platforms in the past, including her own blog and Camana Bay Times.

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