Beach Reads

Hello!  I hope you’re all enjoying your summer and staying cool.  We’ve got a few beach reads either in or coming soon:  Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand, The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe, Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer, and Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank.  They’re all set at the beach and feature great summer beach scenes on their covers.  Summer of ’69 is Hilderbrand’s first historical novel.  In The Summer Girls, three half-sisters bond at their grandmother’s home on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina.  The “Queen of Beach Books” Nancy Thayer provides a story of friendship and forgiveness in Surfside SistersQueen Bee is also set on Sullivan’s Island and is also about sisters coming together after long years apart.  All three are light and perfect for taking along on vacation.

If you’d rather scare yourself and get your heart racing while relaxing on the beach, there are quite a few stories for you out this summer:

For the past four or five years, one of my reading obsessions has been thrillers, and it all started with Chris Pavone’s The Accident, his first book.  His new work, The Paris Diversion, brings back characters from his 2013 novel The Expats, and things are just as exciting in the new book.  Chris Pavone’s stories are smart, sophisticated, and suspenseful, set throughout exciting places in Europe.

There are quite a few new thrillers and crime dramas that are worth the read, including This Side of Night by J. Todd Scott.   This title, along with The Far Empty and High White Sun, are crime novels set in Southwest Texas.  The author’s day job is with the DEA – he’s an agent who writes in his spare time.  He’s an excellent writer and brings a sincere authenticity to his works.  My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing is a story of a husband and wife team of serial killers, and there are surprises all through the book, right up to very end.  I could not put this book down – I really wanted to know how it wrapped up!  I liked all of the characters, even the antagonist, which made the book all the more enjoyable.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager is one of the most buzzed about books of the summer.  A young woman takes a job apartment sitting in a glamorous building in New York and is given three simple rules:  No visitors, no nights spent away from the apartment, and no disturbing the rich and famous residents.  How hard can that be?  Really difficult, when the building hides a dark history and there’s a killer hiding there.  It’s suspenseful and spine-tingling.

I have never read a book by Karin Slaughter; but many of you do, based on the popularity of them.  I heard her speak at two different panels at a conference in June, and she is probably one of the most naturally funny people ever!  It would be hard to believe that someone that funny could write the gory, crime-filled books that she does, except she jokes quite candidly about being obsessed with murder since she was a child.  Her newest book, The Last Widow, will be out on August 20, 2019.  I have an early copy of it that I will give to the first person who emails telling me that they’re interested in it – sperry@uptexas.org.

If you have comments or questions about any of these titles or want a book recommendation, please feel free to email us at info@uptexas.org.  Happy reading!

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