Bookshelf of LOCAL Life Magazines

We present you with books that are worth the read. We specifically curated these selections with our LOCAL Life audience in mind. Browse our bookcase below as we have grouped them by theme. All selections by Denise Friday.

Ocean lovers

Dive right in. Five fantastic books for ocean lovers.

Gift From The Sea by Ann Morrow

Gift From The Sea
By Ann Morrow 

Ann Morrow, writer, poet, pilot and wife of Charles Lindbergh, went to a cottage on Captiva Island in Florida and wrote this delightful reflection of life as a woman, comparing herself to the various shells she finds on the beach. The shells represent the stages of relationships, marriage, motherhood and then an empty house again. She explores ways to find a more natural rhythm in day-to-day life and a way to deepen relationships with a spouse or siblings.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans
By M.L. Stedman

A young couple agrees to be lighthouse keepers on a remote island off the Australian coast in the 1930s. They live in blissful isolation with a supply boat visiting every few months. After several years of failed attempts of trying to have children, a rowboat washes up with a dead man and a live baby that they raise as their own. A wonderful debut novel that poses impossible choices and moral dilemmas that have heart-breaking consequences. 

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

The Island of Sea Women
By Lisa See 

The culture of Haenyeo, where female Korean divers supported their families by harvesting from the ocean floors, was strong on the island of Jeju for many centuries. See tells the story of two best friends who are destined to follow the path of the Haenyeo like the elders before them. The girls witness colonialism by Japan, WW II, the Korean War, as well as the danger and hardship of their trade. The story travels between their younger years and present day and the forces that affected the women divers.

Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

Sea Wife
By Amity Gaige

A beautifully written book about a family, marriage and second chances. When Michael quits his job and buys a sailboat for his family to live on for a year, his wife, Juliet, is shocked. He wants to sail around the world with a 7- and a 2-year-old? Yet they leave their home in Connecticut and head to Panama to start their adventure. The trip reveals some truths about themselves, their marriage and the greater world around them. You will feel like you also are at sea in this novel

Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber

Cottage by the Sea
By Debbie Macomber 

A young professional who suffers a traumatic loss returns to the seaside house her family rented every summer when she was a child. She finds a cure for her sadness in this quirky town of misfits. She is drawn to a quiet, gentle soul who helps her fix up her cottage. It’s a wonderful tale of grief and kindness, choices between happiness and career and, most importantly, the healing properties of the sea.

Sea Island Stories

Books that will make you want to be stranded on a local island.

Daufuskie Island, 25th Anniversary Edition
By Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

Daufuskie Island, 25th Anniversary Edition
By Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

Photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe took a series of pictures from 1977 to 1981 during several trips to Daufuskie Island. They depict the landscape, buildings and people in everyday settings of work, play, school and traditions in a bygone era of the Gullah culture. Her pictures tell a story of the isolated African-American community that today, altered by development and rising property values, no longer exists. The 25th Anniversary Edition contains photos previously left out, which now serve as historical documentation. Moutoussamy-Ashe is the widow of Arthur Ashe, who often traveled with her to Daufuskie Island.

Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne 1862-1884 By Laura M. Towne

Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne 1862-1884
By Laura M. Towne

A delightful look into the past told through diary entries and the written letters of the author, Towne traveled from Philadelphia to the island of Port Royal in 1862. She and her friend, Ellen Murray, created the Penn Center School on St. Helena Island, which was the first school developed in the U.S. for freed slaves. Towne’s work travels through Emancipation and Reconstruction in Beaufort County. The Penn Center is a historic landmark that you may tour and visit on St. Helena Island

Fripp Island: A History 
By Page Putnam Miller 

Fripp Island: A History
By Page Putnam Miller 

Fripp Island, a barrier island to the barrier island of St. Helena, has a long and storied history dating back to the first records of being referred to as “Fripp Island” in 1734 when it was owned by John Fripp. Yet before that there is evidence of Native Americans visiting the island for hunting and fishing, and Spanish explorers began visiting in 1521. This book digs up records for the island and chronicles the ebb and flow of development for residents and visitors alike. It spans to 2006, when the year-round residency was about 500. Fripp is often looked at as the smaller, more protected resort island compared to Hilton Head Island.

The Way Home
By Kardea Brown 

The Way Home
By Kardea Brown 

A true celebration of the love of cooking and eating, Brown pulls from deep within her Gullah upbringing and her many handed-down family recipes to share her love of food. Her stories allow you to peek into a childhood growing up on the Sea Islands, and her recipes express the tradition of local, fresh and made with love. Among the many delights are She-Crab Soup, Lowcountry Spaghetti, Cornbread with Molasses Butter, Seafood Mac and Cheese, Salmon Cakes, Edisto Lemon Pie and so much more.

Dataw: No Ordinary Place
By The Dataw Historic Foundation

Dataw: No Ordinary Place
By The Dataw Historic Foundation

Part photography coffee table book and part historical record, this beautiful book documents the original name (Datha, after a Native American King legend) and various settlers, including the Sams family, who owned the Island before the Civil War and had “summer houses” in Beaufort. In 1990 the Dataw Marina opened, and development continued. In the ’90s various projects started to preserve the Island’s history and beauty, as well as the tabby ruins from the Sams Plantation complex. This book is a must for fans of this pristine little island nestled between Lady’s Island and St. Helena Island.

Characters of color

Five books for Black History Month and beyond.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age 
By Kiley Reid 

A bold debut about the complicated layers of privilege and race. Twenty-five-year-old Emira Tucker babysits as a second job for a well-off family in Philadelphia. One night in a grocery store, Emira is racially profiled by a security guard and accused of kidnapping her 3-year-old charge, Briar. Her employer, Alix Chamberlain, bends over backwards to try to right the situation. Reid expertly portrays the awkward feelings and invisible walls that persevere when there are differences in income, race and perspective. 

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake 
By Charmaine Wilkerson

Byron and Benny Bennett have not spoken or seen each other in years, but they are together now to hear from their mother’s lawyer after her death. Their mother recorded a message to them that is several hours long, and, boy does she have a story to tell — one that will make them question everything they thought they knew about their parents, themselves and each other. Also, a black cake that will bring the most important people in their lives together where they belong.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

By Michelle Obama

Read by the author, this book is wonderful on audio. It explores the childhood and upbringing of Michelle Robinson on the Southside of Chicago and her subsequent path through college, law school, and meeting her future husband, Barack Obama. Her story is fascinating even if she never had become First Lady. Her inside view of the White House for eight years only adds to the intrigue. My absolute favorite character in her story? Her mom.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 
By Rebecca Skloot 

A fascinating account of scientific discovery as well as the human toll. Henrietta Lacks, a patient at Johns Hopkins, had an aggressive form of cervical cancer. A research study at the time was comparing cancerous and healthy cells. Cells do not live long in a lab, but Lacks’ cells did and were found to be immortal. Her cells went on to help develop the polio vaccine and other breakthrough advances in medicine. Skloot’s extensive research brings to light the ethical question of cell ownership and consent as well as the history of experimentation on African Americans in the U.S.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer 
By Oyinkan Braithwaite 

Korede, a kind and law-abiding nurse, dreads the phone call from her sister asking for help with yet another dead boyfriend, killed in “self-defense.” What is a sister to do? Call the police, or bring her cleaning supplies? Dark and hilariously told, a love story of sorts, (just not for the dead boyfriends) but also a testimony of sibling loyalty and just how far one will go to protect those they love