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Margaritaville University Summer Reading List

With summer off to a great start, I am so happy to be able to share some of this year’s best beach reads. Not taking a beach trip this summer? Don’t worry – I’ve included some reads directly from Margaritaville that are sure to put you in a Margaritaville state of mind. No matter where your summer plans might take you, a sunny state of mind can mentally take you anywhere. This reading list is something I had the pleasure of creating to remind you to kick back, relax, and read a great book! The Summer 2018 Reading List has something for everyone, so get your sunglasses on, grab some flip flops, and get ready to read one (or more!) of these great picks.

Not much of a reader, but still want to experience a Margaritaville book? Well, you’re in luck… Especially if you love delicious food. (Who doesn’t, am I right?)

Tales From Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett

What kind of Margaritaville Reading List wouldn’t include this AMAZING book? In this book, written by the Buffett man himself, you will discover how to make Margaritaville come with you anywhere you go. The book is chalk-full of amazing short stories compiled to take readers along with the characters for the adventure of a lifetime. A mix of fiction and non-fiction, the book transports readers to another place – a Margaritaville state of mind, and allows readers to bring Jimmy Buffett’s music to life while exercising a bit of their own Margaritaville imaginations.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Well—I couldn’t resist including this book. Even if you’ve already read it twice, I find there is always some detail that goes undiscovered in this classic book. This timeless classic is a modern work of fiction for everyone. That’s right, it’s for everyone! The renaissance setting is sure to give every reader a magical experience. The work is jam-packed with satirical character and true romance, providing every reader with an imaginative and whirlwind storyline. The best part? The Princess Bride also includes some sea-faring villains who are sure to make you think of the classic Jimmy Buffett song, Son of a Sailor. If you haven’t read this classic, you definitely should.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

This book takes you along as the main character embarks on a family vacation on the island of Mallorca, off of the coast of Spain. The author makes readers feel like a part of the family as she invites readers to have an insider look at a family celebration. The book is all about the bonds we all share – and offers tremendous insight to human relationships. Humorous and sincere, this book is a close look at family dynamics and friendships. It is a great tale that demonstrates how even in the midst of chaos, some relationships and families remain together despite it all. An easy read, this book is perfect for the world traveler or curious reader and is a testament to the strength of the bonds families and friends share.

Camino Island by John Grisham

In this mystery beach read, you will be taken on a thrilling adventure alongside an excitingly curious character created by John Grisham. On a mission to locate the missing manuscripts of F. Scott Fitzgerald that were stolen from a vault, a young novelist journeys to a tropical island resort where she finds the owner of a local bookstore who might have been in on the theft. Set in Florida, this thrilling novel couldn’t be more perfect for a sunny day at the beach or even a rainy day stuck inside. With new details packed into every chapter, you won’t be able to put this page-turner down.

 Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe

If you haven’t checked out Mary Alice Monroe before, this book is the perfect introduction to her beach-side writing. This book is set in the southern town of Charleston, South Carolina, and takes readers on the ups and downs of one well-known family. It is a truly charming and heart-felt page turner. If you’re looking for more books by Mary Alice Monroe, check out Beach House Memories, The Summer Girls, and The Beach House. Mary Alice Monroe is a perfect beach read author, and Beach House Reunion does not disappoint.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

This is a classic summer beach read. As she attempts to escape an abusive relationship, one woman finds home and refuge in a picturesque beach town. Even without seeing the movie, the book alone will transport you to the quiet and relaxing waters of a sleepy beach town. This love story is a great tale of strength and true love, but also shows a more realistic side of life not often written about in romance novels. This terrific romance novel is a great reminder of how things can all work out in the end, and is one you will surely read time and time again.

Margaritaville: The Cookbook: Relaxed Recipes for a Taste of Paradise

This year, Margaritaville released an AMAZING cookbook. It is so good that I bought two – I gave one to my Mom for Mother’s Day, and it was a huge hit. Complete with a forward authored by Jimmy Buffett, this book covers it all. From delicious smoothie and frozen concoction recipes, to variations on a classic summer staple, key lime pie, you’re sure to be in Margaritaville after just one bite. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the cookbook is also family friendly – the various recipes are sure to make a huge splash in every family backyard this summer. The book is also a great guide to summer entertainment – the beautifully staged photos for each recipe are sure to give every host or hostess some perfect ideas for any upcoming get together! If you don’t have this cookbook in your kitchen, run, do not walk – order it NOW from Amazon or your local Barnes and Noble. I repeat: you will be instantly transported to Margaritaville after just one bite.

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

I had to include one for all the hopeless romantics out there! This book, written by the same author who brought us Confessions of a Shopaholic and many other great reads, is all about a married couple trying to “spice things up” by exchanging various surprises. A romantic masterpiece, this book is exciting and a perfect way to spend a rainy day.

Carousel Beach by Orly Konig

This mystery read is perfect for the inner detective in all of us. This powerful novel untangles multiple mysteries as one artist is captivated by a mysterious message on her grandmother’s grave. Eventually, the young artist finds herself restoring a 90 year old carousel in a Delaware beach town. I will leave the rest of this beach read… a mystery. This thriller is one you will not want to put down.

High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

This novel is jam packed with more than you could ever ask for in an ideal beach read. The beautifully described settings, the fast-paced plot, and endless action will draw you in. What’s even better? This ultimate beach read involves a private island, but I won’t spoil it for you! The southern setting and multiple unraveled mysteries carried down through generations of the characters make this book perfect for a summer day.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

This is a “prequel” to Harper Lee’s famous novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Just as captivating as always, this book is another beautiful showcase of Harper Lee’s incredible writing and storytelling abilities. Although it is longer than your typical beach read, I could not put this book down! The characters are familiar and endearing, and coupled with Harper Lee’s writing style, you will certainly be transported into the era of the book’s setting. This book will surely capture your heart.

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

This book is a great read for the thriller fans out there! Creepy and mysterious, this work captures your attention by making every reader question how much you really know your neighbors. For those of you that like a thrilling you will want to read this book, which is set in a small town where everyone knows their neighbors. This gripping and mysterious book is perfect for adventurous and brave readers.

The Lemonade Year by Amy Willoughby-Burle

This relatable book takes you through one year in Nina’s life when everything seems to be going wrong. Nina is a food photographer who is concerned about her job – and she faces a new challenge at work: an assignment requiring her to find “32 Ways to Make Lemonade.” Although Nina’s once sweet life turned sour, this book is a tale of second chances. This book is a perfect reminder of the phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Or if you’re in Margaritaville, when life hands you limes… make margaritas or open a cold Landshark! This book is a sweet and realistic look at love, loss, and everything in between.

Limelight by Amy Poeppel

This fictional work is for those of you who love adventure. This story is about a family of five who have just relocated to New York City from Dallas. Although there were some bumps along the way, the family’s story is told with humor and is marked by a unique perspective on Broadway and celebrity culture. This fulfilling and delightful read draws every reader in to take them on a journey to one character finding her way in the big city after a difficult road.

The Seasonaires by Janna King

This book tells the story of a group of six college kids working as brand ambassadors for an influential clothing line. Being a brand ambassador ain’t such a bad gig, if you ask me! Working for Margaritaville University has had an amazing positive impact on my life. For these six young folks, however, things weren’t always sunny. This thrilling book exposes the fashion line’s gripping control over the ambassadors’ lives. Set in a Nantucket summer, this book thrilling and trendy story is all about how some things are just too good to be true, even if it looks great on the surface. At the end of this beach read, I definitely thought “wow, they should’ve been an ambassador for Margaritaville University!”

Lora Walker is a Margaritaville college ambassador at West Virginia University. Learn more about Margaritaville University here.