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Saturday, June 24, 2017

June 24-25, 2017: Crowd-sourced Beach Reads



[For this year’s installment in my annual Beach Reads series, I wanted to focus on mystery authors and novels about which I’ve previously blogged in this space, leading up a new post and author on Friday. As always, this crowd-sourced post is drawn from the responses and nominations of fellow Beach Readers—add yours in comments, please!]
First, a reminder that one of my recent Guest Posts, Matthew Teutsch’s on five African American novels we should all read, is a great source for Beach Read ideas!
Other Beach Read nominations:
Jeff Renye recommends LOVECRAFT COUNTRY (the all-caps are Jeff’s, to make clear the strength of his recommendation!), which is headed to HBO with Jordan Peele Executive Producing! Jeff also nominates, “Sleepings Giants by Sylvain Neuvel [shared with him by Vincent Kling]—finishing the first novel now, part II came out this year, titled Waking Gods.” And he adds, “if you've seen Twin Peaks (original series + Fire Walk with Me), then Mark Frost's 2016 novel The Secret History of Twin Peaks is a must. It's fun, too, as long as you've seen the series, and would make for a good beach read.”
Katy Covino highlights “The Dark Tower. Absolutely addicted.”
Tim McCaffrey nominates, “Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country. Ball Four by Jim Bouton. The Windup Girl by Paulo Bacigalupi.”
Shirley Wagner shares, “Camino Island by John Grisham; Earthly Remains by Donna Leon.”
DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld notes, “Two of my friends have books coming out that I'm reading this summer: SJ Sindu’s Marriage of a Thousand Lies and Nick White’s How to Survive a Summer!”
Beazley Kanost writes, “Terry Pratchett's Diskworld novels are funny and smart; I recommend starting with Guards! Guards! His collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, is also a lot of fun. William Gibson's Neuromancer. My favorite murder mysteries are the first 8 or so by Elizabeth George, and P.D. James wrote two I love with a young woman private detective: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and The Skull Beneath the Skin. Cormac McCarthy's Suttree (set in Knoxville, TN) may not qualify as beach reading but it has a lush and resonant sense of humor and detail that his later, Texas novels lack—and the one scene in fiction that made me laugh out loud.”
Rebecca Carpenter shares, “Never Caught or The Hemingses of Monticello, both great reads!”

Michael Greenwood writes, “Authenticity. Just finished reading The Tender Bar. A rich, first person account of a boy growing up without a dad. The writer used a heavy brush, imbued with a bias for unconditional love and forgiveness, to create characters that walked with Dickensian verisimilitude. I'm reminded about how a book becomes a companion that I look forward to visiting with each day. Then, there's that feeling, often derived from a compelling book, that's similar to when you're with a special someone that ‘sees you’ and you ‘see them.’ I will miss this one.”


Kathleen Morrissey writes, “Arundhati Roy's new novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has recently come out! After her debut 20 years ago, Roy finally published a new book. She is an avid social activist in India, and this new novel explores some of the systemic issues of the nation. She has an amazing style and unique voice. I will say that it is a commitment if you are looking for something lighter.”


Andrew DaSilva writes, “Mission to Tibet is a good one. It’s big and will take the whole summer to read!”


Maria DiFrancesco nominates Zadie Smith’s Swing Time.


Larry Rosenwald highlights Kirsten Bakis’ Lives of the Monster Dogs.


Rochelle Davis Gerber nominates J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy.


Diego Ubiera nominates Marlon James.

Nicole Sterbinsky highlights "I Am China by Xiaolu Guo. I'm reading it right now and I'm enjoying it."


Matthew Teutsch Tweets, “To celebrate OK Computer turning 20, how about Radiohead: Welcome to the Machine?”
And Andrea Grenadier adds, “Okay, this is NOT a summer read, but recently finished the amazing Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, and The Purple Swamp Hen by Penelope Lively, her amazing new book of short stories. And for fun, my stepsister Erika Lewis has just published a wonderful piece of fantasy, called Game of Shadows, which I'm really enjoying.”
Next series starts Monday,
Ben
PS. Other Beach Read nominees you’d share?

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