MORE SUMMER READING TIPS: The 7 most commonly spotted books on the beach

This summer has raced by at a great pace, but it's not over yet. There's still time to squeeze in another book, especially with the long weekend almost upon us. One of my favourite pastimes at the beach is spotting the books that are consuming my fellow beach-goers, and as you'd expect, there are some recurring favourites that just keep popping up under the beach umbrellas.

Interestingly, many of these books coincide with the 2017 Indie Book Awards Shortlist, which was unveiled last week. I must confess, I do love a shortlist: it's much more manageable than a longlist, but still with the suspense of trying to pick the winner (announced on March 20th). And the Indie Awards is a special one for Australia, as it's the list compiled by all the Independent Booksellers around Australia, including Readings and Avenue, two of my regular haunts. I guess it's no surprise that there's a correlation between the books I'm seeing on the beach, and those that are cherished and recommended by our valued independent booksellers, who are always full of suggestions for undecided customers.

First up, here is the shortlist for 3 of the 5 sections (I haven't included Children or Young Adult). It's no surprise to see Liane Moriarty listed here, as she's the queen of contemporary, accessible, relevant fiction. If you're struggling for a book to hook you in this summer, and you haven't yet tried a Moriarty, then now is your chance. (For books below marked with **, click on title to read our review).

1. Fiction Shortlist

The Good People - Hannah Kent **

Truly, Madly, Guilty - Liane Moriarty **

Where The Trees Were - Inga Simpson

The Last Painting of Sara De Vos - Dominic Smith

2. Non Fiction Shortlist

Everywhere I look - Helen Garner

Ghost Empire - Richard Fidler

Fight Like A Girl - Clementine Ford **

The Hate Race - Maxine Beneba Clarke

3. Debut Fiction

The Birdman's Wife - Melissa Ashley

The Dry - Jane Harper

Goodwood - Holly Throsby

The Midnight Watch - David Dyer

Goodwood-Holly Throsby-Indie Book Awards 2017.jpg

And second, here are the top 7 books I've seen on the beach this summer, in no particular order:

Truly, Madly, Guilty - Liane Moriarty **

The Good People - Hannah Kent **

Goodwood - Holly Throsby

A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara **

The Dry - Jane Harper

Music and Freedom - Zoe Morrison **

The Last Painting of Sara De Vos - Dominic Smith

And finally, if you're looking for the perfect beach read, you can't go past Terry Hayes' fast-paced crime thriller I Am Pilgrim.** It was a bestseller last summer, but I haven't found such a gripping equivalent this summer. We're counting the days until his next book, The Year of the Locust, is released.

Written by Carmen