Summer is here at last You can now take things a little easier, slow down, relax, slip into those comfy flip-flops and enjoy all that summer has to offer, whether it’s lounging by the pool, dozing in the hammock or sunning at the beach.
As far as the library is concerned, the best part of summer isn’t the weather, the family cookouts or the time spent hanging out with friends, even though all of those are great. The best part of summer is that there is so much time for reading! Long, lazy, sun-filled days are perfect for reading whether you’re lounging in your own backyard or at the beach or lake house.
Publishers work overtime to get their books in print before the summer demand peeks, so our shelves are full of newly published titles – from literary debuts to new works from favorite authors. Looking for summer reading ideas? Here are few of our suggestions.
Fiction: The Women in the Castle: A Novel, by Jessica Shattuck is a story of three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold. The three women’s lives are abruptly changed when their husbands are executed for their part in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. They band together in a crumbling Bavarian castle to raise their children and keep each other standing. Rich in character development, the book gives us a clear understanding of their sense of loss, inner strength and the love they have for each other.
Fiction: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel, by Gail Honeyman. Meet quirky Eleanor Oliphant, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever.
Non-Fiction: The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore, is the story the so-called “Radium Girls” who painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to “lip-point” their brushes as they painted, they absorbed such high doses of radium that they literally glimmered. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive–until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights. The Radium Girls explores the strength of extraordinary women in the face of almost impossible circumstances and the astonishing legacy they left behind.
Non-Fiction: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by David Grann, recounts the series of unsolved murders that rocked the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma during the 1920s. The oil-rich Osage were already victimized by unscrupulous businessmen and societal prejudice, but these murders were so egregious that the newly formed FBI was brought in to investigate. The book is rich in history and wonderfully written.
Beach Read: What would summer be without that yummy beach read? Named one of Coastal Living’s 50 Best Books for the Beach, The Forever Summer, by Jamie Brenner, has all the ingredients of a great beach read – mystery, romance, family secrets ,richly imagined characters, and of course, delicious descriptions of Cape Cod.
Need more ideas? Pick-up a copy of the July BookPage magazine for reviews of the latest titles. Free copies are available in the library’s front lobby. Enjoy the summer!