Monday, August 15, 2011

Great Beach Reads: on the Innkeeper's Bookshelf

The term "beach read" always seems to indicate a less-than-serious novel that you would only read on vacation.  But since the Scarborough Inn and therefore, our guests, are always at the beach, I'm going to bring some nonfiction books to your attention that deal with Ocean City and the Jersey Shore area. Daring!

When we go on vacation, I seek out some nonfiction books to give me some of the facts about the place we will be visiting; then I look for something that tells at least part of the "story" of the place.  Maybe I'll find a tale about how the town came to be; or a significant, seminal story about the area that explains its character or a popular annual celebration; perhaps a guide to the "best of" or suggested places to visit.

Next, I try to locate a novel about the area.  These books also give you a sense of place through lush descriptions of the natural setting, the architecture, even the daily lives of fictional characters.  Surprisingly, there are some fictional stories set in Ocean City, NJ - and a collection of books by local authors and illustrators, too.  To learn more, visit Sun Rose Words & Music on Asbury Avenue - they are a great resource  and always happy to help!

But, today's Innkeeper's Bookshelf includes these Great (nonfiction) Beach Reads:

[Explorer's Guide] The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May: A Great Destination by Jen Miller

     Packed with information, this second addition of the guide, offers fascinating details about many of the communities of Cape May County, as well as glitzy Atlantic City to our north. As one reviewer on Amazon states, "...a guide for shoobies and a book a local can appreciate."  I agree, this is really an indispensable book for locals and vacationers alike; newcomers to the area and seasoned visitors to Ocean City.  I look forward to discovering some of the places Jen has uncovered in her travels - down the Shore.
[Also available in a convenient Kindle edition!]

Important Bird Areas of New Jersey by Christina A. Frank

     This guide, published by the NJ Audubon Society, is a treasure trove of information about the birds of the Garden State.  Cape May, in particular, is recognized internationally as a prime spot for birding as it is ideally situated along the Atlantic Flyway that hosts major migrations throughout the year.  Organized by area so visitors could just focus on our local region, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the state's birds, rather than a list of specific species.

[Images of America] Ocean City Baby Parade by Fred & Susan Miller

     One of the latest editions in a series of books by these popular, local authors, this book was written in celebration of the local Baby Parade - the "longest running in the country."  Packed with historical pictures of this event through the years, this book provides a fascinating overview of this annual August event.  We are particularly fond of the photograph on page 125 - that's Oona (daughter of an employee) snoozing at her Scarborough Inn "desk" - her First Summer Job.  Adorable!

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INNsider Tip: Don't forget to visit the small Library (one of the Common Areas) at the Scarborough Inn, we include books about Ocean City and the surrounding area in the collection.





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