I am going to the beach in a week, and I can’t wait. Then I will go to Atlanta for some book promotion, come back to Charlotte for an event here, and then hit the beach again (that round of beach vacation will end with surfing lessons for an article I am writing—I’ll have to write on that after it happens). The beach is my vacation of choice. We go to this great place on the North Carolina coast that is all houses (no hotels) and has really soft sand. The beach itself, I guess, is an island. There is a swing bridge that you go over to get on the island and the bridge opens every hour and so you have to time your on and off island runs just right in order to not wait forever for the boats to pass through. You can go crabbing during low tide which I did once in flip flops, something I don’t recommend (quick note: I always threw the crabs back). My foot got stuck in the mud fluff once, and when I finally yanked it up, the flop was MIA. Digging through mud fluff that could be housing a crab or two that thinks your finger is actually a chicken neck? Not the most soothing thing to do. I don’t crab anymore. What I do at the beach is pretty basic. I wake up early enough to get in a long bike ride or run/walk along the water. This is one of my favorite times of day: the beach is smooth and teasing, couples walk by engrossed in conversations they don’t have the time or energy to have back home, and the sun dapples. Then, I rush through breakfast, slather on sunscreen, pack up and get down to the beach ASAP and there I read for hours. I sit down at the water’s edge with my feet in the water and adjust my seat location (based on the tide) every 30 minutes. Only a brief run back to the house at noon for a sandwich, a bathroom break, and sunscreen reapplication gets in the way of my time on the beach. At 5 pm, my eyes leave the book or magazine I am reading and stare off into the horizon, looking for the schools of dolphins that pass by around that time. Finally, around 6, I force myself home, take a shower in the outdoor stall, and help with dinner. A perfect night ends with a couple rounds of Spades or Gin. I am so excited about my upcoming beach vacations that I have already packed my books. For beach trip #1, I am hoping to get through If I am Missing or Dead, The Glass Castle (book club pick; I am sure I will write about this later), the 12 Week Triathlon Guide (more on this in a later blog), and Secrets of the Zona Rosa. For beach week #2, Piece of Cake, The Not So Big Life, Kabul Beauty School, and Forever Lily are on the docket. I even have my books on tape ready for the drive: The Last Summer (of You and Me) and Body Surfing (note the themes of summer and water). In the spirit of beach anticipation, I’ll be sharing lists of my all-time favorite books with you in the coming days/weeks. In the meantime, tell me what you are reading this summer. I keep a “to-read” list at goodreads.com and like to keep it flush. I am betting that you have a great book to suggest.