Grand Strand-Based Books Make Great Beach Reads for Read Across America Day

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March 2 is Read Across America Day, and visitors to the sandy shores of Myrtle Beach can help start the cross-country chain on the East Coast.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina offers so many fun things to do and see that it’s easy to overlook the simple things to love about your vacation.

In addition to all the attractions, shopping, dining, nightlife and watersports, guests at Compass Cove also have lots of on-site water amenities.

But there’s something to be said for soaking up some downtime during your beach retreat, like lying in the sun and sand while reading a good book.

Vacation is a great time to catch up on your reading list, especially if you are interested in checking out some authors with Grand Strand ties.

Not only is the Carolina coast a wonderful place to visit, but there are several acclaimed authors who live on and write about the Grand Strand.

You might even read about a few places you can visit during your stay to enhance the experience. Here are a few must-reads for visiting bookworms:

Nicholas Sparks: Based out of the nearby city of Wilmington, NC, this award-winning author’s works often center around the Carolina coast. With best-sellers like “The Notebook”, “The Best of Me” and “Nights of Rodanthe” to his credit, Sparks’ latest novel “Every Breathe” highlights the Kindred Spirit mailbox on the state border at Bird Island, where visitors place letters to lost loved ones. It’s a real page-turner, and you can even finish it with a boat tour to Bird Island to deliver your own message.

Pat Conroy: Based in the South Carolina Lowcountry, Conroy has turned out a lifetime of material that features life on the coast. Much of it has been translated to film, including “The Great Santini”, “The Lords of Discipline” and “The Great Santini”. His final work “Lowcountry Heart” was released shortly before his death in 2016, but if you prefer to read a classic that’s perfect for the setting, “Beach Music” is a masterpiece.

Mickey Spillane: For those who love a good whodunit, this late author was the master of the murder mystery throughout the mid-20th century. Making his home in nearby Murrells Inlet until his death in 2006 at the age of 88, Spillane is best known for his Mike Hammer character, a tireless gumshoe who always got his man. Spillane was a fixture and beloved figure on the Murrells Inlet waterfront, so much that a stretch of Highway 17 Business was named in his honor.

Karen White: This popular Southern author gained fame for her “Tradd Street” mystery series, which was set in nearby Charleston, but some of her recent works have ventured farther up the Carolina coast to the Grand Strand. Her latest novel, “Dreams of Falling”, is set in Georgetown, which located about 30 miles south of Myrtle Beach.

Local authors: Tucked away in the “Local Interest” section of local bookstores and libraries are a collection of works by Myrtle Beach area authors that are worth a read. Becky Billingsley’s “Lost Myrtle Beach” and photographer Jack Thompson’s “Memories of Myrtle Beach” are nice historical accounts of the area, and Troy D. Nooe’s “Damn Yankee” and Dino Thompson’s “Greek Boy” are good beach reads.

Order a copy of one of these books before your vacation, or when you arrive. Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort is only a short distance from Barnes & Noble at The Market Common and Books-A-Million at Coastal Grand Mall, and the beach is only steps away from your room so you can dive right in.