Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Online Book Club - Wrapping Up June: Beach

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I've joined in with some blogging friends for an online book club, and we are wrapping up this week. By the way, all our readers are invited to join in as well. Each month we'll have a theme to build our book picks around, and our June theme was Beach. 

In my opening post this month, I mentioned that I was having trouble coming up with good ideas for the theme. Despite living in a coastal state, I am not much of a beach person myself, and as I suspected, there were no trips to the beach during the month. I may not get to a beach at all this summer, and it won't bother me if I don't. (My beach-loving friends think there is something quite wrong with me. All I'm saying is, I grew up in the prairies, and the mountains were the nearby vacation destination.) Anyway, I found a couple of books related to the theme and paged through them looking for some interesting highlights to share.

Homeschoolers, if you're doing a beach theme unit study, this is a book to look for:

The Beachcomber's Companion: An Illustrated Guide to Collecting and Identifying Beach Treasures by Anna Marlis Burgard is a compact and attractive guidebook for shell collectors. Every time I've been at a beach, I've been more interested in walking along the shore and picking up any interesting shells than in swimming or surfing. I would have loved having a book like this when I was a kid or teen to help me identify beach treasures. The shells and the creatures that live(d) in them are described well, and the shells pictured in water color type illustrations. You can also learn about the value of shells to ancient cultures, the use of shells as currency, and other historical tidbits of information. 


Hike Maryland: A Guide to the Scenic Trails of the Free State by Bryan MacKay - This is a detailed guidebook highlighting some of the very best hiking trails in the great state of Maryland. Why did this book fit with the Beach theme? Because of the many coastal trails mentioned in the book.  In fact, the very first chapter is about Assateague Island National Seashore: North Beach. Most of the other hikes near the shores are marshland trails, but there are many other types of trails detailed in the book. For each location, there's a summary of exactly where to find it, the distance and difficulty of the trail, and why it's special. Following is a description of the park or area, some cautions or tips, a detailed description of the hike/trail itself, and a map. You'll find out what wildlife or geographical features to watch for and often get a little history or ecology lesson too. Very good book for dedicated hikers! (That's not me at this point, but I can handle some of the shorter and easier trails mentioned!)


Easy Weekend Getaways from Washington, DC: Short Breaks in Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland by Jess Moss - Like the above selection, I decided to flip through the pages of this book of local weekend vacation ideas because obviously there would be some beaches mentioned. I haven't spent much time with this - just flipped through a bit - but it does have some great suggestions. Part One focuses on the Beach & Bay Escapes, giving details on where to stay or dine, where to shop, and what to expect from the beaches and attractions at six iconic beach destinations in the area, including Bethany Beach (my favorite), St Michaels, and Assateague Island.

The rest of the book includes Outdoorsy Fun like Shenandoah and Deep Creek, Small Town Vibes, Historical Sites (there's a lot of those around this area!) like Gettysburg and Fredericksburg, and more.



Finally, I ordered a fiction selection as well - The Shell Collector: A Novel by Nancy Naigle. It didn't arrive at my library till about a week ago so I have to admit I haven't started it yet. It's still on my TBR pile and I may try it out sometime in July.

 Can you recommend any good beach reads for a non-beach-goer? What are you reading? Leave a comment and let me know!

Visit Hopkins Homeschool to find out more about the online book club, and visit all the participating bloggers to see what they've read as part of this theme!

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Lori - At Home: where life happens said...

I am going to look at the library for a couple of these. I enjoy shells but dislike the beach. Does that even make sense?

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