Seaside Stories

Beach Reads for a Vicarious Escape

April 7, 2020 | by Shellie Bailey-Shah

Chances are, you have more time to read right now than you have had in the past decade. And we all know, a good book can transport you to another time and place — far from the realities of the COVID-19 outbreak. Karen Emmerling, owner of local institution Beach Books, has some recommendations for a vicarious escape.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Los Angeles Times best-selling author Alix E. Harrow is about a young woman named January Scaller who embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery through a magical book that carries “the scents of other worlds.”

House Lessons: Renovating a Life by New York Times best-selling author Erica Bauermeister is a memoir about the power of home and the transformative act of restoring one house in particular in Port Townsend, Washington. Discover what lessons this home has to teach and ultimately how to make your own home and life better.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel begins at a five-star hotel on Vancouver Island but then takes readers on a ride that involves a Manhattan Ponzi scheme and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea. The New York Times put this novel on its “20 Books We’re Watching For in 2020” list.

Greenwood: A Novel by Canadian author Michael Christie is a time-hopping tale of one family through generations of love, loss and dark secrets. The common thread: trees and the hopeful yet sometimes impossible task of growing toward the light.

In addition to those page-turners, Emmerling shares her favorite picks for Oregon Coast-themed books. These selections are perfect for the curious traveler looking to get a better sense of  coastal Oregon as well as its riveting history.

Emmerling’s first three recommendations are all written by the same author, Bonnie Henderson. Henderson, a former editor for Sunset magazine, lives in Eugene but spends much of her time along the Oregon Coast. In her book Strand: An Odyssey of Pacific Ocean Debris, she traces the stories of trash washed up along the Oregon Coast to places as far away as Shenzhen, China, and Hokkaido, Japan. In The Next Tsunami: Living on a Restless Coast, Henderson looks at the science behind past tsunamis and the inevitable tsunami that will one day slam the Oregon Coast, along with the people who study them. Emmerling also recommends Henderson’s comprehensive guide Day Hiking Oregon Coast: Beaches, Headlands, Oregon Trail. The book details 132 hikes along the Oregon Coast, including several in Seaside.

Another good guide for would-be hikers? Emmerling recommends Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail: 40 Consecutive Day Hikes From the Columbia River to the California Border by Connie Soper, which includes a comprehensive trail map with details on day sections along with the history of Oregon’s open-beach laws.

If you’re a history buff, Emmerling points to Tillamook Rock Lighthouse: History & Tales of Terrible Tilly by Brian D. Ratty. It’s the story of those who built the lighthouse near Seaside, those who manned it and those who paid the ultimate price to keep the beacon burning bright. 

All the books mentioned are available online at Beach Books’ website.

Photo courtesy of Beach Books.

and so much more!

Episode Five: The Historic Gilbert District

We explore the Gilbert District in this walk down memory lane

Learn More
The Roaring Twenties on Broadway

The roaring twenties was an exciting era in Seaside.

Learn More
Eat Your Way along the North Coast

Seaside is now the starting point for the self-guided North Coast Food Trail that travels south to Neskowin and includes more than...

Learn More
Where to P.L.A.Y. in Seaside

The park is nestled next to Neawanna Creek where ducks float lazily by, a tree lined mountainside looming in the distance. Do a 180 and you get a great view of Tillamook Head to the south.

Learn More
The Succulent Season

Celebrating the arrival of the Oregon Coast

Learn More
Burgers and a beer at U Street Pub & Eatery
Big Burgers You’ll Want to Brag About

Seaside is, of course, known for its fresh seafood. Dozens of restaurants have clam chowders and local razor clams on the menu. Bu...

Learn More
Beach + Burrito, A Love Story

What better way to enjoy the Oregon Coast than with a warm and savory, affordable and portable burrito — perhaps the perfect to-...

Learn More
Snail Mail: the Agony & the Ecstasy

Snail mail in Seaside circa 1909.

Learn More
King Tides Safety and Viewing in Seaside

Seaside Cove in stormy conditions (photo by Don Frank) ** Story updated for the 2020/2021 King Tides ** King Tides come each year ...

Learn More
Portland to Seaside by Bus

Visiting Seaside without a Car

Learn More
Feed Your Mind, Body and Soul in Seaside

Seaside is more than its well-earned reputation for fun and shopping along famed Broadway Street. It’s also home to pampering sp...

Learn More
How to Be an Earth Steward in Seaside

An estimated 14 billion pounds of discarded plastic and garbage — from cigarette butts and water bottles to food wrappers and pl...

Learn More
A Smashing Good Time

The vintage bumper cars are a seaside tradition and we check out their 2013 opening weekend,

Learn More
Clamming in Seaside: Then & Now

A brief look at clamming in Seaside and Tillamook Head and a comparison of how they

Learn More
Holidays in Seaside

Some say Seaside, Oregon, shines brightest in winter — warm chowder, cheerful shops, blustery walks on the beach, all without th...

Learn More
Tips for Whale Watching In and Around Seaside

While it’s possible to see whales all year along the Oregon Coast, visitors tend to flock to Seaside and other coastal communiti...

Learn More
The Daddy Train

The Seaside train depot was the major transportation hub before 1938.

Learn More
A Kid-Free Couple’s Getaway

We know kids love Seaside. And Seaside loves kids. But you can, of course, enjoy Seaside without the youngsters in tow. Whether yo...

Learn More