Great New Paperbacks to Throw in Your Beach Bag
I tend to do the bulk of my pleasure reading in the summertime. Vacation, lack of new TV, longer days: all of these things contribute to making great progress on the stack of books weighing down my nightstand. I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite adult reads, all new in paperback. These are perfect picks to get lost in this month (once the Olympics is over, of course!).
Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
Three generations of women gather at their Maine summer house to reconnect, reveal secrets, relive memories and confront their fears. This look at family dysfunction is funny, sad and smart. Time Magazine named this one of their 2011 Best Books of the Year.
Ready, Player One by Ernest Cline
This was a favorite in hardcover of booksellers and sales reps, and is appropriate for adults or teens. This quote from Nancy Olson at Quail Ridge Books captures the book’s appeal,”I read a terrific book yesterday, and I’ve never played a computer game in my life. Ready Player One portrays a bleak world in the near future where everyone can escape into an online utopia where the world is still green, the air clear, and friends can be made. When the billionaire developer of this oasis dies and offers his fortune and powers to whoever can solve a dangerous puzzle, our immensely likable, nerdy hero has the opportunity to escape his grim, poverty-stricken real life. This is a fabulously fun, entertaining novel with a wonderful dose of 1980’s trivia.”
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Victoria is eighteen and newly emancipated from the foster care system. Unsure of what to do with her life, she stumbles into a job working for a florist who teaches her the “language” of flowers, their meaning alone or in combination. A chance meeting at a flower market with someone important from her past leads Victoria to confront secrets, and learn to love and trust again. This is a tough read but a beautiful one. The author was a foster mother herself, which lends power and reality to her story.
You Know When the Men are Gone by Siobhan Fallon
Fallon sets these short stories on the Fort Hood, Texas military base, giving readers a look into the lives of soldiers and the families they leave behind. Emotional and riveting, this book opened my eyes to the fascinating military culture, the relationships between families and fellow soldiers, the power of rank, and the secrets kept from those who stay and those who go. I loved this debut from an author to watch.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
This was one of my favorite books of 2011 in hardcover, and now that it’s in paperback, it’s time you discover why The New York Times Book Review named this one of the Best Books of the Year. Set on the campus of a small Midwestern college, the book follows members of the college baseball team, particularly Henry, a star being groomed for the big leagues, and his friend and teammate Mike, a former standout now wondering if he has a future in the game after all. Unlikely romance, dorm life, sports rivalries and troubled family relationships combine to immerse the reader in the lives of these athletes and their friends. I couldn’t put this down (and I’m not even a baseball fan)!
What new paperbacks are you reading this summer? We’d love to hear!