Summer Reads

From Blackbeard to bluefish tacos, a book for every taste

By William Irvine

Crazy Beach, by L.R. Welborn.
A boisterous coming-of-age novel about the Boardwalk, working at Britt’s Donuts, a trip to Woodstock, and teenage lust in 1970s Carolina Beach by local author L.R. Welborn, whose thinly veiled escapades deliver nostalgia and delight.

Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South, by Virginia Willis. Stories and great Southern recipes — some with surprising global influences — from an award-winning chef and cookbook author.

The Gods of Howl Mountain, by Taylor Brown. Bootleggers, folk healers, and dark secrets in this gritty and evocative novel of a mountain family in 1950s North Carolina.

The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, by Andrew Lawler. The author, a distinguished science writer, goes on a rollicking search for clues about the mysteries of the Lost Colony in an intricate tale that blends history, archaeology and myth-busting.

Calypso, by David Sedaris. Further adventures of the humorist, including stories of turtles and tumors, rubbish collecting along the roads of rural England, shopping in Japan, and his family’s reunions at their beach house in Emerald Isle.

Blackbeard’s Sunken Prize — The 300-Year Voyage of Queen Anne’s Revenge, by Mark U. Wilde-Ramsing and Linda F. Carnes-McNaughton. In 1717, the infamous pirate known as Blackbeard captured a French slave vessel and renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge, beginning a trail of looting and destruction that stretched from the Caribbean to the Carolinas. Six months later, in order to evade the British authorities in hot pursuit, he ran the ship aground off the coast of North Carolina near present-day Fort Macon State Park, where it sat undisturbed until discovered by divers in 1996. A fascinating account of the ship’s history and recovery that sheds new light on 18th-century pirate life.

Carolina Catch: Cooking North Carolina Fish and Shellfish from Mountains to Coast, by Debbie Moose. Blackened Cape shark fillet, Carolina catfish burgers and smoked trout deviled eggs are among the 96 tantalizing dishes in this engaging cookbook, which features an informative Best Basics section on how to select, prepare and store North Carolina seafood.

Seacoast Plants of the Carolinas, by Paul E. Hosier. The long-awaited, updated edition of this 1970s classic, with detailed profiles and color photographs of more than 200 coastal plants as well as a list of natural areas and preserves open to visitors on the North and South Carolina coast.

William Irvine is the senior editor of Salt.

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