Why is it that when it warms up our taste in books lighten up? My idea of the perfect summer book is something that is light, adventurous and a bit transformative. Too frothy, and I'm bored. Too dense and the sound of the surf will bring on the Zzzz's. So, without further ado, my picks for summer:
- The Rocks by Peter Nichols. Sometimes its OK to judge a book by its cover. Decades old secrets, mystery, intrigue and romance. Add sand, water, sunblock and stir.
- In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. When I was younger, I devoured Judy Blume books. To say that she had an impact on me is an understatement. From Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to Blubber to Are You There God, IMM, She's the reason I kept a flashlight under my pillow so I could read way past "lights out." So you can trust that I am snatching up a copy of her very anticipated adult novel. Described as vintage Judy Blume: wonderful storytelling, rich characters as they cope with love and lost in a very human way.
- Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. How do you follow up after your debut novel is universally hailed "the book of the century?" Perhaps you don't. This manuscript, presumed to have been lost after she wrote it in the 1950s, was recently discovered and published. Lee's anticipated new novel is a sequel of sorts to her iconic To Kill a Mockingbird. If you are eager to touch base with Jean Louise Finch (Scout) and return to Maycomb, this is your beach book. A Bit of trivia: This manuscript was submitted BEFORE To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Funny Girl by Nick Hornby. Classic Nick Hornby, chock full of endearing, funny characters. Set in 1960s London, Funny Girl chronicles the journey of ingenue Sophie as she becomes a TV starlet.
- Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht. Who says you can't mix business with pleasure. This PR Maven and trailblazer dishes on how to develop and communicate your personal brand. The once anonymous voice behind the rabidly popular, DKNY PR GIRL (@DKNY), Licht offers solid advice in a fun, behind-the-scenes kind of way. Also, be sure to check out her TEDx talk, The Power of Being Real.
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. If one more person tells me how much this book moved them, I'm going to...well, finally read it. Also, God in Ruins, Atkinson's companion novel/follow-up just hit shelves. The pressure is on.
- Killing Monica by Candance Bushnell. Ah, Candace. If Judy Blume and Harper Lee impacted me as an early reader, Bushnell's Sex in the City shaped my 20s and 3os. Killing Monica brings Bushnell back to Manhattan, where she skewers pop culture via main character, writer Pandy Wallis. Ultimately this is a story about the challenges of staying true to yourself and keeping your eye on the prize (happiness).