Often during our busy schedules, travel is a special time when reading for pleasure is catered for. There are hammocks and beaches and lazy afternoons just waiting to be filled. I personally love choosing a book to take, knowng that it will soon be dog-eared, wet, bent and loved, and destined to fall across my chest when naps take over. Alternatively, in the depths of Winter I may crave what I like to call the ‘ fantasea’ genre, any book that takes me away to a tropical location filled with diving and adventure. Here are my top 6 Beach Holiday Reads: (Click on the book icon to purchase.)


1. The Beach, Alex Garland.

Seeking perfection in a private community on a secret island location sounds like a dream. Fishing, playing, picking fruit, watching the stars. Yet the idyllic scenario is soon tainted by reality and various groups playing with power. Richard, tourist become traveller, finds himself on the island, at first embraces the wonderful lifestyle of no commitment to reality, but is soon overwhelmed by the lack of boundary and the controlling members of the group who insist on their secrecy at all costs.


2. Savages, Shirley Conran.

A group of corporate wives meet up on a tropical island while their husbands are at a conference there, but on witnessing a shocking attack, are forced to go to ground. With only their rough boat skipper to teach them survival skills in the jungle, the woman hide deep in the forest and must learn to fend for themselves.


3. The Reef, Nora Roberts.

A battle of the wills against two main characters destined to hook up. They find a sword on a treasure dive in the first couple of chapters and spend the rest of the book trying to outwit the baddy/getting rights to wrecks/and having the hots for each other. Simple, oceany goodness.


4. Skinny Dip, Carl Hiaasen.

Skinny Dip is ridiculous. There is only one way to put it. But ridiculous in the best way. Set in the Florida Keys, there are enough psychotic ex-husbands, dopey cronies and sly gators to keep you entertained. One of my rare laugh-out-loud moments was had during this book. It’s appeal is in it’s sunny locale, extravagant characters and, well… it’s ridiculousness.


5. An Embarassment of Mangoes, Ann Vanderhoof.

This Non-Fiction account of one couples sailing trip down to the Caribbean and all that they experience. While beating the hurricane season and living off fresh fish, the book details the lives of ‘cruisers’. If you have ever dreamt of packing up and sailing away, then this is the book for you. Easy holiday reading at it’s best. Also perfect for those dreamy Winter afternoons when sun is a distant memory…


6. Inca Gold, Clive Cussler.

I have included a ‘Dirk Pitt’ novel, not because it is my favourite, but because as the veritable King of dive literature, with over fifty books in his series’, Clive Cussler books get an honourable mention. Dirk Pitt is not his only protagonist, and possibly not the most likable. Sure, he’s tough and sexy and rugged and adventurous. He also dives. And my God I just can’t seem to put the book down! There are other series by Cussler within the same genre, all action, all ocean-faring adventure, and obviously with such a wide range there are many others that may form a personal favourite either due to their location, lead role, or interesting relic of value. Cussler obviously speaks from experience and strong research, making the death-defying escapes from death perhaps the only minor issue in accuracy. Fun dive fiction!


Got more? Comment and share your favourite dive/holiday reads!