Monday, August 6, 2018

SurfWriter Girls Best Beach Books 2018

A Sea of Adventures!

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Summertime is adventure time! And, some of the best adventures of all are just a page away in the perfect summer beach book.

Mysteries, thrillers, surfing exploits, a solo ocean voyage and more, SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel have it all here for you.

Swell: A Sailing Surfer's Voyage of Awakening, by Liz Clark, is filled with adventure as she recounts a journey most people only dream about – sailing from Santa Barbara to the South Pacific on a solo voyage. Looking to get off the beaten path, it's a nine-year quest she is still on, following her love of surfing and sailing wherever it takes her. Dealing with everything from loneliness and the crashing power of monster waves to the joy of finding idyllic surf spots and self-awareness, her story will inspire and motivate you to stretch your limits.

The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn, lives up to the description "page-turner." In a nod to Alfred Hitchcock's movie Rear Window about a housebound apartment dweller who sees a murder, the woman in Finn's #1 bestselling novel may have seen a murder, too. But, she's mentally unstable and suffering from agoraphobia – the fear of open places. So that complicates things and will keep you guessing. Did she see it or didn't she? SurfWriter Girl Patti loved this book and can't wait for the movie starring Amy Adams to come out.  

Surface, by Ben Thouard, an acclaimed French photographer, takes you under the surface of the ocean to the place he loves most – where the waves break. "Moving with the wave and going with the flow, you feel very humble in front of all that power," says Thouard, who captured the kinetic energy of the waves in this beautiful book of photographs taken over a ten-year period in Tahiti. Ever on the look for new perspectives, Thouard's underwater world is fascinating.

Skyjack, by K.J. Howe, is the perfect action novel with savvy international kidnap expert Thea Paris having to outwit a ruthless criminal in the Libyan desert. "It starts at 600 mph and never slows down," says Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series. Publishers Weekly calls it "rip roaring," an "enthralling plot that moves across Europe with lightning speed." Add in a missing cache of nuclear bomb-making materials from WWII and this is a novel with a fuse that's ready to ignite. So, stake out a comfy spot on the beach and settle in for a thrill-ride.

Kanga, by Wayne Patrick Murphy and Ian Cairns, is a biography, surf history and extreme adventure book rolled into one – centered on legendary Australian surfer Ian "Kanga" Cairns. From his Aussie roots to conquering Hawaii's North Shore in the 70s, Cairns helped build surfing into the worldwide sport it is today, challenging every wave. Filled with quotes and stories from his surfing contemporaries, the book is as brash as its subject. SurfWriter Girls friend surf artist Dave Reynolds says, “You gotta read this book! Eye-opening and almost scandalous.”   

The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware, has an intriguing premise: What if you received a letter telling you that you were the heir to a "substantial inheritance," but you knew that the letter had been sent to the wrong person? Desperately in need of money, would you try to collect this unexpected fortune? Describing this as "a perfectly executed suspense tale very much in the mode of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca,” The Washington Post loved the "brooding atmosphere and labyrinthine mistaken-identity plot." So did SurfWriter Girl Patti's sister Eileen Ferris, who tipped us off to this summer beach bag treasure.   

The Flight Attendant, by Chris Bohjalian, packs a real punch from the opening scene: a flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man. A binge drinker, who is subject to blackouts, she is clueless as to how she got there. Or how the man was killed. Alone in Dubai and afraid to go to the police, she struggles to regain her memory and piece everything together. Booklist calls this "a read-in-one- sitting escapade."

Blue Mind, by Wallace J. Nichols, delves into the crucial importance of mankind's connection to water and "the benefits of being in, on, under, or simply near water." Combining cutting edge neuroscience research with personal stories from athletes, artists, military, and other high-achievers, biologist Nichols shows how proximity to water can reduce anxiety, improve performance and increase professional success. Water, it turns out, does more than quench our thirst. It inspires creativity and nurtures our souls. 

My Not So Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella, has that combination of humor and romance that has made bestselling author Kinsella so beloved by her fans. SurfWriter Girls are no exception. We loved and laughed our way through this book about struggling ad agency worker Katie Brenner, who longs for the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed. To have it all, just like her super-achieving boss Demeter. Filled with twists and turns, setbacks and surprises, Katie finds out who she really is and that perfection isn't always perfect. 

World Class, by Peggy Shinn, is a captivating account of the U.S. women’s cross-country ski team's rise to the top, winning eight medals at the last three world championships. Recommended by SurfWriter Girl Sunny's friend sports journalist Elliott Almond, it provides an inside look into what it takes to succeed in this grueling sport where it takes all you have to go the distance. Sports journalist Shinn interviews athletes, coaches, family and friends to paint the full picture. For a cool change of pace on a hot, summer day, this is a definite winner. 

Whatever summer adventures are calling your name, there's a book for you!

Let the adventures begin!

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Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given. 

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