Updated: Jan 27, 2019
It’s the end of May, so of course that means it’s time for the beach-read genre. What exactly does that mean? Is it really an actual genre? I don’t know of any book or author I would prefer reading while at the beach as opposed to anywhere else so I did some research.
Google results show it means a romance novel, and it means a novel that’s actually set at a beach, and it means a novel that is set at a rooftop pool in Miami. Based on these descriptions, to me it means pick a book where you don’t actually have to think about what you’re reading.
I rarely read when I’m at the beach. With a view like this, who can blame me? These pics are from a small island off the coast of Auckland New Zealand called Waiheke Island. The rumors are true – the beaches are stunning.
But how about a swamp?
Yeah. That works. A novel set in a swamp.
The book is titled Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasan, and the main character’s name is Honey Santana. Can you get any more “beachy” than that? Honey’s personality is a cross between the stereotypical blonde and bad-ass brunette. This book will call on your sense of humor while making you sit up and take note of what you’re reading – even while you’re at the beach.
If you like mysterious characters, characters that trip over their own feet, those who won’t take shit from anyone, then this book is for you. It’s a mad-dash across a multitude of islands in Florida’s swamp land with a canoe, poorly built rafts, and alligators. Really. There are even a couple romantic threads that will leave you scratching your head and asking why? but still laughing at the trouble these people get into without even meaning to.
Hiaasan is a well-written, very intelligent author who was born in Florida. His familiarity with the terrain of this particular novel, and his accuracy of what his characters encounter is written with a wit and humor that sometimes reminded me of The Three Stooges mixed with a bit of Abbot and Costello.
If you like Nature Girl, also pick up Bad Monkey and Skinny Dip. Hiaasan is one of those authors that will have you running to your local book store to buy everything he’s ever written.
Happy reading, and brush the sand off your feet before getting back into your car. Trust me! It will live there forever.