SUMMER IS HERE AND SO ARE GOOD READS!
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
Be prepared for an unpredictable plot with four young adult characters who just cannot get away from their pasts. The “good guys” do “bad things” and the “bad guys” do “good things” to the point that you cannot tell the difference. While their escapades may seem far-fetched and improbable Towles uses mythical heroes to place his characters in a context. Much of the plot takes place on the road, hence the name, and the reason some reviewers have labeled this a real “joy ride” to read.
The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Miller
In 1916, disfigured after an avalanche, Sven Ormson leads a solitary life, testing himself against the elements in Svalbard, until an unlikely visitor salves his loneliness, drawing him into a family of fellow castoffs that determines the rest of his life. The author’s prose is lit by sparks of Sven’s somber humor and descriptive elegance — the characterization is exceptional and thoroughly engaging. Stockholm Sven was a historical person about whom almost nothing is known. Miller gives him an imagined life told in his own words in this engrossing fictional memoir. A definite must read!
Honor by Thrity Umrigar
This is the story of two Indian women, one a victim of a brutal crime and the other an Americanized journalist returning to India to cover the story, and the courage they inspire in each other. This is a sometimes gut-wrenching picture of rigidly held caste and religious hatreds, male privilege, and corruption that spill into violence. Umrigar juxtaposes the contrasts of the tech hub image of contemporary India and the deep religious divisions that wrack rural regions. Honor is a powerful and moving book about love, sacrifice, and loss and how honor is reclaimed from people who have abused and shorn the word of its true meaning.
One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle
A moving and unforgettable exploration of the powerful bond between mother and daughter set on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. Katy has lost her mother just before a mother/daughter trip to Italy was to occur. She decides to go anyway and meets her mother’s spirit there. You’ll want to keep reading to figure out what is happening, and you’ll have to suspend belief to enjoy the story, but it’s nice to surrender to magic every now and then. You’ll definitely want to put Positano on your travel list! A New York Times bestseller.
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
Detective Matthew Venn has returned to the area of North Devon where he grew up, and he’s ready to take on his first big case in the region. A man with an albatross tattoo on his neck has been found murdered; stabbed to death on a beach near Matthew's home. The Two Rivers region isn’t as idyllic as tourists might think, and his investigations will lead him back into the strict evangelical community he once left behind. This is the first in a new series by Cleeves and is a series on BritBox and ITV. Another winner from Cleeves.
Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder
Timothy Snyder, a professor of history at Yale, compels us to look squarely at the full range of destruction committed first by Stalin’s regime and then by Hitler’s Reich in the area of Europe he calls the Bloodlands — Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland. Originally published in 2010, the author has updated this new edition. Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history. Not only a timely read, but well-written and a page turner. There is much to learn and contemplate.