Now that the holiday weekend has come and gone, many are looking to summer. Vacations have been or soon will be booked and relaxation is in order.
While packing your bags, here are some books you might consider including for the trip.
If mystery is your favorite genre, here are some picks that might take you where you want to go:
n “Speaking of Summer,” written by Kalisha Buckhanon, a literary thriller about one woman’s desperate search for her missing twin sister, a multi-layered mystery set against the neighborhoods of Harlem. In the book, Buckhanon has created a postmodern, fast-paced story of urban peril and victim invisibility, and the fight to discover truth at any cost. The book seems to be popular among literaries, making the summer reading lists of Essence Summer Books, O Magazine Beach Reads, Ms. Magazine “2019 Reads for the Rest of Us,” AALBC 2019 Books, New York Post Beach Reads, and CrimeReads Most Anticipated Summer Crime Books.
n “Her Daughter Mother,” penned by Daniela Petrova, this book is a great choice for fans of “The Girl On the Train” and “The Wife Between Us.” This psychological suspense story tells the story of Lana Stone has never considered herself a stalker — until the night she impulsively follows a familiar face through the streets of New York’s Upper West Side. Her target? The “anonymous” egg donor she’d selected through an agency, the one who’s making motherhood possible for her. Hungry to learn more about her, Lana plans only to watch her from a distance. But when circumstances bring them face-to-face, an unexpected friendship is born. Then, just as suddenly as Katya entered Lana’s life, she disappears — and Lana might have been the last person to see her before she went missing.
n “The Last Resort,” written by Marissa Stapley and coming out June 18, has already been named by “Parade Magazine” as one of 12 big fiction reads that every book club will love in 2019. The book tells the story of celebrity marriage counselor Miles Markell and his wife, Grace, who run the Harmony Resort, located on an island off Mexico’s Mayan Riviera, where unhappily married couples can enroll in a two-week course designed to rebuild troubled relationships. Underneath the surface, everyone is hiding secrets that could put them all in peril, more so than the category 4 hurricane barreling toward the island.
For those who like the easy, fun reads filled with romance and even beach themes, here are a few you might find to your liking:
n “The Wedding Party,” by Jasmine Guillory, has already been chosen by Reese Witherspoon as one of her book club picks. Maddie and Theo have two things in common: Alexa is their best friend, and they hate each other. After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over.
n “Meet Cute,” written by Helena Hunting is every girl’s fantasy when Kailyn Flowers gets the opportunity to get to know a former actor that she previously had a crush on. The book is part of Goodreads hottest romances of 2019 and was also featured in “Entertainment Weekly.”
n “Waiting for Tom Hanks,” by Kerry Winfrey, is about Annie Cassidy who dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks — a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat — her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight. But when a movie starts filming in her neighborhood, Annie might just get the chance she’s been waiting for.
If historical fiction is your genre of choice, there is a plethora of great books released this year. Here are some of the highlights:
n “Finding Dorothy,” by Elizabeth Letts, might just be the most intriguing book on the list for me. It’s 1938 in Hollywood and as soon as she learns that MGM is adapting her late husband’s masterpiece for the screen, seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank’s passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of “The Wizard of Oz” —because she’s the only one left who knows its secrets.
n “The Only Woman In the Room,” by Marie Benedict, also looks like a fascinating read. Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich’s plans while at her husband’s side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazs if anyone would listen to her.
n “The Lost Girls of Paris,” by Pam Jenoff, is set in Manhattan in 1946. Grace Healy is rebuilding her life after losing her husband during the war. One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, she finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs — each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station, only to learn soon after that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a ring of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war.
Finally, for those who enjoy the non-fiction genre, here are some great picks for this summer:
n “Girls Stop Apologizing,” is the follow-up book to the hugely popular motivational book “Girl Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. Hollis exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore. With painful honesty and fearless humor, she unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them.
n “The Heartbreak of Wounded Knee,” by David Treuer, shows the story of American Indians since the end of the nineteenth century to the present is one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention. In this book, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes’ distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival.
n “Stony the Road,” by Henry Louis Gates Jr., Chronicles civil rights from the Civil War through the Harlem Renaissance. The abolition of slavery in the aftermath of the Civil War is a familiar story, as is the civil rights revolution that transformed the nation after World War II. But the century in between remains a mystery: if emancipation sparked “a new birth of freedom” in Lincoln’s America, why was it necessary to march in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s America?
Other books to check out if you have the time include: non-fiction “Furious Hours,” by Casey Cep; thrillers “My Lovely Wife,” by Samantha Downing and “The Silent Patient,” by Alex Michaelides and “Give Me Your Hand,” by Megan Abbott; contemporary fiction books “The Gifted School” by Bruce Holsinger, “Daisy Jones & The Six,” by Taylor Jenkins Reid and “The Last Book Party,” by Karen Dukess.
The synopsis for these books came from barnesandnoble.com.