Summer is almost upon us and vacation time is drawing near. There’s just something about reading a book under the shade of a giant umbrella, with the ocean waves crashing in the distance while you sip on a tropical concoction and dig your toes in the sand. Aaaahh, the life! If you aren’t sure what to pack in your beach bag for your reading pleasure, never fear! Beach reads, thrillers, and some amazing women’s fiction will be hitting the shelves in the next few weeks and the following are all titles that I plan to have on hand when I hit the road for some rest and relaxation.
Carousel Beach by Orly Konig
I am such a sucker for a beachy cover and I loved riding carousels when I was a little girl, so when I saw this book I was drawn to it immediately. Artist Maya Brice has been hard at work restoring a beloved town carousel whose horses were carved by the now 90-year-old Hank Hauser. Hank is living with Alzheimer’s, but on his good days he regales Maya with incredible stories of his work and career. On his bad days, he mistakes Maya for her grandmother, his first true love. I love stories about family and great loves and losses, so I can’t wait to immerse myself in the pages of this novel.
The Ensemble by Aja Gabel
I love promoting debut authors and I adore books that incorporate music into the plot. Aja Gabel’s debut novel promises to give us all of that and has already become an Indie next pick for May. This story follows four friends as they navigate the competitive world of musicians and strive to make their mark both independently and as a musical quartet.
Another Side of Paradise by Sally Koslow
1930’s Hollywood, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and his scandalous affair with gossip columnist Sheilah Graham – need I say more?
The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
“A woman crosses a London street. It is just after 11 a.m. on a bright spring morning, and she is going into a funeral parlor to plan her own service. Six hours later the woman is dead, strangled with a crimson curtain cord in her own home.” I LOVED LOVED LOVED Horowitz’s The Magpie Murders and I am so excited that he is back with another brilliant mystery and BONUS! He writes himself into the narrative as a character! I am so excited to see how this one unfolds.
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
The first book out from Sara Jessica Parker’s Hogarth imprint promises to be a powerful examination of what it means to be an “American family.” Spanning decades and told from the perspective of each family member, A Place for Us follows an Indian-American Muslim family as they find themselves caught between two very different cultures and how they struggle to make them their own.
The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah
While I love the beach, I also dream of vacationing in Europe – lounging in a vineyard tucked under a gorgeous shade tree eating cheese and bread, and sipping a delicious glass of Pinot Noir while I read a good book. So when I saw this title and then read that it was described as “The Nightingale meets Sweetbitter,” I was sold. Kate has returned to her family’s vineyard for the summer and is tasked with cleaning out the enormous cellar. When she discovers a secret space filled with resistance pamphlets and a stash of incredibly valuable wine, she begins to investigate her ancestors and uncovers her unknown and remarkable family history.
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton
Heralded as a “Ripley story for the Instagram age,” Social Creature is about Louise, a struggling wannabe writer in New York who is barely scraping by. Enter Lavinia, an excessively wealthy socialite who takes Louise under her wing. When friendship turns into obsession, how far will Louise go to become the girl who has everything? This book is popping up all over Instagram – I even spotted it on Sara Jessica Parker’s bookshelf. I am obsessed with the cover and I am so excited to read it.
Still Lives by Maria Hummel
Counterpoint Press is KILLING it this year with incredible releases and Still Lives promises to deliver for thriller lovers everywhere. If the cover doesn’t draw you in, then the plot of a young editor who unknowingly gets pulled into the murder mystery of a feminist icon should.
The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
When I think of beach reads, Elin Hilderbrand is the first author that pops into my head and this summer she is back with The Perfect Couple. It’s wedding season in Nantucket and everyone is preparing to toast Celeste and Benji as they become bride and groom in an extravagant ceremony at his beachfront estate. Hours before the marriage is set to begin, the maid of honor is found dead in the harbor. Was it an accident? Was she murdered? And if so, by whom? I am super excited to read this one and hopefully will do so while lounging poolside.
The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
You had me at cult. I WANT this book. I NEED this book. I have been following R.O. Kwon on Instagram for a while and I think she is fierce and amazing, and whatever she is writing I want to read. This is the story of Phoebe Lin, a glamorous college student who is privately grieving the loss of her mother. When Phoebe joins an extremist cult and ends up missing, her boyfriend Will is determined to find out what has happened to her. Celeste Ng has said that this book “probes the seductive and dangerous places to which we drift when loss unmoors us.” I think this is going to be a powerful read and I can not wait to get my hands on it.
America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
A heartbroken mother leaves the comforts of her home in India and sets out to travel America in an attempt to reconnect with her son. The last time Pival laid eyes on Rahi was over a year ago, when he came out and her husband banished him from their home. Pival’s husband tells her their son has died, but she refuses to believe him. Instead, she embarks on an extraordinary adventure to find the son that she never stopped loving.
Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza
Charlotte Walsh has decided to run for Senate and is soon stunned to find out how dirty her opponent is willing to get in his campaign against her. She thought it was possible to have it all – a great marriage, political power and a happy family – but her opponent’s strategy and exposure of a long buried secret soon threaten everything she holds dear. I think this is going to be a sharp and timely look at what it takes for a woman to enter in to politics.