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Beach Reads

43 titles to dive into this summer


What follows is a suggestive list of titles for summer reading, with stuff currently on shelves and some more scheduled for later release. Most of these are fiction (when I think beach reads, I don’t think reference titles, do you?), but there’s some non-fiction as well.

At any rate, the following are sorted alphabetically by title, so just click on the links and enjoy.

A Chain of Thunder: A Novel of the Siege of Vicksburg by Jeff Shaara — The author of The Killer Angels puts through another historical offering this year.

• A Delicate Truth by John Le Carré — Gibraltar! Counterterrorism! Thrills! Le Carré is a master genre writer, so if espionage is your thing…

A Treacherous Paradise by Henning Mankell — Set 100 years ago in Sweden and Mozambique, this is a bit of a think-piece novel by the Kurt Wallander series author.

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled HosseiniA summer must-read, from the author of The Kite Runner.

• Bad Monkey by Carl Hiassen — Don’t know Carl Hiassen’s universe? Here’s a fun place to start (welcome to the wackier side of Florida, folks).

• Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren — Call it “Fifty Shades of Trashy Reading,” methinks (hey, it’s a lightweight paperback…so, it’s highly portable trashy reading at that).

Burn by Maya Banks — After Fever and Rush comes this final part of “The Breathless Trilogy”…another paperback, easily carried. ;-)

Child of Vengeance by David Kirk Gordon — Ever heard of Musashi, the famed Samurai? This nifty read is based on his life: worth your time.

• Darwin’s Doubt by Stephen C. Meyer — Following his previous casebook for Intelligent Design, Meyer expands upon that work here.

• Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris — True Blood’s back on HBO, and this book’s out…read it, Sookie Stackhouse fans!

• Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz — I’ve never read Koontz’s books, but his followers are legion, so please, enjoy this Odd Thomas offering.

• First Sight by Danielle Steel — Honestly, now: How many novels has Danielle Steel written?! Well, if you love her stuff, GET THIS.

• Hidden Order by Brad Thor — A thriller delving into the back alleys and undercurrents of American history? Cool!

Inferno by Dan Brown — Duh. Where have you been? This is THE summer read…ya know, the one about Robert Langdon?!?

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach — Oh, the (World Wide) Webs Moggach weaves in her debut thriller…

Light of the World by James Lee Burke — Head back down to Louisiana for the latest Dave Robicheaux detective novel.

Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands by Charles Moore — With the passing of “The Iron Lady” in April, this is especially timely and poignant.

• Mistress by James Patterson and David Ellis — You probably know what to expect, so…Patterson’s late-summer read is available in early August.

Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherford — Like candy to me: armchair traveling. This one’s on my list.

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger — Subtitled, “The Devil Returns,” this sequel’s built-in audience must be drooling in their designer duds.

Rogue Town by Vito Colucci Jr. — Local Author Alert: Former Stamford native policeman Colucci tells the story of how he helped clear Stamford of organized crime in the 1970s.

Silken Prey by John Sandford — Lucas Davenport’s latest adventure.

Six Years by Harlan Coben — Coben remains extremely popular (I really enjoyed interviewing him, years ago). So, it’s some new suspense from this author of many, many novels.

• Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng — Solid Southern lit-fic, set nearly 100 years ago. Can’t go wrong here.

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders — You’ve heard of this title (the book was released in January)…Still, highly lauded, highly readable, and very much worth your time.

The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig — This is historical fiction, flicking between two women. I have heard good things…

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri — Translated by Clive James, this is a fine counterpoint to Dan Brown’s page-turner.

The English Girl by Daniel Silva — Silva’s heroin, Gabriel Allon, must solve another mystery.

The Eye of Moloch by Glenn Beck — Molly Ross fights again for freedom in the sequel to Beck’s The Overtin Window.

The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien — Tantalizingly incomplete, this is the great one’s venture into Arthurian narrative.

The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America by David Stockman — Local Author Alert: Greenwich native writes of the government’s pallid responses to the fiscal pinch and many, many scandals.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald — The recent film adaptation made the whole world (re)read the classic, so why don’t you?

• The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg — A new series about an FBI agent, from the creator of Stephanie Plum’s hugely popular genre series.

The Highway by C.J. Box — Two women on a road trip go missing, and thus begins a police procedural.

• The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank — It’s Atlanta’s social scene, warm weather…sounds like a summer novel to me.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman — You probably know Gaiman is a masterful graphic novelist, but he’s also a fine prose writer, to put it mildly.

The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls — Set in California in 1970, Walls’s novel presents more than just dewy-eyed reminiscence.

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer — An interesting examination of the past 30 years in our culture, from the perspectives of varying American lives.

• The Walking Dead, Vol. 18 by Robert Kirkman — Zombies! Zombies! This is a collection of the popular series, WD #103-108.

The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne — This comes highly praised from all corners: Its author’s personal story is genuinely inspiring.

Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living by Todd McLellan — Lay on your stomach, sunglasses on, get this beaut on the towel and gaze at 50 design classics (then put the tome on your coffee table when you’re home).

• Who Owns The Future? by Jaron Lanier — Lanier introduces an alternative to the online, digital lives we are increasingly leading. Hmmm, and you’re reading about it on this blog, no?

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler — Paired with The Great Gatsby, naturally: you can’t go wrong.

Just a recommendation...

Whatever you read, make your own summer reading list. Putting together a list is a great way to organize your free time: a simple goal-setting exercise that’s pleasing because it orders a pleasing activity, whether you’re in the sun or the shade, enjoying a cool beverage, or sitting down as you’re heating up the grill pre-BBQ, with a book.

And it’s an absolutely splendid diversion to read in the summer, I think, one that we should all take advantage of, because we increasingly have less time to enjoy spending our days with books during all the seasons of the year.

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