Kathy Keller shares the following recommended Beach Books on the Redeemer Presbyterian Church website:
Series picks to keep you busy at the beach (mostly secular fiction, except Lewis, Tolkien, and Chesterton, but nothing offensive)
1. Patrick O’Brian’s novels of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. Features the friendship of Stephen Maturin (physician) and Jack Aubrey (ship’s captain) and their adventures in exploration, seafaring, and political intrigue. Also romance and sea battles, sometimes indistinguishable… Written in the style of the period, using contemporary diaries and descriptions of battles, storms, events.
2. The Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters
(archeology, mystery, romance, womens’ rights and quite a lot of information about the early years of excavation in Egypt. Set in 1885-1920)
3. The Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMasters Bujold, for sci-fi fans. (However, if you haven’t read C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy [beginning with Out of the Silent Planet] make sure you get that in first.) They’re very different: Lewis will have your head spinning, and Miles is, well, unique. Be ready to explore different moral and ethical cultures through an a-Christian world.
4. Anything by Jane Austen.
5. Classic English mystery: Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham and Josephine Tey. Also, GK Chesterton’s Father Brown series of short stories, featuring Columbo’s spiritual ancestor, Father Brown.
6. Laurie R. King’s recent series featuring the retired Sherlock Holmes and his young wife. The first in the series is The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.
7. For fans of historical novels, Dorothy Dunnett’s Francis Crawford of Lymond series set in the 16th century. Unquestionably the best historical novels ever written. All have chess themed titles; the first is The Game of Kings. Hang on, it took me a while to get into them.
8. If you just don’t think the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is for you, think again. Force it down, it will change your world.