Best reads of summer 2022 from Outer Banks bookstores

Best reads of summer 2022 from Outer Banks bookstores

July 26th, 2022

Summer in the Outer Banks wouldn’t be so much fun without some of our local bookstores! Each of these local stores recommended a book that is perfect for the beach. These are the best reads of the summer here in the OBX.

Smile Beach Murder – recommended by Downtown Books

Hands down, this year’s favorite- of most of our customers since it is the #1 book at Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books and #2 at Downtown Books for 2022 so far- is Smile Beach Murder, just released this may from Berkley Books.

This is billed as an ‘Outer Banks bookshop mystery’- the first in a planned series- and is the perfect read for an OBX vacation or staycation! Set on fictional Cattail Island, a blend of Ocracoke and Manteo, author Alicia Bessette introduces Callie Padgett- an island native and recently unemployed journalist who has returned home to lick her wounds and regroup.

After picking up some hours at the local bookshop, Callie finds herself becoming an amateur sleuth when a woman’s body is discovered at the foot of the lighthouse – circumstances way too similar to the ones Callie’s mother was found in years before.

With its strong Outer Banks flavor and cozy mystery vibe, Smile Beach Murder is a super pick for anyone’s beach bag! An Outer Banks resident, Alicia’s book was written up in the New York Times the week it debuted and has spent several weeks on the SIBA (Southern Independent Bookseller’s Alliance) best-seller list, reaching #12!

Downtown Books has locations in Manteo and Duck, featuring a wide range of books (Outer Banks titles too), cards, puzzles, book baskets, and more. Owned by Jamie Anderson, Downtown Books has been voted the Best Bookstore on the Beach, twice.

Between Tides – recommended by Books to be Red

Set locally in two beautiful beach towns, is “Between Tides” by Angel Khoury. It is a historical book based on a real person and real events, with some fiction thrown in.

A man who drifts away from his Cape Cod home, his wife, and his position as the keeper of the Chatham Beach Life Saving Station in Massachusetts is in search of a new lady and a new life in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It is poetic and lyrical and it is utterly captivating.

Books to be Red is a charming book and pottery shop located on Ocracoke Island that offers a wide variety of books and handcrafted items.

Where the Crawdads Sing – recommended by Read’em and Weep

Current bestseller “Where the Crawdads Sing” by author Delia Owens has something for everyone. Along with the setting having a supposed North Carolina coastal backdrop, the novel is primarily the coming of age tale of a young girl.

But overcoming personal adversity, a peripheral mystery, and nature’s magical beauty are all beautifully woven to showcase Owens’ literary talent.

I highly recommend this book for everyone seeking something different from their normal choices in reads. It does not disappoint.  And it goes without saying that I encourage reading the novel before seeing the recently released film adaptation!


Read’em & Weep is bookshop in Grandy, North Carolina. Owner Venetia Huffman offers a large inventory of used books in all categories.
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