Get a Jump Start on Your Summer Reading

Can you feel it? Summer is almost here. We’ve decided to start relaxing early and kick back with a good book. Some of the most anticipated books of the year are coming out in May and June, and we’re ready for them. With everything from moving short stories to riveting novels, it’s time to make room on the shelf or the tablet for these titles.

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“Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002” David Sedaris (Little, Brown)

A new book from David Sedaris? Yes, please! Sedaris’ memoirs have long had us rolling with laughter, and now he’s letting us into his innermost sanctum—his diary. Unlike other writers whose diaries are introspective, Sedaris looks outward into the world as he writes. From overheard conversations (including some juicy tidbits) to the plots of high-drama soap operas, Sedaris writes about anything and everything that has captured his attention over a 35-year span. No day is boring when you’re as perceptive as Sedaris.

 

“The Reminders” Val Emmich (Little, Brown)

As he grieves his partner Sydney’s death, Gavin Winters burns every reminder of their relationship. His neighbor captures the inferno on what becomes a viral video. So Gavin escapes the craziness of Los Angeles for the relative anonymity of New Jersey and some old friends. There, he connects with Joan, his friends’ 10-year-old daughter with a remarkable memory. And she remembers Sydney. It’s not until Joan shares some unnerving memories of Sydney’s last days that Gavin starts to wonder about his past relationship and his future. This highly anticipated debut novel is a touching yet humorous portrayal of love, loss, and moving on.

 

“Men Without Women: Stories” Haruki Murakami (Knopf)

We drop everything when a new Murakami book comes out, and we love the idea of savoring his newest one story by story. Each of the seven narratives reflects on men who, one way or another, are now moving solo through life. Solitude is a theme that recurs in much of Murakami’s work, along with his wry sense of humor that sheds light on the darkness of his tales.

 

 

 

 

“A Colorful Way of Living” Barbara Bradley Baekgaard (St. Martin’s)

Those colorful Vera Bradley bags have a way of brightening up the sea of black suitcases at an airport baggage claim. In fact, it was that very dismal sight that inspired Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and her business partner to create her iconic line of handbags and luggage. But the Vera Bradley brand is more than just colorful accessories—it’s about the hard work and strong values women need to make their way in the world. This book is full of lessons like “Choosing Nice” and “Noticing Every Detail” to help you brighten up your own life.

 

“Woman No. 17” Edan Lepucki (Hogarth)

Fans of noir will enjoy this dark and mysterious novel. Lady Daniels is a writer who lives in the exclusive Hollywood Hills. After separating from her husband, she posts a Craigslist ad for a live-in nanny to help raise her teenager and toddler. S, a young female artist, answers the ad and moves into the guesthouse. S takes to her job very well and becomes Lady’s confidante. But there’s a problem: S seems to have made a disturbing connection with Seth, Lady’s teen son. As the women grow closer, Lady’s secrets are threatened, and S has a few secrets of her own—particularly in regard to the reason she took the job in the first place.

 

“Teeth Fairies” Ingrid Bencosme, Laura Watson, ill. (Teeth Fairies, LLC)

Move over, Elf on a Shelf—the Teeth Fairies are in town! Now that the Tooth Fairy has a crew,  your child will never be more excited to lose a tooth. Here’s how it works: As soon as your child has a loose tooth, one of the Teeth Fairies arrives at your home (by way of a doll that comes with the book). Your child names the fairy, who will return as his or her official tooth fairy each time a tooth is lost. No need to worry that this magical visitor will wake up your child; instead of putting the tooth under the pillow, your child will place it in the pocket of the fairy’s crown.

 

Meet the Tooth Fairy and Co.

 

As a mother of four young children, Ingrid Bencosme knew the tooth fairy would be a repeat visitor over the years. “The legend of the tooth fairy is something I always remembered fondly,” she says. When her eldest child experienced some anxiety over her first loose tooth, Bencosme wrote a poem about the Tooth Fairy. It was such a hit, she decided to write a book.

Besides delighting her firstborn with a new spin on the traditional Tooth Fairy story, there was an additional bonus for writing the book: Once Bencosme’s daughter was on board with the tooth fairy, brushing teeth was no longer a chore. “She wanted to impress the fairy, so she was doing that on her own,” the author says.

“Teeth Fairies” is the recipient of a National Parenting Publication Silver Award. With colorful illustrations by Laura Watson, this is a book you’ll share with your kids again and again—loose tooth or not!

 

Books on the Big Screen:

If you haven’t had a chance to read Herman Koch’s “The Dinner,” now’s the time. This familial tour de force asks the question, How far will parents go to protect their children? The answer might shock you. Stunning in its own merit, Koch’s novel boasts not one but three movie adaptations. The Dutch and Italian versions received multiple nominations, and we’re expecting a similar reception for the American version due in May, starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, and Rebecca Hall.

By Barbara Bellesi

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