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The Beach Chair Diaries is a memoir of feelings. These feelings do not come from the author, though her experiences on the sand “from Maine to Maui” are chronicled, but rather it takes the reader back to those flashes of toes-in-the-sand, sun-screened bliss we take away from the sun, the sand, and the ocean at the beach.

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From built surfers in Hawaii to the elite yachtclubbing brethren of Massachusetts, The Beach Chair Diaries is a romp around a world confined to the borders of the beach, away from the concrete jungle and laptops. It is carefree and joyous, a companion made for a glass of sangria and a breezy night. If you’re looking for substance and deep metaphors, look elsewhere, this memoir holds true to its catchphrase of being a fun read- not something to pore over for hours at book club, but rather to enjoy as a personal reflection on times outdoors, perhaps when the weather is colder and the sun does not shine as bright.

The collection is divided into twenty short stories, each filled with generalizations of life on the seashore, and the yearning when we are taken away from it. The writing is strongest when describing the transcendental qualities of a day at the beach, and the way that age does not draw us away from our childhoods- at fifty we are just as likely to hop on as surfboard and paddle away as at fourteen- though perhaps now more allured by the man teaching the lesson than the rental paddle board.

Before picking up the memoir, expect fun and casual glimpses at an author’s life by the seashore, not an intense rollercoaster of emotions and morals. If you’re craving a return to the summer months, and a carefree afternoon, Beach Chair Diaries is the read for you.


Number of Pages: 144

Recommended For: a beach chair morning, the heart of winter, a late, humid summer night

Enjoy it With: sangria, wine, sunscreen

For fans of: memoirs, the beach, lifestyle reads

Best place to buy it: http://www.amazon.com/Beach-Chair-Diaries-Janet-Spurr/dp/1597009997